Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet De (1694-1778) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 18 pages of information about Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet De (1694–1778).
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Philosophy

Although he was fully familiar with the French tradition, especially Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Pierre Gassendi, René Descartes, and Pierre Bayle, thinkers with a common interest in skepticism, following his stay in London Voltaire drew the essentials of his philosophical position from the English tradition. From Locke's thought, he adopted the critique of the notion of innate ideas; the role assigned to philosophical inquiry as the means for best determining the faculties and limits of human understanding; and the acceptance of the unknowable nature of the essence of things. These precepts set him on the road to ontological skepticism. Doubt regarding external things was mirrored by doubt about human interiority, concerning that it is possible to believe that its distinguishing constituent, thought, is nothing more than a product of matter. Locke had indicated the possibility of "thinking matter" and...

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This section contains 5,375 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Voltaire, Franois-Marie Arouet De (1694-1778) Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet De (1694-1778) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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