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Enlightenment Roots -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Flynn, Simone I.;

2009 / EBSCO


This article will focus on the Enlightenment roots of sociology. This article will provide a description of key Enlightenment philosophers including Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Jeremy Bentham. The connections between these philosophers and contemporary social thought will be highlighted. Enlightenment theories of naturalism, utilitarianism, social contract, and categorical imperative will be described. A discussion of the ways in which sociological thought has borrowed from and built on Enlightenment-era ideas and philosophy will be included. Descriptions of the European Enlightenment, including its connections to the Scientific Revolution and its adherence to rationality and logic, will be included throughout the article.