Enlightenment Essay Conclusion

Enlightenment Essay Conclusion-65
Historical development’s impact on philosophy was most evident in Hegel’s work and this had profound implications for thinking about the world and the way in which it was studied..Hegel took the view that the revolution had not just influenced the way philosophy saw itself; it fundamentally changed the way philosophers dealt with reality and history.This movement regarded philosophical debate and the formation of ideas as of paramount importance.

Historical development’s impact on philosophy was most evident in Hegel’s work and this had profound implications for thinking about the world and the way in which it was studied..Hegel took the view that the revolution had not just influenced the way philosophy saw itself; it fundamentally changed the way philosophers dealt with reality and history.This movement regarded philosophical debate and the formation of ideas as of paramount importance.

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The German philosopher Karl Marx criticised Hegel because he believed that Hegel and the other philosophers dealt only in the realm of ideas and neglected the experience of the human subject.

Hegel belonged to a circle in Germany known as the German Idealists.

Far from progressing human beings were becoming more alienated from themselves and this was exacerbated by what Adorno termed the ‘culture industry’.

This paper, therefore, will give a brief account of the Enlightenment and its influence on Marxist thinking, followed by the development of critical theory as exemplified in the ideas of the Frankfurt School.

Reader (1997) has defined the Enlightenment in the following way: An emphasis on the primacy of reason as the correct way of organising knowledge, a concentration on empirical data accessible to all and a belief that human progress was to be achieved by the application of science and reason (1997:4).

At the same time there emerged huge technological and social changes that led to a break with what had gone before.This was the first time that history and humanity’s role within it had been recognised as an ongoing and changing process.Hegel’s work was very important, but his critics were at pains to point out that Hegel’s work was all in the realm of ideas.The inscription on Marx’s headstone at Highate Cemetry states: The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point is to change it (Marsh, I. Central to Marx’s thinking was his attempt to explain how industrial society had come into being and the factors that held it together and pulled it apart.In Marx’s thought economic relations were more important than other aspects of the social structure (Marsh, 2000).Marx’s starting point in his analysis of modern industrial societies is a criticism of what he terms ‘bougeois reality’ which is characterised by the self-alienation of human beings: Man, who has found in the fantastic reality of heaven, where he sought a supernatural being, only his own reflection, will no longer be tempted to find only the semblance of himself-a non-human being-where he seeks and must seek his true reality (Lowith, 19).Marx’s work gives a precise analysis of capitalist industrial society, this was a moral critique, as well as a political one, and stemmed from a basic morality.This influenced thinkers all over Europe who already nurtured ideals of equality and progress.Hegel viewed the individual as a subject within history and history as developmental and thus liberative.The Enlightenment project was largely a European movement but these ideas were also debated in both England and Scotland.Old ideas and traditional religious authority were called into question by the advances of science and philosophers believed that human beings were entering into a new order of human progress, moral progress and freedom.

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