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Age of Reason

jacques john locke rousseau

Age of Reason, or the Enlightenment, a period in history in which accepted social, political, and religious doctrines were challenged by a new, rational view of the universe. Beginning in the 1600s and lasting until the late 1700s, the movement was led by such philosophers as, in France, René Descartes, Denis Diderot, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Voltaire, and, in England, John Locke. Scholars of the period produced many breakthroughs in the fields of anatomy, astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Their ideas about human dignity and progress influenced the future leaders of the French Revolution.

See also: Locke, John; Rousseau, Jean-Jacques.

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