Does Voltaire think that this is the best of all possible worlds as Dr. Pangloss keeps insisting?

Expert Answers info

David Alberts, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Kent State University

bookM.A. from West Virginia State University

bookPh.D. from Bowling Green State University


calendarEducator since 2019

write608 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Voltaire's opinion of Dr, Pangloss's endlessly optimistic philosophical view of the world can be found in Chapter XIX.

“Optimism,” said Cacambo, “what is that?”

"Alas!" said Candide, "it is the madness of insisting that everything is at its best when it is at its worst."

The philosophy that Dr. Pangloss teaches to Candide is a simplified, simplistic version of the writings and teachings of a number of philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason) in Europe in the 17th–19th centuries. Notable among these philosophers, and the primary target of Voltaire's withering satire, is Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646–1716).

Leibniz asserted that God exists, and that since God is benevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient, out of all the worlds that God could have created, the world that he created must necessarily be the best of all possible worlds.

Leibniz posited further that everything that happens in this world, and, by extension, in the universe—no matter how...

(The entire section contains 525 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now