"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.
- 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
- An Aesop: In every single philosophical tale.
- Alien Invasion: Micromégas may be the Ur Example.
- Badass Bookworm: Candide and many other characters
- Crapsack World: In Candide, everywhere except Eldorado. In L'Ingénu, everywhere except in the main character's tribe.
- Deus Ex Homine: Provides the page quote.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Candide
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In Candide, "the sage Doctor Pangloss giv[es] a lecture in experimental philosophy to her mother's chambermaid". "[S]he perfectly well understood the force of the doctor's reasoning upon causes and effects".
- Our Giants Are Bigger: The alien protagonists of Micromégas, for whom it only takes 36 hours to circumnavigate the globe. One of them only gets his lower legs wet in the process, while the other only gets his ankles wet.
- Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Enlightenment, despite the cynicism.
- Skilled but Naive: Candide and l'Ingénu both have names which means "naive". Indeed, they are skilled in many ways, especially books, but very ignorant towards the reality of their world.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Rather cynicism, but with some idealist hints.