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Example research essay topic: Jean Jacques Rousseau Lord Jesus Christ - 2,529 words

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The Enlightment The Enlightment was a period of the social peoples development that started in 1648, right at the end of 30 Year War. The Enlightment believed in religious diversity and the fact that all religions are actually different expressions of reality. Enlightment no longer accepted things based on faith, event historical events from the Bible. Once freed from history of the Bible we can believe in the God of Christianity on a freer basis. Enlightment was criticizing only Christianity; the Protestants were the ones who started the movement. The Categorical Imperative was the notion introduced by the famous philosopher Emmanuel Kant.

This was a fundamental principle of metaphysics introduced by Kant. In our case this notion can be applied to the Chaplains dilemma in Denis Diderot's Supplement to Bondage of Wills Voyage found in the book The Enlightment: A Brief History with Documents by Margaret C. Jacob. The dilemma is should the chaplain sleep with one of Orous women? We need to investigate how Kant can help him in choosing which one.

We can state that using the Categorical Imperative notion, chaplain should sleep with one of the women. This is because the following reasons. First of all the Categorical Imperative notion represents the background of any rational morality, according to Kant. Morality has a standard that makes it moral and provides the judgment for actions.

Chapters 18 and 19 in The Enlightment: A Brief History with Documents provides the historical backdrop and met narrative for Margaret C. Jacobs brief history of the Enlightenment. Beginning by pointing out that the Enlightenment put into print many new and radical ideas from about 1690 through 1790, Jacob argues that its consequences were felt around the world. What Jacob does so well is to make the Enlightenment and its challenging of authority, tradition, and superstition accessible to a wide variety of students.

Her job, as she sees it, is to make students think more carefully about the historical specificity of the eighteenth century by giving them a sample of voices from the period. Jacob begins with an introduction and a narrative map, pointing out the highlights in this century-long journey. Along the way, she makes wonderful use of contemporary historiography to underscore the themes set forth in the documents that follow. She examines the intersections between scientific discoveries, religion, and politics as well as the creation of eighteenth-century ideas about the public sphere. Her analysis and use of travel writings will help students understand the connections between epistolary writings and travel accounts. New cultural forms, such as the novel, which was itself influenced greatly by travel writing, were also an integral part of the Enlightenment's influence and legacy.

In Jacobs analysis and selection of sources, she emphasizes two other important eighteenth-century themes: the articulation of a feminist philosophy and the extraordinary growth of commercial capitalism. Thus, in her introduction to Part One, she maps out a thematic approach to the complex ideas, ideals, principles, practices, policies, and economies associated with the Enlightenment. Jacobs text does a wonderful job of situating the religious, philosophical, and scientific underpinnings of the Enlightenment, and in this regard her commentary and document selections work well with The Enlightment. She emphasizes the pervasiveness of the Enlightenment as a cultural phenomenon that was influenced by many different kinds of people all over Europe. As Robert Darntons work has shown, the Enlightenment unleashed a publishing frenzy in many capital cities and provincial towns on the Continent and in London. The hack journalist, the Grub Street snoop, and the plagiarist were all a part of the political culture of the eighteenth century.

Traveling libraries in provincial towns in England, for example, as well as the spread of religious education enabled many ordinary men and women to read what would become celebrated works of science, economics, fiction, and political philosophy. While social position and gender certainly influenced access to the cultural production associated with the Enlightenment, greater numbers of middle-class men and women, and some in the lower classes, were able to participate because of the growth, particularly in Western Europe, of commercial capitalism. The slave trade and the story of slavery as well as other forms of colonialism were also related to the growth of commercial capitalism. These are important aspects of the Enlightenment's political and economic culture that are also explored in both Jacobs text and, to a greater extent, in Chapter 18 of the textbook. The demands for literacy were also much greater during the eighteenth century, as was the desire to see the universe through the mathematical lens of Sir Isaac Newton. Jacob, who is an authority on the Scientific Revolution and has written extensively about Newton, integrates the role of mathematics and science into her introduction.

The question arises: Why was England a model for some of the French philosophers? What important role did religion play there? One of the most important aspects of the Enlightenment was the fascination with geography, discovery, and travel during this period. Recent historiography has been critical of the civilizing mission and the increased sense of an imperial prerogative that were also associated with Enlightenment ideals and practices.

While religious toleration, liberty of conscience, and the abolition of slavery and the death penalty were heralded by many enlightened men and women, class, gender, racial, religious, and ethnic inequalities and divisions remained in place. This European sense of superiority was projected onto other parts of the world where French, English, Dutch, and German men and women traveled, explored, and colonized. But ideals of Enlightenment philosophy, superiority, and civilization were also projected onto places closer to Europe, as Larry Wolff convincingly demonstrates in his book Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment. Much of what the Enlightenment accomplished was positive, but the political culture of the time also gave many Europeans, especially well-to-do and middle-class men, a sense of privilege that would have important consequences for the many other Europeans and colonial peoples who labored under their authority. Reform and liberty would become buzzwords associated with the Enlightenment, particularly in states with representative governments. The Enlightenment advocated the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity that would become associated with the French Revolution.

Because of Europe's dominance of the world during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these ideals and values spread to many varied and diverse places. The cultural exchange and colonialism that ensued would have profound consequences in the modern period. But in the rendering of this important story, one that has stressed the creation of a new culture and a new politics, we must remember those whose relationships to the wealthy states of western and central Europe contributed significantly (especially in the nineteenth century) to making the Enlightenment a historical period of vast geographical and cultural proportions. Thus according to the facts that we have and the notion represented by Kant, that is nothing that exists in the world is not mental, whatever exists is mental, Kant would help chaplain choose the youngest from the women that were offered, because this would be his mental choice. Another representative of the Enlightment movement was Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

He created a masterpiece called The Basic Political Writings, in which he introduced the notion of the General will, which can be applied to the explaining the notions presented in his Social Contracts, in terms of the rule of General Will. But the prospect of perfection is at least as seductive as the promise of free choice, at least to me. I sometimes feel that I could immeasurably improve myself, if only I would convert to Judaism, or recover the faith in Christianity that I was trained to uphold. To become an authentic Christian, however, is no simple task, which is the consideration of J. J. Rousseau.

It is to die to this world, leaving behind, in so far as one can, the inevitable viciousness and cruelty of everyday life. Only when filled with the Holy Spirit, and focused without distraction on the teachings of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, will the Christian feel, and be, truly and serenely free, because single-mindedly prepared to withstand the temptation of choosing another, non-Christian way of life. Raised in the precepts of Lutheranism, there is certainly a chance to share in this faith. At the same time, somewhat disconcertingly, people are painstakingly taught in Sunday School that everything hinged on my own free will. People have to choose faith- nobody could do it for me. Indeed, the church's minister preached that real religiosity, as opposed to the fake stuff on offer from the Catholic church, grew out of inward conviction, not outward observance- the strength of ones own beliefs, not mere obedience to rules for righteous living that were delivered ex cathedral.

Of course, because people are free to choose, they could, in theory, abjure faith. But as William James pointedly remarked, Skepticism... is not avoidance of option, it is option of a certain particular kind of risk... If we decide to leave the riddles unanswered, that is a choice (James, 1992: 475, 478). Hence a paradox of Protestant Christianity: You can choose not to have faith, but you cannot choose not to choose. One way or another, you must.

To choose is perhaps your most inescapable duty. Among the strong reasons people are offered, given many choices, to choose a faith in God, one was this: If a person successfully maintained a sharp focus on this one thing- the teaching of Our Lord, Jesus Christ- then a person would feel whole, and also be esteemed, as part of a loving community. This vision of a loving community, alas, was hard to take seriously, even to someone growing up in a small Midwestern town in America in the 1950 s. The old enclaves of pious Scandinavian setters, undisturbed for nearly two generations, were beginning to fall apart and open up. Newcomers came with new religions. And the most popular shows broadcast on network radio and television pretty much ignored religion altogether.

In a society liberally stocked with so many different kinds of religion, and with so many irreligious forms of life so ostentatiously on display, how whole, or esteemed, can any community of the faithful really make anyone feel? To be entirely successful, youd probably have to behave like the Puritans, and sail away to a new world. Good luck. The freedom of those who choose to participate in a community united by faith must dash with the freedom of those who prefer to live in a situation of competitive pluralism, free to choose a faith on their own, and perhaps of their own, independently of sect and social constraint.

In a country like the United States, this is the choice confronting every citizen, like it or not: Either the parents (or their children) become liberals like everyone else, or everyone else lives under a less liberal set of rules (Gray). In a country like the United States, however, the alternatives are not really both equally plausible, since liberal societies tend to drive out non-liberal forms of life, to ghettoize or marginalize them, or to trivialize them... Even if pre-liberal virtues linger on in liberal societies, they do so as shadows of their former selves, incompletely realized in those who exhibit them (Gray). I think it no wonder that activists in anti-abortion organizations like Operation Rescue feel desperate enough to resort to the more militant forms of conscientious objection, using direct action to provoke and outrage. Having all these information discovered we can definitely state that the society described in the Dedication to Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality is the one in which the General Will rules, as was described in Rousseau's Social Contract. These works have a great implication to the fact that Rousseau's was a political philosopher.

He supported the Protestant movement with all coming out of it consequences. Ethics was considered to be a more general study of what makes everything good or bad and why we can even make such statements. To examine this issue, we can take a look example of the life and work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. His writings, as well as Immanuel Kant's, were an important bridge to the political questioning that erupted into revolutions in the American colonies and France in the last few decades of the eighteenth century.

Rousseau's political writings also departed from earlier Enlightenment works; students need to consider the radical implications of The Social Contract, for example. The Rousseau's work can definitely be viewed as an experiment with democracy. This is because Rousseau was so critical of the contemporary French political system. The philosopher was inspired by the idea of ethical development of a person. This had several stages: Normative ethics, determining precisely what moral standards are to follow in order for our actions to be good. In support of these claims, I sketch the outlines of a form of Christian republicanism typical of the Latin Middle Ages: one imbued with the belief-system of Christianity and by no means hostile to the principle of monarchy.

To defend this view of Christian republicanism fully would, of course, require a magisterial examination of the full range of medieval political writings. In the present context, I can only illustrate my understanding of Christian republicanism anecdotally, by brief examination of the ideas of two major contributors to late medieval political theory: Jean Gerson and Nicholas of Cusa. My choice of these two authors is by no means arbitrary, however. Both figured centrally in the movement within ecclesiology that Black (1997, 651) considers to be the strongest evidence for convergence between republicanism and Christianity. A survey of these thinkers sustains the validity of Blacks general thesis that the history of republicanism cannot be told without reference to Christianity, while also demonstrating that this claim requires the narration of a more complicated and less Whiggish process than he permits. The key to medieval republicanism, I maintain, is a theologically informed conception of social and political institutions as organic unities: head and members are interdependent and reciprocally interrelated segments of a living body, characterized by hierarchy but also by inclusiveness and mutual respect.

The constitution of the medieval political organism was, metaphorically, a matter of physiological health. Of course, organic conceptions of political community enjoyed a history prior to Christian times and were also attractive to political thinkers working within non-Christian religions, such as Islam. The medieval European reliance upon organic discourse and imagery is distinctively characterized by its embedded ness in a broader Christian cosmology, a conception of the universe as an ordered and living whole composed of microcosm and macrocosm - not so much a chain of being as an animated but differentiated totality. According to a line of Christian thought that runs back to the church Fathers, God created the universe as a unity, composed of many different parts, each of which is itself an organic unit that both partakes of the greater whole and has a distinct purpose within the larger scheme. Bibliography: Margaret C. Jacob, The Enlightenment: A Brief History with Documents.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Basic Political Writings. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract. Black S. , The Enlightment Movement. Gray G. , Liberal Societies.

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Research essay sample on Jean Jacques Rousseau Lord Jesus Christ

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