I definitely understand why Enlightenment has hook, it’s logic and reason. However, Romanticism is more about inspiration and acting upon a whim. Sometimes, that trait is necessary and why I can agree with it. There are many times that logic and reason should hold priority within our decision; however our emotions get the better of us. Sometimes, that is for the better. It’s hard to come up with some excuse or a concrete reason as to why emotions are better; however, they are absolutely necessary. Romanticism’s focus on the emotions gives life color and value and highlights humanity.
Learning about both topics hasn’t changed my view on society or Western culture much. However, they both have given me different lenses to look through when an event occurs. Both are fair and just in their own respects.
The most interesting takeaway, in my honest opinion, was actually the class itself. The people that made up the class all had different perspectives on topics and were all just in their own sense. They brought up many points on many topics that were fair and offered me another outlook instead of my own views. In one sentence, it’s that humans are resourceful and truly are individuals.
This class has explored both the importance of factual reasoning and logic as well as the importance of grounding ourselves in emotion and our inner feelings. We as humans can try our hardest to be as logical as possible and follow strict guidelines that we place on our morals and actions, but anyone knows that real life is about integrating the human emotion and the unpredictable things that happen to us with the use of reason and logic. Both of these ideas contribute to our human nature which is why I don’t favor either but recognize the importance of both.
It’s easy to see how these ideals are implemented into current Western society. For example, one of the things that the Enlightenment era focused on was religious ideals and being able to establish a personal relationship with God and not just follow the sayings of the Bible. The way that our morals and actions are formed come from an inner understanding of what’s right and wrong and not just rules that tell us what to do, and the condemnation of devout blind religious devotion is something that has seeped into our society today. Today, most religious relationships with God focus on a deeper set of understanding as opposed to just doing something because the Bible says so. Focusing on the intent behind one’s actions and not just the consequence relates to moral principles that were discussed by Kant, Rousseau and other Enlightenment writers. Romanticism also seeps it’s way into our current society by having us focus on the individualism and uniqueness of each person. Our art, our music and our literature are affected by romanticism ideals of focusing on the human experience and reflecting on the emotions that we face. Through our art and sharing our experiences we can empathize with others and coexist. Without the integration of those two ideals, it would be very hard to go through day to day life without rationality and self-reflection of the emotions and feelings we have.
As for the past 3 HUM classes and now this one, I think my main takeaway is being able to see how the human experience develops. We are a product of the people and ideas that come before us whether or not we choose to reject or continue traditions and ways of thinking. How we choose what is right and wrong, how we choose to treat others, how we choose to make decisions has been evaluated through so many different author’s perspectives and being able to see how they are influenced by the society and events around them helps us to better understand why different perspectives flourished the way that they did.
I agree with Romanticism ideals of life, but
with an appreciation for empiricism. I feel that is social media and other
interactions today people have an interesting relationship to Romanticism. Many
people are writing “slice of life” comics, and often discuss the small things
in life. I believe that our society’s focus on STEM fields has drawn people to
appreciate Romantic values and ideals as we are connected in society. However,
the STEM influences allow people on some levels to appreciate the science and
other technical values in our daily life. Although I enjoy a Romantic
perspective as Enlightenment ideals are too cold for me, and Romanticism leads
me to enjoy my life daily and with calmer actions than the anxiety caused by
I have started to notice Romantic values
within a society that I had not noticed before, especially in social media.
People are documenting their lives, but instead of analyzing it in an Empirical
sense they are documenting for emotions and memories with other people. This
appreciation for their lives and the technology to remember what was around
them with such ideals is something I never noticed people really did before
this class. People embody both Enlightenment tendencies and Romantic ideals
through the combination of STEM and the connectedness we have through
I hardly had any idea what Romanticism and the Enlightenment were before this class, so the most important takeaway for me is the Romantic ideology. The concept of feeling emotions so intensely, both the ups and the downs, is something I have always admired, but I had no idea it was an entire ideology. I want to take that ideology with me as I move forward to new classes and with my own future.
Also I have no idea if anyone else played this as a child but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this since we saw the rainbow video in class because I did not know the app was influences by it until now: https://youtu.be/HOGqMdzCe0s
When analyzing the perspectives of both the Enlightenment and Romanticism, I have an opinion that encompasses a mixture of both of these counterparts. The Enlightenment allows individuals to prioritize rationality and reasoning in both their decision making and thought process, analyzing the duty of the individuals to themselves and society. Romanticism promotes subjectivity, individuality, and the connection the individual has with nature, emphasizing the importance of passion and desire. Thus, leading life in accord with both the Enlightenment and Romanticism allows the individual to be rational in their decision making, while additionally retaining their passion and humanity. While an excessive amount of subjectivity is damaging in some cases, humanity must be able to balance passion with the Scientific Method so as to analyze cold data and facts with compassion. When viewing our Western culture today, I now see numerous examples of how Enlightenment and Romanticism ideals shapes society and the way we live. For example, I see many ideas of Romanticism when analyzing the artistic expression displayed on campus. When looking at the graffiti art, the decorative posters, or the Stuart art collection, I now view them as forms of completely free individual expression, exercising individuality as a way for society to know the artist’s passions and life experiences. I additionally see ideals of the Enlightenment on campus as well. Many individuals pick their career because it makes the most sense logically, thinking only of the salary and the financial benefits based on the proven scientific data concerning their chosen career path. Therefore, the individual is prioritizing reason and rationality, committing to it as their life’s work. Thus, there are numerous ideals of both the Enlightenment and Romanticism all around us, and my eyes are now open to connecting the choices I make everyday to the principles of both significant movements. For me, the most interesting takeaway from this class was learning about how the ideals of the Enlightenment apply to the origins of government systems. The Enlightenment ideals of equality, and justice helped to create the conditions for the Constitution, along with many other forms of social contracts. This questioning of traditional authority embraces the notion that humanity can be improved through rational thought and reasoning, and it greatly interested me when we covered it during the course.
As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, Romanticism and Enlightenment are inseparable concepts that can barely be differentiated in nature regardless of what most of the authors claim. Both concepts are what make us human. They are ideas that have been created by humans after all. So my choice is not to agree with one or the other. Rather, I choose to be human and embrace both my sentience and emotions.
Learning about these concepts has definitely opened my eyes to the natural way humans think. The conflict between the two schools of thinking has shown me that there is no right or wrong here, it’s just people trying to justify two conceptually correct concepts. With this knowledge I will go on to implement my life choices and my interactions around these concepts. I will be putting in effort to balance my life better by taking lessons from both ideologies and shaping my values to cover a wider perspective of thinking.
The most important takeaway has been the prevalence of uncertainty in our lives. Humans don’t really know what is what and everybody is figuring out their path as they go along. Yes, there has been an improvement in our understanding of the world and people can develop their emotional intelligence; but the beauty of it all is in the uncharted territory. The unseen experiences and undiscovered knowledge is what keeps us pursuing our dreams. We should keep doing that. We should feed our minds with the best possible knowledge while allowing our personalities and emotions to flourish. We should enjoy the journey while it exists.
Personally, I think this class has a strong foundation of expressing the importance of perspective.
Of all the works we read, whether they were full of logic and laws such as John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, or if they were full of vibrant emotions such as in Goethe’s The Sufferings of Young Werther, there a many different approaches to living life. In the past when I thought about perspective, I realized that I only considered that everyone does have a different perspective from others, and there may be overlap between people’s agreements and disagreements. However, I never fully understood the impact of not only listening to other’s perspectives, but truly emerging oneself into someone else’s perspective, and trying to reason through their feelings, without one’s personal biases getting in the way.
This seems like a simple or maybe basic understanding of our ideals as westerners, such as following a certain structure of society and contributing to it in some form. Yet this has affected me as a thinker because it has pushed me to really look at one perspective, understand as much as I can from it, and then formulate a connection between all perspectives I have observed. Essentially, it has taught me to be more open minded, to work to fully understand someone’s thoughts as much as I can, and then act on them from there, rather than letting my bias immediately judge a situation.
Thus, through the different depictions of the world’s structuring and progressiveness as seen through Voltaire’s satire in Candide, to understanding Rousseau’s argument of man’s basic needs to survive, I think this course has been beneficial to demonstrating how progression affects our world, especially here in the quick pace of the ‘west’, in addition to challenging to think beyond our own opinions and really dive into other’s perspectives.
Therefore, I leave you with this image. This is a fairly common image people have seen in terms of perspective, but really think about it now, with all we have learned. What would Goethe say about the tragedy of it only being half full, or half empty? What would Locke argue is logical for labeling this glass: half empty, or half full, but not both? What do you think, and what are your reasons?
Throughout this entire semester. We learned the historical process from enlightenment to romanticism. Over the less-than-200-years period, people at that time witness a dramatic turn of ideology from favor of absolutism to support of liberty, from favor of rational thinking to desire of emotion. It is a time period that permanently changed the perspective of the world much more than any period could do before.
To me, I consider my agreement lies on the period of Romanticism where the freedom of subjectivity is more embraced. To me, I am always touched by Werther’s desire and pain, Wordsworth’s embrace of the freedom, Mary Shelly’s personal touch on the development of scientific movement. It feels to me that humanity’s freedom reached to a new level in the romanticism movement.
However, this love towards romanticism does not erase my respect of Enlightenment and my acknowledgement of its contribution. I rather believes, after a deep study in HUM 4, that Enlightenment deeply confirms the idea that history is a chronological pattern that will not be dramatically changed by a particular event. The absolute world will not suddenly change into democracy without the gradual effort by philosophers like Hobbs, Locke, Rousseau, who gradually embellishes each other’s work further to firmly construct the path of democracy.
What’s my biggest takeaway from this class? That probably comes from every single art contest where every time I like a paint, that paint will lose. It kinda discourages me for a bit but I definitely have my realization that people’s opinion are vary and you can’t use your own opinion to substitute everyone elses’
But anyway, here is the Beethoven’s Movement 4 of the 9th Symphony. This symphony were generally considered as the piece that opens the world of romantic music. I hope that it brings you joy.
To me the central of idea of Enlightenment and the central idea of Romanticism, as presented in the class, are reason and beauty, respectively. Early on we learnt about figures such Locke, Hume, and Kant, who attempted to set standards for which how one could act rationally and adheres to reason which is universal. It is particularly apparent in Kant’s Groundwork that reason could be the highest among all other motivations human experienced, and that for a rational agent, reason is both the mean and end for which one acts upon. For these works which we’ve read under the name of Romanticism, they generally present beauty as a higher if not equivalent end to reasoning, an alternative option that explores what reason rejects and neglects. What we have here is essentially logic verses aesthetics, reasons verses sensations. Personally I’m more inclined to arguments from the Enlightenment side, as it is rational to use reason in weighting arguments. Works which are said to follow Romanticism do bring a good point in questioning whether one ought to be rational. If we can only use reason to evaluate motivation, then what is not rational is unlikely to be evaluate by reason as acceptable. In other words, we can only assume that reason is the only worthy end. This is the most interesting takeaway from this class for me thus far. The study of Enlightenment and Romanticism in the class reveals new insights to me about Foucault’ Madness and Civilization, a contemporary book examining how madness has been perceived and treated through centuries.
I would prefer a mixture of both Enlightenment and Romanticism. I believe that solid evidence and reasoning is essential to considering our knowledge, but man’s emotions are also important to consider. I agree more with Enlightenment because it relies of hard facts and observations. This type of evidence is difficult to dispute which makes it more reliable in my opinion. However, not everything can be seen or observed. Our limitations to what we can observe, such as feelings, makes me believe in the importance of Romanticism. Therefore, I believe these two perspectives should go hand in hand to come to the most appropriate conclusions.
Learning about Enlightenment and Romanticism has opened my eyes to aspects of our own culture. Many of our laws and basic rights are derived from Locke’s ideas, as well as other Enlightenment thinkers. However, certain aspects of our government depend on Romantic ideas. For instance, a jury in court can be swayed by both emotion and facts. Who we vote for can also be swayed by how a certain candidate appeals to our emotions (emotional) or how they promise to resolve certain issues (logical).
To me, the most interesting takeaway from this class is how many of the authors were inspired to write due to the oppressive governments they were in. I’m impressed that many of them were brave enough to write of their objections toward the government.
Throughout the last half of the quarter we have toyed with the idea of romanticism and how it affected the peoples mindset as we went through the years. Romanticism is like steeping away from the strict rules of reason. Where most of our thoughts and actions relied on emotion and our instinct. Which can clearly be seen within Goethe’s “sorrows of a young werther” and how werther beyond all reason acted purely on his desire to be with the love of his life. Much in the same way as people in modern times simply go with the flow, or live a life of YOLO. Modern romantics tend to try and experience life to the fullest, going on adventures, being out in nature and generally living their life with out much regard to reason. However, to live a life like this you must be able to distinguish between enjoying nature and living out your dreams, and following your desires into a phase where it causes harm to our own well being. In a sense romaticism is enjoying what the world as to offer but still within the bounds that it doesn’t affect your own life. Werther disregarded that second fact which had ultimately led to his demise. Live your life in balance and everything will end up just fine
The enlightenment thinking seems to align more with my own thinking since I was grown up and taught to base my view upon facts and reasoning. However, after studying Hum 4, I realize the importance of the thinking of Romanticism which is also not neglectable. I agree with Schiller’s idea that rationality and reason are not always the best approach to guide our life. As a human being, something that is deeply rooted in our human nature is sometimes more powerful than those objective facts we learned in our life. Therefore, I think we all need a mix of reason and emotion in order to live a better life.
Learning the thinking of enlightenment and romanticism also gives me a good indication of how to interpret western culture. It is hard to be rational at any time, and there are also so many things around us that trigger our emotions and some are negative. Therefore, we should have a clear view of the truth and facts before placing our judgments and we should also understand that sometimes it is fine to be not rational and just simply follow your feelings.
The biggest takeaway for me of this class is the acceptance of views and thinkings a learned. For me, I used to require myself to regard rationality as my top priority on almost everything and ask myself to be rational. However, I come to realize now that rationality is not the only measure of solving any problems after learning the ideas of romanticism thinkers.
I think reason and emotion are both important, but between Enlightenment and Romanticism, I prefer the idea of Enlightenment. I think the ideas and methods of Enlightenment are much more feasible than that of the Romanticism. Because many ideas of Romanticism are based on personal and ideas. Then, there are questions arise that different people would inevitably have different views. Taking aesthetics as an example, no one will argue against that though have several general principles, aesthetics is still a subjective idea. Hence, Romanticism’s idea and method would still cause divergence.
Learning the ideas of Enlightenment gives a new perspective of considering the constitution of modern western society because most of western society have built their constitution based on the idea that people have certain inalienable natural rights and the duty of government is to protect these rights. What is more, Enlightenment’s ideas also give me a better understanding of the balance between personal freedom and the effectiveness of government.
I think the most interesting thing I take from this class is the idea of Romanticism because I think Romanticism depicted a way of life I sometimes want to live. This is something I have never thought about because most time I consider myself as living according to reason. However, when I find I have ideas the same as Romanticism, I have changed my view a lot.
Throughout the course, I have been more aligned to the Enlightenment side of the rationality it upholds. I am someone who believes in hard facts and numbers because of the truth it holds. The rationality and mechanical view of humans through the scientific method or even learning about Hobbes social contract was more applicable to me personally. Despite this, I have also enjoyed learning about the Romanticism ideals of focusing on the individual and sentiment over reason. It focused more on the organic feature of humans like emotions rather than the mechanical aspect where we are just cogs in a machine.
I believe that this has a large impact on contemporary western society because of the vast amount of information we have. It is very easy to fabricate and control how arguments are directed with manipulated data or biased persuasion. The Enlightenment teaches us to progress based on reason and the scientific method which makes it consistent when making an argument of any sort. For example, Locke was more focused on people’s natural rights and how it relates to their freedom under a government. It was very clear of what was required in his Second Treatise with his use of rationality and reason.
The most important takeaway from this class for me was the balance between Enlightenment and Romantic ideals. Both are polar opposites in terms of what they focus on but the authors we read had conflicting views that forced us to consider both sides and the middle road. For example, Goethe’s focus on following our emotions in contrast with Kant’s focus on duty and rational thinking made me concerned with the middle road and the tension between those two contrasting ideals. It is a unique style of thinking that would help in arguments that I thought was the most important takeaway from HUM 4.
Throughout the quarter we’ve learned about the ideas of the enlightenment and romanticism. To be brief, these movements’ ideas were the focus on reason and emotion respectively. I think it is crucial to realize that everyone should consider both perspectives. For example, someone living through the enlightenment perspective alone would lack a significant consideration of emotion or individualism. This could be a problem for governing entities where citizens may feel a need for their individuality to remain free and unique.
Although the Enlightenment and Romanticism are two eras which I had some knowledge of, taking this class has certainly cultivated a more complex and informed comprehension of what these two forces not only mean by themselves, but what they mean for each other. In other words, while I recognize the importance in treating these two periods of time as distinct breeding grounds for what grew to be two starkly different ideologies, I believe that a space exists where both find themselves in, where both find themselves intermingling with each other.
My belief that the Enlightenment and the Romantic period thus leads me to agree with both sides: while the need for a skeptical, individual intellectualism has proven to be instrumental in ushering forth a time of great discovery and reflection, the period of Romanticism allowed people more sentimental, metaphorical reprieve from such an attitude of intense pragmatism. In combining these two ideas, I don’t however necessarily believe that moderation is what produces the optimal, intellectual framework: Enlightenment ideals and Romantic ones don’t exist on a continuum, but are rather parallel processes, where the boundary of their parallelism becomes more or less permeable in specific areas.
From this evaluation of the importance in understanding how Enlightenment and Romanticism as not being diametric opposites, but are rather mental structures with a capacity to overlap, the compatibility between Enlightenment and Romanticism becomes evident. A commitment towards science and individualism allows for the clearer articulation of the organicist ideals clear in Romantic thought: everything must necessarily have life, but perhaps that ‘life’ can be interpreted as function, and every human being houses within themselves an intense realm of emotion, which cannot be denied by the Enlightened belief in oneself. An appreciation for the sentiments behind one’s actions, as well a the value of introspection can be realized in Enlightenment ideals as the fuel for why one reasons as they do, and the reassessment of one’s own beliefs, respectively.
This confluence between the rigidity of the Enlightenment and the fluidity of Romantic ideals has impacted the way in which I view the Western World, and is something which will continue to inform the way I appraise literary and social movements not only there, but in all the world. When people boast an argument of impenetrable cogency, perhaps a consideration of their motivations behind developing such a claim is necessary in further appreciating their beliefs: in this way, Enlightened ideals are revealed to be underlain with a Romanticist impetus. When looking at a piece of art, say by Georges Seurat, a closer inspection of much of his repertoire consists of entire images composed by tiny dots: in this instance, it is observed how one’s aesthetic, Romantic experience of art exhibits a foundation in Enlightenment ideals through the “effort” of much tinier, organized and intended constituents, to build something of even greater organization.
In undergoing the expansive and frustratingly rigorous work called upon us to complete, something which I’ve taken away, and continue to take away from preceding HUM courses, is the value in open-mindedness. This doesn’t necessarily mean relegating oneself to a state of false omniscience characterized by a complacent acceptance of all ideas, but the willingness to take a stance, but allowing other perspectives to have a recognized seat at the table. Enlightenment scholars and Romantics have equal license to partake in the same intellectual circles. HUM 4, and the HUM classes which have come before it, encourage an appreciation for not just one “person” partaking in this meal, but the event itself. There’s much to choose from, and perhaps a certain ideal may taste better to some, but there is value in knowing that others will have different preferences, and that yours–and theirs–may change.
Two main topics of this quarter’s humanities are Enlightenment and Romanticism. Enlightenment focuses on science, secular, and reason while Romanticism is about individual sentiment. Though for me I think reason and science is my top priority to learn and observe the world and the society (guess that is why I am here in a university and being in a engineering major), but it is also interesting when we did the video for Enlightenment vs. Romanticism, that gives me another approach to feel and experience the world. I liked the way how personal sentiment are portrayed and they affect people’s knowledge and emotions in Goethe’s work “The Sufferings of Young Werther”. Though I don’t like they way how Werther is so into Lotte that is either get her or suicide, and how his feelings are dependent on Lotte’s action to him, that makes him look like a bipolar disorder patient… So, though I think people in the Western civilization is more into logic and reason. Since as we go through from Hum1 to Hum3, most of the authors are using reason as the tool to think, and is their approach to philosophy. But still we might need some emotional education. It shocked me with the double-rainbow video, apart of finding it funny of how the guy was amazed and then burst to tears, it is thoughtful as well because it is hard to understand from reason point of view. So I guess we should develop romantic feelings, as it is a part of human experiences and it will make our mental world full. So Enlightenment and Romanticism, we need to study them all!
I agree with both enlightenment and romanticism. I think to be a complete human you need a mix of both. You need to be able to make rational decision. But you also need to be mindful of your emotions. I think the ability to apply the scientific method to come up with concrete answers is really valuable. But I also think sometimes the ability to take in your emotions and thinking together and come up with answers is the key being a complete human being. I think a lot of people in the western culture fall towards more of the romanticism side. This is seen in politics almost all the time. People most of the time vote for the personality rather than the policy. If people don’t like someone, then they don’t want to vote for them. Which is reasonable to a certain extent. But we should also be more open to listen to their policies. Our judgement should be a mix of both. But we shouldn’t let either romanticism or enlightenment overpower the other. The most interesting part for me was seeing how people think back then. And how people though before all these changes. It is really fascinating to see how two generations can struggle with the same thing.
I would have to say that agree with the Enlightenment perspective the most because I find it more important to ensure a law that works for everyone using reason than following one person’s individual experience. While I do believe that the things we learn from each perspective are important and should be used in conjunction, I think if we failed to use the logic that arose from the Enlightenment then there would be a lot more issues for us as a species to deal with. I think the way the Enlightenment teaches one to think and make decisions is important for the creation of a functional society, something that we all currently rely on.
It has helped me recognize the purpose of various things in society and how they function together. There are some things that we put into society in order to serve a specific, function and are designed to have one outcome. These things, to me, represent the Enlightenment era where they strived to balance reason/duty with desire in order to serve one common good. Then, there are other things in society whose roll is to evoke thinking or some type of response. These things are representative of Romanticism because they prioritize the emotional and personal aspects to the interactions we have in life. Observing the western society that we have today, I can see where both of these things and ideas have a place and how they have merged together to allow us to appreciate both of their ideology.
To me, the most important thing I took away from this class was how to consider and compare different opinions and ideas. I feel like hum 4 dealt more with differing opinions within the same society and how to handle that, rather than the differences between societies. This is something that is very applicable to us because the United States is home to many different people coming from extremely different backgrounds, so we need to know how to coexist and learn from one another.
I think that I align myself with a mixture of both the Enlightenment and Romanticism perspective because I think it is important to always consider both reasons and emotions when making decisions. I agree with the incorporation of the scientific method into our daily lives and how rational thinking is a reliable guide to living our lives. However, I also believe that we should always consider our emotions and feelings on these decisions because we need a balance between the rational and emotional sides of ourselves.
Throughout HUM 4 and learning about the two different perspectives, I think that it has really shown me how Enlightenment and Romantic thinking plays a role in our current society. When we discussed thinkers like Rousseau and Locke, I would look at their philosophy and think “hey, that’s kinda like this other thing we have in our government/society”. It’s really an eye-opening course that I kinda enjoyed because it allowed us to discuss and explore the foundations of our society and government.
As a person who would describe themselves as being more artistic and interested in the abstracts of life and culture, I find the general perspectives of Romanticism to be the most aligned with my own perspectives but I also have lots of similarities with the Enlightenment perspective. With the ideals of critical thinking and purposeful precautions and research, I think the Enlightenment ideals were necessary for the branch of Romanticism to bloom fully, as the Enlightenment formalized the practice of creating different theories and reasonings for things while the Romanticism focuses on learning embracing and co-existing with these differences.
Learning about Enlightenment and Romantic ideals has been an eye-opening experience in learning about how modern society even came to be in the first place. I have always been familiar with the strong historic pattern of religion in culture and daily lives, but through learning about the Enlightenment and Romantic period I understand how modern society was able to divert into diverse ideas and traditions we co-exist in today.
The most interesting takeaway I have from this class is seeing how everything in history through literature, art, etc, are essential building blocks and the foundations of the modern life that we all live in today. For example, by learning about the ideals of Hume and Locke and then comparing those texts with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, both documents that have an impact on my daily life as they are the laws I live by being a US citizen, has been a really interesting experience.
I feel that the Enlightenment, which emphasized reason, broad philosophy and learning, and happiness and Romanticism, which emphasized emotions, individualism, and nature, are both equally important periods of time. The former furthered our ways of thinking and reasoning in ways that benefited the government and everyone collectively, while the latter ensured that the individual is also brought into consideration. Thus I do not agree with one perspective over the other, but both to the same extent. The collective is always important, but the individual should not be overlooked. Reasoning is extremely important, but feelings should not be ignored. Learning about the Enlightenment and Romanticism has impacted the way I view our contemporary western culture today by realizing that our culture is based on the combination of ideas taken from these time periods, making me value all our rights and privileges even more.Therefore, the most interesting or important takeaway from this class for me was that many things aren’t really cut and dry; one of two extremes would detract from our society today and to be honest, our society today, even with all its flaws, should not be taken for granted, seeing how much we have progressed from the past.
If given the chance to pick between Romanticism and Enlightenment views, I definitely wouldn’t be able to choose because I agree with both perspectives. I couldn’t imagine life with just one extreme or the other, either live a life that is all about reason or live a life that is all about feelings. I think that there should be a balance between the two, because different aspects of life needs to be approach accordingly. Learning about the Enlightenment and Romanticism didn’t really affect the way I viewed contemporary western culture today that much but, learning about this made me think of the different ways that Enlightenment and Romanticism perspectives still remain relevant today. How the way we are living today can be traced all the way back to thinkers like Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Voltaire. In my point of view, this is the interesting takeaway from this class. That despite being centuries apart from these philosophers we learned about, their struggles and questions are similar to what we are faced with today.