Q:

How does Voltaire view human nature?

A:

Quick Answer

Overall, Voltaire had a pessimistic view of human nature. He believed that there was no such thing as a perfect world, but that the world could be made better with some work.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

French philosopher Voltaire believed that if humans replaced their superstition and ignorance with rational thought and knowledge, the world would be a better place.

Despite his belief that a perfect world did not exist, he did create a utopia in one of his most well-known pieces of prose, "Candide." In "Candide," he critiqued the philosophy of metaphysical optimism. In addition to his works of prose, his writings focused on challenging common beliefs at the time related to topics like military and political events.

Learn more about Philosophy
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What did transcendentalists believe?

    A:

    Transcendentalists believed in Christian Unitarianism, in the efficacy of human nature, the unknowable nature of religious truth and the corrupting influence of society. Transcendentalists were influenced by a variety of diverse sources, including Romanticism, German idealist philosophy and the Hindu religion.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you debate whether human nature is good or evil?

    A:

    The best way to hold your own in a debate as complex as the one about human nature is to understand what philosophers, scientists, psychologists and others have already contributed to it. Typically, "human nature" refers to the set of traits that human beings are born with. This means that anything which people learn, including culture, is not part of their nature. If it were part of their nature, they would not need to learn it.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Voltaire famous for?

    A:

    Voltaire, born François-Marie Arouet, was one of the most famous of French enlightenment thinkers or philosophers. As an author, Voltaire worked in a variety of different media, including novels, short stories, plays, essays, poetry and pamphlets. His most famous work is likely the scathing satire, "Candide," subtitled "Optimism."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did Voltaire contribute to the Enlightenment?

    A:

    Voltaire's contributions to Enlightenment philosophy were primarily in the form of the popularization of British ideals amongst French intellectuals and his outspoken calls to action when it came to promoting the "common sense" ideas of the Enlightenment. According to Oxford University's Voltaire Society, Voltaire's contributions to the Enlightenment were generally not particularly original, and his philosophy was based heavily on the works of English writers like Newton and Locke.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore