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Pierre Bayle.
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Pierre Bayle (18 November 1647 ‚Äď 28 December 1706) was a French philosopher and writer.

Bayle was a self-pronounced Protestant and as a fideist he advocated a separation between the spheres of faith and reason, on the grounds of God being incomprehensible to man. As a forerunner of the Encyclopedists and an advocate of the principle of the toleration of divergent beliefs, his works subsequently influenced the development of the Enlightenment.

Contents

Biography

He was born at Carla-le-Comte (later renamed Carla-Bayle in his honor), near Pamiers (Ariège), France, and was educated by his father, a Calvinist minister, and at an academy at Puylaurens. He afterwards entered a Jesuit college at Toulouse, and became a Roman Catholic a month later (1669). After seventeen months, he returned to Calvinism and fled to Geneva. There he became acquainted with the teachings of René Descartes. For some years he worked under the name of Bèle as a tutor for various Parisian families, but in 1675 he was appointed to the chair of philosophy at the Protestant University of Sedan.

In 1681 the university at Sedan was suppressed. Just before that event, Bayle had fled to the Dutch Republic, where he almost immediately was appointed professor of philosophy and history at the Ecole Illustre in Rotterdam. There he published his famous Pensées diverses sur la comète de 1680 in 1682, as well as his critique of Louis Maimbourg's work on the history of Calvinism. The great reputation achieved by this critique stirred the envy of Bayle's Calvinist colleague of both Sedan and Rotterdam, Pierre Jurieu, who had written a book on the same subject.

Between 1684 and 1687, Bayle published his Nouvelles de la république des lettres, a journal of literary criticism.

In 1686, Bayle published the first two volumes of Philosophical Commentary, an early plea for toleration in religious matters. This was followed by volumes three and four in 1687 and 1688.

In 1690 there appeared a work entitled Avis important aux refugies, which Jurieu attributed to Bayle, whom he attacked with great animosity. After a long quarrel, Bayle was deprived of his chair in 1693. However, he was not depressed by this misfortune, especially as he was at the time engaged in the preparation of his massive magnum opus, the Historical and Critical Dictionary, which actually constituted one of the first encyclopedias (before the term had come into wide circulation) of ideas and their originators. The Dictionary, attempted to put forth Bayle's view that much that was considered to be truth was actually just inground opinion, and that gullibility and stubbornness were prevalent. The Dictionary would remain a highly important scholarly work for several generations after its publication.[1]

The remaining years of Bayle's life were devoted to miscellaneous writings, arising in many instances out of criticisms made of his Dictionary. He remained in Rotterdam until his death on 28 December 1706 and was buried there in the Waalse Kerk where Jurieu would be buried as well, 7 years later. Already in 1706 a statue in his honor was erected at Pamiers, "la reparation d'un long oubli" ("the reparation of a long neglect"). In 1959 a street was named after him in Rotterdam.

Bayle's erudition was considerable. As an original thinker, he was not outstanding though Voltaire in the prelude to his poème sur le Désastre de Lisbonne calls him "le plus grand dialecticien qui ait jamais écrit"; but as a critic he was deemed second to none in his own time, and even now the insight and skill with which he handled his subject is notable.[citation needed]

The Nouvelles de la r√©publique des lettres (see Louis P. Betz, P. Bayle und die Nouvelles de la r√©publique des lettres, Z√ľrich, 1896) was the first thorough-going attempt to popularize literature, and it was eminently successful. His multi-volume Historical and Critical Dictionary, however, constitutes Bayle's masterpiece. The astute English translation of "The Dictionary", by Bayle's fellow Huguenot exile Pierre des Maizeaux, was named by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson as one of the one hundred foundational texts that formed the first collection of the Library of Congress.

Editions

  • Historical and Critical Dictionary (1695-1697; 1702, enlarged; best that of P. des Maizeaux, 4 vols., 1740)
  • Selections in English: Pierre Bayle (Richard H. Popkin transl.), Historical and Critical Dictionary - Selections, Hackett Publishing Company Inc, 1991. ISBN 0-87220-103-1.
  • Les Ňíuvres de Bayle (3 vols., The Hague)

Further reading

  • Pierre des Maizeaux, Vie de Bayle
  • Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, Pierre Bayle (1838)
  • Damiron, La Philosophie en France au XVIIIe si√®cle (1858-1864)
  • Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, ‚ÄúDu genie critique et de Bayle" (Revue des deux mondes, 1 December 1855)
  • A. Deschamps, La G√©n√®se du scepticisme erudit chez Bayle (Liege, 1878)
  • J. Denis, Bayle et furleu (Paris, 1886)
  • Ferdinand Bruneti√®re, La Critique litt√©raire au XVIIIe si√®cle (vol. 1, 1890), and La Critique de Bayle (1893)
  • √Čmile Gigas, Choix de to correspondance in√©dite de Pierre Bayle (Paris, 1890, reviewed in Revue critique, 22 December 1890)
  • de Bud√©, Lettres in√©dites address√©es a J. A. Turretini (Paris, 1887)
  • J. F. Stephen, Horae Sabbaticae (London, 1892, 3rd ser. pp. 174192)
  • A. Cazes, P. Bayle, sa vie, ses Ňďuvres, etc. (1905).

References

  1. ^ Palmer, R.R.; Joel Colton (1995). A History of the Modern World. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 301‚Äď302. ISBN 0070408262. 

Elisabeth Labrousse, Pierre Bayle (La Haye: M. Nijhoff, 1963) Elisabeth Labrousse, Bayle, trans. Denys Potts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983)

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PIERRE BAYLE (1647-1706), French philosopher and man of letters, was born on the 18th of November 1647, at le Carlale-Comte, near Pamiers (Ariege). Educated by his father, a Calvinist minister, and at an academy at Puylaurens, he afterwards entered a Jesuit college at Toulouse, and became a Roman Catholic a month later (1669). After seventeen months he resumed his former religion, and, to avoid persecution, fled to Geneva, where he became acquainted with Cartesianism. For some years he acted under the name of Bele as tutor in various I. Siege Of Dinant. Note the wooden castle on a mound, and the knight handing over the keys on his lance tip.

2. THE Funeral Of Edward The Confessor At Wes1 Minster Abbey.

3. Coronation Of Harold.

5. THE Normans Carry Their Arms To The Ships. (By permission of G. Bell & Sons.) 6. THE Normans Cross To Pevensey.

8. Harold'S Advance Announced To William. The Burning Of Hastings.

7. Building Of Hastings Castle.

9. THE Norman Cavalry Attacks The English Shield Wall.

io. William Raises His Helmet To Rally His Men. Ii. Odo, Bishop Of Bayeux, Wielding His Mace.

Parisian families, but in 1675 he was appointed to the chair of philosophy at the Protestant university of Sedan. In 1681 the university at Sedan was suppressed, but almost immediately afterwards Bayle was appointed professor of philosophy and history at Rotterdam. Here in 1682 he published his famous Pensees diverses sur la comete de 1680 and his critique of Maimbourg's work on the history of Calvinism. The great reputation achieved by this critique stirred the envy of Bayle's colleague, P. Jurieu, who had written a book on the same subject. In 1684 Bayle began the publication of his Nouvelles de la republique des lettres, a kind of journal of literary criticism. In 1690 appeared a work entitled Avis important aux refugies, which Jurieu attributed to Bayle, whom he attacked with animosity. After a long quarrel Bayle was deprived of his chair in 1693. He was not depressed by this misfortune, especially as he was at the time closely engaged in the preparation of the Historical and Critical Dictionary (Dictionnaire historique et critique) . The remaining years of Bayle's life were devoted to miscellaneous writings, arising in many instances out of criticisms made upon his Dictionary. He died in exile at Rotterdam on the 28th of December 1706. In 1906 a statue in his honour was erected at Pamiers, "la reparation d'un long oubli." Bayle's erudition, despite the low estimate placed upon it by Leclerc, seems to have been very considerable. As a constructive thinker, he did little. As a critic he was second to none in his own time, and even yet one can admire the delicacy and the skill with which he handles his subject. The Nouvelles de la republique des lettres (see Louis P. Betz, P. Bayle and die Nouvelles de la republique des lettres, Zurich, 1896) was the first thorough-going attempt to popularize literature, and it was eminently successful. The Dictionary, however, is Bayle's masterpiece.

Editions

. - Historical and Critical Dictionary (1695-1697; 1702, enlarged; best that of P. des Maizeaux, 4 vols., 1740); Les Ouvres de Bayle (3 vols., The Hague); see des Maizeaux, Vie de Bayle; L. A. Feuerbach, Pierre Bayle (1838); Damiron, La Philosophie en France au X VII e si√®cle (1858-1864); Sainte - Beuve, "Du genie critique et de Bayle" (Revue des deux mondes, 1st Dec. 1835); A. Deschamps, La Genese du scepticisme erudit chez Bayle (Liege, 1878); J. Denis, Bayle et Jurieu (Paris, 1886); F. Brunetiere, La Critique litteraire au X VIII ‚ā¨ si√®cle (vol. i., 1890), and La Critique de Bayle (1893); 'mile Gigas, Choix de la correspondence ine'dite de Pierre Bayle (Paris, 1890, reviewed in Revue critique, 22nd Dec. 1890); de Bude, Lettres inedites adressees a J. A. Turretini (Paris,1887); J. F. Stephen, Horae Sabbaticae (London, 1892, 3rd ser. pp. 1 74192); A. Cazes, P. Bayle, sa vie, ses idees, &c. (1905).


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