Rousseau's Three Ideologies: The Age Of The Enlightenment

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The age of the Enlightenment was driven by three ideologies: individualism, relativism, and rationalism. Individualism emphasized the idea of all humans having sufficient rights in society, which affected the general perception of authority. Relativism focused on how all religions, cultures, and values deserved an equal amount of credibility, which led to a change in international policies. Rationalism identified that man could discover the answer to anything by using reasoning, which caused a stronger development of human philosophy. Together, these three beliefs were the underpinnings of the Enlightenment. Individualism prioritized equal rights for all and a prevention of absolutism and tyranny. French theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote …show more content…

German philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity”. Kant deducted that humans were always capable of initiating Enlightenment, however, in the past, they fell victim to obstacles caused by themselves. English philosopher John Locke believed that mankind inherently has good intentions, but needed a ruler in order to ensure natural rights were protected. Locke considered humans to be rational beings that had the potential to prosper when governed properly. His theories were widely discussed and adopted by political leaders, including by Thomas Jefferson in the American Declaration of Independence. Kant and Locke shared the belief that people were able to succeed by using proper analysis and thinking tools, which was the central idea of rationalism. The Enlightenment was composed of individualism, relativism, and rationalism. These three concepts served as a culmination of all enlightened ideas and theories. The increased popularity of each of these ideologies led to a wiser and more critical society as a whole. Together, individualism, relativism, and rationalism allowed man to advance socially, and politically during the

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