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La Mothe Le Vayer’s Attack on Opinion and Superstition

  • José R. Maia Neto
Chapter
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 215)

Abstract

François de La Mothe Le Vayer (1588–1672) is usually viewed as a major free thinker and libertine, engaged, through his revival of ancient Pyrrhonism, in destroying Christianity. This chapter focuses on his attack on two main enemies of Charron’s Academic skeptical wisdom: opinion and superstition. By showing the extent to which he was a follower of Charron’s and that Academic skepticism also plays an important role in his work, a different La Mothe Le Vayer emerges. Neither a skeptical apologist nor a disguised libertine, La Mothe Le Vayer is presented as combatting superstition but not as irreligious. Like the ancient Academic skeptics, he is portrayed as genuinely believing in the compatibility between his skepticism and religion, in a way similar to Charron’s view. However, by arguing for the compatibility between skepticism and Christianity, his main interest is to eliminate a major obstacle to the acceptance of the Hellenistic philosophy, not at al to use this philosophy in an apology for Christianity.

Keywords

Christian Faith Traditional Religion Ancient Philosophy Christian Religion Skeptical View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • José R. Maia Neto
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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