The Enlightenment also known as the Age of Reason was an intellectual movement in Europe during the 16th and 17th century. It helped shaped modern thinking through the many diverse and conflicting ideas of philosophers. The Enlightenment changed medieval thinking to secular thinking through the use of reason, the scientific method, and progress. The use of reason was a characteristic of the Enlightenment that fueled most philosophers and their beliefs. Reason enabled one to break free from all ignorant and irrational beliefs and it taught people to learn and act correctly. It makes all humans equal, therefore causing them to have equal treatment and rights under the law. Nothing was to be accepted on faith. Everything had to be rationalized (a secular, critical way of thinking) before drawing conclusions. Most philosophers used reasoning as a foundation to their principles and works. If someone doesn’t have reasoning that meant they lacked a characteristic that was given to everyone. It was proved that everyone has reasoning, it’s only up to you if you wanted to use it or not. The church was the authority figure of the time and told people how to behave, act and think. So when philosophers started to reason to support their work, people started to separate themselves from the church and began to believe what they wanted to. René Descartes (1590-1650) a French philosopher who made his greatest achievements in math, believed that everything should be doubted and that you had to use deductive reasoning. His reasoning led him to create Cartesian dualism in which all reality can be reduced to mind and matter. Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) was a French philosopher who was famous for his political writing. Through reasoning he was able to create a way for the government and people to live together without there being any tyranny. He figured out that...
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