Confucius through the eyes of world renowned figures - Voltaire

(| Updated : 2023-09-19

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Editor's note: Confucius, a revered Chinese philosopher, holds an esteemed position as one of the most influential figures in history due to his profound teachings on ethics, morality, and social harmony, all of which continue to shape and guide individuals and societies worldwide.

This series offers a unique perspective on how influential figures from different backgrounds and time periods perceive and interpret this renowned Chinese philosopher. Through their eloquent and authentic perspectives, readers can gain a deeper understanding of Confucius' significance and his enduring appeal in the global arena.


Voltaire (1694-1778), a prominent Enlightenment writer and philosopher, held immense influence thanks to his passionate advocacy for freedom of speech, religious tolerance, and social justice. He challenged the prevailing norms and institutions of his time, and inspired generations with his progressive ideas that continue to resonate in modern society.

In his work Philosophical Dictionary, an encyclopedic dictionary published in 1764, Voltaire writes, "This sage is Confucius, deemed too highly of his character as a legislator for mankind, to stoop to deceive them. What finer rule of conduct has ever been given since his time, throughout the earth?"