Pierre Bayle

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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His topics include Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) and Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536): the politics of appropriation, Dutch Cartesianism and the advent of Newtonianism, Frans Hemsterhuis: the philosopher as escape artist, tolerating Turks: perceptions of Islam in the Dutch Republic, and Baruch Spinoza's life: 1677-1802.
It is, he argues, an operator working in the context of a broader logical theory and blocking certain inferences that, according to critics such as Pierre Bayle, lead Spinoza's metaphysical system into absurdities.
A brief survey of the banned texts that Mullock owned and that also appeared on the Index at the end of the nineteenth century includes: Pierre Bayle's Dictionnaire historique et critique (1702, Rotterdam); Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (London, 1845); Hugo Grotius's De jure belli (Frankfurt, 1626); the Qur'an (Paris, 1840); Machiavelli's The Prince (Montbeliard, 1599); Maimbourg's Histoire du Lutheranisme (Paris, 1681) and Remarques d'un theologien sur des prerogatives de l'eglise de Rome (Cologne, 1688); Rousseau's Emilius or New System of Education (Dublin, 1779); and Vertot's History of the Knights Hospitallers of St.
Three days of lectures are programmed, including presentations by Beatrice Quelle on Chinese imperial cloisonne enamels, and Antoinette Halle on Pierre Bayle and antiquity.
Pierre Bayle claims morality from shared humanity--the idea that an atheist society is just as moral, which we are still shouting to the rafters.
The skepticism nurtured by his reading of Pierre Bayle, George Berkeley, and Bernard Mandeville can be seen in both the Treatise and in his later works, but in the later works it would be dressed up with the rhetorical flair of a Joseph Addison or a Samuel Johnson.
Ministry spokesman Pierre Bayle said in a press statement that the two-day visit comes in the framework of strengthening the international coalition to combat (Daesh).
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The cultivation and maintenance of a social sphere where sociability and friendship could flourish was not an easy task, but one that Pierre Bayle tried to create and maintain.