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Showing posts with the label Voltaire

Book Review: Voltaire the Universal Man

Voltaire the Universal Man by Derek Parker delves into the very chaotic but interesting life of one of the world’s greatest playwrights and thinkers. Voltaire was born in 1694 whose real name was François-Marie Arouet. He wrote thousands of books, letters, and theatricals in his attempt to help people to think beyond the obvious. He railed against short logic, intolerance, dogmatic blindness, war, and at times established royalty.   In many ways he adopted American values and encouraged others in his country to follow the same beliefs. Taught by Jesuits his family pushed him to become an attorney. However, he rebelled and instead became a writer and poet. Because of the way he thought about the world, and his criticism of some Paris practices, he spent numerous times imprisoned. An eleven month stay in the Bastille caused estrangement from his family but also freed him to pursue his own goals.  His personality and fame can be seen in one of his conflicts. When a Paris n

Book Review: The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant

The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant is an excellent book that offers an overview of philosophy throughout history. From Aristotle to more modern thinkers the spectrum is defined. It provides an explanation of each of the philosophies so that readers understand what they mean and the personal histories of each person. As an overview, it does not move into specific depth but does afford a broad range of understanding.   It is a great place to understand how leading thinkers influence economics, science, and life.  The life of philosophers is not easy and often results in a tragic end. As they question the nature of life, truth, God, and reality they most often rub against more powerful members of society. To make dreams into reality inevitably means that many will win but some members will lose. Of course those who lose cling to the power of their previous glory. Think of Socrates and his ethics that was designed to create an efficient society but instead ended in his poison