Tom Jones Historical Context

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The Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment dawned in the late seventeenth century and strongly colored the entire eighteenth century in Europe and America. The era was so named because the intellectuals who nurtured it believed that the ideas it promoted were bringing humanity out of a period of darkness in which it had been bound by superstition and ignorance. The most prominent of these ideas was that human reason—not blind faith in religious doctrines or authorities—was the path to wisdom in all areas of life.

The Age of Enlightenment, or Age of Reason, as it was sometimes called, was sparked by new scientific discoveries (Newton's law of gravity, for example) and by new directions in philosophy as set out by John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and others. Human reason was penetrating the mysteries of the physical world and imagining new kinds of societies. It seemed...

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This section contains 763 words
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Tom Jones from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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