Archive for January 9th, 2010

Candide or Optimism, is a French satire written in 1759


Written by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment
I’ve recently been raised as a Freemason, in my search and quest for personal growth and development as well as a better understanding of the human condition—I’ve been drawn to this essay by Francois-Marie Arouet, better know by the pen name Voltaire.

It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply optimism) by his mentor, Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide’s slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not outright rejecting optimism, advocating an enigmatic precept, “we must cultivate our garden”, in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”.

“Voltaire was a quintessential Enlightenment figure being a penetrative observer of the human situation and a champion against injustice and hypocrisy” —Bro. Gerald Reilly.


I hope to one day get my hands on this french essay.

—enjoy, OB1

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