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Mentone Girls' Grammar School | Kerferd Library

The social contract: The Enlightenment

Philosophy | Critical and Creative Thinking | VCCCTQ043 | VCCCTQ045 | VCCCTR047 | VCCCTM053

Source: Digital montage by Black, S. (2019). Image: In the Salon of Madame Geoffrin. Lemonnier (1812).

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Resource Key

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Brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)


Provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.

Level 3 resourceLEVEL

Lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)

General Capabilities
Enduring Understandings

Philosophers and other thinkers have grappled with the idea of society and how we are to live together.

The social contract is implied in many of our democracies today and is underpinned by philosophical thinking.

Essential Questions

What rules and assumptions underpin a well-functioning society?

The social contract | The Enlightenment: Introduction

Level 1Articles

The social contract | The Enlightenment: eBooks

Level 2 resourceeBooks

The social contract | The Enlightenment: Key people and ideas

Level 1ArticlesJoseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1765–90). Joseph's reforms, and the philosophy behind them (Josephism), attempted to introduce the ideas of the enlightenment to his empire. Ultimately his forced social contract with his subjects were rejected, and most of his reforms were undone by his successor and brother, Leopold II. 

Level 2

Level 1Articles

Level 2 resourceeBooks

Level 1Articles

Level 1Articles

Level 2 resourceeBooks

Level 3 resource
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