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From Encyclopedia Britannica
The main goal of the wide-ranging intellectual movement called the Enlightenment was to understand the natural world and humankind’s place in it solely on the basis of reason. The movement claimed the allegiance of a majority of thinkers in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, a period that Thomas Paine called the Age of Reason. German philosopher Immanuel Kant saw the essential characteristic of the Enlightenment as a freeing from superstition and ignorance. At its heart the movement became a conflict between established religion and the inquiring mind that wanted to know and understand through reason based on evidence and proof.
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Source: "Enlightenment." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 11 Aug. 2018. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/Enlightenment/274185. Accessed 4 Sep. 2018.
Image by Theobald von Oer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Useful Websites and Articles
From the Encyclopedia Britannica. Lots of information, videos, and related content explaining the causes, effects, and significance of the Enlightenment.
A basic discussion and summary of the Enlightenment from History.com.
A sophisticated discussion of the philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment from the Stanford University Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
An introduction to the key people of the Enlightenment from SparkNotes.
Books in the Library
Enlightenment and Revolution by
Call Number: 940 MOR
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
A comprehensive overview of world history that describes people, places, and events that occurred during the eighteenth century, including the passing of the Act of the Union and the Seven Years' War.
The Enlightenment by
Call Number: 940.2 ALL
Publication Date: 2014-08-01
Discusses the period of the Enlightenment in Europe and the United States during the eighteenth century.
The Enlightenment by
Call Number: 940.2 PAG
Publication Date: 2013-04-23
Examines the driving philosophies behind the Enlightenment.