Enlightenment - Essay Example

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His opening sentence highlights ridiculous French laws, regarding diet and medicine, denying individuals the right to look after their body as they deemed fit. Once into the realms of science, philosophy and experimentation, his comments on Galileo, by how he phrases them, show his great admiration for the man and his work. His brilliant use of irony indicting the government in question, suggests it was legislating against the mind. New ideas and discoveries should be encouraged rather than punished. Jefferson ridicules that government in Galileo's case for its reaction against reason and innovative thinking. His tongue-in-cheek phrase:
The quotation reflects their philosophies. Bacon took Galileo's work and formalized it, suggesting that challenging orthodoxy, observing nature, using reason, would lead to true knowledge - experimentation would verify it. Jefferson incorporates Bacon's philosophies and methods, now
He rejects some of the Rationalism of Descartes; that excluding reference to the external world, suggesting knowledge is gained by reason alone. Jefferson, a man of science and practical action, accepted the ideas of critical questioning, but was less impressed with the concept of thought without investigation or experimentation. ...Show more

Summary

The core period of the Enlightenment was the second half of the eighteenth century. However, the foundations were laid by the philosophers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Jefferson admired the work of these early philosophers. Taken in the context of his notes on Religion, this quotation shows a true Enlightenment thinker…
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