(1647-1706) French critic and philosopher. In Dictionnaire historique et critique/Historical and Critical Dictionary 1696, he wrote learned and highly skeptical articles attacking almost all the contemporary religious, philosophical, moral, scientific, and historical views.
For example, he argued that Christianity was irrational, that Old Testament figures such as David were immoral, and that all existing philosophies were inadequate. His skepticism greatly influenced the French Encyclopédistes and most Enlightenment thinkers.
Bayle was professor of philosophy at Sedan and Rotterdam. He was suspended from his post at Rotterdam under suspicion of religious skepticism 1693.