Niccolo Machiavelli's Change In The Scientific Revolution And Secularism Essay

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The time period between 1500 and 1900 marked several important changes in Western thought. During this period, the Western world underwent several important “revolutions” including the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution. Political revolutions, triggered by Enlightenment ideas, also occurred in America, France, and Haiti. Supported by a new interest in the Greco-Roman world, as well as the secularism and humanism movements, many began questioning the world around them through science and philosophy. Western thought throughout this period placed a major emphasis on the natural rights of the individual, science, and economic liberalism. Machiavelli’s major contributions to political…show more content…
These political tensions would heighten during the Enlightenment and result in revolutions and increased democratic practices. Machiavelli differed from Locke and Bentham in what the role of the state was. Machiavelli believed the role of the state was to be powerful and to persist, while Locke believed the purpose of the state was to protect the natural rights and property of the citizens, and Bentham believed it was to maximize happiness. Bentham and Machiavelli had similar ideas on utilitarianism, or doing what is best for the largest group of people. Also occurring throughout the Renaissance and Enlightenment was the Scientific Revolution, which would forever change the way man viewed nature. From 1500 to 1900, the idea of humanism led many to use logic and reason to make new discoveries and inventions. Jacob Bronowski, author of The Western Intellectual Tradition, consistently portrays many of the philosophers he discusses as a scientists. Bronowski shows how several other thinkers employed the scientific method into their thinking, such as Jeremy Bentham’s algorithm to measure happiness, John Locke’s membership in the scientific Royal Society and his many scientific experiments, Hobbe’s

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