Reason and Enlightenment Analytical Essay by Nicky

A look at how the Age of Enlightenment impacted modern culture.
# 145975 | 1,288 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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This paper examines how reason and the corresponding Age of Enlightenment changed the social structure and philosophical beliefs of western civilization, and still has an influence on our outlooks today. First, the paper describes Newton's scientific discoveries and how they emphasized the particular over the general, observable facts over principles, and experience over rational speculation. Next, the paper considers the political implications of enlightenment, such as the American and French Revolutions. The paper concludes by showing how in today's global environment, the principles of enlightenment, especially the use of reason, still govern how we assimilate information and solve problems. According to the paper, reason is autonomous and superior to religion and authority, encouraging individuals to maximize their potential.


The Age of Enlightenment
The American Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment
The French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment

From the Paper:

"The Age of Enlightenment moved from the abstract and the sentiments taught and upheld by religion to the concrete and the capabilities of reason by the individual himself. A moral sense was given to the individual. His realization was the focus of society and government. Society and institutions would be defined by that. This central thought dominated and influenced the American Revolution and the French Revolution. It remains inherent in today's information and globalization era."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kagan, Donald, et al. "The French Revolution." Chapter 19. The Western Heritage. Prentice Hall Companion: Prentice Hall, 2008. Retrieved on February 24, 2009 from
  • Microsoft Encarta. Age of Enlightenment. MSN Encarta Online Encyclopedia: Microsoft Corporation, 2008. Retrieved on February 24, 2009 from
  • Nay, Annette. Could the American Revolution Have Happened Without the Age of Enlightenment? AnnetteNay: Three Peaks, 2001. Retrieved on February 24, 2009 from
  • Rempel, Gerhard. The Age of Enlightenment. Western New, 2009. Retrieved on February 25, 2009 from
  • Rioux, Frank. The EPR Experiment with Photons. Department of Chemicstry: St. John's University, 2009. Retrieved on February 25, 2009 from

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Reason and Enlightenment (2010, December 12) Retrieved March 25, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Reason and Enlightenment" 12 December 2010. Web. 25 March. 2023. <>