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Essay on Voltaire’s Candide: ..
The patronage structures of Old Regime France provided more thaneconomic support to writers, however, and restoring thecrédit upon which his reputation as a writer andthinker depended was far less simple. Gradually, however, through acombination of artfully written plays, poems, and essays and carefulself-presentation in Parisian society, Voltaire began to regain hispublic stature. In the fall of 1732, when the next stage in his careerbegan to unfold, Voltaire was residing at the royal court ofVersailles, a sign that his re-establishment in French society was allbut complete.
Famous as a playwright and essayist, Voltaire’s Candide is the book where he tries to point out the fallacy of Gottfried William von Leibniz's theory of Optimism.
Votaire essay on tolerance - Saronsberg
Voltaire never actually said “I disagree with what you say,but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Yet themyth that associates this dictum with his name remains very powerful,and one still hears his legacy invoked through the redeclaration ofthis pronouncement that he never actually declared. Part of the deepcultural tie that joins Voltaire to this dictum is the fact that evenwhile he did not write these precise words, they do capture, howeverimprecisely, the spirit of his philosophy of liberty. In hisvoluminous correspondence especially, and in the details of many ofhis more polemical public texts, one does find Voltaire articulating aview of intellectual and civil liberty that makes him an unquestionedforerunner of modern civil libertarianism. He never authored anysingle philosophical treatise on this topic, however, yet the memoryof his life and philosophical campaigns was influential in advancingthese ideas nevertheless. Voltaire's influence is palpably present,for example, in Kant's famous argument in his essay “What isEnlightenment?” that Enlightenment stems from the free andpublic use of critical reason, and from the liberty that allows suchcritical debate to proceed untrammeled. The absence of a singular textthat anchors this linkage in Voltaire's collected works in no wayremoves the unmistakable presence of Voltaire's influence upon Kant'sformulation.
Voltaire adopted a stance in this text somewhere between the strictdeterminism of rationalist materialists and the transcendentspiritualism and voluntarism of contemporary Christian naturaltheologians. For Voltaire, humans are not deterministic machines ofmatter and motion, and free will thus exists. But humans are alsonatural beings governed by inexorable natural laws, and his ethicsanchored right action in a self that possessed the natural light ofreason immanently. This stance distanced him from more radical deistslike Toland, and he reinforced this position by also adopting anelitist understanding of the role of religion in society. ForVoltaire, those equipped to understand their own reason could find theproper course of free action themselves. But since many were incapableof such self-knowledge and self-control, religion, he claimed, was anecessary guarantor of social order. This stance distanced Voltairefrom the republican politics of Toland and other materialists, andVoltaire echoed these ideas in his political musings, where heremained throughout his life a liberal, reform-minded monarchist and askeptic with respect to republican and democratic ideas.
Votaire essay, 2011 comparison essay; ..
Voltaire did bring out one explicitly philosophical book in supportthis campaign, his Dictionnaire philosophique of1764–1770. This book republished his articles from the originalEncyclopédie while adding new entries conceived in thespirit of the original work. Yet to fully understand the brand ofphilosophie that Voltaire made foundational to theEnlightenment, one needs to recognize that it just as often circulatedin fictional stories, satires, poems, pamphlets, and other lessobviously philosophical genres. Voltaire's most widely known text, forinstance, Candide, ou l'Optimisme, first published in 1759,is a fictional story of a wandering traveler engaged in a set offarcical adventures. Yet contained in the text is a serious attack onLeibnizian philosophy, one that in many ways marks the culmination ofVoltaire's decades long attack on this philosophy started during theNewton wars. Philosophie à la Voltaire also came inthe form of political activism, such as his public defense of JeanCalas who, Voltaire argued, was a victim of a despotic state and anirrational and brutal judicial system. Voltaire often attachedphilosophical reflection to this political advocacy, such as when hefacilitated a French translation of Cesare Beccaria's treatise onhumanitarian justice and penal reform and then prefaced the work withhis own essay on justice and religious toleration (Calas was a Frenchprotestant persecuted by a Catholic monarchy). Public philosophiccampaigns such as these that channeled critical reason in a direct,oppositionalist way against the perceived injustices and absurdities of OldRegime life were the hallmark of philosophie as Voltaireunderstood the term.
This same hedonistic ethics was also crucial to the development ofliberal political economy during the Enlightenment, and Voltaireapplied his own libertinism toward this project as well. In the wakeof the scandals triggered by Mandeville's famous argument in TheFable of the Bees (a poem, it should be remembered) that thepursuit of private vice, namely greed, leads to public benefits,namely economic prosperity, a French debate about the value of luxuryas a moral good erupted that drew Voltaire's pen. In the 1730s, hedrafted a poem called Le Mondain that celebrated hedonisticworldly living as a positive force for society, and not as thecorrupting element that traditional Christian morality held it tobe. In his Essay sur les moeurs he also joined with otherEnlightenment historians in celebrating the role of materialacquisition and commerce in advancing the progress ofcivilization. Adam Smith would famously make similar arguments in hisfounding tract of Enlightenment liberalism, On the Wealth ofNations, published in 1776. Voltaire was certainly no greatcontributor to the political economic science that Smith practiced,but he did contribute to the wider philosophical campaigns that madethe concepts of liberty and hedonistic morality central to their workboth widely known and more generally accepted.
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Voltaire religious tolerance essay - Homework prada
For Voltaire, the events that sent him fleeing to Cireywere also the impetus for much of his work while there. While inEngland, Voltaire had begun to compose a set of letters framedaccording to the well-established genre of a traveler reporting tofriends back home about foreign lands. Montesquieu's 1721 LettresPersanes, which offered a set of fictionalized letters byPersians allegedly traveling in France, and Swift's 1726Gulliver's Travels were clear influences when Voltaireconceived his work. But unlike the authors of these overtlyfictionalized accounts, Voltaire innovated by adopting a journalisticstance instead, one that offered readers an empirically recognizableaccount of several aspects of English society. Originallytitled Letters on England, Voltaire left a draft of the textwith a London publisher before returning home in 1729. Once in France,he began to expand the work, adding to the letters drafted while inEngland, which focused largely on the different religious sects ofEngland and the English Parliament, several new letters including someon English philosophy. The new text, which included letters on Bacon,Locke, Newton and the details of Newtonian natural philosophy alongwith an account of the English practice of inoculation for smallpox,also acquired a new title when it was first published in France in1734: Lettres philosophiques.
The religion of Islam - Religious tolerance (Voltaire tolera
Voltaire felt that the most grievous of these superstitions was the belief that only those who follow their own religion are given eternal salvation and all others will suffer eternal damnation....
Treatise on Toleration by Voltaire and Desmond M. Clarke
The Enlightenment was revolutionary because of Voltaire, a writer that used his ideas to attack the established Catholic Church, and to propagate the freedom of religion, scientific thoughts, skepticism and experiential philosophy.
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