The Age of Enlightenment: Key Thinkers and their Ideas

The age of enlightenment was a period in western history spanning from the late 17th century to the late 18th century characterized by a surge in intellectual and philosophical advancements during this time key thinkers and philosophers sought to challenge traditional beliefs and championed reason science and individualism they paved the way for modern western society by promoting ideas such as liberty democracy and the separation of church and state in this article we will explore some of the key figures of the enlightenment and their influential ideas that continue to shape our world today

S. No.Key ThinkersYearIdeas
1John Locke1632-1704Natural Rights, Social Contract Theory
2Voltaire1694-1778Freedom of Speech, Religious Tolerance
3Jean-Jacques Rousseau1712-1778Popular Sovereignty, General Will
4Immanuel Kant1724-1804Categorical Imperative, Reason
5Adam Smith1723-1790Free Market, Division of Labor
6Montesquieu1689-1755Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances
7Mary Wollstonecraft1759-1797Women’s Rights, Education
8Denis Diderot1713-1784Encyclopedia, Secularism
9David Hume1711-1776Skepticism, Empiricism
10Benjamin Franklin1706-1790Electricity, American Revolution
11Thomas Paine1737-1809Common Sense, Rights of Man
12Jean le Rond d’Alembert1717-1783Scientific Method, Mathematics
13Johann Wolfgang von Goethe1749-1832Romanticism, Faust
14Cesare Beccaria1738-1794Criminal Justice, Abolition of Torture
15René Descartes1596-1650I think, therefore I am, Dualism

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