Difference Between Enlightenment And Romanticism

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In the late 18th century, two intellectual movements swept across Europe: Enlightenment and Romanticism. Though both movements were marked by a rejection of traditional values, they were otherwise quite different. Enlightenment thinkers sought to use reason and science to improve the human condition, while Romantics placed emphasis on emotion, intuition, and imagination. For Enlightenment thinkers, progress was possible through reason and education; for Romantics, it was only possible through emotional catharsis.

What is Enlightenment ?

In the 18th century, Enlightenment thinkers believed that reason could be used to gain knowledge and make progress. The philosophes, as they were called, sought to promote Reason, Human Rights, and Liberty. The movement began in France but quickly spread throughout Europe and eventually to America.

Enlightenment thinkers were inspired by the Scientific Revolution, which had shown that careful observation and experimentation could lead to new discoveries about the natural world. They believed that the same methods could be used to understand human societies and improve them.

The philosophes developed ideas that challenged traditional ways of thinking about politics, religion, and morality. They argued for more religious toleration, democracy, and equality before the law. In doing so, they helped lay the groundwork for modern democracies.

What is Romanticism?

In the simplest terms, Romanticism can be defined as a period in which artists and thinkers rebelled against the restraints of Classicism. This period spanned from approximately 1750 to 1850. Many Romantics believed that emotion, intuition, and imagination were more important than reason and logic. They also believed that humans were innately good, but were corrupted by society. Some of the most famous Romantic artists include William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, and Walt Whitman.

Main differences between Enlightenment and Romanticism

The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in the 17th and 18th centuries. It emphasized reason, logic, and skepticism. The Romantics were a reaction to the Enlightenment. They believed in emotion, intuition, and imagination. Here are some of the main differences between these two movements:

The Enlightenment prioritized reason and rationality, while the Romantics valued emotion and intuition. The former placed emphasis on individualism, while the latter championed collectivism. The Enlightenment was focused on the present and the here-and-now, while Romanticism looked to the past and future. And finally, while the Enlightenment was primarily concerned with science and philosophy, Romanticism encompassed art, literature, music, and nature as well.

Similar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are some of the benefits of Enlightenment thinking?

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, a new intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment emerged. It was based on reason and scientific inquiry, rather than faith or tradition. The Enlightenment thinkers believed that humans could improve their lives through the use of reason and science. They also believed in progress, individual liberty, and free thought.

The ideas of the Enlightenment helped to shape modern Western societies. They led to the development of democracy and human rights. They also inspired advances in education, art, literature, and philosophy.

In conclusion,the main difference between enlightenment and romanticism is that enlightenment is based on reason and romanticism is based on emotion. Enlightenment thinkers believe that humans can use their reason to improve their society, while romanticists believe that emotions are more important than reason.