The Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution: Essay

Words: 1840
Pages: 8

The Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution:
Men of Ideas Creating Change
Nicole Hill

The eighteenth century is often referred to as the Enlightenment. The ideas of many individuals combined to create a movement that would not only sweep across Europe, but reach as far as the America's. The idea of a world without caste, class or institutionalized crudity was what many were striving to achieve. Coinciding with the Enlightenment was the Scientific Revolution. Advancements in astronomy, technology, medicine and mathematics were but a few of the areas of remarkable discovery. The conclusions and observations brought forward by the Scientific Revolution in the eighteenth century have survived and thrived through to modern times.
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In Philadelphia, he constantly organized groups that discussed the latest European literature, philosophy, and science." His investigation of electricity and invention of the lightning rod, in 1756, brought him world fame. Franklin was widely respected by both the writers of the Enlightenment and the scientists of the Scientific Revolution.

Another writer of the Enlightenment was Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). He was considered by some to be the most original and influential writer of his era. "He discovered a new agent of degeneration – the "fall of man" – not god or individual man but society. Thus salvation comes through the social contract. Man must save himself." Rousseau rejected all compromise with contemporary society. "He called for a moral reformation, a revival of religion, and a purification of manners. He passionately asserted the moral and legal equality of man, the sovereignty of the people and the authority of the general will." Rousseau believed, "Nature commands every animal and the animal obeys. Man experiences the same impulsion, but he knows that he is free to acquiesce or to resist; and it is above all in his consciousness of this freedom that the spirituality of his soul is evident." Rousseau also said, "Men are wicked; sad and constant experience makes proof unnecessary. Nevertheless, man is naturally good…" Although Rousseau was widely read, he was considered to be "overly sensitive,