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By: Will Durant (1885-1981)

Book cover Voltaire and the French Enlightenment

In this Little Blue Book Number 512, Will Durant describes Fran├žois-Marie Arouet, the writer, historian, and philosopher known as Voltaire as "unprepossessing, ugly, vain, flippant, unscrupulous, even at times dishonest" and "tirelessly kind, considerate, sedulous in helping friends as in crushing enemies." "My trade is to say what I think," wrote Voltaire, and he did so in ninety-nine "sparkling and fruitful" volumes. He advocated for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and for the separation of church and state...

Book cover Story of Aristotle's Philosophy

This little Blue Book No. 39, by Will Durant, deals with Aristotle , a Macedonian pupil of Plato, who became the teacher of Prince Alexander. While his pupil went off to conquer the world, Aristotle returned to Athens and founded his school, the Lyceum. There he amassed the first great collection of plants and animals and laid the foundations of biology, logic, literary theory, ethics, and political science. Departing from abstract Platonic universals, Aristotle described such natural processes as the developing embryo of the chick...

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