Tolerance: The Beacon of the Enlightenment - cover image

Book Series


Caroline Warman

Published On





  • English

Print Length

144 pages (viii + 136)


Paperback156 x 8 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.31" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 10 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.38" x 9.21")


Paperback470g (16.58oz)
Hardback843g (29.74oz)



OCLC Number





  • HP
  • HPS
  • DQ


  • PHI000000
  • PHI034000
  • PHI019000
  • LCO008000


  • B1925.E5


  • Enlightenment
  • philosophers
  • anthology
  • equality
  • freedom
  • tolerance
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The Beacon of the Enlightenment

  • Caroline Warman (editor)
  • Caroline Warman (translator)
This anthology, inspired by Voltaire’s advice that a text needed to be concise to have real influence, contains firey extracts from forty different authors, from the philosophers everyone’s heard of to those whose brilliant writings are less well-known. They are immensely diverse in style and topic, but all have in common their passionate commitment to equality, freedom, and tolerance, and every single one resonates powerfully with the issues our world faces today. The book was first published by the Société française d’étude du dix-huitième siècle (the French Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies) in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations in January 2015 as a mark of solidarity, and as a response to the wide-spread interest in Enlightenment values. With the support of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, it has now been translated by 102 French students and tutors from Oxford University.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Caroline Warman


1.The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, 1789

2.Voltaire, ‘Prayer to God’, from Treatise on Tolerance, 1763

3.Three aphorisms from Denis Diderot, Philosophical Thoughts, 1746; Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, 1748; and Voltaire, Portable Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

4.Nicolas de Condorcet, 'On Admitting Women to the Rights of Citizenship', 1790

5.John Locke, Letter on Toleration, 1686

6.Denis Diderot, ‘Aius Locutius’, from the Encyclopédie, 1751

7.Montesquieu, ‘On the Enslavement of Negroes’, from The Spirit of the Laws

8.Jean-François Marmontel, ‘Minds are not Enlightened by the Flames of an Executioner’s Pyre’, from Belisarius, 1767

9.Three aphorisms from Diderot The Philosopher and Marshal ***’s Wife Have a Deep Chat, 1774; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile, or On Education, 1762; and Frederick the Great of Prussia

10.Abbé Grégoire, On Freedom of Worship, 1794

11.Immanuel Kant, ‘Dare to Know’, from What is Enlightenment?, 1784

12.Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, The Marriage of Figaro, 1784

13.Pierre Bayle, On Tolerance, or A philosophical Commentary on these Words of the Gospel, Luke XIV. 23, Compel Them to Come in, 1686

14.Alexandre Deleyre, ‘Fanaticism’, from the Encyclopédie, 1756

15.Four aphorisms from Louis de Jaucourt, ‘Intolerant’, from the Encyclopédie, 1765; William Warburton, Essay on Egyptian Hieroglyphics, 1744; Rousseau, Émile, or On Education; and Anon., ‘Refugees’, from the Encyclopédie, 1765

16.Jean le Rond d’Alembert, On the Suppression of the Jesuits, 1765

17.Jeanne-Marie Roland, Personal Memoirs, 1795

18.Evariste de Parny, The War of the Gods, 1799

19.Olympe de Gouges, The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, 1791

20.Pierre Bayle, On Tolerance, 1686

21.Voltaire, La Henriade, 1723

22.Three aphorisms from Diderot, The Eleutheromaniacs, 1772; Rousseau, The Social Contract, 1762; and Moses Mendelssohn, Morning Hours, 1785

23.Montesquieu, The Persian Letters, 1721

24.Abbé Grégoire, 'New Observations on the Jews and in Particular on the Jews of Amsterdam and Frankfurt', 1807

25.Rétif de la Bretonne, Paris Nights, 1788

26.Three aphorisms from Diderot, Philosophical Thoughts; Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments, 1786; and Rousseau, The Social Contract

27.Voltaire, Candide, 1759

28.d’Alembert, ‘Geometer’, from the Encyclopédie, 1757

29.Rabaut Saint-Étienne, ‘No Man Should Be Harassed for His Opinions nor Troubled in the Practice of His Religion’, 1789

30.Three aphorisms from Diderot, ‘Letter to My Brother’, 1760; Voltaire, Treatise on Metaphysics, 1735; and Rousseau, The Citizen, or An Address on Political Economy, 1765

31.Diderot, Extract from a Letter to Princess Dashkova, 3 April 1771

32.Voltaire, ‘Free Thinking’, from Dictionary of Philosophy, 1764

33.Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, ‘Reflections on Slavery’, from A Voyage to the Island of Mauritius, 1773

34.Pierre de Marivaux, The French Spectator, 5 October 1723

35.Louis-Alexandre Devérité, Collected Documents of Interest on the Case of the Desecration of the Abbeville Crucifix, which Occurred on 9th August 1765, 1776

36.Anon., The Private and Public Life of the Posterior Marquis de Villette, Retroactive Citizen, 1791

37.Three aphorisms from Diderot, Philosophical Thoughts; Marivaux, The French Spectator; and Pierre Jean George Cabanis, On Sympathy, 1802

38.Leandro Fernández de Moratín, ‘A Philanthropic Congregation’, 1811

39.Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws

40.Voltaire, ‘On Universal Tolerance’, 1763

41.Three aphorisms from Diderot, Philosophical Thoughts; Marivaux, The French Spectator; and Voltaire, ‘Fanaticisme’, from Portable Philosophical Dictionary

42.Condorcet, Anti-superstitious Almanack, 1773-74

43.Montesquieu, Persian Letters

44.José Cadalso y Vázquez de Andrade, Defence of the Spanish Nation against Persian Letter 78 by Montesquieu, 1775

45.Nicolas-Edme Rétif, known as Rétif de la Bretonne, Ninth Juvenal. The False Immorality of the Freedom of the Press, 1796

46.Condorcet, Anti-superstitious Almanack

47.Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Nathan the Wise, 1779

48.Three aphorisms from Germaine de Staël, Reflections on the French Revolution, 1818; Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments; and Rousseau, Reveries of a Solitary Walker, 1782

49.Luis Guttiérez, Cornelia Bororquia, or the Inquisition’s Victim, 1801

50.Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, ‘Fraternal Harmonies’, 1815

51.Diderot, Supplement to Bougainville’s Voyage, 1772

52.Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de Saint-Simon, Memoirs, posthumous

53.Three aphorisms from Alexandre Deleyre, ‘Fanaticism’, from the Encyclopédie; Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, 1789; and Voltaire, Letter to Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, 9 November 1764

54.Helvétius, Essays on the Mind, 1758

55.Louis-Sébastien Mercier, Portrait of Paris, 1781

56.Juan Pablo Forner, In Praise of Spain and its Literary Merit, 1786

57.Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian, ‘The Two Persians’, 1792

58.Three aphorisms from Rousseau, Émile, or on Education; Voltaire, Letter to the King of Prussia, 20 December 1740; and Jaucourt, ‘Tolerance’, censored article from the Encyclopédie

59.Voltaire, On the Horrible Danger of Reading, 1765


Caroline Warman

Lecturer in French at University of Oxford

Caroline Warman

Lecturer in French at University of Oxford