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Paris, France
Writer and Philosopher
Social Activist
• Liberty
Free will exists
Religion is a necessary guarantor of social
Hedonistic morality
Skepticism is good
Empirical facts
• Optimism is ignoring the empirical facts in
John Locke
August 29th 1632 – October 28th 1704
Physician and philosopher
Wrote many treatises
• Knowledge comes from senses
• Individuals have rights
• Limited governments must protect these rights
Thomas Hobbes
April 5 1588 – December 4 1679
Solely a philosopher
Wrote Leviathan
Walked between Liberalism and Monarchial
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
 1646–1716
 born in Leipzig,
1672 Diplomat in
 15 Published Books
• Discourse on
Four Principles
 The Principle of the Best
•God always acts for the best
Predicate-in-Notion Principle
•the notion of the predicate is in some way included
in that of the subject.
Principle of Contradiction
•“That which involves a contradiction [is] false, and
that which is opposed or contradictory to the false [is]
Principle of Sufficient Reason
•“Nothing is without reason”
•“There is no effect without a cause”
Jean Jacques Rousseau
1712- 1778
Calvinist Geneva
Wanted to become a priest,
then an itinerant musician,
settled for a tutor
Abandoned his five children
in a hospital
Reconverted to Calvinism
political philosophy and
moral psychology
Criticized philosophers
Lettres Morales
human beings are increasingly dependent on one
another for the satisfaction of their needs
human beings are good by nature but are
rendered corrupt by society
Philosophers are rationalizers of self-interest, as
apologists of tyranny, and as playing a role in the
alienation of humanity's natural impulse to
derive their very sense of self from the opinion of
Religious toleration and fallibility of inquisition
Learning not by lecturing but by experience
Denis Diderot
Langres, France
• Pensees philosophiques
• Lettre sur les aveugles
All things must be examined, debated,
investigated without exception and without
regard for anyone’s feelings.
Pensees philosophiques
• Attacked atheism and received Chritianity
Lettre sur les aveugles
• Criticized the conventional morality of the day
• Alluded to the mistress of a minister
Rene Descartes
 1596La Haye, France
Went to Jesuit college
Geometry and Algebra
New concept of Matter
Meditationes de Prima
• 1641
The Principles
• Proves God’s existence
• Unsound evidence
The Meditations
• Questions the possibility of knowledge
The Passions
• Passions of the soul are mental activities that can
move us to action
• Must be controlled
Sir Thomas More
London, England
Lord Chancellor
Renaissance Humanist
• 1516
Perfectly orderly, reasonable social arrangements
Communal ownership of land
Both men and women are educated
Complete religious toleration
Gold not liked, jewelry only for children
Money only necessary for commodities
No lawyers
John Stuart Mill
May 20 1806 – May 8 1873
Philosopher and economist
Member of Parliament
Wrote On Liberty
• Anybody can do anything as long as no harm is
• Social Liberty
• Tyranny of Majority
Major Philosophies
Social Contracts
Voltaire walks between these two ideas
Is it the “best of all possible worlds?”