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.
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.
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.
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.