Stefano Brogi

Bayle in cerca del materialismo

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Pierre Bayle played an important role in the complex genesis of the Enlightenment materialisms, although his contribution found expression in a new elaboration and/or distortion of already known ideas rather than in the proposal of original theories. Beginning with the "Dictionnaire historique et critique", Bayle - without becoming a veritable materialist - took up and developed in the context of an increasingly sharp criticism of the Christian theism. Bayle attached special importance to Stratonism, which in the "Continuation des Pensées sur la comète" he regarded as the most consistent kind of atheism, able to resist the strongest objections. Therefore, Bayle's later thought, though evasive and ambiguous, can be interpreted as an attempt to find a materialism able at least to prevail over Christian theism.

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