Many American colonists adhered to this philosophy, most notably Thomas Jefferson, the radical revolutionary Thomas Paine, and Franklin.Early in his autobiography, Franklin concludes, after much study, that he has become “a thorough Deist.” Franklin, however, took his Enlightenment ideas a step further than most of his scholarly contemporaries.
This sentence was actually revised in the copy of the manuscript that Benjamin Bache made, or at least in the version Temple Franklin printed, to fit the style in which Franklin usually wrote: From the poverty and obscurity in which I was born, and in which I passed my earliest years, I have raised myself to a state of affluence and some degree of celebrity in the world.
As constant good fortune has accompanied me even to an advanced period of life, my posterity will perhaps be desirous of learning the means that I employed, and which, thanks to Providence, so well succeeded with me.
It is an amusing commentary on the lesser talents of his critics that they have needed so many words — "simple," "clear," "terse," "limpid," "economical," "plain," etc.
— to say that Franklin's prose met his personal criteria.
While the philosophers of the era were content to argue among themselves about the nature of humankind, Franklin believed in bringing these new philosophical and scientific ideas to the common people.
His wit, coupled with his intellect, had an immediate appeal to his readership.Franklin achieved his intellectual and literary prowess in an era known for its philosophical advances.The eighteenth century is frequently cited as the beginning of the so-called modern era in philosophy.Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin First published: Part 1, 1791; complete, 1818 Type of work: Autobiography is divided into three parts, with a short addendum added a few months before Franklin’s death in 1790.Each has a distinct thematic purpose and thus serves, in part, to make the work an important philosophical and historical tract.This theory, revised and amended by numerous philosophers of the century, casts doubt upon the previously accepted role of a divine being in the lives of humans.With the Christian idea of predestination called into question, a new attitude toward the Creator was developed to coincide with these new philosophical concepts.Franklin's personal history is like Shakespeare's histories of England — true in some aesthetic sense more often than factually accurate.But, though Franklin's facts are inexact as often as not, we tend to trust his accounts because of another important stylistic characteristic: his objective tone.In fact, the true character of Benjamin Franklin reveals a man concerned about society and its treatment of humankind.His concern for public education, public safety, and public health made Philadelphia the most modern city not only in the colonies but also in the entire Western world.