DMPQ: What is enlightenment? What are the core concepts of Enlightenment?  Name some modern thinkers. 

The enlightenment or the age of reason was a movement that began in 1600s with ideas proposed by thinkers like hobbe and Locke on the form of government and the rights of the people. It reached its height in Mid 1700s. It was the driving force behind the movements for democracy and played an important role in American, French and Russian Revolution.

Core concepts:

  • Reasons- Truth can be discovered through reason or logical thinking. Reason they said was the absence of intolerance and prejudice in one’s thinking.
  • Nature- They believed that there were natural laws of economics and politics, just as there were natural laws of motion.
  • Happiness- They wanted well being on the earth and they believed that it was possible.
  • Progress- With a scientific approach, they believed, society and humankind could be protected.
  • Liberty- Through reason, they believed that society should be free.


  • Hobbe- was a pro absolute monarchy and he gave the concept of social contract.
  • Locke- favoured the idea of self government. If govt. fails to protect the natural rights, people can overthrow the existing government.
  • Montesquieu- he gave the concept of separation of power
  • Thomas paine- he argued that it was absurd that a continent be governed by an Island.




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