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The Philosophes of the Enlightenment Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot.

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Presentation on theme: "The Philosophes of the Enlightenment Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Philosophes of the Enlightenment Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot

2 Voltaire Brief History Born in Paris as Francois Marie Arouet in 1694 Know for his humor and wit, Voltaire was imprisoned and later exiled for offending nobles. During his exile in England, Voltaire studied Locke’s philosophy and Newton’s scientific achievements. Voltaire also studied English religious toleration and the constitutional monarchy. “Fredrick the Great” invited Voltaire to live in Potsdam for three years. He returned to Paris after his stay in Potsdam. Voltaire died in Paris in 1778 and left behind over 14,000 letters and 2,000 books and pamphlets. Voltaire Main Beliefs Advocate of freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion Opposed absolute monarchy in favor of a republic Fierce opponent of slavery due to his belief in unalienable rights Proponent of religious toleration Important Writings Letters on the English – Praised their religious and intellectual toleration, and admired its scientific and economic prosperity. Voltaire enjoyed the moderate political atmosphere of England. Elements of the Philosophy of Newton- This book popularized the thoughts of Isaac Newton across the continent. Candide - Satirical novel attacking war, religion, persecution, and unwarranted optimism about the human condition.

3 Montesquieu Born to wealthy family as Charles Lau’s de Secandant, baron de Montesquieu. Wrote Spirit of Laws which explained that there was no universal law and laws should be adapted for those who they were towards Beliefs Believed in three types of governments: monarchy, republic, and despotism. Believed in a constitution as well as educating people to better the country Commerce is not to be controlled by the government Separated governmental power into sovereign and administrative Separated administrative powers into executive, legislative, and judicial. Each should be separate but dependent on each other. Hello, my name is montequieu

4 Rousseau

5 Diderot (1713-1784) Edited the Encyclopedia in 175 1 17 volumes published between 1751 and 1772 Collection of ideas of the time period, introduced to the public mind Science, contemporary affairs, philosophy, religion, natural history, economics, mathematics, politics, etc. Objective: “ [to] gather all the knowledge in the world” (Wikipedia) First publication to include the mechanical arts of machinery and laboring Beliefs: – Hostile towards slavery – Critical of colonial empires and European domination – Condemned inhumane treatment of Native Americans (forced labor) – Claimed Europeans greed had returned their behavior to barbaric ways, making them inferior to the natives – Equality Other works: – Pensees Philosophiques-sufficiency of natural religion Diderot


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