Scottish Enlightenment Vs Mainstream Enlightenment

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Although there are shared similarities, the Mainstream enlightenment and Scottish enlightenment are fundamentally different, seen by the contrasts strongly demonstrated between reason and empiricism. They are similar in the respect that both use observations to support deductions. Different in the way Mainstream enlightenment reasons upon assumptions of innate knowledge, while the Scottish enlightenment emphasizes only what is observed. During the enlightenment, both the Scottish enlightenment’s empirical method of inquiry and the Mainstream enlightenment’s deducing reasoning made use of observations to support propositions. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica; a globally established educational database that strives to provide credible…show more content…
Mainstream enlightenment thinkers tend to have assumptions linked to the innate knowledge of humans. A chiefly influential figure in the Mainstream Enlightenment for political philosophy and of social thought, Jean Jacques-Rousseau’s “Discourse on the Origin of Inequality” (1755), writes “We cannot desire or fear anything, except from the idea of it, or from the simple impulse of nature”. Nature was assumed to be the primal condition in which Man was innocent. It was assumed that Man was naturally innocent and “imbued with virtues”. That man in his natural state seeks to contribute to the common good. That since human corrupted values is a product of society, we need to critic society and its institutions and strive towards the conceptual idea of a “natural” society. John Locke another influential political philosopher, also argues that “beliefs, like other human differences, [are] largely the product of environment” and thus the fault of human irrationality is to be blamed on society. This theoretical reasoning is based upon the huge assumption that Man is naturally morally good. Blaise Pascal another major influence to Mainstream enlightenment reasoning, published his influential book Pensées posthumously in 1670, in which he tries to objectively convince that its better to believe that God exists, for you will be faithful and rewarded by God in the case he does exist. That if you don’t believe in God in the scenario he does exist, you shall receive divine punishment. Pascal like the political philosophers bases his theoretical reasoning upon an assumption. The assumption that God will care whether you believe in him. John Locke’s essay on human psychology “Essay Concerning Human Understanding” bases a lot
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