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Periegesis And Skepticism: La Peyrère, Geographer

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Chapter Summary

The chapter dedicated to La Peyrère in the 1979 edition of the History of Scepticism was followed by several articles that both rescued him from oblivion and put forth a strong and stimulating reading of his work, which ranged between biblical criticism and a pro-judaic messianism. The first words of the Relation sur le Groenland are an opportunity for Peyrère to compare his writing to the perils of navigation. In spite of his reservations on the difficulties of geographical and anthropological knowledge, through the simple act of putting topics in relation to one another from a comparative perspective- common practice in the curiosity cabinet-Peyrère goes in the direction of the desiderata of La Mothe le Vayer as well as in that of his own polygenic theses. One could therefore rightly speak of Peyrère's as a "minor" skepticism, by deviation, yet quite present in the processes of his apprehension of alterity.

Keywords: La Mothe le Vayer; La Peyrère; skepticism



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