Home  »  library  »  BIOS  »  Pierre Bayle (1647–1706)

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Pierre Bayle (1647–1706)

Bayle, Pierre (bāl). A distinguished French philosopher and critic; born at Carlat, Languedoc, Nov. 18, 1647; died in Rotterdam, Dec. 28, 1706. Son of a Reformed Church minister, he was converted to Catholicism while studying theology at the Jesuit College in Toulouse, but within two years his family prevailed upon him to resume the Protestant faith. Withdrawing to Geneva, he studied the philosophy of Descartes, acted for some years as tutor at Coppet, Rouen, and in Paris, and was professor of philosophy at Sedan and Rotterdam. After 1693 he devoted all his time and strength to the completion of the great work, identified with his name, the ‘Historical and Critical Dictionary’ (1697), which brought him into conflict with the consistory; while some of his subsequent writings awakened new enmities and theological controversies which embittered the remaining years of his life.