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Philosophical Dictionary (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,074 ratings  ·  29 reviews
A masterpiece of Enlightenment-era literature, this collection of brief essays constitutes a thought-provoking analysis of 18th-century social and religious conventions. Voltaire intended to entertain as well as to enlighten, and his sardonic wit lends a modern feeling to these writings on God, mortality, the church, freedom, justice, and other timeless concerns.
Paperback, 438 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1764)
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Darran Mclaughlin
Wonderful. This book exemplifies everything positive about the enlightenment. Voltaire is clear, crisp, witty and learned. He was a formidable enemy of the establishment, wielding his immense reading, logic and irony like a scalpel, cutting through the obfuscation and bullshit of the aristocracy and church. Nietzsche admired him and he shares his lively, sprightly, literary style, which contrasts with the heavy, ponderous style of most German philosphy. Unfortunately French philosophers abandone ...more
Alessandro
Il titolo dell'opera mi ha ingannato, sebbene la colpa sia soltanto mia: filosofico mi ha fatto pensare alla logica, all'ontologia, alla gnoseologia, branche della filosofia che mi interessano in misura notevolmente maggiore rispetto alla teologia e alla filosofia della religione; tuttavia, proprio a questi due campi, insieme all'etica (malamente trattata), appartengono la maggior parte delle voci. Così, gli appassionati di religione troveranno moltissimo materiale di loro interesse, scrupolosam ...more
Bjorn
As much as I love Candide, and as clever and funny and still relevant as Voltaire often is in this series of rants, something annoys me about it (beyond just the ridiculous antisemitism). Someone said that Voltaire would have been a very prolific blogger today, and this certainly reads like that; unfortunately I can't shake the feeling that Voltaire would have been the sort of smugly self-obsessed blogger who thinks everyone else is completely irrational while his prejudices are perfectly logica ...more
Alonso
hard to write a better review than the ones read in here, but i guess i'll just mention that i had to recommend it to all my 'friends' here in goodreads. it is, imo, a must read for anyone who reads.
Sarah Echo
The issues explored in this book are still relevant today. I found myself agreeing with a lot of his views, especially those on Tolerance and Beauty. His definition of beauty, of its relativism, is often repeated today: “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This is of course true, but often forgotten in today’s Hollywood-obsessed world. We are barraged by images of stick-thin models and actresses and told that this is the standard of beauty. The truth is, there is no standard of beauty. Even V ...more
Gabriele Romano
il nome del libro può trarre in inganno. Chi cerca un dizionario contenente le voci dell'entologia, esistenzialismo, etc,... insomma tutte le voci e i rami della filosofia, rimarrà deluso. Questo libro rachiude tutte voci sulle questioni di vita: religione, amore, sesso, amicizia etc... in cui Voltaire, massimo esponente dell'illuminismo da una spiegazione razionale basandosi anche su molti cenni storici. E' evidente l'influenza di Voltaire che darà negli anni seguenti a Nietzsche ma il filosofo ...more
Mr_wormwood
Diderot and Voltaire are my two favourite Enlightenment philosophers. What I like particularly about Voltaire is his mischievous sense of humour. Much has been written about his wit and his irony so its a pity that the central place humour occupied within the Enlightenment is so rarely appreciated. I guess for every Voltaire, playful, irreverent there's two or three Bentham's, serious, matter of fact, dryly rational. I do enjoy the thought that The Enlightenment could of been philosophy's greate ...more
Alan
Peut-etre suffise cette: " La Foi consiste à croire, non ce qui semble vrai, mais ce qui semble faux à notre entendement."
Lane Wilkinson
An irreverent look at 18th century intellectualism by one of the masters of satire. Apologetic theology never had it so rough.
Alex Rubenstein
He asks great questions--insightful and preternatural for his time. A complement to Candide on a larger scale of philosophy, but troubling in its contradictions that I am surprised he himself did not catch. Voltaire clearly presents himself as a devoutly religious individual with immense respect for God. He presents now defunct arguments (per evolution and natural selection) about the existence of God as fact based on the beauty of the universe and faculties of man to behave in his environment. ...more
Brendan Boehning
Endlessly re-readable and still distinctly relevant, with all the wit and irony one could hope for. Essential
Edward
Introduction

--Philosophical Dictionary

Chronology
Melinda McLaughlin
Ok so it isn't really a novel, so it's hard to really mean "loved it", because who loves an encyclopedia, right? Wrong! It's a brilliant critical analysis of life during the French Enlightenment - notable entries being "Christianity", "Atheism", "Love", so many more! Do yourself a favor, get it, and then read it over a period of time. It's definitely not something I could read all in one sitting, but maybe a few entries per day. Voltaire's wit and sarcasm really cannot be beat, particularly in t ...more
Cecilia
I like his exposition in defence of free speech....but sometimes Voltaire did go on and on abit and his "rant" about Shakespeare....well...it was "hardly" unbiased....from a french man....:)

Though of course, he had better dress-sense...back in the days....nobody liked those grotty white english stockings....for men! :P

ceciliawyu.wordpress.com


Jeremy Egerer
One of the most entertaining books I've ever read -- and essential to anyone who wants to live a reasonable life. Voltaire isn't always perfect: his analyses of Biblical figures are half brilliant and half slanderous; but if you want a man committed to the end of all superstition, and the pursuit of human brotherhood and tolerance, Voltaire is your man. Sarcastic, poetic, powerful.
اویس
the entries in this dictionary were very enlightening and I have to say I had to revise a number of incorrect beliefs which I had,besides it was a very cleverly constructed book and I can understand why it must have been a revolutionary read for its time..Merci Voltaire!
Ismail N.
A critical analysis of trenchant social observations during the English Enlightenment. I'd recommend reading this over a long period of time, as the excerpts put forth are dense, and require some mental acuity for proper digestion and understanding.
Sarah
Yes, it's Voltaire and therefore witty, but it's hard to make a Dictionary an interesting read. The most interesting thing about this book is getting a clearer idea of Voltaire and the world he lived in as he defines it.
Morris Nelms
This might be my favorite philosophical work ever. Voltaire has the rare gift of being accessible, funny, and deep all at once.
I have a audiobook version that I've listened to repeatedly. Great stuff.
Edith
I'd made it through a half of this book and then I decide I have better things to do. Better books to read. Better philosophers to agree with.
Pompeo Turiello
Dissertazioni filosofiche, tra il serio ed il faceto, che racchiudono la summa di un grande intellettuale del passato.
Jon Laiche
This book helped to direct and define my career as scholar, historian, teacher, techie, and modern pagan.
Christian Callari
Out with old, in with the new. The clashing of ages. This book could have been written yesterday.
Farhad
Nobody can upgrade to elite group of society before he think as Philosophical Dictionary
Aaron
I loved what I understood. Especially the bit about the Flood.
Nate
Sep 05, 2014 Nate marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deaccessioned
deaccessioned - abridged/edited version
Thieluar
Interesting read.
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Complete works (1880) : https://archive.org/details/oeuvresco...
In 1694, Age of Enlightenment leader Francois-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire, was born in Paris. Jesuit-educated, he began writing clever verses by the age of 12. He launched a lifelong, successful playwriting career in 1718, interrupted by imprisonment in the Bastille. Upon a second imprisonment, in which Francois adopted the pen na
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More about Voltaire...
Candide Zadig Candide and Other Stories (World's Classics) Candide, Zadig and Selected Stories Micromegas

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