The Enlightenment Heritage For Social Development Sociology Essay Essay

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The theory of societal development and advancement was the cardinal construct of the Enlightenment [ Ray,13 ] . The experience of Renaissance – recovery from the “ dark ages ” , rediscovery of antique doctrine, the enlargement of colonialism and geographic expedition of non-European civilizations, violated established order and lead to enlargement of new thoughts doubting tradition. The Enlightenment recognized that human history alterations, that societies experience stuff and mental, moral, or philosophical advancement. That modernness is merely another phase of development, that does non take the terminal of history, but might be every bit good a beginning of some better, new society. Eighteen century minds considered ground as the taking force of alteration, believing, that human cognition and consciousness may develop linearly. Since the Enlightenment was an age of scientific discipline and ground, philosophers tend to sort and order possessed cognition. That lead to a few theories of historical phases development of societies that arranged historical periods in progressive order, as Turgot and Condorset did [ Ray, 13-15 ] .

The Enlightenment ‘s fond regard to the thought of progressive development of societies lead to the thoughts of future utopia – concluding, end phase of societal development. It was a really optimistic construct of history, taking from dark, oppressive periods in the yesteryear, through equivocal and helter-skelter modernness, to some “ enlighten ” , better, merely hereafter. Such Utopian vision was described by Condorcet, for whom future society would predominate dictatorship by altering tradition and superstitious notion into ground [ Ray, 15 ] . Delany wrote of the Enlightenment as “ aˆ¦characterized by a certain Utopianism, which was a contemplation of the belief in the promises of modernness to convey about freedom. Unlike earlier societal idea, it displayed a great belief in the power of human action to determine the hereafter ” [ Delany, Blackwell, 23 ] . The same was true for Marx, who saw communism as the perfect and most of all – merely societal system. For Marx the terminal phase of human history – communism – represented the most coveted and concluding stage of human development. As Sideman wrote: “ Marx ne’er gave up his Enlightenment religion in the coming of a new epoch ” [ Sideman, 1998, 36 ] .

But contrary to the Enlightenment philosophers, for Marx the Utopia was non to be obtained through development and development of ground, but through revolution of working category. The thought of revolution was non present in 18 century before the experience of Gallic revolution. Though it is sad that the Enlightenment prepared the land for the rebellion in France, works of 18 century minds did non appeal to coerce or violent alteration. Marx shared the romantic vision of with socialist minds and militants back uping Gallic discord. Furthermore, unlike his 18 century ascendants, Marx sought emancipation in labor – the on the job category of modernness. The Enlightenment was an age of intellectuals, giving particular function to philosophers in the procedure of development of society [ Szacki ] . In 18 century thought ground had the emancipatory force. Marx violent vision of revolution did non reserved topographic point for intellectuals, though Marx was one of them. aˆ¦ .

Political orientations and faith

The terminal of the Middle Ages ended the epoch of Gods Torahs and theological account of societal order. The Enlightenment separated faith signifier political relations. Eighteen century brought to life the construct of public – private domains. Religion became private affair of citizens. God ‘s rights no longer decided on political inquiries and societal dealingss. Secular society was based on secular regulations. The Enlightenment believed in ground and scientific discipline, and through them sought emancipation from faith and superstitious notion. “ Social alteration required that cultural traditions be weakened to let for new thoughts and attitudes prefering societal advancement ” [ Seidman, 1998, 34 ] . Religion and tradition constrained societal alteration and overruled the Utopian vision of future. It does non intend that the Enlightenment was a genuinely secular country. Rejection of faith covered merely public, political domain. None of the great philosophers of the period – Becon, Diderot, Locke – postulated godlessness [ Ray, 13 ] . The issue was to separate faith from scientific discipline, divinity from logical logical thinking. Religion intruded knowledge, so had to be abandoned in the domain of cognition.

Marx besides shared with the Enlightenment the construct of secular society. Though he brought the thought of secularisation further. For Marx every political orientation and meta-narration of society in every phase of its development was a merchandise of current economic dealingss, so was the faith. Religion, internalized regulations, ordinances and prohibitions, served justification of the conditions of production and therefore the justification of development. In this sense faith was a mechanism of subjugation. That is why, harmonizing to Marx, emancipation non merely needed rejection of theological order of the universe, but besides complete rejection of faith. Once once more this emancipation required revolution – dramatic and sudden alteration of economic conditions that would alter societal dealingss, including executing of faith. In this sense faith was non a private issue, but a political one, that justified bourgeois order. As in the 18 century – faith obstructed alteration – this clip, though, it was non suppose to be withdraw from public life, but destroyed perfectly. Revolution guaranteed altering societal order non merely in the domain of production, but besides in the domain of faith.

The function of scientific discipline

The Enlightenment was the epoch of development of scientific disciplines. A great expand of scientific disciplines such as mathematics, medical specialty, natural scientific disciplines changed the position of modern philosophers on the universe and human sort. Science revealed enigma of being and the order of nature. That is why scientific discipline go one of the ways to obtain single freedom. Science lead to find of logical, rational order of human and social dealingss. For Marx scientific discipline besides had an of import function in uncovering the regulations of organisation of society. Marx knew that “ in order to alter, it is necessary to understand the societal forces – establishments, cultural traditions, societal groups ” [ Seidman, 1998, 34 ] . In Marx ‘ theory scientific discipline held the explanatory function by uncovering the existent nature of societal order, gives information about societal categories, manners of production and regulations of historical development. Harmonizing to Marx, scientific discipline should be based on rational premises, logical Torahs, it should reject common sense and superstitious notions.

Economic position

Though Marx ‘ theory portions mercenary position, he was non the 1 to present economic reading of societal life. Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and others 18 century minds saw the prima function of economic system in societal life. Those early economic experts wrote about dehumanisation of work and decomposition of society through modern specialisation of production and proficient development of the production procedure [ Ray, 15 ] . Capitalist revolution of 18 century brought new phenomena that were non overlooked by contemporary minds. Negative effects of industrialisation, demographic detonation and urbanisation were exhaustively discussed by that clip.

As we can see, the importance of stuff conditions for human single and corporate life was non the Marx ‘ innovation, though he besides observed that engineering destroys societal dealingss. Inventions, machines and devices used in the procedure of production serve the dominant category for development of workers [ Ray, 65 ] . Nevertheless, with his mercenary position on society, Marx went farther, with the thought that: “ the reproduction of material life precedes the production of civilization ” [ Seidman, 1998, 37 ] . For Marx material conditions of being were the footing for all other features of life. Harmonizing to Marx, populating conditions determine societal construction, policies, regulations and morality. Marx showed that certain societal conditions shape certain signifiers of consciousness. That was a great part of Marx ‘ idea to societal scientific disciplines. Since Marx, societal scientists began research on the function of material conditions on human ideas, believes and attitudes, giving a start to many subjects of societal scientific disciplines, as sociology of idea, sociology of cognition or sociology of faith [ Szacki, 231 ] . Furthermore, since Marx, societal scientists consider development procedure and ownership dealingss of societies as the most of import standards of societal surveies analysis.

The construct of province

Enlightenment – to happen such beginnings of societal order non to restrict freedom. How to accommodate freedom and societal order. Enlightenment the thought of single in society – free signifier province, church and other corporate signifiers of organisations. Civil society thought – freedom through civil rights. In hunt of order based on rational premises.

The function of philosopher as a prima function in making societal order, morality. Intelectuals [ Szacki, 84, Ray, Enlightenment, 11 ] .

All phases of development harmonizing to Marx were different societal formations. Those formations were direct creative activities of economic dealingss within society. The most thorough to the full described formation was bourgeois one. It was modern-day, most developed and differentiated manner of production. Capitalism phase of development was characterized by binary category construction, where one category was the group of society that sold their work and did non have other agencies of productions – the workers, while the other was the group of proprietors of agencies of production that benefited from workers work – the capitalists.

Individuality and corporate action

In earlier doctrine position of human being in society was changeless and determined non by human himself but by external forces – the universe order, God ‘s will, some sort of justness and internal sense of societal being. Enlightenment and particularly the Gallic revolution, brought the thought of civil society and civil rights [ Szacki, 85 ] . The Enlightenment claimed that all human existences portion some common features that are independent of external, historical or natural conditions. It was a sort of individuality, that claimed that human nature in general have some common features familial form the province of nature. That is what makes society classless – differences between human position in society are simply secondary. In this sense that all ( male ) human existences are equal and portion the same civic rights. Emancipation in this context was a political emancipation of citizens form feudal, traditional dealingss.

Marx connected human place in societal construction with material conditions and thought of work and ownership. For him the thought of society was non based on the thought of civil rights but on the thought of economic dealingss between different societal groups – categories. It was dichotomous vision of society made of workers and capitalists – the proprietors of agencies of production. Emancipation was possible non on the footing of civil rights but on the footing of altering economic dealingss. This was a radical position taking to turnover of societal order. Unlike the Enlightenment, Marx ‘ did non perceived emancipation and construct of freedom in single actions. He clearly rejected individuality – both in footings of single societal actions and as the method of illation about human conditions. Marx claimed that every person is rooted in his corporate history and society, and his consciousness, every bit good as beliefs, ends and demands are shaped through that heritage. That is why non merely analysis of human conditions, but besides the jutting alteration of societal dealingss, has to take into consideration corporate luggage and corporate attempt. That is why Marx shared the belief that “ aˆ¦individuals do non move on thoughts chiefly because they are true of have been “ proved ” correct, but on the footing of their self-interest. Ideas may determine our actions, but our societal involvements determine which ideas we adopt.


Critical theory

Marx ‘ is perceived as the male parent of critical theory. As Bryan wrote it “ aˆ¦classical sociology is a critical subject, because it represents typically an onslaught on the taken-for-granted premises of businessperson, useful liberalism. This critical tradition is conventionally associated with Marxism [ Bryan s. Turner, Blackwell, 9 ] . But one can non contradict that critical attitude was characteristic for the Enlightenment idea. Eighteen century philosophers questioned traditions, faiths, governments, beliefs, metaphysics and everything else that was non perceived rational. Marx ‘ theory gave footing for future revolutions, but it was the Enlightenment thought that was a female parent of Gallic Revolution. In this sense the Enlightenment theories were the first radical theories, revolutionary through their review, uncertainty and rejection. Marx merely developed further this critical position, but he was non the first one to pretermit modern-day, good established order.

aˆ¦our societal involvements are determined by our societal place, in peculiar our category position ” [ Seidman, 1998, 34 ]

“ Marx and Engels aimed to switch the focal point of societal unfavorable judgment from the analysis of consciousness and the development of thoughts to that of the development of societal establishments and struggles ” [ Seidman, 1998, 37 ]

Historical philistinism “ category kineticss shape the organisation of socioeconomic systems which in bend, find the construction and way of the whole society ” [ S, 38 ]

Class theory of society, category battle

Power comes from the ownership of agencies of production

societal theory becomes the “ review of political economic system, ” [ Delany, Blackwell, 25 ]

New concepts: commodification, class-struggle, net income, surplus value

Marx ‘s societal theory was a critical 1. Review does non seek to explicate or merely interpret society for its ain interest, but is inherently critical of the predominating societal order and seeks to uncover the system of domination. [ Delany, Blackwell, 25 ]

Karl Marx, efficaciously replaced philosophical analysis with an advanced societal theory of modern society. [ Delany, Blackwell, 23 ]


Reason vs. manners of production

Reason vs. false consciousness

Reason vs. ownership

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