In many respects, Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727, was the bridge between the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. His successful attempt to discover and formulate laws of nature, such as the laws of motion and the law of gravity, inspired many of the philosophes and laid the logical basis for the Enlightenment. If nature was governed by natural laws, then it could also be reasoned that man and society were governed by natural laws too. If those laws could be discovered, then nature, man and society could be controlled and manipulated to allow society and mankind to prosper and flourish. Thus, the general aim of the Enlightenment was progress and the consequent improvement of the human condition.
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