What are the General Characteristics of the Philosophy of Enlightenment?

What are the General Characteristics of the Philosophy of Enlightenment?

Enlightenment also known as 18-19. One of the best definitions of 16th century philosophy is Immanuel Kant  , who lived at that time and was described as an enlightened philosopher  .

In his article titled ”What is Enlightenment? Ant, Kant defines enlightenment as getting rid of the immature state in which man has fallen because of his own crime. Kant points out that inability to use his mind by himself in his parable of being immature, and emphasizes that this is human crime. Kant, as the slogan of this period,  “Show courage to use your mind!” He  said.

Understanding human and nature only on the basis of reason is the purpose of enlightenment. In the philosophy of this era, it is thought that human being is a part of nature and can make life better in terms of reasoning. A humanity that can find happiness and truth freely has been imagined. Giving importance to the mind has brought many developments in many areas. These developments, which made itself felt economically and politically, led to an event such as the French Revolution and a phenomenon of production like the Industrial Revolution. The effect of these events also determined the content of enlightenment.

French Revolution , developments that began in the 15th century and 18-19. century is a concrete result of philosophy. When the people were in poverty, the king’s wealth was the apparent cause of the French Revolution. Among the reasons behind the revolution were a great change in society with the increase of literacy and the support of independent publications and the French intellectuals who organized this change and their philosophical views. The inequality and injustice in social life initiated an uprising against the king in the people with the idea of ​​freedom created by enlightenment. The revolution that affected the whole world resulted in the collapse of the absolute monarchy in France and the establishment of the republican regime.

The Industrial Revolution , which began in the UK  , enabled the establishment of fast-paced factories and increased access to culture and economic interaction. Developments in science and technology and philosophical thoughts about the economic field formed the basis of these. This has brought some beneficial results to some people, such as comfortable living, but on the other hand, increased inter-state competition and led to bad consequences such as war. The search for raw materials and new markets accelerated colonialism and after an average century, World War I was experienced due to the competition of powerful states.

General Characteristics of Enlightenment Philosophy

– Confidence in mind and increased rational thinking.

– Political and religious authorities have been opposed because they prevent freedom.

– Freedom of thought supported.

– Aydin and authors class was formed.

– Important works in art, philosophy and literature.

– The French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution were realized and related problems were discussed.

– New schools emerged in philosophy.

Prepared by:
  Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source:  Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook, MEB Philosophy Textbook