Science and the Enlightenment Character Descriptions

Thomas L. Hankins
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Isaac Newton

This person was one of the chief forces that led to the development of science in the Enlightenment. Although most of his work was prior to the Enlightenment, the force of his work, especially his developments in physics and mathematics, inspired others and gave them the tools necessary for more advanced scientific study.

Francis Bacon

This 16th Century English philosopher, scientist, statesman became Attorney General for the Queen of England.

Immanuel Kant

This 18th century German philosopher argued in his paper "What is Enlightenment?" that true enlightenment is guided by the power of reason and bound by rules people make for themselves in accord with reason.

Rene Descartes

This great French mathematician and philosopher developed the first systematic alternative to Scholasticism and was responsible for the development of analytic geometry, a very important contribution to pure mathematics and physics.


This French mathematician and editor of...

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