Dialogues of Maximus and Themistius


Editor / Translator:
Dialogues of Maximus and Themistius is the first English translation of Pierre Bayle’s last book, Entretiens de Maxime et de Thémiste, published posthumously in 1707. The two parts of the Dialogues offer Bayle’s final responses to Jean Le Clerc and Isaac Jaquelot, who had accused Bayle of supporting atheism through his writings on the problem of evil. The Dialogues defends Bayle’s thesis that the problem of evil cannot be solved by reason alone, but serves only to demonstrate the necessity of faith. In his Introduction to the Dialogues, Michael W. Hickson provides detailed historical and philosophical background to the problem of evil in early modern philosophy, as well as summary and analysis of Bayle’s debates with Le Clerc and Jaquelot.

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Michael W. Hickson, Ph.D. (2010, University of Western Ontario), is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Trent University. He has published numerous articles on Pierre Bayle, the history of skepticism, and the problem of evil.
“a work of excellence: not only for Hickson’s clear and elegant translation of the text, but also for its brilliant, lengthy introduction, which contains what is arguably the most helpful presentation of Bayle’s Manichean articles to date.”
Mara van der Lugt, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (Winter 2017), pp. 1488-1489.


List of Abbreviations


Bayle’s Life and Works

Texts of the Bayle-Le Clerc Debate

Texts of the Bayle-Jaquelot Debate


The Problem of Evil in Bayle’s Dictionary

Bayle’s Debate with Le Clerc

Bayle’s Debate with Jaquelot


Notes on the Text


Pierre Bayle,
Dialogues of Maximus and Themistius


Part One: Response to Le Clerc


Chapter 1: Examination of Le Clerc’s Case against Bayle

Chapter 2: Four Serious Problems with Le Clerc’s Objection

Chapter 3: Whether Le Clerc’s Zeal was Delayed

Chapter 4: Le Clerc’s Response to the Accusation of Socinianism
Chapter 5: Whether it is Possible to Reject an Evident Proposition

Chapter 6: Le Clerc’s Remarks concerning the Trinity and Pyrrhonism

Chapter 7: Le Clerc’s Remarks concerning Bayle’s Doctrine

Chapter 8: Retortion of Le Clerc’s Accusations

Chapter 9: Le Clerc’s Position Leads to Atheism

Chapter 10: Whether Le Clerc Seeks the Same Refuge as Bayle

Chapter 11: Plastic Natures

Chapter 12: Several Remarks on Origenism

Chapter 13: Le Clerc’s Conception of Tolerance

Chapter 14: General Reflections

Part Two: Response to Jaquelot


Chapter 1: Whether Jaquelot is an Arminian Neophyte

Chapter 2: Bayle’s Doctrine is that of the Reformed Church

Chapter 3: A Doctrine’s Validity is Independent of its Author’s Intentions

Chapter 4: Bayle on Human Freedom

Chapter 5: Human Freedom and Two Characteristics of Bayle’s Dictionary

Chapter 6: Jaquelot Agrees with Bayle on the Conformity of Faith and Reason

Chapter 7: Three Alleged Differences between Bayle’s and Jaquelot’s Positions

Chapter 8: ‘Abandoning Reason’ versus ‘Being Contrary to Reason’

Chapter 9: The State of the Question

Chapter 10: Jaquelot’s Unnecessary Compromise

Chapter 11: Jaquelot Abandons Common Notions

Chapter 12: Whether Bayle Believes that God is the Author of Sin

Chapter 13: Jaquelot’s Five Principles

Chapter 14: The Misunderstanding over Human Freedom

Chapter 15: Jaquelot on God’s Permission of Sin

Chapter 16: How a Pagan Philosopher would Answer Jaquelot

Chapter 17: Immutable General Laws

Chapter 18: General Laws and God’s Permission of Sin

Chapter 19: Jaquelot and the Supralapsarian Doctrine

Chapter 20: Jaquelot’s New System

Chapter 21: Jaquelot’s System Entails that God is the Author of Sin

Chapter 22: Refutation of Several of Jaquelot’s Principles

Chapter 23: Jaquelot Abandons his own Principles

Chapter 24: Free Will and the Origin of Evil

Chapter 25: The Importance of Context for Understanding Bayle’s Remarks

Chapter 26: Against the Alleged Two Species of Divine Will

Chapter 27: Jaquelot on Divine Permission

Chapter 28: Jaquelot’s Claim that God could not Prevent the Fall

Chapter 29: Jaquelot on Divine Permission, Continued

Chapter 30: Bayle’s Appeal to Theological Authorities

Chapter 31: On Part Two, Chapter Twenty-Two, of Jaquelot’s Examen

Chapter 32: Physical Evil

Chapter 33: Jaquelot’s Errors concerning Physical Evil

Chapter 34: Eternal Punishment

Chapter 35: Pyrrhonism

Chapter 36: Why Bayle Will Ignore the First Part of Jaquelot’s Examen

All interested in Pierre Bayle, especially his debates with Rationalists, and anyone concerned with the intersection of philosophy and theology, with skepticism, or with atheism in early modern European thought.
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