Great Books III Fall 2018

Candide - Voltaire

"Is this the best of all possible worlds?"

Reading/Discussion Schedule

October 15 - pp. 1-72; October 18 - Finish it

Reading/Discussion Prompts

October 15

  1. How is suffering meaningful?
  2. "This is the best of all possible worlds" is really just an excuse for not _____.
  3. What do each of the following terms/phrases mean: sufficient reason, universal rule of reason, fortune, things could not have happened otherwise, everything is for the best, the law of conservation of happiness.

October 18

  1. Come prepared to discuss what you believe to be Voltaire's point of the work. How does he pull it off?
  2. How does his writing compare with Paradise Lost and its notions of best world and suffering?

Writing for October 23

Write a 1-2 pp. satire about suffering or happiness - following the style of Voltaire. Be creative!