Des singularités de la nature

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Des singularités de la nature is an essay on natural history by the French philosopher and author Voltaire, first published in 1768.[1][2] In it, he defends Preformationism, the idea that organisms develop from tiny versions of themselves.[1] He defends the idea of a supreme being, and the idea that many features of the natural world have been made to benefit people, including noses for smelling and mountains for forming the landscape.[3]


  1. ^ a b Roe, Shirley A. (January 1985). "Voltaire Versus Needham: Atheism, Materialism, and the Generation of Life". Journal of the History of Ideas. 46 (1): 65. doi:10.2307/2709776.
  2. ^ Carozzi, Marguerite (1982). "Voltaire's Attitude Toward Geology" (PhD Thesis). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  3. ^ Gilmour, Peter (1990). Philosophers of the Enlightenment. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 144. ISBN 9780389209102.

Further reading[edit]

  • Marguerite Carozzi (1985) "Voltaire's geological observations in Les singularités de la nature" in Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, volume 215. Oxford; the Voltaire Foundation
  • Porter, Roy (5 January 2009). "Review: Enlightenment Marguerite Carozzi, Voltaire's attitude toward geology. Geneva: Société de Physique et d'Histoire Naturelle, 1983. Pp. 146. SFRp 28". The British Journal for the History of Science. 17 (01): 116. doi:10.1017/S0007087400020732.