The influence of the Enlightenment on French Culture and the role of the Philosophers

Essay by dieselraverUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2002

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How did the enlightenment influence French society? What was the role of the philosophers?

The enlightenment influenced French society in many aspects, it gave way to new world views and ideas that brought church and science together. It was responsible for bringing the scientific revolution to the political and cultural fields. The introduction of the scientific revolution gave rise to new ideas and ways of thinking. It broke down old philosophies based on religious documents and Aristotle's philosophical ideals and principles. The enlightenment was a basic principle that all things in the world could be explained with science. The influence proved positive, it gave way to a renaissance through france and had a great impact on the middle classes of society. United by ideas the intellectuals and scholars at the time believed that it was possible to better society and the culture that they lived in. while the enlightenment questioned traditional beliefs, many felt that it was an attack against them and all religious teachings.

Writers felt a renewal and began writing and publishing once again. This "reading revolution" helped popularize science. It gave way to women's movements and rights. The publication of books helped expand the knowledge to everyone, it brought complex philosophies and teachings to the public and helped lead people away from religious teachings and rather to rationalize and use science to explain things. This way of thinking pressed on spreading like a trend to the social upper and middle class. Those who followed the enlightenment were thought of as educated and elite. Although it was a success, it was not widely accepted by the population of France mainly because France consisted of a majority of common folk. These people cared mainly to survive and didn't really bother with the enlightenment.