The explosion of scientific advancement that began with Copernicus’s 16th-century discovery the earth was not the center of the universe and culminated with Isaac Newton’s formulation of the laws of gravity in the 17th century gave birth to a period of intellectual fervor we now call “the Enlightenment”or the “Age of Reason.”
Western European thinkers began to realize the world we see is only part of reality—much of what we experience is the product of invisible forces that can only be inferred through the exercise of reason. And a lot of what appears obvious to us, like the sun circling the earth, is actually an illusion. Whereas ethical norms in the past were shaped by superstition, ...
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