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From Act to Fact

The Transformation of Suicide in Western Thought

Daniel Gordon

, Hume, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Goethe, he simply erased the important literary and philosophical discussions of suicide that came before him. Durkheim, however, did not singlehandedly transform the representation of suicide from an open moral

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A Tale of Three Candides

Sfar, Meyran and Delcourt Recount Voltaire

Matthew Screech

Since the millennium, bande dessinée artists have retold Voltaire's Candide three times. The first Candide is by Joann Sfar, the second by Philippe Meyran, and the third, by Gorian Delpâture, Michel Dufranne and Vujadin Radovanovic, is being published by Delcourt. This article begins with a brief presentation of the work. Taking our three Candides in chronological order, I then examine how Sfar, Meyran and the Delcourt version retell the story. Specific excerpts are studied, with emphasis on how far they convey Voltaire's irony. We shall see how Sfar finds new ways to infuse Candide with irony. Analogies with medieval illuminations intimate that the great iconoclast is being sanctified. Moreover, Sfar's grotesque artwork contrasts with Voltaire's elegant prose. Thus, Sfar adds a visual dimension to Voltaire's incongruities between what is said and what is meant. Sfar also jokes about ideas raised by Voltaire including philosophical optimism, anti-Semitism and Utopianism. Meyran depicts the hero's sequence of misfortunes with faux naïf caricature. Thus, he makes visible an incongruity between narrative developments and the manner of their recounting. Yet Meyran usually weakens (or eliminates) irony, while playing down philosophical and polemical issues. The Delcourt version employs elegant, technically accomplished artwork. The narrative is not without irony although engagement is intermittent. This work places emphasis on recounting a fast-moving adventure rather than elaborating upon the story's philosophical underpinnings.

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Wu Wei East and West

Humanism and Anti-Humanism in Daoist and Enlightenment Political Thought

Eric Goodfield

Some contemporary authors have witnessed the flourishing of the Sinophilia of the Early Enlightenment and the direct impact of Daoist and Chinese thought on the ideas of Spinoza, Leibniz, Voltaire, Quesnay and the philosophes and have proceeded to make overt connections between the Daoist notion of 'non-action' or Wu wei and Enlightenment doctrines of laissez-faire. In contrast to such approaches, I argue that these frequent conceptual comparisons have often been inappropriate where touchstone humanist notions devoid of the Dao de Jing's fundamental spiritual and metaphysical commitments are brought forward as evidence of interconnection.

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Jeffrey D. Burson

This article considers the methodology of entangled history and its potential for nuancing or circumventing scholarly controversies over the nature and extent of the Enlightenment in eighteenth-century religious thought. After sketching the development of entangled history theory and its potential applicability to studying the Enlightenment, the rest of the article provides a case study of one way in which the insights discussed in the first parts of the article can be applied to current controversies about how historians construct the concept of Enlightenment. As will be shown, the transdiscursive entanglement of Jesuit missionary output with the debates between Voltaire and Bergier illustrates the mutability and rhetorical malleability of historical paradigms concerning the Enlightenment and religion.

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David Allen Harvey

Despite its long-standing reputation for skepticism and irreverence, the Enlightenment took religion quite seriously. Historians have long recognized this fact, and have often represented the intellectual history of the eighteenth century in terms of the struggle between religious faith and philosophical skepticism. One common view of the period holds that religious dogmatism and intolerance, memorably condemned by Voltaire as l’Infâme, served as the negative pole against which the positive Enlightenment ideals of secularism, reason, and tolerance were articulated. Nearly a century ago, Ernst Cassirer characterized this view (which he did not entirely share) by writing, “French Encyclopedism declares war openly on religion,” accusing it of “having been an eternal hindrance to intellectual progress.” Around the same time, Carl Becker argued that the eighteenth-century philosophes sought to recast the “heavenly city” imagined by church fathers such as St. Augustine into a vision of a terrestrial utopian future. A generation later, Peter Gay described the philosophes as “modern pagans,” who “used their classical learning to free themselves from their Christian heritage.” For such scholars, the historical signifi cance of the Enlightenment lay in its break with religious tradition and embrace of “modernity”, defined primarily by secularism and rationality.

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Leif Lewin

. Voltaire made fun of it when thanking Rousseau for his book about the noble savages: Would he be equal to them ? Reading Rousseau’s book made Voltaire long to go on all fours, a practice he, however, had given up some sixty years ago ( Voltaire [1755

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Colette française (et fille de zouave)

Colette and the French Singularity

Kathleen Antonioli

Française exemplified by Colette is no longer the witty salonnière , trading barbed flirtations with Voltaire. Instead, she is closer to a plant, secreting her writing out of the pores of her feminine body, rather than producing it with her intellect

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Boris Maslov

in fact driven by a more specific panegyrical intent, A la Verité (1766), Voltaire takes issue with Rousseau's dismissal of military valor. Addressing the “illustrious plagues of the earth” ( illustres fléaux de la terre ), Voltaire proclaims: “I

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Translating the Concept of Experiment in the Late Eighteenth Century

From the English Philosophical Context to the Greek-Speaking Regions of the Ottoman Empire

Eirini Goudarouli and Dimitris Petakos

’s A Treatise of the Mechanical Powers (1727), Henry Pemberton’s A View of Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophy (1728), Voltaire’s Éléments de la philosophie de Newton (1738), 58 or Colin Maclaurin’s An Account of Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophical

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Camille Robcis and Benjamin Poole

today—a special relationship with their intellectuals. From Voltaire, Hugo, Zola, Sartre, and Beauvoir, a long tradition of intellectuals in France has taken pride in its ability to address universal questions and “speak truth to power.” Many scholars on