Intellect Vs Enlightenment

1438 Words6 Pages
Brianna Cunneen Humn 221 Section 4 Paper 1
Emotion and intellect both play significant roles in in the development and growth of our society, and have been favored in varying proportions during different periods in history; during the Enlightenment, intellect was favored with reason being considered the main source of truth in the world, whereas in the Romantic period, emotion was valued more than intellect. While both are influential and factor into how society changes and how institutions develop in that society, it seems that emotion, particularly under the guise of beliefs, ideals, and morality, is more influential in affecting our views on ourselves, the institutions we build, and the society that grows around us. The Declaration
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2: The State of Nature]. According to Locke, all people in addition to be created equal naturally have the rights of life, liberty, and estate. While John Locke states that this equality and inherent possession of rights is “simply obvious”, human existence has not always reflected that sentiment meaning this assumption by Locke could be more emotional than intellectual. Where is his evidence that this is an indisputable truth? How would slavery or poverty be accounted for if that was undeniably true? The Declaration of Independence takes it a step further in replacing the right of estate with the right of pursuit of happiness. The assumption that all are equal and have those inherent rights are religiously backed, as can…show more content…
Romanticism emphasized the worship of nature and the expression and importance of intense emotion. Instead of emotion being valued less than reason or intellect as in the Enlightenment period, it was brought into the spotlight. Keats wrote of passion: “for ever warm and still to be enjoy 'd, for ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, that leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy 'd, a burning forehead, and a parching tongue” [Ode on a Grecian Urn, 1819]. Beaudelaire wrote of human vices, and the hypocrisy of readers to not see those vices in themselves: “You know him, reader, this exquisite monster, -Hypocrite reader,-my likeness,-my brother!” Satan’s Speech from John Milton’s Paradise Lost inspired many Romantic poets in its portrayal of Satan as flawed, rebellious; reminiscent of humans. Romantic thinkers held individuality, equality, and emotionality above all other traits. This correlated to the politics of the time: revolution and unrest was occurring across Europe and the Romantic writers, influenced by this turmoil, reasserted that the rights of the individual to liberty and equality should be valued above monarchies and totalitarianism, with the motto of the French Revolution and modern French Republic becoming “liberté, egalité, fraternité”. Many also
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