Senior Honors Theses
History Department Honors Program

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

March 2007

Comments

A Senior Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Honors in History.
Faculty Advisor: Alan Charles Kors

Abstract

Despite the seeming oppositions between skepticism and religious belief, Bishop Pierre-Daniel Huet (1630-1721) was both a devout Catholic and a philosophical skeptic. While this opposition may seem paradoxical to both modern readers and Huet’s contemporaries, this thesis explains how Huet’s scandalous posthumous Treatise Concerning the Weakness of Human Understanding (1723) fits into the intellectual curriculum of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. By situating Huet in the intellectual context of Early-Modern France, this thesis demonstrates how philosophical skepticism became appealing to Catholic thinkers both as a polemic and as an epistemological stance in opposition to the rationalist transformation of pre-Enlightenment thought.

Keywords

pierre-daniel huet, early-modern france, skepticism, fideism

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Date Posted: 19 April 2007