What is the relationship between science, the enlightenment, and democracy?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The idea that was emerging from the Enlightenment period resided in a strong faith in human progress and thought.  In this setting, individuals were able to do great things and could the the location of where wonder occurs.  Given the advances that were made in scientific understanding, Enlightenment thinkers believed and were convinced of the potential for greatness within human beings and their creations.  With this in mind, democracy became an advanced political system.  A form of government that located power within people, within individuals who were capable of greatness, made sense and was a logical extension of the theory that had been advanced within the time period.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that the Enlightenment and science sort of fed into one another -- the rise of each contributed to the rise of the other.  This is because the Enlightenment thinkers really emphasized scientific learning and proof.  They were into rationality as opposed to a blind faith in things that were taken on faith or authority.

I think that this ideology helped encourage a movement towards more democratic thinking.  The focus on rationality emphasized that all people were able to think and that there was no particular reason to think that some people were better than others simply because of being born into a noble family.