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an era from the 1650s to the 1780s in which cultural and intellectual forces in Western Europe emphasized reason, analysis, and individualism rather than traditional lines of authority.
English philosopher who believed people were born with natural rights of life, liberty and property; also a government's power comes from the consent of the governed.
English political philosopher. His greatest work is the Leviathan (1651), which contains his defense of absolute sovereignty; defined social contract
An implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection.
French philosopher and writer whose works often attack injustice and intolerance. He wrote the satirical novel Candide
John Jacques Rousseau
a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political thought; argued that civilization corrupts.
Baron de Montesquieu
French political philosopher who advocated the separation of executive and legislative and judicial powers
gathering places where philosophers, writers, artists, scientists and others discussed ideas.
French philosopher, art critic and writer. He was a prominent figure during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as chief editor and contributor to the Encyclopédie
is a form of absolute monarchy or despotism inspired by the Enlightenment. Enlightened monarchs especially embraced its emphasis upon rationality.