The age of enlightenment also known as the age of reason or simply the enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in europe during the 18th century the century of philosophy some consider descartes 1637 statement i think therefore i am to have sparked the periodothers cite the publication of isaac newtons principia mathematica . Enlightenment enlightenment a european intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning god reason nature and humanity were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent in the west and that instigated revolutionary developments in art philosophy and politics. The enlightenment and why it still matters anthony pagden on amazoncom free shipping on qualifying offers named one of the best books of the year by kirkus reviews one of our most renowned and brilliant historians takes a fresh look at the revolutionary intellectual movement that laid the foundation for the modern world. Consequently the enlightenment also argued that human life and character could be improved through the use of education and reason the mechanistic universe that is to say the universe when considered to be a functioning machine could also be altered
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