The Era Of Enlightenment: The Age Of Reason

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The Age of Enlightenment, sometimes called the Age of Reason, refers to the time of the guiding intellectual movement, called The Enlightenment. It covers about a century and a half in Europe, beginning with the publication of Francis Bacon 's Novum Organum (1620) and ending with Immanuel Kant 's Critique of Pure Reason (1781). From the perspective of socio-political phenomena, the period is considered to have begun with the close of the Thirty Years ' War (1648) and ended with the French Revolution (1789).

The Enlightenment advocated reason as a means to establishing an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, government, and even religion, which would allow human beings to obtain objective truth about the whole of reality. Emboldened by the revolution in physics commenced by Newtonian kinematics, Enlightenment thinkers argued that reason could free humankind from superstition and religious authoritarianism that had brought suffering and death to millions in religious wars. Also, the wide availability of knowledge was made possible through the production of encyclopedias, serving the Enlightenment cause of educating the human race.

The age of Enlightenment is considered to have ended with the French Revolution, which had a violent aspect that discredited it in the eyes of many. Also, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who referred to Sapere aude! (Dare to know!) as the motto of the Enlightenment, ended up criticizing the Enlightenment confidence on the power of reason.
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