The Romanticist Response To The Enlightenment And The Romantic Period

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The Romantic Period was a unique period. Unlike many major philosophical and ideological periods, this movement both complemented and contrasted its predecessor, The Enlightenment. In terms of similarities, Romanticism shared a healthy skepticism of many deeply rooted structures within society such as religion and the distribution of wealth. However, the Romantic Period can be seen as an opposing response to the Enlightenment. Whereas the Enlightenment was based upon reason, the ideals of Romanticism were entrenched in emotion and imagination. The emphasis on a more abstract way of thinking spurned a turn towards nature as a source of inspiration as it was seen as a purer state of bring. Additionally, this turn towards the outdoors was prompted by industrialization and mass urbanization, movements that were unfolding during the same period. Some of the major figures to come out of this era were Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, Charles Darwin, John Keats, and William Blake. After claiming that this period favored emotion and imagination over reason, it may seem strange to have included Charles Darwin among these notable individuals. While it is true that Darwin’s work is based in logic and does abide by many standard scientific practices, he is as deserving to be grouped in this particular ideological period as any of the others. Although his work many not have a reliance on emotion like many of his contemporaries, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is a detailed observation
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