Pangloss Identified

French Studies Bulletin 84 (Autumn):7-10 (2002)
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Abstract

Scholars have associated the character of Pangloss in Voltaire’s Candide variously with the ideas of Gottfried Leibniz, Alexander Pope, and Christian Wolff. With them he is associated, but on whom is he modeled? Pangloss is the image of a French popularizer of science celebrated in his day but little noticed in ours: Noël Antoine Pluche (1688-1761), the author of a highly popular work, Le Spectacle de la Nature.

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Eric Palmer
Allegheny College

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