Jun 28, 2022
Ralston College presents a two-part series of lectures by Alan Charles Kors on Voltaire's great work 'The Philosophical Letters.' Profoundly impressed by the English scientific and philosophical revolutions of the seventeenth century, Voltaire sought to explain and to popularize new British thinking to his French readers. He argued that sound and innovative thinkers were more important to humanity than its political or military heroes and that preferring the philosophers of one’s native land over those of another nation was a barrier to the advance of truth and knowledge. In this first lecture, Professor Kors explores the reasons for Voltaire's fascination with the English empirical tradition, which is exemplified by Francis Bacon, John Locke, and Isaac Newton. This lecture and discussion were recorded with a live online audience on April 21st, 2022.