Introducing Western Sociologists

Introducing Western Sociologists

Question

Why is the Enlighment important for the development of sociology ?

Answer
Importance of enlightment for development of sociology :

1. During the late 17th and 18th centuries, Western Europe saw the emergence of radically new ways of thinking about the world. Referred to as ‘The Enlightenment’, these new philosophies established the human being at the centre of universe, and rational thought as the central features of the human being. The ability to think rationally and critically transformed the individual human being into both the producer and the user of all knowledge, the ‘knowing subject’.

2. On the other hand, only persons who could think and reason could be considered as fully human. Those who could not remain deficient as human beings and were considered as not fully evolved humans, as in the case of the natives of primitive societies or ‘savages’.

3. Being the handiwork of humans, society was amenable to rational analysis and thus comprehensible to other humans.

4. For reason to become the definite features of the human world, it was necessary to displace nature, religion and the divine acts of gods from the central position they had in earlier ways of understanding the world. This means that the Enlightenment was made possible by, and in turn helped to develop, attitudes of mind that we refer to today as secular, scientific and humanistic.

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