Candide Background Information

Topics: Voltaire, Gottfried Leibniz, Age of Enlightenment Pages: 3 (719 words) Published: September 15, 2013
Time Period:
Enlightenment: 18th century France and England
A.K.A. the age of reason
climate of inquiry

Lessening Control of the Church
The Protestant Reformation- Martin Luther
The Printing Press
Scientific Developments
The New World (America!)

Philosophies of the Time
Rationalism:
Rene Descartes (math)- humans, by reason alone, can discover universal truths Sir Isaac Newton- Mechanical science. All truth found in nature, rejection of supernatural religion. Emphasis is placed on principles of deduction (1687) Deism:

The clockmaker God; God made the world, then he let it alone, no divine intervention **Optimism:
1) Founder= Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz: German mathematician and scientist. World is organized to a pre-established harmony. There is a reason for everything that happens. Followed two main assumptions: 1. God is perfect, therefore

2. Of all the worlds God could have created, he must have made this one perfect, the best. Evil had a beneficial value.
2) Alexander Pope (1688-1744) - wrote heavily about belief of optimism Voltaire knew Pope in England (during V’s exile) and admired him until V. decided that optimism was a bunch of rubbish “A little learning is a dangerous thing”

3) Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712- 1778) - Humanity is naturally good but is corupted by the environment, education, and government since society brings out aggression and egotism, it is better for man to be a “noble savage” Rousseau sides with Pope and Leibnitz

ex. My son would not have shot up the school but he played violent video games and listens to rap and it corrupted him 4) Voltaire (1694- 1778)
French philosopher and rational skeptic
believed in writing the truth
he championed knowledge against ignorance, reason against superstition, skepticism against theology twice imprisoned in the Bastille b/c of his writing and his big mouth twice exiled
Nearly everything he published was banned, burned or suppressed His famous cry was “crush the infamous...
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