Voltaire (1694 – 1778) The Pedagogy of Tolerance
François-Marie Arouet, known by the pseudonym Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment philosopher. Voltaire is best known for his political theories, especially for his defense of civil and religious freedoms, for his defense of free trade, issues that have influenced Enlightenment thinking.
A prospector with vast work, he advocates a transformation of society (through social reform) through the abolition of religious censorship and the reform of the absolute state, and the privileges of clergy and nobility. On the other hand, it defended the creation of a democratic state based on the three powers, which ensured freedom and equality and fraternity.
In the field of Education, his most significant work is “Essay on Moral and Customs of Peoples” (Essai sur les Mœurs et l’esprit des Nations, 1756), a book in which Voltaire analyzes the historical construction of state institutions and Church, arguing that the medieval heritage was the foundation of the nation’s creation, the collective on which the state relies for the exercise of power. It also examines the role of religious institutions in shaping the idea of modern France.
According to the author is the knowledge of the diversity of customs that is born the spirit of tolerance, foundation of citizen education. Knowledge of history, the religion of philosophy, the art of each country, according to Voltaire, is an illustration of the ways in which in each territory bonds of sociability have been created that underlie society, its institutions and knowledge systems.
Education is for Voltaire, in this the basis of the formation of the society from which the social institutions are created. Enlightenment or enlightenment is the basis of the transforming action of society. As Ernes Cassirer states to Voltaire, “History is not an end, but a means and an instrument of education and instruction of the human spirit.” (Cassier, 1932)