Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary
The Philosophical Dictionary
Selected and Translated by H.I. Woolf
New York: Knopf, 1924
Scanned by the Hanover College Department of History in 1995.
Proofread and pages added by Jonathan Perry, March 2001.
General Reflection on Man
IT needs twenty years to lead man from the plant state in which he is
within his mother 's womb, and the pure animal state which is the lot of
his early childhood, to the state when the maturity of the reason begins
to appear. It has needed thirty centuries to learn a little about his structure.
It would need eternity to learn something about his soul. It takes an instant
to kill him.
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