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Charron, Pierre (1541–1603)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-C012-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Pierre Charron was a French Catholic priest of the late sixteenth century who used Montaigne’s sceptical thought, which he presented in didactic form, in order to refute Calvinists, non-Christians, and atheists. He advanced a fideistic defence of religious thought which was based on accepting complete scepticism while appealing to faith alone as the source of religious knowledge. His De la Sagesse (On Wisdom) (1601) is one of the first significant philosophical works to be written in a modern language. It is also one of the first modern works to set forth a naturalistic moral theory independent of religious considerations, and based primarily on Stoic ideas. Charron’s views were extremely popular in the seventeenth century, and they influenced many sceptically inclined thinkers in France and England. His sceptical ‘defence’ of religion was regarded as insincere by some of the orthodox theologians, but other important religious thinkers defended him.

Citing this article:
Popkin, Richard H.. Charron, Pierre (1541–1603), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-C012-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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