Of primary interest in these chapters is the old philosopher

Of primary interest in these chapters is the old...

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Unformatted text preview: Of primary interest in these chapters is the old philosopher, Martin. In important ways, he stood for the attitude of Pierre Bayle, just as Pangloss did for Leibnitz. A word about Bayle is therefore in order. Voltaire had discovered him early, and particularly after the Lisbon earthquake his letters were filled with eulogies of him as the leading opponent of optimistic philosophy. Bayle (1647-1706), lexicographer, philosopher, critic, had been a Protestant who became a Catholic and then reverted to protestantism. At last, in faith he became a Pyrrhonian (an adherent to the system of gnosiology, which treats of the sources, limits, and validity of knowledge, and which inculcates skepticism). In a word, he was an absolute skeptic. Voltaire was especially attracted to him because he was a champion of tolerance in opinion. His attack on superstitions, his view of morality as being champion of tolerance in opinion....
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course ENGLISH 1001 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.

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