François-Marie Arouet (French: [f??~.swa ma.?i a?.w?]; 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire (/vo?l't??r/; French: [v?l.t???]), was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state.