We Are All Children Of The Enlightenment

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8. What does this statement "We are all children of the Enlightenment" mean? Illustrate your answer with examples of the Enlightenment's influence today. The Enlightenment was a movement of ideas that began to become influential at the end of the seventeenth century, these ideas promoted a more rational emancipated society with no interference from religion or state. Although facing many obstacles in its time, the enlightenment ideas are still very much of our lives. ‘the leading ideas adumbrated by Europeans between 1500 and 1800 still provide most of the signposts by which we make our way’ and as Rude comments ‘In the wider context the Enlightenment reached into almost every brand of knowledge’. Philosophes with no common programme or manifesto began the spread of ideas that formed the basis of many modern day values. The demand for free intellectual thought without interference from state, at the time was viewed as a daring emancipation from the religion controlled education, and the political defence of this religion control. The idea of education for children began with the writings from Locke, as did feminism with the mind having no sex. Kant commented in his essay what is enlightenment ‘people must think for themselves under the watchword sapere aude ‘dare to know’ the idea of the individual thinking and learning for themselves becomes popularised for the first time. This essay focuses on Enlightenment in Britain and selected philosophers, scientists and writers. The Enlightenment was the spread of ideas that occurred predominantly in the eighteenth century, although the beginnings of the spread of the new ideas began within elite circles, the rise of print and at first the cooperation of the church helped slowly spread the new ideas to other classes. The idea of rationality began to be more prominent, the inspiration came from the new mechanical
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