Science and the Enlightenment Setting & Symbolism

Thomas L. Hankins
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Enlightenment

The Enlightenment is the period of European history, primarily in France, Germany, and Great Britain during which there was an explosion of scientific discovery and an emphasis on the power of human reason. The enlightenment is a diverse phenomenon, but several ideas dominate the thinking of this period: the universality of Reason, the importance of natural over supernatural explanations, and the importance of new science as a tool for human betterment and advancement.

Encyclopedia

A project undertaken in the mid 18th century in France to collect and organize existing knowledge about science and philosophy. Diderot and D'Alembert edited the encyclopedia and Diderot wrote the introduction, which is taken to be the clearest embodiment of, at least French, enlightenment thought.

Natural Philosophy

In the 18th century, at least at the beginning, there was no clear distinction between philosophy and science as all scientific study originally started as philosophical...

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