The Fables of Reason: A Study of Voltaire's Contes Philosophiques

The Fables of Reason: A Study of Voltaire's Contes Philosophiques

by Roger Pearson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0198158807

ISBN-13: 9780198158806

Pub. Date: 05/28/1993

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA


This is the first comprehensive study in English of Voltaire's contes philosophiques--the philosophical tales for which he is best remembered and which include his masterpiece Candide. Pearson situates each story in its historical and intellectual context and offers new readings in light of modern critical thinking. He rejects the traditional…  See more details below

Overview


This is the first comprehensive study in English of Voltaire's contes philosophiques--the philosophical tales for which he is best remembered and which include his masterpiece Candide. Pearson situates each story in its historical and intellectual context and offers new readings in light of modern critical thinking. He rejects the traditional view that Voltaire's contes were the private expression of his philosophical perplexity, and argues that it is narrative that is Voltaire's essential mode of thought. His book is a witty, lucid, and scholarly guide to the "fables of reason" through which Voltaire's skepticism undermined the contemporary religious and philosophical explanations of human experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198158806
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/28/1993
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
5.69(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.83(d)
Lexile:
1440L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Note on References
IThe Fables of Reason
1The conte philosophique and its Readers3
2Statistics and Symposia: L'Homme aux quarante ecus20
3Fallen Fables33
IIThe Voyage of Reason and the Problem of Evil
4Party Games: Le Crocheter borgne and Cosi-Sancta41
5Man in the Universe: Micromegas49
6Man in the World: Le Monde comme il va, Zadig, Memnon, and Lettre d'un turc72
7Small Consolations: Songe de Platon, Histoire des voyages de Scarmentado, and Les Deux Consoles102
8The Candid Conte: Candide ou l'optimisme110
IIILiterature and Enlightenment
9Education and 'Merry Hissing': Histoire d'un bon brahmin, Pot-pourri, Le Blanc et le noir, Jeannot et Colin, Petite digression, and Aventure indienne139
10Hearts and Minds: L'Ingenu168
11'L'univers en raccourci': la Princesse de Babylone and Les Lettres d'Amabed194
12Totem and Taboo: Le Taureau blanc212
13Anglicans and Academics: Aventure de la memoire, Eloge historique de la raison, Les Oreilles du comte de Chesterfield, and Histoire de Jenni219
Conclusion241
Voltaire's Contes251
Select Bibliography252
Index263

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