enlightenment


enlightenment
enlightenment 1660s, "action of enlightening," from ENLIGHTEN (Cf. enlighten) + -MENT (Cf. -ment). Only ever used in figurative sense, of spiritual enlightenment, etc. Attested from 1865 as a translation of Ger. Aufklärung, a name for the spirit and system of Continental philosophers in the 18c.
The philosophy of the Enlightenment insisted on man's essential autonomy: man is responsible to himself, to his own rational interests, to his self-development, and, by an inescapable extension, to the welfare of his fellow man. For the philosophes, man was not a sinner, at least not by nature; human nature -- and this argument was subversive, in fact revolutionary, in their day -- is by origin good, or at least neutral. Despite the undeniable power of man's antisocial passions, therefore, the individual may hope for improvement through his own efforts -- through education, participation in politics, activity in behalf of reform, but not through prayer. [Peter Gay, "The Enlightenment"]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Enlightenment — may refer to:pirituality and religion* Enlightenment (concept), religious or intellectual * Mysticism, pursuit of communion with an ultimate reality History*Age of Enlightenment, period in Western history and its corresponding movement *Scottish… …   Wikipedia

  • Enlightenment — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Enlightenment …   Wikipedia Español

  • Enlightenment — Bildschirmfoto von Enlightenment 0.16 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Enlightenment — Enlightenment …   Википедия

  • ENLIGHTENMENT — ENLIGHTENME Si l’Enlightenment peut être distingué assez aisément de la «philosophie des Lumières» française, cela se voit, dès l’abord, en ce que l’Enlightenment ne se préoccupe pas de lutter contre l’Église; de même, l’Aufklärung, à l’origine,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Enlightenment — the Enlightenment a period in the eighteenth century when many writers and scientists believed that science and knowledge, not religion, could improve people s lives …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • enlightenment — ► NOUN 1) the action of enlightening or the state of being enlightened. 2) (the Enlightenment) a European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition …   English terms dictionary

  • enlightenment — [en līt′ nmənt, in līt′ nmənt] n. an enlightening or being enlightened the Enlightenment 1. a mainly 18th cent. European philosophical movement characterized by a reliance on reason and experience rather than dogma and tradition and by an… …   English World dictionary

  • Enlightenment — En*light en*ment, n. 1. Act of enlightening, or the state of being enlightened or instructed. [1913 Webster] 2. same as {Aufkl[ A]rung}. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • enlightenment — I noun appreciation, awakening, clarification, cognition, cognizance, comprehension, direction, disabusal, disclosure, edification, education, elucidation, enucleation, experience explication, explanation, familiarity, illumination, insight,… …   Law dictionary


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