Bayle Lecture at Princeton

Dmitri Levitin, Why did Pierre Bayle believe in Virtuous Atheists? A Critique of Pure Reason “avant la lettre”

Wednesday, 12 May at 12:00pm EST

Pierre Bayle’s claims about the possibility of a society of virtuous atheists are one of the most famous ideas produced in Europe in the decades around 1700. More generally, Bayle’s intentions have been the subject of profound historiographical debate, even generating the idea of an insoluble ‘Bayle Enigma’. This talk will give a completely new account of Bayle’s thought, based on a reading and contextualisation of everything he ever wrote.

Dmitri Levitin is a Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He works on the history of knowledge between 1500 and 1850. In 2016, he was awarded inaugural Leszek Kołakowski Prize in intellectual history. His next book, The Kingdom of Darkness: Bayle, Newton, and the Emancipation of the European Mind from Philosophy will be published by Cambridge University Press later this year.

The talk will be chaired by Rhodri Lewis, Department of English.

For further information, and to register for the Zoom link, click here.

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