16 Facts About Pierre Bayle


Pierre Bayle was a French philosopher, author, and lexicographer.


Pierre Bayle is best known for his Historical and Critical Dictionary, whose publication began in 1697.


Pierre Bayle was a notable advocate of religious toleration, and his skeptical philosophy had a significant influence on the subsequent growth and development of the European Age of Enlightenment.


Pierre Bayle is commonly regarded as a forerunner of the Encyclopedistes of the mid-18th century.


Pierre Bayle was born at Carla-le-Comte, near Pamiers, Ariege, France.


Pierre Bayle was educated by his father, a Calvinist minister, and at an academy at Puylaurens.


Pierre Bayle returned to France and went to Paris, where for some years he worked under the name of Bele as a tutor for various families.


Just before that event, Pierre Bayle had fled to the Dutch Republic, where he almost immediately was appointed professor of philosophy and history at the Ecole Illustre in Rotterdam.


Pierre Bayle taught for many years but became embroiled in a long, internal quarrel in the college that resulted in Bayle being deprived of his chair in 1693.


Pierre Bayle was buried in Rotterdam in the "Walloon church", where Pierre Jurieu would be buried seven years later.


At Rotterdam, Pierre Bayle published his famous Reflections on the Comet in 1682, as well as his critique of Louis Maimbourg's work on the history of Calvinism.


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


In 1686, Pierre Bayle published the first two volumes of Philosophical Commentary, an early plea for toleration in religious matters.


The remaining years of Pierre Bayle's life were devoted to miscellaneous writings; in many cases, he was responding to criticisms made of his Dictionary.


Richard Popkin has advanced the view that Pierre Bayle was a skeptic who used the Historical and Critical Dictionary to criticise all prior known theories and philosophies.


Pierre Bayle was critical of many influential rationalists, such as Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, Nicolas Malebranche and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, as well as empiricists such as John Locke and Isaac Newton.