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Voltaire "if god did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him" what does it mean?

Voltaire's aphorism first appeared in the Epistle to the Author of "The Three Impostors" (1769), see Voltaire and Religion. The author was an atheist and the "three impostors" were ...
Conifold's user avatar
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Rationalism and Catholicism / Protestantism

To suggest a different perspective, Whitehead writes the following: (page 8-9) The Reformation and the scientific movement were two aspects of the historical revolt which was the dominant ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
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5 votes

The Enlightenment thinkers and the myth of the noble savage

A lot depends on how you draw the lines around the Enlightenment and around philosophy. It would seem that the trope was of much more interest in art and literature than in philosophy. This article ...
Ludwig V's user avatar
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How is it that humans can contemplate individual liberty for some while at the same time accept the idea of owning and selling fellow humans?

(This answer elaborates a bit on R. Barzell's answer.) Charles Mills takes up this question in his book The Racial Contract. The title of Mills' book refers to a kind of inversion of classical ...
Dan Hicks's user avatar
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Does enlightenment mean loss of all emotions?

If enlightenment had such a meaning, all the enlightened persons would sit in some corner without doing anything. But enlightened persons realize the truth about this material world. Many ...
SonOfThought's user avatar
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The Enlightenment thinkers and the myth of the noble savage

One of the motifs of enlightenment thinking was the idea of the 'State of Nature'. This idea was used by a number of people — Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Adam Smith, etc — and was meant to imagine how ...
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What is the meaning of this Voltaire quote?

It's a hard one to parse because it's part of a poem. The syntax has been distorted to produce the rhyme. In a nutshell: "the five senses nature gave us, though imperfect, are the only way we can ...
armand's user avatar
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Is color intrinsic to light?

The word color has 3 different definitions, depending on context. When speaking about the color of an object, we're referring to a property of the object. Which wavelengths of light it absorbs or ...
Zane Scheepers's user avatar
3 votes

How is it that humans can contemplate individual liberty for some while at the same time accept the idea of owning and selling fellow humans?

They reserved these rights for humans and called those they wished to enslave "subhuman". Humans do this all the time; they manage to maintain contradictory positions by creating distinctions ...
R. Barzell's user avatar
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What is the philosophical status of the enlightenment project?

“The Enlightenment Project” is a phrase used mostly by its critics—or rather the critics of an idea which they make into a phrase to criticize. To the extent that it means the triumph of ideals ...
ChristopherE's user avatar
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Problem understanding a paragraph about the Enlightenment project

Compare with Relativism and Social constructionism and Perspectivism. Enlightenment whas founded on the concept of reason and thus on the existence of an absolute truth, the existence of which ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
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Trying to understand Horkheimer/Adorno Dialectic of Enlightenment

I linked another answer of mine in the comments, which should clarify some aspects of the question. The point is that enlightenment, which proliferated freedom, lead to institutional and moral ...
Philip Klöcking's user avatar
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What is meant by: "Human rights were discovered (not invented!)"?

Abstract right Abstract right emerges and is recognised as rationally necessary at a certain stage in the historical development of Spirit. It is broadly the right of an individual to determine their ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
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What is meant by: "Human rights were discovered (not invented!)"?

On the briefest level, Hegel's position in the Philosophy of Right is that rights are a natural outgrowth of the idea of a free rational will. The discovery of the actuality of these rights is then a ...
virmaior's user avatar
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Does enlightenment mean loss of all emotions?

Wikipedia describes spiritual enlightenment as follows: Enlightenment is the "full comprehension of a situation". The term is commonly used to denote the Age of Enlightenment, but is also used in ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
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2 votes

Is it light that is first or darkness?

In Suhrawardis philosophy, light is the foundation of all being. This is a development on Al-Ghazalis Niche of all Lights, which takes as central a famous verse in the Qu'ran. The proximity or ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
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What ideas from Ancient Greece influenced enlightenment philosophers?

Voltaire and Diderot, Enlightenment figures sure enough, venerated Socrates. What did they find in or get from him ? Crucially the Enlightenment celebrated reason and virtue; and Socrates was seen to ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
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Was Adorno trying to destroy the enlightenment?

No, he was not trying to "destroy" enlightenment. In the preface to Dialectic of Enlightenment the authors mention a "positive" conception of enlightenment: "The critique of ...
Ryan's user avatar
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According to Horkheimer and Adorno, how is the Enlightenment Dialectical?

I think saying the end of Enlightenment was totalitarianism is a bit too negative, thus I will offer a more positive reading. Wir hegen keinen Zweifel (…), dass die Freiheit in der Gesellschaft vom ...
Philip Klöcking's user avatar
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Relation of dialectics, as of Hegel and Marx, toward Enlightenment liberalism

In Platonism and Neoplatonism, dialectic assumes an ontological and metaphysical role in that it becomes the process whereby the intellect passes from sensibles to intelligibles, raising from idea to ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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What is the difference between Modernity and Enlightenment?

It is certainly true that The Enlightenment is associated with Modernism-(or Modernity), though the deeper origins of Modernity can be found a few centuries earlier in Northern Italy-(specifically ...
Alex's user avatar
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What is the difference between Modernity and Enlightenment?

Modern Christian writers refer to "modernity" as the era in which God and religion were set aside as the ultimate sources of knowledge, and they were replaced by science and reason. The ...
Dcleve's user avatar
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How Humanism, the philosophy of the Enlightenment, and classical liberalism are related?

The relationship between classical liberalism and the Enlightenment is easy to identify. John Locke is a paradigm philosopher of the Enlightenment and often identified as the father of English ...
Ludwig V's user avatar
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1 vote

How did Edward Herbert explain "the problem of evil"?

To start, Herbert seems to propose that evil has divine origin: That what so universal are, must come From causes great and far. Furthermore, in his view, evil is not that different form God: "...
Yuri Zavorotny's user avatar
1 vote

Voltaire "if god did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him" what does it mean?

Here is the verse that says it: If the heavens, stripped of his noble imprint, Could ever cease to attest to his being, If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. Let the wise man ...
Shardul's user avatar
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Does enlightenment mean loss of all emotions?

Does enlightenment mean loss of all emotions? No. Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without the ...
Mark Andrews's user avatar
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1 vote

Is it light that is first or darkness?

In general relativity's solution to Olbers' paradox, the darkness can be interpreted as "the increasing separation between us and everything else." Everywhere you look there is some light, but we see ...
elliot svensson's user avatar
1 vote

What is the philosophical status of the enlightenment project?

I have some idea about political thought, and Machiavelli is supposed to have been an early enlightenment thinker, in a conventional sense, and I have read a lot of his works. In fact the definition I ...
user2277550's user avatar

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