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In Candide, Voltaire explores the problem of evil through his young, naïve protagonist Candide. As a response to Leibniz’s postulation that this is the best of all possible worlds, Candide explores human misery and inhumanity through political satire and philosophical inquiry into human meaning and purpose.

(No class on Dec. 27 as per professor’s schedule)

You may use whatever edition of the book you prefer, but if you'd like to use the one that Prof. Lutz recommends, it is the Penguin edition: ISBN# 978-014045510-6.

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About the lecturer(s)

John Lutz

John Lutz is Professor of English and oversees a university Division of Humanities which houses English, Philosophy, and Foreign Language.  In addition, he has led numerous initiatives such as College 101, Learning Communities, Freshman Orientation, Strategic Planning, and Outcomes Assessment. Dr. Lutz has also published numerous scholarly articles on both philosophy and literature, including a recent publication entitled  “‘Objects Insignificant to Sight’: Racial Violence and Empathy in Faulkner’s ‘Pantaloon in Black’,” The Faulkner Journal, 2023; he has consistently been honored and has won significant awards for outstanding teaching throughout his stellar career.

Lecture Details


4 lecture(s)
Day & Time

Wednesday, 1:00 - 3:00pm

Dec 13, 2023
Dec 20, 2023
Jan 03, 2024
Jan 10, 2024