“A man who sticks only to his own sentiments”: Pierre-Daniel Huet’s Traité philosophique de la foiblesse de l’esprit humain

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Abstract

This chapter examines the nature of Huet’s Traité philosophique de la foiblesse de l’esprit humain in the historical context of the author’s intellectual biography. As it aims to show, the skepticism of the Traité did not function solely as an apologetical discourse; it was a philosophical stance held by Huet on the basis of his own convictions in experimental physics. This stance led Huet to conceive of a species of probabilism that reestablished the boundaries between a suitably tamed reason and faith. Huet had designed the Traité as an answer to seventeenth-century issues, and also, in particular, as an antidote to the more aggressive Cartesian reason. However, his work, when read by the esprits forts in the new philosophical context of the eighteenth century, could become a source capable of contributing to the establishment of an antimetaphysical reason.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteThe Skeptical Enlightenment. Doubt and Certainty in the Age of Reason
EditorJeffrey D. Burson
Pagine45-68
Numero di pagine24
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019

Keywords

  • Pierre-Daniel Huet
  • Skepticism
  • XVII Century

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