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VOLTAIRE: main ideas and thought

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Voltaire: main ideas

In a PROFESSOR we will give you a brief exposition of the Voltaire's main ideas, French philosopher, who was actually called François-Marie Arouet. He is one of the main representatives of the IllustrationHe criticized the political system of the old regime and was very harsh on religion. Among his most important works are, Oedipus, Candide, The Naive, Treatise on Tolerance, Philosophical Letters or Micromegas.

In this last book, he talks about the two moons of Mars, just like his contemporary and admired writer Jonathan Swift on Gulliver's Travels. But the curious thing is that the two satellites of the red planet were not discovered a century and a half later, since at the time there was not the necessary technology to observe them. In honor of both, the two largest craters on the smallest moon of Mars, Deimos, they are called Voltaire and Swift.

If you want to know more about Voltaire's ideas, keep reading this article that offers you a PROFESSOR.

Between the Voltaire's main ideas the following stand out:

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  • First, Voltaire, he was a great advocate of the tolerance, in fact, the phrase is falsely attributed to him: nor I share what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
  • Bet on him liberalism, like the English philosopher John Locke, ensuring that the social contract is not against the interests of individuals.
  • The knowledge, says Voltaire, it only comes through experience, outside of it, there is only conjecture (positivism).
  • He is a supporter of a moral utilitarianism, by affirming that the human being is the owner of his own life and must be free to choose his destiny, reach more, improve his existence thanks to science, society and culture. According to the thinker, all individuals are capable of recognizing utility, based on their wishes and interests.
  • Critual to religion, and especially to religion bean, for which some accuse him of being anti-Semitic, although Voltaire's attacks also targeted the christians and to Muslims. In addition, Voltaire was a Freemason and a follower of the Kabbalah, which suggests that his enmity with the Jewish people is due to more personal issues.

  • It was rich and lover of money, to the point of stating that having a great fortune is the only way to Liberty.
  • Voltaire defends a kind of slavery "Human". That is to say, for the philosopher, the problem is not in having slaves, but in the treatment they are given.
  • French is contrary to all forms of fanaticism, comparing religious fanaticism with the most horrible and deadly of diseases.

The most horrible example of the faThe natism that history offers was the one that the inhabitants of Paris gave on the night of Saint Bartholomew, destroying, murdering and throwing their fellow citizens who did not go to mass out of the windows ”.

Voltaire: main ideas - What ideas did Voltaire defend?

Besides being a lawyer, writer and philosopher, Voltaire He was a historian and he owes the term'philosophy of history', compared to the theology of the history of the time, which affirmed the participation of God in the facts, or the scholarly history.

Voltaire makes an intrusion into the past through his tragedies, like Oedipus Y historical works, some based on real characters and events such as The henriada, LThe Story of Charles XII of Sweden, The Century of Louis XIV Y Essay on customs.

The author of Philosophical Dictionary, makes the following classification of history:

  1. Opinion history
  2. History of the arts. This seems to be the part of the story that most interests Voltaire, since it is precisely what the authors of The Encyclopedia wrote.
  3. Natural History. He refers to it in the etymological sense of the word, in its inquiring sense. For this author, this part should be left out of the historical genre.
  4. History of events, of the facts, which is divided into:
  5. Sacred: Voltaire believes that the texts of the Bible and the Iliad belong to history.
  6. ProfaneThis is the product of oral transmission from parents to children, but, over time, the story tends to get distorted. The more time that passes, the lower your credibility.
Voltaire: main ideas - Thought of Voltaire the "philosophy of history"
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