18th century philosophy, the Aufklarung era (enlightenment period)
The eighteenth-century philosophy in Germany is called the Age of Aufklarung or the age of enlightenment which in England is known as Enlightenment, which is a new era in which an intelligent thinker tries to resolve the conflict between rationalism and empiricism. This era arises where humans are born in a state of immature in philosophical thought. But after Immanuel Kant conducted an investigation and criticism of the role of knowledge, the new human mind felt free from the authority that came from outside humans for the progress of human civilization. Giving a name is also because at that time humans sought new light in its ratio. Immanuel Kant defines that era by saying, "By Aufklarung it is intended that humans come out of a state of infancy with which they themselves are guilty." Why is it that humans themselves are guilty? Because humans themselves do not use the possibilities available to them, namely rasio.3
As a background, humans see that the progress of science (exact science, biology, philosophy and history) has achieved encouraging results. On the other hand the way of philosophy is halting. For this reason, efforts are needed so that philosophy can develop parallel to natural science. Isaac Newton (1642-1727) provides the basics of thinking by induction, namely thinking that starts at the symptoms and returns to basics that are general. That requires analysis. Thus the epoch of enlightenment is a new stage in the process of emancipation of Western humans
had started since the Renaissance and the Reformation.
3 Prof. Dr. Juhaya S. Praja, Philosophy and Ethics (Cet II: Jakarta: Prenada Media 2005). H.113.
The Aufklarung era leaders also designed special programs including fighting against church dogma and popular superstition. The weapons are scientific facts and rational methods
2. Enlightenment in Three European Countries
a. Enlightenment in Germany
In general the Enlightenment in Germany was not as hostile in its attitude towards Christianity as it was in France. Indeed people also try to attack the basics of faith based on revelation, and replace it with religion based on feelings that are pantheistic, but all of that goes without open "war".
The center of attention in Germany is ethics. People aspire to change the teachings of morality based on revelation into a morality based on common good, which clearly shows concern for feelings. From the beginning philosophical thought was influenced by spiritual movements in England and in France. That resulted in German philosophy not standing alone.
The pioneers included Samuel Pufendorff (1632-1694), Christian Thomasius (1655-1728). But the real leader in philosophy is Christian Wolff (1679-1754) .5
He strives for philosophy to become a sure and useful science, by striving for clear understandings with strong evidence. Very important to him is the arrangement of philosophical systems which are didactic, clear ideas and decisive decomposition. It was he who created philosophical terms in German and made that language compatible with scientific thought. Because of his work philosophy draws public attention.
Basically his philosophy is an attempt to systematize Leibniz's thought and apply that thought to all fields of science. In small parts there are indeed deviations from Leibniz.