Philosophers

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• Montesquieu (1689-1755):
 Was born at the Château de la Brède in the southwest of France.
 Lawyer, philosopher and political thinker.
 Lived during the Enlightenment.
 Famous forhis articulation of the theory of separation of powers: executive, legislative, and judicial power.
 Most important work: the “Persian Letters” and “The Spirit of the Laws”.

• Voltaire(Young Francois Marie) (1694-1778):
 Was born in Paris, France.
 Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher.
Famous for writing the civil liberties, including freedom of religionand free trade.
 He made fun of France’s government and criticize it.
Attracted to the philosophy of John Locke and ideas of mathematician and scientist.
Exiled from France in 1726because of insulting the powerful young nobleman, “Chevalier De Rohan”.
He wrote “Oedipe” while he was in prison.

• Denis Diderot (1713 -1784):
Was born in the eastern Langres, France. Enlightenment philosopher, art critic, and writer.
Famous for serving as co-founder and chief editor of and contributor to the Encyclopedia.
His attacks on the political system ofFrance were among the most potent causes of the Revolution.

• Adam Smith (1723 -1790):
Was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland.
 Enlightenment moral philosopher, writer, and economist.Famous for his explanation of how rational self-interest in a free-market economy leads to economic well-being.
His most influential book: “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of theWealth of Nations” (1776).

• John Locke (1632 -1704):
He was born in Somerset, South West England.
 Enlightenment philosopher and physician.
Know as the Father of Liberalism.
 Hiswritings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries.

Resources:
Encyclopedia of World Biography. 11/JAN/11....
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