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Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is universally recognized as modern India's greatest philosopher. He was also a statesman of distinction, and even compared to Plato's ideal of the philosopher-king. After a brilliant academic career, he taught at a number of Indian and foreign universities, including at Oxford University, where he was the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics, before being appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Benaras Hindu University.

Role of Christianity in civilization

From to he was the President of India. S Radhakrishnan. Freedom of the Mind. The Power of Ideas.


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  • 21.1: The Age of Enlightenment.
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Intellectual Conscience. The radical enlightenment, inspired by the philosophy of Spinoza, advocated democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression, and eradication of religious authority. Science came to play a leading role in Enlightenment discourse and thought. Many Enlightenment writers and thinkers had backgrounds in the sciences and associated scientific advancement with the overthrow of religion and traditional authority in favor of the development of free speech and thought.

Broadly speaking, Enlightenment science greatly valued empiricism and rational thought and was embedded with the Enlightenment ideal of advancement and progress.

However, as with most Enlightenment views, the benefits of science were not seen universally. The Enlightenment has also long been hailed as the foundation of modern Western political and intellectual culture.

Ideas of Race in Early America - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History

It brought political modernization to the West in terms of focusing on democratic values and institutions and the creation of modern, liberal democracies. In religion, Enlightenment-era commentary was a response to the preceding century of religious conflict in Europe. Enlightenment thinkers sought to curtail the political power of organized religion and thereby prevent another age of intolerant religious war.

A number of novel ideas developed, including deism belief in God the Creator, with no reference to the Bible or any other source and atheism. The latter was much discussed but had few proponents. Many, like Voltaire, held that without belief in a God who punishes evil, the moral order of society was undermined.

21.1.1: Enlightenment Ideals

The Industrial Revolution allowed consumer goods to be produced in greater quantities at lower prices, encouraging the spread of books, pamphlets, newspapers, and journals. The ideas of the Enlightenment played a major role in inspiring the French Revolution, which began in and emphasized the rights of common men as opposed to the exclusive rights of the elites.

As such, they laid the foundation for modern, rational, democratic societies. Although they did eventually inspire the struggles for rights of people of color, women, or the working masses, most Enlightenment thinkers did not advocate equality for all, regardless of race, gender, or class, but rather insisted that rights and freedoms were not hereditary the heredity of power and rights was a common pre-Enlightenment assumption.

This perspective directly attacked the traditionally exclusive position of the European aristocracy but was still largely focused on expanding the rights of white males of a particular social standing. Skip to main content. Search for:. The Age of Enlightenment Learning Objective Identify the core ideas that drove the Age of Enlightenment.

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Key Points The Age of Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century. There is little consensus on the precise beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, but the beginning of the 18th century or the middle of the 17th century are commonly identified as starting points. French historians usually place the period between and The cultural exchange during the Age of Enlightenment ran between particular European countries and also in both directions across the Atlantic.

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The radical Enlightenment advocated democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression, and eradication of religious authority. A second, more moderate variety sought accommodation between reform and the traditional systems of power and faith. The Enlightenment has long been hailed as the foundation of modern Western political and intellectual culture. It brought political modernization to the West. In religion, Enlightenment era commentary was a response to the preceding century of religious conflict in Europe.