Science of man

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Use scientific methods to discover the natural laws regulating all areas of human life = the “science of man”
The “ science of man” = the social sciences
David Hume -

1. Scottish philosopher

2. Enlightenment thinker

3. Leading advocate of a new social science

Economics - one of the first of the new social sciences

Founders of economics - the Physiocrats in France and Adam Smith in Scotland

The Physiocrats -

1. Led by Francois Quesnay

2. Believed that there were natural economic laws that governed society

3. Land was the only source of wealth - the economic primacy of agriculture

5. Rejection of mercantilism

6. Supply and demand were natural economic forces - individuals should be allowed to make own choices

7. Laissez-faire = let people do as they choose/government’s hands off the economy

Adam Smith -

1. Scottish philosopher and enlightenment thinker

2. The Wealth of Nations 1176 = the bible of laissez-faire

3. Attacked/condemned mercantilism

4. Free Trade - no tariffs

5. Comparative Advantage - countries should make what they are good at making and trade for the rest

6. The Labor Theory of Value

7. Government noninterference in economic matters

8. The government only has three basic functions - a. national defense/army

b. law and order/police and legal system

c. public works/infrastructure
Adam Smith = the economic liberty of the individual

Sets the foundation for economic liberalism

Baron D’Holbach -

1. German enlightenment thinker

2. Author of System of Nature 1770

3. Strict atheism and materialism - men are machines/God is a product of our mind and is unnecessary

Condorcet - French philosophe who believed in the human perfectibility
Deism = most philosophes didn’t adopt atheism/they were deists = God made world then left us in charge

Jean-Jacques Rousseau -

1. Born in Geneva - kicked out then wandered around a lot

2. Always felt separate from and apart from society and people

3. Settles in Paris and hooks up with the philosophes

4. Rousseau comes to be the anti reason/logic based Enlightenment thinker

5. Writes on political philosophy - Discourse on the Origins of Inequality

The Social Contract 1762

6. Writes on social and educational ideas - Emile 1762

The Nouvelle Eloise
Discourse on the Origins of Inequality -

1. Man starts out in a primitive condition = “the state of nature”

2. Man is happy and everyone is equal in the state of nature

3. The noble savage - influenced by new travel lit.

4. The first fence = private property = inequality = unhappiness

5. Private property leads to law and order which leads man giving up his natural freedom

“Man was born free, yet everywhere he is in chains.” - Rousseau
The Social Contract -

1. Rousseau’s concept of the social contract is completely different from Locke’s

2. Each of us has an individual will

3. When we combine into a society our individual wills combine into “the General Will”

4. The general will governs - it represents what is best for all

5. What is best for all is best for the individual - so no one can go against it

6. A dangerous idea? - is this the foundation for totalitarian dictatorship? Or is it true democracy?
The Emile -

1. Work of philosophy disguised as a novel

2. The subject is education - “on the education of the natural man”

3. Education should nurture a child’s natural instincts not restrict them

4. Follow your heart not just your head

5. Use sentiment and feeling not just reason and logic

The traditional view of gender -

1. Women = weak, inferior, dangerous, built for home and babies

2. Men = required to dominate, control, protect women
In the 17th and 18th centuries male thinkers argued that there were “natural”/biological bases for the inferiority of women and the domination of men
New perspectives on the “women’s question” -

1. Mary Astell - advocated women becoming better educated

2. Mary Wollstonecraft - a. the founder of modern European feminism

b. Vindication of the Rights of Woman 1792

c. argued that women had the same innate reason and should have same rights

d. women’s obedience to men was like slavery or bad government

The Enlightenment and enlightenment thinking was the product of the upper middle class and the nobility - the vast majority of people were ignorant of it and little affected by it
The Salon -

1. Meeting places in the drawing rooms of wealthy urban individuals

2. Gathering places for enlightenment thinkers and aristocrats, government officials and wealthy middle class

3. Exchange and transmission of enlightenment thinking

4. Wealthy women hosted these salons/gatherings

5. Madame Geoffrin - the most famous of the salonistas

Other ways that enlightenment thinking was spread -

1. Coffeehouses and cafes

2. Reading clubs

3. Public lending libraries

4. Learned societies - The American Philosophical Society

5. Secret societies - the Freemasons

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