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Enlightenment Thinkers
Enlightenment
Thinkers

What is the

Enlightenment?
Enlightenment?

“Have courage to use your own reasonthat

The Enlightenment: an intellectual and philosophical movement of the 18 th century that rejected traditional social, religious, and political

ideas and instead

emphasized the importance of reason.

is the motto of the

Enlightenment.”

o

-Immanuel Kant, German philosopher

• What is the Enlightenment? • “Have courage to use your own reason — that The
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death
“I do not agree with what
you have to say, but I’ll
defend to the death your
right to say it.” -Voltaire

Question: What fundamental right that is protected under

our Bill of Rights does the above quote apply to?

Why is that right so important/valuable?

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death
Enlightenment Thinkers
Enlightenment Thinkers
Thomas Hobbes •
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes • Argued for strong central government . • People’s basic instincts would lead to

Argued for strong central government.

People’s basic instincts

would lead to chaos.

Social Contract:

people give power to

strong government, give up some rights, to get guarantee of

protection and support.

Thomas Hobbes • Argued for strong central government . • People’s basic instincts would lead to

John Locke
John Locke

Men are capable of REASON and of governing themselves.

Govt’s. job is to protect rights of people, if govt. fails to do so, citizens have the right to

overthrow it.

Influenced struggles for liberty in America and Europe.

• • • John Locke Men are capable of REASON and of governing themselves. Govt’s .
Charles Montesquieu • Separation of Powers:
Charles Montesquieu
Separation of Powers:

o

Keeps any individual or group from abusing their power or taking over the government.

Charles Montesquieu • Separation of Powers: o Keeps any individual or group from abusing their power

Each branch has a check on the other branches.

Became a basis of the U.S. Constitution

o

Executive

o

Legislative

o

Judicial

Charles Montesquieu • Separation of Powers: o Keeps any individual or group from abusing their power
Which of the three philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu) do you most agree with? Why?
Which of the three
philosophers (Hobbes,
Locke, Montesquieu) do
you most agree with? Why?

Partner Discussion

Which of the three philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu) do you most agree with? Why? Partner Discussion
Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Wanted direct democracy. o Government formed by the people, for the people, and
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Wanted direct
democracy.
o
Government formed by the
people, for the people, and
guided by “general will” of the
people.
Legitimate government
only exists by the consent
of the governed.
All men are equal-should
abolish titles of nobility.
Plagiarized many of his
ideas from other thinkers.
Voltaire •
Voltaire
Voltaire • Critic of the French government and Catholic Church • Argued for free speech, end

Critic of the French government and Catholic Church

Argued for free speech, end of slave trade, freedom of religion, & separation of church and state.

Thought people were too stupid to have a

democracy (at that time).

Thought an educated

monarchy would be better instead.

Voltaire • Critic of the French government and Catholic Church • Argued for free speech, end

Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft

One of the first

“feminists”.

Argued that both men and women are capable of reason and should be treated as equals.

Women are not naturally inferior to men, they only appear that way due to lack of education.

• • • Mary Wollstonecraft One of the first “feminists”. Argued that both men and women
Is there an Enlightenment thinker (or idea) that you disagree with? Why?
Is there an Enlightenment
thinker (or idea) that you
disagree with? Why?

Partner Discussion

Is there an Enlightenment thinker (or idea) that you disagree with? Why? Partner Discussion
Adam Smith •
Adam Smith
Adam Smith • Political Economist • Argued for Laissez-faire economy. • Govt. shouldn’t interfere with economy.

Political Economist

Argued for Laissez-faire economy.

Govt. shouldn’t interfere with economy. Instead it should focus on protecting and defending its citizens.

Adam Smith • Political Economist • Argued for Laissez-faire economy. • Govt. shouldn’t interfere with economy.

Thomas Jefferson One of America’s Founding Fathers. Author of Declaration of Independence. Argued for: o Free
Thomas Jefferson
One of America’s
Founding Fathers.
Author of Declaration of
Independence.
Argued for:
o
Free speech
o
Religious freedom
o
Other civil liberties
Governments derive their
power from the consent
of the governed.