Treatise on Toleration and Other Essays

ISBN-10: 0879758813
ISBN-13: 9780879758813
Edition: Unabridged 
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Description: Voltaire (1694-1778), novelist, dramatist, poet, philosopher, historian, and satirist, was one of the most renowned figures of the Age of Enlightenment. In this collection of anti-clerical works from the last twenty-five years of Voltaire's life, he  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.99
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Publication date: 5/1/1994
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 223
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.65" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Voltaire (1694-1778), novelist, dramatist, poet, philosopher, historian, and satirist, was one of the most renowned figures of the Age of Enlightenment. In this collection of anti-clerical works from the last twenty-five years of Voltaire's life, he roundly attacks the philosophical optimism of the deists, the so-called inspiration of the Bible, the papacy, and vulgar superstition. These great works reveal Voltaire not only as a polemicist but also as a profound humanitarian. Selections include "Poem on the Lisbon Disaster," "We Must Take Sides," "The Questions of Zapate," "The Sermon of the Fifty," homilies on superstition and the interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, and his famous "Treatise on Toleration."

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."

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