The 18th-century French writer and Enlightenment thinker, whose pen name was Voltaire, believed in free will, the power of empirical science and a separation of church and state. Voltaire's writings often took the form of polemical satires and displayed his support for civil rights such as freedom of expression, the right to a trial and the right of religious freedom. He denounced what he saw as the hypocrisies and injustices of his time and often wrote of the abuses enacted upon the common people by royalty and the intolerance that he believed was being encouraged within French society.Know More
The defining principle in Voltaire's beliefs was the concept of liberty. The idea of liberty was a central issue of debate and discussion among the writers and philosophers of the Enlightenment, and Voltaire's writings often drew from the ideas of Thomas Hobbes and Gottfried Leibniz who came before him.
A great admirer of Isaac Newton's scientific approach to understanding the workings of nature, Voltaire often grappled with understanding the place and relationship of ethics and human existence within a universe governed by rational laws. He believed that mankind is not comprised of deterministic machines following the immutable laws of the universe and that humans instead possessed free will and the ability to choose what actions they should take. Voltaire believed that those individuals who were capable of determining the correctness of their actions through their own powers of reasoning would find the proper course to take and would do so based on free will.Learn more about Philosophy
Voltaire wrote "Candide" as a satire of the then-prevalent philosophical optimism advanced by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Voltaire, moved by contemporary events like the Seven Years' War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, felt that optimism was a naive way of viewing the world.Full Answer >
Overall, Voltaire had a pessimistic view of human nature. He believed that there was no such thing as a perfect world, but that the world could be made better with some work.Full Answer >
Permaculture principles focus on developing sustainable architecture and regenerative habitat. Wikipedia cites principles set forth by David Holmgren in "Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability" that include observing and interacting, catching and storing energy, obtaining a yield, and applying self-regulation and accepting feedback. Permaculture is a subtype of ecological and environmental design.Full Answer >
Transcendentalists believed in Christian Unitarianism, in the efficacy of human nature, the unknowable nature of religious truth and the corrupting influence of society. Transcendentalists were influenced by a variety of diverse sources, including Romanticism, German idealist philosophy and the Hindu religion.Full Answer >