Saturday, December 04, 2004

Voltaire

"In a sense, the strength of science at its best is that it is always aware of its limits, aware that knowledge is always growing, always subject to change, never absolute. Because knowledge depends on evidence and reason, arbitrary authority can only be its enemy. "
The most widely-read (and one might say "popular") philosopher of the Enlightment is Fran├žois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire. Voltaire spoke out and ridiculed the institutions of religion, particularly the Catholic Church (I was raised Catholic btw). He argued against the idea of a soul which is separate from the body, though he felt that atheism was almost always fatal to virtue. I haven't read his work but I do plan to pick up the Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy which looks like quite an enjoyable read, actually.
to be continued...

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