The Enlightenment Period

Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin

Which of the other Enlightenment thinkers were most directly relevant to philosophy?

Among the other Enlightenment thinkers of note in the area of philosophy is Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797), the mother of Frankenstein novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. She contributed the foundations for feminist thought. Her husband was anarchist and political philosopher William Godwin (1756–1836), known for his determinist utilitarianism. The French philosophes, particularly the encyclopedists, contributed radical ideas about society and government. Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet; 1694–1778) brought key philosophical ideas to a wider audience. Enlightenment thought in general had a powerful effect on the American colonies and the establishing principles of the United States of America.


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