Afterall.net

Consider all. Test All. Hold on to the good.

Illogic Primer Quotes Clippings Books and Bibliography Paper Trails Links Film

Not Quite Voltaire On Defending to the Death Your Right To Say It

What the book could never have done for itself, or for its author, persecution did for them both. ‘On the Mind’ became not the success of a season, but one of the most famous books of the century. The men who had hated it, and had not particularly loved Helvétius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional. ‘What a fuss about an omelette!’ he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that! ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’ was his attitude now. [Editor: Emphasis added. Though Tallentyre’s summation of Voltaire’s view has been misattributed as a quote by Voltaire, Voltaire did say much else in his Treatise on Toleration.]


Leave a Reply