Great Books III Fall 2020

Candide - Voltaire

"Is this the best of all possible worlds?"

Reading/Discussion Schedule

October 5 - pp. 1-72; October 8 - Finish it

Reading/Discussion Prompts

October 5

  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 8

  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?
  3. Be ready to do an in class writing session on Voltaire.