Philosophical Letters Or, Letters Regarding the English Nation

ISBN-10: 0872208818
ISBN-13: 9780872208810
Edition: 2007
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Book details

List price: $11.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/15/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 160
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

A leading freethinker of his time and an opponent of political and religious oppression, Voltaire was instrumental in popularizing serious philosophical, religious, and scientific ideas that were frequently derived from liberal thinkers in England, where he lived for two years after his imprisonment in the Bastille. Voltaire's writings are wide ranging: He wrote plays in the neoclassic style, such as Oedipus (1718), philosophical essays in a popular vein like Letters on England (1734), which has been referred to as the first bomb hurled against the Ancien Regime; and the Philosophical Dictionary (1764), a catalog of polemical ideas on a large variety of subjects, particularly religion and philosophy. Voltaire was one of the most prolific letter writers in the entire history of literature, and his correspondence has been published in a French edition of 107 volumes. For the twentieth-century reader, Voltaire is best known for his philosophical tale Candide (1759), a masterpiece of satire that is both an attack on the philosophy of metaphysical optimism elaborated earlier in the century by the German philosopher Leibniz and a compendium of the abuses of the Ancien Regime as the author ponders the general problem of evil. Voltaire's unflinching belief in human reason and his easy handling of the language of Enlightenment wit and philosophy led the critic Roland Barthes to dub him "the last happy writer."

John Leigh is University Lecturer in the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge.

Prudence L. Steiner took her Ph.D. in American Literature at Harvard University, where she served as Lecturer and Director of the Harvard Extension School Writing Program.

First letter, on the Quakers
Second letter, on the Quakers
Third letter, on the Quakers
Fourth letter, on the Quakers
Fifth letter, on the Anglican religion
Sixth letter, on the Presbyterians
Seventh letter, on the Socinians, or Arians, or Antitrinitarians
Eighth letter, on the parliament
Ninth letter, on the government
Tenth letter, on commerce
Eleventh letter, on smallpox inoculation
Twelfth letter, on Chancellor Bacon
Thirteenth letter, on Mr. Locke
Fourteenth letter, on Descartes and Newton
Fifteenth letter, on the system of attraction
Sixteenth letter, on Mr. Newton's optics
Seventeenth letter, on infinity and on chronology
Eighteenth letter, on tragedy
Nineteenth letter, on comedy
Twentieth letter, on noblemen who cultivate literature
Twenty-first letter, on the Earl of Rochester and Mr. Waller
Twenty-second letter, on Mr. Pope, and some other famous poets
Twenty-third letter, on the esteem due to men of letters
Twenty-fourth letter, on the academies
Twenty-fifth letter, on Mr. Pascal's Pensees
Proposal for a letter about the English

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