The West and the World
The Enlightenment Thought and Inquiry
This document expands on the concept of European politics, philosophy, science and communications that were radically reoriented during the course of the “long 18th century” as part of a movement referred to as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment. For example, the Enlightenment produced the first modern secularized theories of philosophy and ethics such as when John Locke conceived of the human mind as being at birth a tabula rasa, a blank slate on which experience wrote freely and boldly, creating the individual character according to the individual experience of the world. Moreover, Voltaire is also an example of the "Enlightenment," a name given for a movement among European intellectuals in the 18th century to elucidate and advocate what they thought was a more rational and scientific understanding of human nature and human affairs.
Concepts on visual arts, literature, politics, and among others drastically changed at the time. Above all, this document indicates that Enlightenment philosophers were great optimists and they believed that humankind could improve itself greatly, and that Enlightenment values of reason and humanity would accomplish it. The first thing to be done, in their view, was to free thinking itself to escape the darkness of the past to the light of reason . This is resource is relevant to this chapter because it provides a summary of how people perceived the world during the Age of Reason and what lead them to think this way and how it has affected today's society's way of thinking.
Technology and Enlightenment: The Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s Encyclopédie
The Encyclopédie was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772. It is most famous for representing the thought of the Enlightenment. Denis Diderot, one of the editors, Encyclopédie's aim was to incorporate all of the world's knowledge into the book and hoped that the text could disseminate all this information to the public and future generations. This websites provides an online exhibit of copies of the engravings in the plates, printing, papermaking, mining, tapestry, wigmaking, documenting, and humbler trades .
This website is a crucial resource as well as an important gateway into learning about The Enlightenment. This Collaborative Translated Website/online exhibit allows you to browse articles that have been translated and to search the database of translations in a variety of ways. Not only that but students can also view a clear image of most of the pages, plate engravings, images and other parts of the book with details associated to each of them. They can also find links to the original French versions of translated articles.
Goya & The Spanish Enlightenment
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was an important Spanish artist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. During this time, a new period of thinking in the Western world which was to bring marked political, social and economic changes developed. This period was called the Enlightenment and encouraged critical thinking independent of religious or superstitious doctrines. This point of view can be seen through Goya's artworks. He was set to work turning out paintings as cartoon designs for the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Barbara, he painted for the Osuna family, he produced a series of etchings called Los Caprichos, and many other artistic opportunities that are significant in when talking about The Enlightenment .