Pierre Bayle
French philosopher

1647 - 1706

Pierre Bayle a French philosopher, wrote a well-known dictionary. Most of the entries in his Historical and Critical Dictionary (1697) are devoted to religious subjects. Bayle especially concerned himself with exposing religious dogmatism and fanaticism. He opposed religions based exclusively on emotion as well as those founded on intellect alone. Bayle was an effective advocate of religious toleration.

Bayle was born near Foix, in southeastern France. The son of a French Huguenot minister, he was converted to Roman Catholicism, but later renounced this faith and became a religious skeptic.

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