Enlightenment Rationalism and Romantic Subjectivism

1187 WordsNov 17, 20135 Pages
Enlightenment Rationalism and Romantic Subjectivism In the eighteenth century social theories had a huge impact on individuals within a society. Two social theories in particular came to be during radical times. The enlightenment rationalism theory was based on human reason and rational thought. The romantic subjectivism theory was based on the importance of individual freedom with an emphasis on the subjective mind and culture. These two social theories were both highly influential during their time period, but have many differentiating ideologies. Enlightenment rationalism was developed first primarily by Rene Descartes and was later opposed by the Romantics after the French Revolution. The Enlightenment focused on the human…show more content…
The Romantics held women to a higher standard when it came to nature. They did share the thought of women not having any reason, even if reason was important, with the Enlightenment theorists. (p. 79). The Romantics did hold women on a pedestal, however the standards they held them to would be hard to achieve and thus women would only end up being disrespected in the end. The Romantics did see that women had somewhat of a purpose. Many theorists and philosophers had their own ideas of what the Enlightenment meant but for one particular philosopher reason was held to the highest importance. Locke explained that when reason and discourse would come together with some exercise of the mind and then applied to morals, would be when humans would find the absolute truth (p. 37). This was explained as hopeful for the Enlightenment but ultimately not realistic. The ideal Enlightenment thinkers were explained as “empirical scientists and the model method was the inductive and rationalist scientific method” (p. 37). While the Enlightenment used science as their most important explanation for human society, Romantics were rebellious and searching for exotic ways to explain society. One Romantic that used a very different method was Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He used opium to expand his thoughts on social theory (p. 78). Other Romantics used artistic ways to explain their thoughts through paintings, poems and music. Wordsworth was a poet and theorist

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