The Enlightenment Period


Is there a sharp distinction between Enlightenment philosophers and other intellectuals?

No, both Enlightenment philosophers and other intellectuals influenced the ideas of the time. Among philosophers, those who have endured historically as part of the present philosophical canon are limited to George Berkeley, David Hume, Thomas Reid, Jeremy Bentham, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, and Giambattista Vico. (John Locke is also strongly associated with the Enlightenment, although he dates back to the seventeenth century). However, during their times, brilliant thought in other fields by writers and personalities such as Ethan Allen, Marquis de Condorcet, Denis Diderot, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Baron d’Holbach, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph-Marie de Maistre, Charles Baron du Montesquieu, Thomas Paine, Joseph Priestly, Adam Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, and Voltaire (François Marie Arouet) were part of the intellectual climate for philosophers, as well.


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