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Age of Enlightenment Reforms

The purpose of this research is to examine the reform priorities of sundry thinkers and writers working in and around the Age of Enlightenment. The plan of the research will be to set forth the general character of Enlightenment thought, which as a philosophical discipline prevailed mainly during the eighteenth century in Europe, and then to show how the writings of various European commentators of the period sought to portray and advocate the impulse toward a generally institutionalized category of socialization that would have the effect of altering, irrevocably and for the better, the typical way of being of the typical individual citizen of the typically civilized state. As appropriate, the research will suggest why advocacy of a reformist temperament during the Enlightenment represented a new way of viewing what constituted civilized livelihood, statehood, and modes of being in Western Civilization.

When one considers en masse a large body of Enlightenment thought, one is struck by the general consistency of expression and attitude. The principal figures of its philosophy appear in this sense to stand upon one another's shoulders, inasmuch as they deal in a consistent way with topics that claim philosophical attention for them. Aside from their attachment to specific sociopolitical themes as the status of laws, the content of ethics, the nature of science, moral philosophy, and the like, there is a mode of inquiry that recurs that is worthy of note and worthy of being placed in a historiographical perspective. Relativism, indeterminism, and skepticism mark the philosophy of the Enlightenment, and it is important to recognize that they occur so dramatically because they represented a challenge to the thenprevailing societal mode of Europe and Britain: absolutist monarchy and moral authoritarianism backed up by the rigidity of Church doctrine. To be sure, the Reformation had been successfully employed against the rigidity of t...

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Age of Enlightenment Reforms. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:37, May 24, 2020, from