Historical reference point for the Western World that defines the period of time following the Renaissance. The exact dates aren't really a concern, but a good rough guideline is the late fifteenth century to the mid eighteenth century.

The Early Modern Period is typically described as beginning with the discovery of The New World and/or the outbreak of the Reformation and the Counter-reformation. These two events provoked a dramatic and profound change in human consciousness, awakening entire new modes of thought - particularly in the realms of economics, theology, art and philosophy.

Some of the key thinkers of the Early Modern Period include:

Of course this can't even begin to list the number of influential individuals during this period, but it it a stepping off point.