With the French Revolution began the institutionalization of secularized individualism in both social life and politics; individualism and rationality found expression in parliamentary government and written constitutionalism. Obviously, the English and American revolutions of and prefigure these changes, but it was the more universalist French… A larger population created a greater demand for food and consumer goods.
Science, Epistemology and Metaphysics in the Enlightenment In this era dedicated to human progress, the advancement of the natural sciences is regarded as the main exemplification of, and fuel for, such progress.
It belongs centrally to the agenda of Enlightenment philosophy to contribute to the new knowledge of nature, and to provide a metaphysical framework within which to place and interpret this new knowledge.
Descartes — undertakes to establish the sciences upon a secure metaphysical foundation. The famous method of doubt Descartes employs for this purpose exemplifies in part through exaggerating an attitude characteristic of the Enlightenment.
According to Descartes, the investigator in foundational philosophical research ought to doubt all propositions that can be doubted.
The investigator determines whether a proposition is dubitable by attempting to construct a possible scenario under which it is false. With his method, Descartes casts doubt upon the senses as authoritative source of knowledge.
He finds that God and the immaterial soul are both better known, on the basis of innate ideas, than objects of the senses. If our evidence for the truth of propositions about extra-mental material reality is always restricted to mental content, content before the mind, how can we ever be certain that the extra-mental reality is not other than we represent it as being?
In fact, Descartes argues that all human knowledge not only knowledge of the material world through the senses depends on metaphysical knowledge of God. He attacks the long-standing assumptions of the scholastic-aristotelians whose intellectual dominance stood in the way of the development of the new science; he developed a conception of matter that enabled mechanical explanation of physical phenomena; and he developed some of the fundamental mathematical resources — in particular, a way to employ algebraic equations to solve geometrical problems — that enabled the physical domain to be explained with precise, simple mathematical formulae.
Furthermore, his grounding of physics, and all knowledge, in a relatively simple and elegant rationalist metaphysics provides a model of a rigorous and complete secular system of knowledge.
Cartesian philosophy also ignites various controversies in the latter decades of the seventeenth century that provide the context of intellectual tumult out of which the Enlightenment springs. Among these controversies are the following: If matter is inert as Descartes claimswhat can be the source of motion and the nature of causality in the physical world?
And of course the various epistemological problems: Spinoza develops, in contrast to Cartesian dualism, an ontological monism according to which there is only one substance, God or nature, with two attributes, corresponding to mind and body.
Leibniz articulates, and places at the head of metaphysics, the great rationalist principle, the principle of sufficient reason, which states that everything that exists has a sufficient reason for its existence.
This principle exemplifies the characteristic conviction of the Enlightenment that the universe is thoroughly rationally intelligible. The question arises of how this principle itself can be known or grounded. Wolff attempts to derive it from the logical principle of non-contradiction in his First Philosophy or Ontology, Criticism of this alleged derivation gives rise to the general question of how formal principles of logic can possibly serve to ground substantive knowledge of reality.
Whereas Leibniz exerts his influence through scattered writings on various topics, some of which elaborate plans for a systematic metaphysics which are never executed by Leibniz himself, Wolff exerts his influence on the German Enlightenment through his development of a rationalist system of knowledge in which he attempts to demonstrate all the propositions of science from first principles, known a priori.
Much the same could be said of the great rationalist philosophers of the seventeenth century. Through their articulation of the ideal of scientia, of a complete science of reality, composed of propositions derived demonstratively from a priori first principles, these philosophers exert great influence on the Enlightenment.
But they fail, rather spectacularly, to realize this ideal.Initially, it can be said to have been important in causing the revolution, by "planting the seed" of ideas among the people, and making them question to legitimacy and suitability of their form of government and the nature of French society.
"Renaissance" is a French word meaning "rebirth". The period is called by this name because at that time, people started taking an interest in the learning of ancient times, in particular the learning of Ancient Greece and Rome.
Many British people have French ancestry, and French remains the foreign language most learned by British people. Much of the UK's mediaeval aristocracy was descended from Franco - Norman migrants at the time of the Norman Conquest of England, and also during the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenet dynasty.
For Washington the French and Indian War started in late , when he was selected as the British emissary to the French frontier establishment. It ended with the fall of Fort Duquesne to the combined British and colonial forces.
Reign of Terror, also called The Terror, French La Terreur, the period of the French Revolution from September 5, , to July 27, (9 Thermidor, year II). French people are the descendants of Gauls and Romans, western European Celtic and Italic peoples, as well as Bretons, Aquitanians, Ligurians, and Germanic people arriving at the beginning of the Frankish Empire such as the Franks, the Visigoths, the Suebi, the Saxons, the Allemanni and the Burgundians, and later Germanic groups such as the Vikings (known as Normans), who settled in Normandy.