The Enlightenment and Moral Theory

 
 
 
 
During the period known as the Enlightenment, moral theory centered on issues of reason and the degree to which moral theory derived from the application of reason. The question was whether moral precepts were brought into being by the application of reason or pre-existed and were only discovered by reason. The Enlightenment was the period in European history when writing and thought in general was characterized by an emphasis on experience and reason. This meant there was a mistrust of religion and traditional authority, and one result was the gradual emergence of the ideals of liberal, secular, democratic societies. The Enlightenment is associated with a materialist view of human beings, an optimism about human progress through education, and a general utilitarian approach to society and ethics. The emphasis on learning in the Enlightenment would contribute to the development of various systems of learning, the founding of universities and colleges, and the development of philosophical systems such as the one offered by Kant. Freedom is all that is required, says Kant, and he means here the freedom to use one's reason. One link found among the systems developed by Hobbes, Hume, Kant, and Mill is found on their reliance on reason and their mistrust of emotion as a source of morality, though they differ on the degree to which the basis of morality is innate or based on experience.

Hobbes was the first to apply the basic assumptions of science as it was known in the se

     
 
 
 
    

 

Related Essays

The Age of Enlightenment, Hegel, Kant & Marx .... bourgeois, since it enslaved the morality of the masses to the values dictated by the ruling elites. Across Europe during the Enlightenment, philosophers were .... (1649 7 )

The Enlightenment .... In the era of enlightenment, a number of major developments in the intellectual life of the .... The will of the sovereign is, for Hobbes, the norm of morality. .... (1903 8 )

The Enlightenment .... Reasonableness stems from the teaching of rational thought in the eighteenth-century enlightenment. Reasonableness comes before morality and religion and acts .... (3279 13 )

Social Science & Philosophy .... However, he challenged Enlightenment thinkers because he did not feel reason was of unlimited scope. Morality, for Kant, involved law, ie the categorical .... (1013 4 )

Ideas of the Enlightenment in Billy Budd .... Press. 1997. Gay, P. The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. 1993. Glick, W. Expediency and morality in Billy Budd. .... (1571 6 )


Category: Philosophy - T
 
 
 
Common Topics
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Click Here to Get Instant Access to over 32,000 Professionally Written Papers!!!
 
 
 
Join Now  
 
 
 
 
 
Saved Papers  
 
 
Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly!
 
 
 
Testimonials  
 
"Great site, I got a lot of new ideas I would have never thought of before."
Nate A.
 
"I love this site!!!"
Marie H.
 
"Thank you for making such a high quality site! Your papers are the best I have seen around"
Debbie B.
 
"Your site was very helpful and gave me the details I needed in order to complete my essay!!!"
Mike F.
 
"This site is an excellent vehicle for quick referrences. Thanks a bunch!"
Carla T.
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 2007 - 2014 Lots of Essays. All Rights Reserved. DMCA