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35

This answer is based on the assumption that the OP is referring to the HBO miniseries Catherine the Great and, more specifically, the following segment of the script: [Catherine:] But in these more enlightened times, I believe we need laws that everyone respects and obeys. The rich and the powerful, as well as the poor and dispossessed. And so ...


28

There's no universally recognised "father of scientific racism", though a number of names could be suggested. One example is the French noble Arthur de Gobineau, best remembered today for pioneering the concept of an Aryan master race. His infamous An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, published in 1853, inspired a host of other racial theories ...


25

The short answer is yes. The detail will depend on where in the world you are based. In the UK, for example, we have the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives. Their website includes a search form to help you find a researcher who can help you with this kind of research. However, having said that, I suggest having a look at the ...


10

Like most internet “quotes”, this is actually fake. But Diderot said something quite similar in his poem: “Les Éleuthéromanes” : J'en atteste les temps; j'en appelle à tout âge; Jamais au public avantage L'homme n'a franchement sacrifié ses droits; S'il osait de son cœur n'écouter que la voix, Changeant tout à coup de langage, ...


8

It was clearly a remarkable period for English scientific thought, but historians of science bicker about why. One very good reason might be the work of Sir Francis Bacon, essentialy the founding father of British 'natural philosophy. By the 1640's he had followers, described by Robert Boyle as the 'invisible college', which may refer to a group of early ...


8

Do we know with any certainty if (any founding fathers) read Spinoza? Great Question. I've been thinking about it ever since I first saw it. I hope I can do it justice. . Short Answer Directly I only found evidence of Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin. Indirectly Spinoza's fingerprints are all over the American Declaration of Independence and ...


6

I'm sorry you feel that you've been made to feel stupid - I don't think anyone meant that. Its a very long time since I read it, and I might get shot by the moderators for an ahistorical answer, but I'll try to help. You suggest it is an unwritten contract between "the people " and "the government ", and I think that's where your confusion arises. ...


5

From your comments, "What I was getting out of the social contract was that the government is ruled by the will of the governed/people. Even in an empire, because if you're not governing well you will get overthrown" is, in the broadest sense, a correct interpretation of Rousseau's Social Contract (1762). The trick here is to ask, what exactly do we mean ...


4

The key role of Freemasonry in America, appears to have been the establishment of a connection, or "brotherhoood" between e.g. George Washington and a number of fellow officers in the Revolution. Although the official purpose may have been to discuss enlightenment philosophy, the discussions soon took a more practical turn, about how to deal with British ...


3

Jacopo Riccati was an Italian mathematician and jurist from Venice. He is best known for having studied the equation (Riccati equation) which bears his name. As you mentioned in your question, Riccati was educated by the Jesuits. His son Vincenzo Ricca actually became a Jesuit. It would be safe to say that Riccati had close ties to this Religious Order most ...


3

Certainly, social and economic conditions in England are responsible for this. Wikipedia says this shortly: By the early 17th century, England was a centralized state, in which much of the feudal order of Medieval Europe had been swept away. (the article Capitalism). Similar process went on in Holland, Germany and France, but Germany was not a ...


3

The saying first appeared in the "Testament" of the atheist-priest Jean Meslier, who said he heard it from a common Frenchman in his parish. For details see the final 3 paragraphs of my essay here: Indeed, in Chapter 2 we find the first formulation of a saying that has commonly been attributed to the French atheist Denis Diderot (1713-1784): “Men will ...


2

I think it is clear that the picture shows: "Science and knowledge is light, while ignorance is darkness", a typical symbolism of the Enlightenment period. (Unlike Ken Graham, I see nothing related to religion in this picture, just the opposite).


1

Following the leads in the wonderful responses of the contributors here, I believe the following interpretations of the symbolism in this picture are probably correct. These two figures are most likely Ecclesia (sitting) and Synagoga (prone) with science linked to Ecclesia and therefore enlightenment and triumph over those who blind themselves to the truth....


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