<history of philosophy, school> an eighteenth-century movement that placed great emphasis on the use of reason in the development of philosophical, social, political, and scientific knowledge. Enlightenment philosophers include Bayle, Hume, Wollstonecraft, Kant, and many lesser figures. Recommended Reading: The Portable Enlightenment Reader, ed. by Issac Kramnick (Penguin, 1995); Ernst Cassirer, The Philosophy of the Enlightenment, tr. by J. Pettegrove and F. Koelin (Princeton, 1968); Peter Gay, The Enlightenment (The Rise of Modern Paganism (Norton, 1995) and The Science of Freedom (Norton, 1996)); and Age of Enlightenment: The Eighteenth Century Philosophers, ed. by Isaiah Berlin (Plume, 1993).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
(1) <ethics> An intellectual movement in modern Europe during the eighteenth century that believed in the power of human reason to understand the world and to guide human conduct.
(2) <religion> For Buddhists, the state of Enlightenment or nirvana is the goal of human existence.
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