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The Philosophy of History

by Voltaire Author · Thomas Kiernan Other


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Have you ever wondered how different worldviews have shaped history? How dominant religious or political groups have changed the way past events have been interpreted, written, and recorded? Voltaire, the greatest philosophical mind to come out of the Enlightenment, has tackled these very questions in his essay The Philosophy of History. Voltaire attempts to reinterpret the moral, aesthetic, and religious views and the customs and practices that prevailed in ancient civilizations. In The Philosophy of History, he takes a philosophical look through history from different races of man to legislators who have spoken in the name of the Gods. This enthralling essay is an essential read for scholars and students of the Enlightenment.

The Philosophy of History was first published in London in 1776 and is a typical representation of Voltaire's attitude toward life and reality. His prime concern was to disprove and demolish the established notions that governed contemporary affairs; they were, in his penetrating view, patently ridiculous. He spread his iconoclastic aim throughout his work. The model for all subsequent dissenters, Voltaire wrote with courage and conviction most importantly, with controlled genius that lent to his words and ideas a strength and aggregate that has resisted the erosive influence of time.

This ebook is derived from the original edition published in 1776, with a preface by Thomas Kiernan

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Philosophical Library
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Voltaire (Author)

Voltaire (1694–1778) was the pseudonym of François-Marie Arouet, one of the most prominent writers and thinkers of the Enlightenment. After studying at the Collège de Clermont (now the Lycée Louis-le-Grand), he began writing philosophical works as...

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