Defining the Enlightenment Period

An analysis of the Enlightenment period.

This paper aims to define the Enlightenment period, and how the ideas of this era saw the downturn of Catholic Church dogma and the institutions of reason and science being created. The paper looks at writers such as Rousseau and his Social Contract, John Locke in his essay “Some Thoughts Concerning Education”, and Lady Mary Wortley Montague’s travels about Europe, and highlights how they helped to transmit the new ideology that created the basis for logic and illuminated mankind outside of religious thought.
In defining the era now as the Enlightenment we can see some clear paths that were taken to bring about a new society for Europe. The old Church doctrines on science had quelled the countries of Europe for too long, and they even imprisoned such great mean as Galileo for calming that the earth did, indeed, revolve around the sun. Problems of this nature existed in Europe for many years, and the Church was not willing to make advancements in science, or attributes to reason that were commonly being perceived as advancements to humanity. The basis for the Enlightenment not only proved a grounds for certain countries, such as England, to make the transition into using science and reason more often in their discoveries, but were finding them very profitable in solving medieval riddles in medicine and technology. (Gascoigne p.34) England was at the forefront with Isaac Newton being able to discuss how gravity works in a cause and effect, while philosophy was resurfacing in the likes of Hobbes, and other men who sought to avoid irrational content in Church doctrine. (Marandel p.103)