Art, society and luxury: about taste and refinement in Voltaire's philosophical letters


  • Luis F. de Salles
  • Rafael Henrique Teixeira


Voltaire. Letters on the English. Luxury. Modernity.


Voltaire has presented in his Letters on the English different themes, from religious ethics, literacy, politics, to dramas and science. The letters present us a comparison between England and France. In this parallel we shall present how Voltaire was concerned in evaluate a high standard of taste and refinements. This paper will review some of the last letters of those, which testify about this criterion of taste as a modern point of view. We shall present in Voltaire the eminence of modernity in taste, refinements and on liberty of enjoying the ecstasies of a cosmopolitan life fulfilled with entertainments and luxury. We shall present how Voltaire fought against barbarism in benefit of civilization and some how against religiosity in benefit of an ethic hedonism.

Author Biographies

Luis F. de Salles

Doutorando pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia da UFSCar.

Rafael Henrique Teixeira

Doutorando pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia da UFSCar.