Philosophy in Candide Essay

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3761 Per: 5 10/9/14 The Impracticality of Philosophy in Candide Philosophy is usually seen from a respectful point of view. However in Voltaire’s Candide, Voltaire offers a more satirical criticism of philosophy as a whole. In the novel, Voltaire displays his satirical disapproval against philosophy by bombarding Pangloss with unfair tragedies, punishing others affected by ideas of philosophical thinking, and having Candide reject Pangloss’s philosophical ideals. Altogether, these events show Voltaire’s resentment in philosophy and its practicality. Despite Pangloss’s commitment to his own philosophical ideals of optimism, he is continuously faced with many tragedies that contradict his very way of thinking. When Candide inquires about Pangloss’s Syphilis, Pangloss says “it was a thing unavoidable…” (Voltaire 30) and tries to justify everything bad that has been happening to him. Pangloss tries to do his best to justify his condition by staying true to his philosophy and being optimistic about his situation. Even when Candide and Pangloss end up in the same situation, Pangloss is chosen to be executed instead; wearing a mitre different from Candide “…Pangloss’s devils had tails and claws, and his flames were upright” (Voltaire 36). Even with Pangloss’s explanations, little is to blame except his own philosophical ideals that he was the one who got executed and not Candide. For someone as devoted as Pangloss to their own philosophy, they should at least be justified with rewards and not tragedies. Pangloss however, is repeatedly bombarded by Voltaire with tragedies that don’t befit the ideals of optimism whatsoever. All this unfair ruling can be justified as Voltaire’s satirical criticism against philosophy. Not only was Pangloss unfairly rewarded for committing to one’s own philosophy, others were also burned when philosophy was used in attempt to explain

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