Emergence of Enlightenment Philosophy, How Did Enlightenment Philosophy Emerge?June 28, 2021
18-19. century philosophy is the period of enlightenment in the West, individually and socially.
Enlightenment, literally, can be thought of as reflecting on something to clarify it, revealing it. The thinkers of this period tried to enlighten the society by keeping the mind in the foreground. In this age, the idea that people can get rid of all problems and reach eternal peace in society is dominant. This age is also called the “Age of Reason”.
18-19. century philosophy; It is a philosophical movement made to liberate the mind against traditional thought at a time when the radical changes in the social life of the Western geography, the French and the Industrial Revolution, which affected the whole world, were experienced. In order to understand the period, it is necessary to look at its historical background and to know the elements of its formation. 15-17. century philosophy, 18-19. century philosophy. The foundations on which the philosophy of this period was built; social changes with developments in philosophy, art and science.
2-15. In the 19th century, explanations for all kinds of problems in Western geography were made on the axis of religion. The fact that the church, which sees itself as the representative of religion, does not allow the use of reason other than to justify religion and keeps the society under pressure, has decreased with the emergence of the Renaissance. This new understanding, which started with translation activities from the Islamic geography, spread rapidly in line with geographical discoveries and scientific developments. This situation triggered the scientific and philosophical development and enabled the transition from religion-centered thought to human-centered thought. The oppressive mentality that prevents the use of reason in Europe has gradually disappeared.
With the influence of humanism, new schools were born in art and philosophy, and new discoveries were made in science about the universe. The increase in literacy with the invention of the printing press showed that some clergy used religion for their own benefit. This new understanding led to reform movements in the Catholic sect and new sects such as Protestantism were formed.
The 15th century, which started with innovation in the field of art, is a period that paved the way for science and philosophy. Renaissance and reform movements prepared the 17th century thought environment. The developments in science and technique that took place in this period, and especially geographical discoveries, are important elements that ensure the formation of the Age of Reason. 18-19. In line with the developments experienced in the 19th century, the developments in science and industry have changed the view of people to nature and created social structures based on economic foundations. In the face of this new situation, new life cultures were seen in the society and the struggles of the newly formed social classes began. This situation triggered people’s search for freedom. These experiences have brought new understandings to philosophy, and new ideas have emerged, especially on people and society.
The Industrial Revolution, which became evident in England towards the middle of the 18th century, first started in the cotton weaving sector. With mechanization, cotton was turned into yarn and weaving looms were developed. With the use of steam power, rapid productions were realized in the textile field and economic growth was achieved.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook