The age of voltaire is but one small portion part ix of xi of durants matchless story of civilization what more can or need be said best consumed in bite sized pieces the entirety of durants monumental work took a lifetime to create and for most of us will take almost as long to appreciate. In many ways voltaires enlightenment philosophy is much like that of his contemporaries however there is one major difference that is worth noting according to the european graduate school voltaire was a harsh critic of religious dogma but unlike other men of the enlightenment he never expressed atheist beliefs. The age of enlightenment was preceded by and closely associated with the scientific revolution earlier philosophers whose work influenced the enlightenment included bacon and descartes the major figures of the enlightenment included beccaria diderot hume kant montesquieu rousseau adam smith and voltairesome european rulers including catherine ii of russia joseph ii of austria and . Voltaire was a man of paradoxes the bourgeois who as de voltaire gave himself aristocratic pretensions but who as plain voltaire later became a hero of the revolution the conservative in aesthetic matters who appeared as a radical in religious and political issues he was above all the master ironist who perhaps more than any other
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