The Enlightenment which was during the seventeenth and eighteenth century was a time that helped shape the capitalistic, democratic world we live in today. The Enlightenment was also called the Age of Reason because that period was a time of high intellect and bright new ideas. Philosophers would meet to discuss economic, political, social, and religious questions. These questions made the philosophers hope that they might some new ways to understand and improve their society. They also hoped that they could become like the famous scientist Isaac Newton but for social sciences. There is an idea that is basic to all of the four philosophers, but the question is: what was their main idea? John Locke was the philosopher who captured the whole idea of The Enlightenment.
The main idea of The Enlightenment was about people’s rights and their freedom. John Locke did a good job explaining it in an excerpt from Second Treatise on Civil Government which was written in 1690 (eighty-six years ago). In the excerpt Locke speaks about how all men have freedom to do what they want as long as they are not breaking the law. He also says that people are born with reason and have three natural rights. The three natural rights are life, liberty, and property (pursuit of happiness). “(W)e must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they fit, within the bounds of the law of nature….” [Document A: John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, 1690] These words written by Locke sums up the ideas of The Enlightenment in a perfect way. Locke is not the only one with the ideas though there were three other thinkers who had their own views on the Age of Reason.
A female philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft had a similar, but different perspective on The Enlightenment. Wollstonecraft had her own idea, but it did not truly explain the main