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6:30AM BST 09 Apr 2010

- Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519)

- Francois De La Rochefoucauld(1613-1690)

Aristotle (384-322 BCE) 5 (Delta) 27 1024a11-28(trans. Barnes, Complete Works)
... [What] are the things we do not see today thatpeople in thirtyyears' or forty years' time will look at you and say, 'How could younot have seen the importance of that? How could you be so ignorant? Howcould you be so unfair? How could you have been so cruel? And that isthe challenge for thinking, conscientious people. And I think that'swhat you've got to focus on - what are the things your generation isnot seeing that will be seen? And you have to contribute to the seeingof it."

- Dr John Bulwer(London 1650), p. 213

MAGNA EST VERITAS ET PRAEVALET : Great is the truth andit will prevail
Color frontis; 766 pages; THE LAUGHING PHILOSOPHER being the entire works of momus jester of olympus, democritus, the merry philosopher of greece and their illustrious disciples Ben Jonson, Butler, Swift, Gay, Joseph Miller, Esq. Churchill, Voltaire, Foote, Steevens, Wolcot, Sheridan, Curran, Colman, and others....with numerous Additions, Interpolations, and improvements by the Editor and various branches of the Bull Family. Bound in original full calf leather, color frontis is possibly the first publication of art by D C Johnson. A reasonably scarce and curious item of much greater length than a similar title published in the same year. Contents generally VG with shallow browning and wear to the fore-edge of the frontis and title page. Provenance H L Ellis of Fox HIll Farm dated 1912.

 

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 -1834)

- "Science Astray" by the editorsof Time-Life books (p74)
... there will come a time when medical students willask their professor of ethics in astonishment:
'Did doctors really do that to healthy babies in Britain in the 21stcentury?'

Thomas Jefferson, the VirginiaStatute for Religious Tolerance (1776)
Swift developed the persona of the misguided modern thinker in (1708), a brilliant satire that treats another Swiftian theme: the Church under siege. In , the narrator concedes that Christianity is an antiquated, illogical belief system, but urges that it not yet be abolished for it still serves useful political purposes. The satire strikes at those seeking to repeal the Test Act, which required that state officials declare allegiance to the Anglican Church. Swift saw any repeal as an attack on the Church and felt that the beliefs espoused by the repeal’s advocates--especially Deists and free-thinkers--threatened society’s Christian foundation. Swift also blasts nominal Christians, embodied in the narrator himself, who pays lip service to the Church, but does not truly support it, and who, like the free-thinkers, sees the gospels as just another set of ideas having no special truth value.


- Walt Whitman, "I Sing the BodyElectric" 124, 1855

In 1726 Swift published his masterpiece, . Divided into four parts, each recounting one of Gulliver’s voyages, the book offers different analytic perspectives on England, history, and humanity. Part I narrates Gulliver’s shipwreck on Lilliput, a land of tiny people that symbolizes contemporary England. The Lilliputians’ diminutive stature speaks volumes about Swift’s assessment of his contemporaries: like the English, they have an inflated sense of themselves, a morally debased political culture, and a limitless lust for power, all of which makes them contemptible and dangerous.

John Maynard Keynes had a string of passions besides economics

When you think of the long andgloomy history of man,
you will find more hideous crimes
have been committed in the name of obedience
than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.

Test your family's general knowledge with this bumper children's quiz

I continue to be shocked at the arbitrariness of thethoughtlessmutilation of so many boys. The sensory pleasure induced by tactilestimulation of the foreskin is almost totally lost after its surgicalremoval. Consequently, .

- Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

Part II examines the past. Here Gulliver finds himself in Brobdignag, a land of giants, where he is treated as a pet, something not human. His goal is to convince the king that he is indeed human. After long interviews with Gulliver about European civilization, the king concludes that Gulliver and his ilk are odious vermin. The king bases his judgment on moral grounds. Technologically, Europe surpasses Brobdignag, which represents an earlier stage in history, but since Swift views human development within a moral framework, part II suggests that Europe is in decline and not progressing as modern thinkers claim. The Brobdignags’ superiority is proven in the scene where Gulliver, like the serpent in Eden, tempts the king with forbidden knowledge (the secret of gunpowder) that would make him all powerful. The king refuses the knowledge, knowing it would only cause woe and death.