French and English Philosophers: Descartes, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hobbes

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Cosimo, Inc., Jan 1, 2010 - Literary Collections - 440 pages
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Author names not noted above: J.J. Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes. Originally published between 1909 and 1917 under the name "Harvard Classics," this stupendous 51-volume set-a collection of the greatest writings from literature, philosophy, history, and mythology-was assembled by American academic CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834-1926), Harvard University's longest-serving president. Also known as "Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf," it represented Eliot's belief that a basic liberal education could be gleaned by reading from an anthology of works that could fit on five feet of bookshelf. Volume XXXIV features great works by French and English philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries: [ "Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences," by REN DESCARTES (1596-1650) [ "Letters on the English," by Franois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), aka VOLTAIRE [ "Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind" and "Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar," by JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU (1712-1778) [ "Of Man, Being the First Part of Leviathan," by THOMAS HOBBES (1588-1679)

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Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting th Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences By Rene Descartes Part
Letters on the English Continued
Letter IOn the Quakers
Letter IIOn the Quakers
Letter IIIOn the Quakers
Letter IVOn the Quakers
Letter VOn the Church of England
Letter VIOn the Presbyterians
Letter XIIIOn Mr Locke
Letter XIVOn Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton
Letter XVOn Attraction
Letter XVIOn Sir Isaac Newtons Optics
Letter XVIIOn Infinites in Geometry and Sir Isaac Newtons Chronology
Letter XVIIIOn Tragedy
Letter XIXOn Comedy
Letter XXOn Such of the Nobility as Cultivate the Belles Lettres w

Letter VIIOn the Socinians or Arians or Antitrinitarians
Letter VIIIOn the Parliament
Letter IXOn the Government
Letter XOn Trade
Letter XIOn Inoculation
Letter XIIOn the Lord Bacon
HCVol 34
A Discourse upon the Origin and the Foundation
Second Part
Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar
Of Man Being the First Part of Leviathan

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About the author (2010)

Best known for the quote from his Meditations de prima philosophia, or Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), "I think therefore I am," philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes also devoted much of his time to the studies of medicine, anatomy and meteorology. Part of his Discourse on the Method for Rightly Conducting One's Reason and Searching for the Truth in the Sciences (1637) became the foundation for analytic geometry. Descartes is also credited with designing a machine to grind hyperbolic lenses, as part of his interest in optics. Rene Descartes was born in 1596 in La Haye, France. He began his schooling at a Jesuit college before going to Paris to study mathematics and to Poitiers in 1616 to study law. He served in both the Dutch and Bavarian military and settled in Holland in 1629. In 1649, he moved to Stockholm to be a philosophy tutor to Queen Christina of Sweden. He died there in 1650. Because of his general fame and philosophic study of the existence of God, some devout Catholics, thinking he would be canonized a saint, collected relics from his body as it was being transported to France for burial.

François-Marie Arouet known as Voltaire, was born in Paris in 1694. He was educated by the Jesuits at the Collège Louis-le-Grand (1704-1711), where he learned Latin and Greek; later in life he became fluent in Italian, Spanish, and English. By the time he left school, Voltaire had decided he wanted to be a writer. His father then obtained a job for him as a secretary to the French ambassador in the Netherlands. Most of Voltaire's early life revolved around Paris. From early on, Voltaire had trouble with the authorities for critiques of the government and religious intolerance. These activities were to result in two imprisonments and a temporary exile to England. The name "Voltaire", which the author adopted in 1718, is an anagram of "AROVET LI," the Latinized spelling of his surname, Arouet, and the initial letters of "le jeune" ("the young"). The name also echoes in reverse order the syllables of the name of a family château in the Poitou region: "Airvault". The adoption of the name "Voltaire" following his incarceration at the Bastille is seen by many to mark Voltaire's formal separation from his family and his past. Voltaire continued to write plays, such as Mérope (or La Mérope française) and began his long research into science and history. From 1762, he began to champion unjustly persecuted people, the case of Jean Calas being the most celebrated. This Huguenot merchant had been tortured to death in 1763, supposedly because he had murdered his son for wanting to convert to Catholicism. His possessions were confiscated and his remaining children were taken from his widow and were forced to become members of a monastery. Voltaire, seeing this as a clear case of religious persecution, managed to overturn the conviction in 1765. n February 1778, Voltaire returned for the first time in 20 years to Paris. He soon became ill again and died on 30 May 1778.

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