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Nov 8, 2017 in Opinion

The Influence of the Enlightenment

Enlightenment Definition

Carmen & Veronica (2001) define Enlightenment or age of Enlightenment as the epoch in western philosophy in 18th where cultural lives, logical, intellectual and scientific were advocated for reasoning as the prime base and authenticity for authority. Than (2004) describes that age of Enlightenment evolved concurrently in Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Portugal, the movement was markered by Atlantic revolution, especially after the accomplishment of American revolution.

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The jargon “Enlightenment does not really signify a single school of thought or movement as the philosophers were often mutual incongruous or divergent on their definition. The Enlightenment was considered as a more set of values than a set of dreams. At its foundation there was serious questioning of the customs, morals and institution, thus there were certain degree of philosopher’s similarity in time of Enlightenment. Some categorization of this period of Enlightenment included the 17th century, which was referred as the age of rationalism or age of critical reasoning which was considered as a component of the Enlightenment, however the age of critical reasoning is more considered and looked as an overture to ideas of the Enlightenment. Below are some of the discussed influences of Enlightenment.

Analysis of Enlightenment

The philosophers of Enlightenment inspired people to question what they had previously accepted and explore nature through scientific reasoning. Enlightenment approaches helped to scrutinize various ideas of intellectual school of thought in European framework during the 17th and 18th centuries, the social approach helped to examine social and culture changes that happened in European society. In this examination, Enlightenment is considered to be a less set of thoughts than a process of dynamic change in sociability and a process by which the social content spread, was more important and beneficial. Carmen & Veronica, (2001) describe this as follows: The Enlightenment movement which is from the intellectual reasoning to social/cultural involves spreading doubt on two concurrent ideas: firstly is the practices which can be reasoned from the discourses that validate them or justify them; secondly it is possibility to interpret the content terms to open thought that are based on evidence as a form of social/culture Enlightenment.

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One of the most important essentials influence caused by Enlightenment is the emergence of the public sphere in the continent of Europe. Jorgen H. Trey has greatly influenced Enlightenment thinking and reasoning on the public sphere than no other man. The crucial problem that Jorgen tried to answer was the circumstances that existed for “critical, rational and open dialogue on the public matters”. Or more basically, the social-cultural situations needed for Enlightenment ideas and thoughts. The response for Jorgen H. Trey ideas came to light in the late 17th and 18th during the formation of “geois public sphere”, which was marked by a new era of communication where debates and public opinions came into reality (Than, 2004). During this era of Enlightenment everyone had rights to point out his or her ideas and reasons so as to be supreme; everything was opened to the public sphere to be fully criticized.

Enlightenment of public sphere resulted to two lasting historical trends: rise of capitalism and emergence of modern countries states (Than, 2004). Capitalism led to the increase in society sovereignty and self-awareness alongside with creating a critical need in exchange of ideas and information while the modern country states allowed for public sphere in the independent society As the emerging public sphere spread, it advocated for establishment of a wide range of institutions, the frequently cited are cafes, literacy public spheres, salons and coffee houses.

The emergence of public sphere due to influence of Enlightenment was accompanied by social and economical changes which are basically categorized under the effects of industrial revolution. There was rapid increase in levels of urbanization, advanced and improved communication systems and increase in population levels compared to the previous centuries. Production efficiency in industries caused the level of consumer goods to go down therefore increasing the demand of the products. Meanwhile, there was the colonial time, most European nation had managed to secure colonial empires during the 18th century; this led to exposition of European society to mixed cultures. Carmen & Veronica (2001) states that the end outcomes were breaking-down culture blockades rise of gender and race differences and dividing of the religion. In short, social Enlightenment aim was to turn public sphere into reality.


In the Enlightenment of 17th and 18th century, Europe had a deep effect on the philosophers who were interested is studying nature, which lead to emergence of the first sciences in which the study of archaeology was put in place. The first step towards making archaeology a science took place at the time of Enlightenment which was also known as the time of reasoning. In 17th and 18th century in Europe it was time of enormous development in natural and methodical exploration. Scientists, Philosophers and Poets came to a situation where they wondered how rationalism, which was being considered to be a supreme human reasoning, had to been realized (Ishim, &Jonathan, 2008).However later with the influence of Enlightenment they realized that Human society was to develop linearly, starting with use stone tools to discovery of agriculture, and finishing with the peak of European methodical society.

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