Pierre Bayle

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Bayle, Pierre


Born Nov. 18, 1647, in Carla; died Dec. 28, 1706, in Rotterdam. French journalist and philosopher. Early representative of the Enlightenment.

Bayle was a professor at the Academy of Sedan (1675–82) and at Rotterdam University. (1681–92). His world view was formed under the influence of Montaigne’s skepticism, Descartes’s philosophy, and discoveries in the natural sciences made during the 17th century. His principal work is the Historical and Critical Dictionary (vols. 1–2, 1695–97; Russian translation, vols. 1–2, 1968). Bayle proceeded from tolerance and religious indifferentism to religious skepticism and expressed doubt about the possibility of a rational foundation for religious dogmas; he also asserted the independence of morality from religion. Bayle’s skepticism was also extended to philosophy and science, to which he felt only probability, not unconditional, authoritative truth, could be ascribed. The Dictionary played an exceptional role in the development of European freethinking. Bayle’s influence was felt above all by the figures of the French Enlightenment—Voltaire and the Encyclopedists—and also by L. Feuerbach (see Sobr. proizv., vol. 3, Moscow, 1967, pp. 3–318).


Oeuvres diverses, vols. 1–4. The Hague, 1727–31.


Shakhov, A. Vol’ter i ego vremia, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1912.
Pikov, V. P’er Beil’. Moscow, 1933.


References in periodicals archive ?
He goes on to explain how this "knowing" includes Pierre Bayle and Victor Hugo, Frederic Chopin and Johann Christoph Kessler, as well as how then to translate those experiences into material that he can present before the public.
Meanwhile, Defence Ministry spokesman Pierre Bayle said in a regular briefing that the French forces "have the capacity to fulfil instructions" from President Francois Hollande "if a decision is taken to engage French forces in the framework of the Syrian crisis.
Banks then surveys later Deist and nonreligious repudiators of religion or God who precede the new atheists by centuries, including Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), David Hume (1711-1776), and Baron D'Holbach (1723-1789).
The topic is largely considered in relation to specific intellectual figures, including Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, Robert Boyle, Isaaac Vossius, Robert Hooke, Pierre Bayle, John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, Giambattista Vico, Paolo Mattia Doria, Conyers Middleton, and David Hume.
Pierre Bayle had caused a scandal in 1682 when, in Various Thoughts on the Occasion of a Comet [Pensees diverses sur la comete], he argued that society of atheists could exist and that atheism did not lead to immorality.
Michael Rosenthal and Rainer Forst analyze the position of toleration in works of Spinoza and Pierre Bayle, respectively, whereas Alex Tuckness focuses on the universalisation argument in Locke's Letters on Toleration and treatises on government.
Pierre Bayle, a 17th-century philosopher and theologian, wrote one of the first works on religious toleration of the western tradition.
Huguenot calls for toleration came to be troubled by the ideas of Pierre Bayle, their foremost writer.
Zagorin subsequently explores the efforts of English writers such as Milton (and his similar emphasis on conscience), and others associated with the Puritan revolution, before bringing his narrative to a close with a rich discussion of writings on toleration by John Locke and Pierre Bayle.
The present book merely informs us that "he calls himself a philosophical theist in the tradition of Plato, Kant, Pierre Bayle, Charles Peirce, William James, and Miguel de Unamuno.
By the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century critics such as Pierre Bayle and Giambattista Vico both argued against as well as attempted to remedy what they viewed as the politicization of truth.