Pierre Gassendi

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In existographies, Pierre Gassendi (363-300 BE) (1592-1655 ACM) (IQ:190|#32) (ID:3.06|63) (Cattell 1000:218) (RGM:661|1,350+) (PR:3,750|65AE / philosopher:197) (GPE:50) (GCE:26) (GME:30) (CR:104) (LH:5) (TL:110|#104) was a French physicist and philosopher, noted for []


Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Gassendi:

“This child will one day be the marvel of his age.”
— Bishop of Digne (1603), after hearing an oration delivered by Gassendi, age 11, in Latin [1]
“As for Gassendi, about whom you wish to know my opinion, I find him to possess great and extensive erudition, well-versed in the reading of the ancients, in secular and ecclesiastical history and in every field of learning; however, his ideas satisfy me less at present than they did when I started to reject the opinions of the Schools, still a schoolboy myself. Concerning the disputes which have occurred between Gassendi and Descartes, I have found that Gassendi is correct to reject some of Descartes' supposed proofs of god and the soul; however, in the main, I believe that the views of Descartes are preferable, even though they have not been adequately proven. Whereas Gassendi has seemed to me to waver too much on the nature of the soul and, in a word, on natural theology.”
Gottfried Leibniz (1714), “Letter to Nicolas Remond”, Jul[2]
Gassendi is hardly to be ranked with either. Having formally acknowledged god as the great first cause, he immediately dropped the idea, applied the known laws of mechanics to the atoms, deducing thence all vital phenomena. Gassendi proceeds, as any heathen might do, to build up the world, and all that therein is, of atoms and molecules.”
John Tyndall (1873), “Atheistic Materialism”, BAAS Address (pgs. 24-25) [3]

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Gassendi:

“But because men may yet be puzzled with the universality and constancy of this regularity, and its long continuance through so many ages, that there are no records at all of the contrary anywhere to be found; the atomic atheist further adds, that the senseless atoms, playing and toying up and down, without any care or thought, and from eternity trying all manner of tricks, conclusions and experiments, were at length (they know not how) taught, and by the necessity of things themselves, as it were, driven, to a certain kind of trade of artificialness and methodicalness; so that though their motions were at first all casual and fortuitous, yet in length of time they became orderly and artificial, and governed by a certain law, they contracting as it were upon themselves, by long practice and experience, a kind of habit of moving regularly; or else being, by the mere necessity of things, at length forced so to move, as they should have done, had art and wisdom directed them.”
— Pierre Gassendi (c.1648), Arrangement of the Philosophy of Epicurus; refuted by Ralph Cudworth, 1678[4]; cited by Charles Peirce (c.1900)[5]

End matter


  1. Pierre Gassendi – MacTutor.
  2. Leibniz, Gottfried. (1814). “Letter to Nicolas Remond” (txt) in: Die philophischen schriften von Gottfried Wilheim Leibniz, Volume Three (editor: C.I. Gerhardt) (pgs. 618-24). Publisher.
  3. Tyndall, John. (1874). “Atheistic Materialism (txt), Address, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Belfast. Longmans.
  4. (a) Gassendi, Pierre. (1649). Arrangement of the Philosophy of Epicurus (Syntagma Philosophise Epicuri), in: Volume 3 of Works (sect. 3. cap. 7. p. 38). Publisher.
    (b) Cudworth, Ralph. (1678). True Intellectual System of the Universe: Wherein All the Reason and Philosophy of Atheism is Confuted, and Its Impossibility Demonstrated, with a Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality, in Three Volumes (translator: John Harrison) (vol. 2, pg. 599). Thomas Tegg, 1845.
  5. Peirce, Charles. (1914). The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings, Volume Two (pgs. 73, 511). Indiana, 1992.

External links

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