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Jojo Mathews

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IAS Study Material Complete Syllabus for IAS

“Enlightenment was mankind's final coming of age, the emancipation of the human consciousness from an immature state of ignorance."      (--Kant--)


The main focus of Renaissance (14th to 16th Century) was on the advances in literature, architecture, humanism, and the world economy. Renaissance was inclined towards the cultural and intellectual thoughts. On the other hand galvanized by the spirit of Renaissance,Enlightenment (17th -18th Century) was related with the practical application of the concepts that revolved around the scientific approach and humanism. It was linked with the scientific methods, industrialization, political philosophy, rationality, astronomy and calculus. Enlightenment was thus more inclined towards the realm of science, logic, mathematics, and technology. 

During the age of Enlightenment, the scientific methods based on the notion of objective examination leading to provable generalizations stimulated the developments in the astronomy, philosophy, medicine and physiology, transportation, chemistry, and ethics. The age of Enlightenment is the culmination of the use of reason, rationality, and objectivity and became the period’s sole focus and viewpoint. Age old superstitious notions were replaced by the empirical data to provide explanation for how the world functioned by illuminating the mystical phenomena such as lightning, eclipses, diseases, or hallucinations.

The new focus in this age was on research, science, ethics and philosophy rather than on the Church and God. As a result proponents like Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, and Gottfried Liebnitz appeared during this age and were associated with the new fields of science such as calculus, cosmology, and physics. The entire paradigm for human endeavors changed. Unlike the medieval age, the society valued truth and the acquisition of knowledge as worthwhile pursuits rather than bothering about concepts like salvation and rebirth.

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