Enlightened Philosophers (John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Jean Jacques Rousseau)

1495 Words Apr 9th, 2013 6 Pages
John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Jean Jacques Rousseau were all enlightenment philosophers. Each of these men had a particular view of government, society, and its citizens and they were all passionate about their works. Locke (1632- 1704) was an English philosopher, his ideas had a great impact on the development of political philosophy and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential enlightenment thinkers. Montesquieu (1689- 1755) believed that all things were made up of laws that never changed. His most famous work, The Spirit of Laws, outlined his ideas on how government would work best. Voltaire (1694- 1778) was a poet, an essayist, playwright, historian, and above all, a critic of society. He was a great …show more content…
People always abuse their powers. No matter how small the amount they have, they will push their credibility to the edge. “Constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it and carry it as far as it will go. (The Spirit of Laws) ”. As the renaissance came around, Montesquieu would definitely not have had such a bad opinion of man. As previously mentioned, the renaissance was a time for prosperity and there was a focus on humanism. Montesquieu believed that men will abuse any power that they are given but during the renaissance, people were much different. As for the Protestant Reformation, Montesquieu would probably feel the same way as his original philosophy. Nobody liked each other during the Protestant Reformation but the liked the government/ churches even less. There’s no doubt that people would abuse their power and the government should be split in 3 sections. However, during the Scientific Revolution, Montesquieu would feel the same about the people and probably would view the government the same way. During the Scientific Revolution, people were recovering from the Protestant Reformation but it was the abuse of power that put them there in the first place and they needed a stable government.
Jean Jacques Rousseau was similar to Locke in his belief of a government. Rousseau believes that government is necessary for
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