- Known in French as L'Âge des lumières, and in German as the Aufklàrung, the Enlightenment encompassed European thought throughout the 18th century. Based in the rationalist theories of the 17th century, the Enlightenment, which is also known as the Age of Reason, drew on ideas of Bernard de fontenelle and pierre bayle in France and John Locke and Isaac Newton in England. The main representatives of the French Enlightenment, known as the philosophes, are Montesquieu, voltaire, diderot, rousseau, d'alembert, helvétius, d'holbach, buffon, condorcet, and all the Encyclopedists; in England, Toland, Hume, and Smith; in Italy, beccaria; and in Germany, C. von Wolff, Lessing, and Immanuel Kant. All, with certain qualifications, shared a faith in reason and the basic goodness of human nature and a belief in tolerance and the perfectibility of society.
France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.
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