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In Candide Voltaire uses sarcasm to explain his viewpoint of reason plus action His philosophy is that it is not enough simply to believe in certain values and morals but it is more important that the actions a person takes reflect those beliefs accurately In addition Voltaire argues that life experience is necessary to the function of reason meaning that the more experiences someone has had in their life the more knowledge they will have and the more accurate that knowledge will be These principles can still be applied to life today because what good are beliefs if they are never exercised In the beginning of the novel we see Voltaires beliefs expressed through Candide a young nave man whose sole knowledge comes from that of Dr Pangloss Pangloss is a philosopher who believes that everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds 319 Without much experience living outside the Barons castle in Westphalia Candide has no other choice but to believe his philosopher and his stories The reader can immediately see that Voltaire is mocking other philosophers of this era because Pangloss ideals reek with sarcasm However no matter how ridiculous Pangloss truths seem ie noses were made to support spectacles hence we have spectacles 319 Candide believed them until he had enough life experience to have reason to think otherwise This supports Voltaires opinion that Johnson 2 knowledge is not based on stories or philosophies but rather on actions and experience Voltaire exhibits his belief that life experiences help to gain knowledge through the old woman and her story In chapters 11 and 12 the old woman explains to Candide and Cungonde the horrors that she has experienced in her life Her story helps to shape Candides view of life and helps persuade him to change his way of thinking She does not pity Candide or Cungonde for their misfortunes nor does she try to find an
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