Philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment Essay examples

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During the eighteenth century, ideas of reform started in France and spread through Europe. This period is referred to as The Age of Enlightenment. The Enlightenment carried the idea that economic change and political reform were possible. People started to think that they could use their own intellect to challenge the intellectual authority of tradition and the Christian past. The people who wrote for change and reform were called the philosophes (French for philosophers). They wrote hoping to bring reform to religion, political thought, society, government, and the economy. Thanks to the print culture, the philosophes’ ideas were spread throughout Europe. People started to have educated conversations about these new ideas in places like …show more content…
Categorical imperative would be the inner command to act in every situations as everyone else would.
Adam Smith wrote on economies. He was one of the most influential philosophers, and his ideas lead to capitalism. He believed that “economic liberty was the foundation of a natural economic system” (Kagan, 603) He is usually regarded as the founder of laissez-faire economic thought and policy.
In his masterpiece, Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he attempts to explain how a nation’s collective wealth grows. Smith identifies characteristics of a growing economy. Some of Smith’s ideas were that division of labor increases production, monopolies and regulations stifle productive labor, and that there is an infinite store of resources. Smith thought that selfish economic interests of individuals would maximize the economic well being of society. Smith also believed that social and economic development had four stages. The four stages of human society are hunting and gathering, pastoral or herding, agriculture, and commercial. He believed that you could use the four-stage theory to understand what social and economic development a group of people was in. This made the Europeans thinks they were in the highest level of human achievement (Kagan, 604).
Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, was a great political philosopher. He wrote on various
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