Various Thoughts on the Occasion of a Comet

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State University of New York Press, 18 мая 2000 г. - Всего страниц: 271
"I tremble when I recall the terrible appearance [the comet] had on Saturday evening in the clear sky, when it was observed by everybody with inexpressible astonishment. It seemed as though the heavens were burning, or as if the very air was on fire...[F]rom this little star stretched out such a wonderfully long tail that even an intellectual man was overcome with trembling; one's hair stood on end as this uncommon, terrible, and indescribable tail came into view...O wonderful almighty God! The heavens show thy might and the earth thy handiwork!" — Eyewitness account of a comet which appeared over Europe on December 24, 1680

The appearance of this comet caused so many panicked inquiries to be made of Pierre Bayle, one of the Enlightenment's greatest thinkers, that he decided to formally respond to them, hence the present work, which first appeared in 1682. The book's principle task was to undermine the influence of "superstition" in political life, and it was here that Bayle made the notorious suggestion, unique in the history of political thought until then, that a decent society of atheists is possible in principle. There is no other English translation of this book in print—the only other version was printed in 1708. This translation is based on a recently revised critical edition of the complete French text and includes a substantial interpretive essay that both elucidates the arguments of the work and indicates the importance of Bayle in the history of the modern Enlightenment.
 

Содержание

Introduction
xxiii
I
xxvii
24
xlv
Note to the Reader 1682
3
Publishers Note 1683
11
First Letter January 1 1681
17
Third Letter April 3 1681
24
Fifth Letter May 25 1681 63
25
82 That Panegyrists Have Contributed to Fomenting
101
90 Why the Holy Fathers Did Not Condemn Those
115
101 Convincing Proof of the Error Relating to Presages
131
105 On the Prodigious Inclination of the Ancient Pagans
137
Eighth Letter July 29 1681
165
138 An Example Proving That Opinions Are Not the Rule
171
Drawn from the Devotion Several Scoundrels
184
159 Confirmation of the Same Thing
198

V
38
4556
63
5778
75
Appeared in the edition of 1699
81
70 Application of the Preceding Remarks to the Reason
88
79101
97
203
250
IV
272
V
286
Biblical Passages Cited
317
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Об авторе (2000)

Robert C. Bartlett is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Emory University. He is the author of The Shorter Socratic Writings of Xenophon: Apology of Socrates to the Jury, Oeconomicus, and Symposium.

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