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Forms and Aims of Voltairean Scepticism

Abstract : It seems that the links with the skepticism of Voltaire have not received much attention of researchers so far. Speaking of the skeptical philosophy of Voltaire, it is implicitly recognized him as a philosopher, which doesn't happen in the eyes of a certain academic tradition. The skepticism of Voltaire can be considered as part of a story that errors of the human spirit. Our problem is slightly different. We would like to try to understand the principles and springs of a form of "modern" skepticism considering its scope, its degree (skepticism "methodical", "moderate", "radical"?), or rather its limitations in the sense that Voltaire himself drew criticism. If it shares with the Enlightenment being able to be understood as an instrument of intellectual liberation, a way to teach men to think for themselves, to dare to use their understanding, Voltaire's skepticism is also related to a current Christian, we might almost say Pascalian, which seeks to emphasize the limits of reason. Dare to doubt and dare to know may well stop Voltaire to be two contradictory philosophical injunctions, to become different times of the same desire to know the world and understand it.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 10, 2017 - 12:58:35 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:09:16 AM

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Stéphane Pujol. Forms and Aims of Voltairean Scepticism. Charles, Sébastien; Smith, Plínio J. Scepticism in the Eighteenth Century: Enlightenment, Lumières, Aufklärung, Springer Netherlands, pp.189-204, 2013, International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées, 978-94-007-4809-5 978-94-007-4810-1. ⟨10.1007/978-94-007-4810-1_13⟩. ⟨hal-01464630⟩

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