Free Will And Determinism In Voltaire's Candide

1022 Words5 Pages
In Voltaire 's epic Candide, the character Candide’s philosophy is continuously challenged. As he encounters the chaotic forces of the world, Candide is molded from an optimistic believer of determinism to a nihilist. This transformation displays the limited and absurd role that free will and determinism play in this world. To clarify this position I will explain Candide’s initial beliefs. Subsequently, I will elaborate on the forces Voltaire describes. Moreover, situations these forces create, and how they are beyond and within the control of Candide. Leading to Candide’s final beliefs, and how they illustrate the follies of optimistic determinism. At the beginning of Voltaire epic Candide is a naive scholar. He strongly adheres to the beliefs laid out for him by his mentor Pangloss. These beliefs summarized in the statement,“ that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessarily for the best end.’ (Voltaire 7-8) This belief is the basis of determinism; that every act is predetermined for a greater good. That free will is nonexistent, that everything happens for a reason. Furthermore, Candide initially held quite optimistic in view of destiny. That this is the best of all possible world 's. This belief in real life was popularized by Leibniz during the Age of Enlightenment and highly criticized by Voltaire. (Sharpe 12) As Candide goes about his travels he witnesses widespread misery; continuously challenging his belief that

More about Free Will And Determinism In Voltaire's Candide

Open Document