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Enlightenment - Essay Example

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The Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Rationalism or the Age of Reason, started some time in the 1600s and ended in the latter part of the following decade. During this period, French philosophers such as the Marquis de Condorcet, Rene Descartes, Denis Diderot, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Montesquieu and English philosopher John Locke, insisted that learning the truth could best be achieved through the use of reason.

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These people had high regard for man, being superior over all of God's creations because of his ability to reason. Relatively, they contrasted reason with what they believed were in dominance during the Middle Ages - the uncritical acceptance of authority, together with superstition and ignorance. These individuals also blamed the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church for keeping the people in the dark in order to satisfy their personal ambition, which was to stay in power.
Among the products of the Enlightenment Age was Francois-Marie Arouet, popularly known as Voltaire. A native of Paris, France, and a son of a lawyer, Voltaire studied in a Jesuit school wherein most students came from the nobility. His company was sought by the Paris society due to his extraordinary ability to write verses, as well as his ability to make people laugh and because of his natural cleverness.
Voltaire became extremely wealthy through inheritance and wise investment. He also became popular and was considered to be the greatest French playwright of his time. ...
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