Voltaires Philosophical Dictionary

Voltaire



Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary

Project Gutenberg's Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, by Voltaire This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary
Author: Voltaire
Release Date: June 12, 2006 [EBook #18569]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK VOLTAIRE'S PHILOSOPHICAL ***

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Lisa Reigel and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

[TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Greek words in this text have been transliterated and placed between +marks+.]

Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary
New York
CARLTON HOUSE
MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

PREFACE
This book does not demand continuous reading; but at whatever place one opens it, one will find matter for reflection. The most useful books are those of which readers themselves compose half; they extend the thoughts of which the germ is presented to them; they correct what seems defective to them, and they fortify by their reflections what seems to them weak.
It is only really by enlightened people that this book can be read; the ordinary man is not made for such knowledge; philosophy will never be his lot. Those who say that there are truths which must be hidden from the people, need not be alarmed; the people do not read; they work six days of the week, and on the seventh go to the inn. In a word, philosophical works are made only for philosophers, and every honest man must try to be a philosopher, without pluming himself on being one.
This alphabet is extracted from the most estimable works which are not commonly within the reach of the many; and if the author does not always mention the sources of his information, as being well enough known to the learned, he must not be suspected of wishing to take the credit for other people's work, because he himself preserves anonymity, according to this word of the Gospel: "Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth."

CONTENTS
PAGE PREFACE BY VOLTAIRE 5
ADULTERY 11 ADVOCATE 16 ANCIENTS AND MODERNS 17 ANIMALS 21 ANTIQUITY 24 ARTS 27 ASTROLOGY 29 ATHEISM 32 AUTHORITY 46 AUTHORS 48
BANISHMENT 50 BANKRUPTCY 51 BEAUTY 53 BISHOP 55 BOOKS 57 BOULEVERD 60 BOURGES 61 BRAHMINS 62
CHARACTER 65 CHARLATAN 68 CIVIL LAWS 73 CLIMATE 74 COMMON SENSE 78 CONCATENATION OF EVENTS 80 CONTRADICTIONS 83 CORN 85 CROMWELL 88 CUSTOMS 94
DEMOCRACY 96 DESTINY 98 DEVOUT 102
ECCLESIASTICAL MINISTRY 103 EMBLEM 106 ENGLISH THEATRE, ON THE 110 ENVY 112 EQUALITY 114 EXPIATION 118 EXTREME 122 EZOURVEIDAM 125
FAITH 126 FALSE MINDS 128 FATHERLAND 131 FINAL CAUSES 133 FRAUD 136 FREE-WILL 142 FRENCH 146 FRIENDSHIP 150
GOD 151
HELVETIA 156 HISTORY 157
IGNORANCE 163 IMPIOUS 166
JOAN OF ARC 168
KISSING 173
LANGUAGES 178 LAWS 184 LIBERTY 187 LIBRARY 191 LIMITS OF THE HUMAN MIND 194 LOCAL CRIMES 195 LOVE 197 LUXURY 200
MAN 203 MAN IN THE IRON MASK 204 MARRIAGE 210 MASTER 211 MEN OF LETTERS 214 METAMORPHOSIS 216 MILTON, ON THE REPROACH OF PLAGIARISM AGAINST 217 MOHAMMEDANS 220 MOUNTAIN 221
NAKEDNESS 222 NATURAL LAW 224 NATURE 227 NECESSARY 231 NEW NOVELTIES 236
PHILOSOPHER 237 POWER, OMNIPOTENCE 240 PRAYERS 245 PR¨¦CIS OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY 247 PREJUDICES 251
RARE 255 REASON 257 RELIGION 259
SECT 267 SELF-ESTEEM 271 SOUL 273 STATES, GOVERNMENTS 294 SUPERSTITION 297
TEARS 299 THEIST 301 TOLERANCE 302 TRUTH 305 TYRANNY 308
VIRTUE 309
WHY? 313
DECLARATION OF ADMIRERS, QUESTIONERS AND DOUBTERS 315

ADULTERY
NOTE ON A MAGISTRATE WRITTEN ABOUT 1764
A senior magistrate of a French town had the misfortune to have a wife who was debauched by a priest before her marriage, and who since covered herself with disgrace by public scandals: he was so moderate as to leave her without noise. This man, about forty years old, vigorous and of agreeable appearance, needs a woman; he is too scrupulous to seek to seduce another man's wife, he fears intercourse with a public woman or with a widow who would serve him as concubine. In this disquieting and sad state, he addresses to his Church a plea of which the following is a pr¨¦cis:
My wife is criminal, and it is I who am punished. Another woman is necessary as a comfort to my life, to my virtue even; and the sect of which I am a member refuses her to me; it forbids me to marry an honest girl. The civil laws of to-day, unfortunately founded on canon law, deprive me of the rights of humanity. The Church reduces me to seeking either the pleasures it reproves, or the shameful compensations it condemns; it tries to force me to be criminal.
I cast my eyes over all the peoples of the earth; there is not a single one except the Roman Catholic people among whom divorce and a new marriage are not natural rights.
What upheaval of the rule has therefore made among the Catholics
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 110
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.