Anniversary discussion of D’Holbach’s Système de la nature
5 November 17:00
Louis Carmontelle, portrait of Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (public domain)
Prof. Alan Charles Kors (University of Pennsylvania), Dr Ruggero Sciuto (Voltaire Foundation)
2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the publication of one of the most important texts of the French Enlightenment, Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbach’s Système de la nature. This text articulates a thoroughgoing atheistic, materialistic, and deterministic philosophy and argues that belief in God and revealed religion was the cause of unnecessary human suffering. D’Holbach’s book immediately caused a sensation across Europe, with dozens of refutations published within a few months, and it saw a surge in popularity in the years leading to the French Revolution. To mark this anniversary, The Voltaire Foundation invites you to an interview with Professor Alan Charles Kors, author of well-known publications on d’Holbach and early modern atheism and Epicureanism.