17th and 18th Century EnlightenmentDustin Perry11301417th

Topics: Scientific method, Reasoning, Age of Enlightenment Pages: 5 (854 words) Published: November 30, 2014
17th and 18th Century Enlightenment
Dustin Perry
11/30/14

17th and 18th Century Enlightenment
The Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th century was a period in which philosophers, and scientists contributed to society with ideas that were based around reason. This was a very important moment in humanities timeline, since during this time both the church’s and the monarchy’s powers of the world grew less absolute and influential. During this time period the philosophers defended current beliefs, like the existence of god, but tried to promote reason over faith. These philosophers were not sacrilegious but instead realized that you cannot blindly follow something without understanding it and questioning the reason behind it. But religion was not the only topic of interest, philosophers and scientists contributed all kinds of things, for example, Sir Isaac Newton contributed with classical mechanics, his law of gravity, and his law of motion. This period’s title is very fitting, many achievements and feats were made in this timeframe that formed the basis for modern life as it stands today. Whether it be math, politics, mechanics, writing, or astronomy, as well as many others, during this period of enlightenment no longer were people shunned of presenting their ideas and theories. This served to influence a more independent way of thinking compared to before where people’s reliance on the church made its power absolute. Intrinsic vs. Instrumental

Intrinsic value is something that is valued by its own worth and not as a means to something else. (Holsinger, 2013) Instrumental on the other hand, is only valued at the worth of what can be acquired by it. For example, a medallion given to someone by their now deceased father would hold intrinsic value, while a guitar they bought from the store will have instrumental value. The medallion, while very possibly being quite worthless to everyone else, could hold the greatest monetary value to that individual, especially since it cannot be replaced. The guitar, only is valued by the ability to create musical sounds, and therein lies the difference. Modern Science looks at human beings relationship with the natural world in an instrumental approach. It looks what can be achieved or attained by utilizing the resources of the natural world. Value is placed on items on two factors, what can be achieved or attained from them, and how scarce they are. Human beings experiment and test on animals, materials, and plant life to attain technological, medical, and many other feats, disregarding the intrinsic worth of that which is being tested. It is important to understand and recognize our place in the context of our universe. This can do multiple things, to include humbling us. Not only does it help us stay humble, it also strives to make us try and evolve and attain greatness. Understanding how vast and the history of one’s surroundings can help them understand the foundations of life, ensure life preservation, and help them incorporate new technological advances using the understanding of materials and functions of matter in that environment.

Philosophical and Scientific Reasoning
There are many situations where it would be important to use philosophical and/or scientific reasoning to find a solution, resolve a conflict, or make a decision. Although quite different both sets of reasoning attempt to achieve the same goal, although in completely different manners, but the most important aspect of them is they both strive to keep each other in check. Scientific reasoning would be important to use if you were trying to prove something using facts. For example, I would use this if I were trying to find if materials “fall” at the same rate of speed in a vacuum regardless of their weight and shape. Philosophical thinking on the other hand, would be important to use when trying to reason with the morality of what someone or people should do and whether something is true based on critical...

References: Cannon, D. (1998). Western Oregon University. Retrieved from GROUNDRULES FOR PHILOSOPHICAL REASONING: http://www.wou.edu/las/humanities/cannon/phlgndrls.htm
Holsinger, K. (2013, November 10). Intrinsic vs. Instrumental Value. Retrieved from Holsinger Lab: http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/eeb310/lecture-notes/value-ethics/node2.html
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