Influence of Enlightenment on Education

Frances Agnes Calame, Fordham University


The enlightenment was a movement which strove to subject all thought to the test of critical analysis. This eighteenth century philosophy was but a new type of formalism which sought its illumination in the light of reason, while authority and tradition were rejected. It was materialistic, skeptical and rationalistic. The hierarchy, Church, State and society were attacked. It attempted to destroy superstition and establish reason as the foundation of all beliefs and rules of conduct. There was a demand in this period for the free play of the individual judgment and a protest against metaphysical speculations unguided by reason. It strove to free the mind from the dominance of supernatural terrorism; to elevate the individual’s moral personality, to bring forth man’s sufficiency and freedom of intellect, destroying absolutism over thought practiced by state and Church. The age was controlled by a belief in rights and privileges of the individual, magnifying the present and scornful of the past.

Subject Area

Education history|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Calame, Frances Agnes, "Influence of Enlightenment on Education" (1927). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29336636.