Voltaire (philosopher)

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Atelier de Nicolas de Largillière, portrait de Voltaire, détail (musée Carnavalet) -002.jpg

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."


François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) (the original one). French dude, 1694-1778. Satirical philosopher. He is best known for his witty defense of civil liberties, freedom of religion, and free trade. His views earned him a stay in the Bastille, where he gained his penname. He would go on to inspire multiple philosophers and satirical authors, especially amongst those who supported his views. His writings also inspired both the French and American revolutions. He was also a scientist who published multiple essays. Prolific, as he published more than 20,000 letters and 2,000 books and pamphlets. The name Voltaire comes from Arouet le jeune ("Arouet the Young"), converted to Latin script where U=V and J=I; AROVET L I -> VOLTAIRE. He is eminently quotable, and mis-quotable.

For the musician, go here.

Works written by Voltaire include:
  • Letters on the English, 1733, revised 1778
  • Zadig, 1747
  • Micromégas, 1752
  • Candide, 1759,
  • Ce qui plaît aux dames, 1764
  • Philosophical Dictionary, 1764
  • The Ingenue, 1767
Voltaire provides examples of the following tropes: