Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire
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Philosophical Dictionary
By Voltaire

Philosophical Dictionary

By (author) See other recent books by Voltaire
Translated by Theodore Besterman See other recent books by Theodore Besterman
Format: Paperback
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Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire

Book Description

"Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary", first published in 1764, is a series of short, radical essays - alphabetically arranged - that form a brilliant and bitter analysis of the social and religious conventions that then dominated eighteenth-century French thought. One of the masterpieces of the Enlightenment, this enormously influential work of sardonic wit - more a collection of essays arranged alphabetically, than a conventional dictionary - considers such diverse subjects as Abraham and Atheism, Faith and Freedom of Thought, Miracles and Moses. Repeatedly condemned by civil and religious authorities, Voltaire's work argues passionately for the cause of reason and justice, and criticizes Christian theology and contemporary attitudes towards war and society - and claims, as he regards the world around him: 'common sense is not so common'.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140442571
ISBN-10: 014044257X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 23mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 27-Sep-1979
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Voltaire

Francois-Marie Arouet, writing under the pseudonym Voltaire, was born in 1694 into a Parisian bourgeois family. Educated by Jesuits, he was an excellent pupil but one quickly enraged by dogma. An early rift with his father--who wished him to study law--led to his choice of letters as a career. Insinuating himself into court circles, he became notorious for lampoons on leading notables and was twice imprisoned in the Bastille. By his mid-thirties his literary activities precipitated a four-year exile in England where he won the praise of Swift and Pope for his political tracts. His publication, three years later in France, of Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (1733)--an attack on French Church and State--forced him to flee again. For twenty years Voltaire lived chiefly away from Paris. In this, his most prolific period, he wrote such satirical tales as "Zadig" (1747) and "Candide" (1759). His old age at Ferney, outside Geneva, was made bright by his adopted daughter, "Belle et Bonne," and marked by his intercessions in behalf of victims of political injustice. Sharp-witted and lean in his white wig, impatient with all appropriate rituals, he died in Paris in 1778--the foremost French author of his day.

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