Bernard FontenelleIn existographies, Bernard Fontenelle (1657-1757) (IQ:#|#) (Cattell 1000:539) (CR:6) was French lawyer, scientist, philosophy writer, one whose portrait is on display at the Royal Society, noted for []

Fontenelle is noted for his A Conversation on the Plurality of the World (1686), The Origin of Fables (1724), and Of the Island of Borneo (1686), wherein he defended Copernicanism, critiqued miracles, satirized religions, and presented some of the first discussion of the Bible as myth. [1]

Fontenelle has been cited thinkers including: Julien la Mettrie, Baron d’Holbach (Ѻ), Voltaire (Ѻ), Napoleon Bonaparte, and John Avery.

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Fontenelle:

“By the first or second decade of the eighteenth century not only the Copernican theory of the solar system but also the belief in other inhabited planets and in the plurality of worlds seems to have been commonly accepted even in highly orthodox circles. The Conversation on the Plurality of the Worlds (1686) of Fontenelle no doubt did more than any other single writing to diffuse these ideas among the educated classes generally.”
Arthur Lovejoy (1933), The Great Chain of Being (pg. 130)

“The modern origins of this understanding of myth (though he used the term ‘fable’) can be traced to Bernard Fontenelle's De l'origine des fables. He was the first enlightenment thinker to propose a comprehensive theory of myth that argued for its roots in the naiveté and ‘childishness’ of the ancients and contemporary ‘savages’. Although Fontenelle's text was not published until 1724, there is good evidence to conclude that it was written by 1680, thus making it the earliest modern theory of myth.”
— Paul Eddy (2007), The Jesus Legend (pg. 159)

Quotes | By
The following are noted quotes by Fontenelle:

“We must confess, dear Madam, that we scarce know where we are, in the midst of so many worlds; for my own part, I begin to see the earth so fearfully little, that I believe that from henceforth I shall never be concerned at all for anything. That we so eagerly desire to make ourselves great, that we are always designing, always troubling and harassing ourselves, is certainly because we are ignorant what these vortexes are; but now I hope my new lights will in part justify my laziness, and when anyone reproaches me with carelessness, I will answer, Ah, did you but know what the fixed stars are!".”
— Bernard Fontenelle (1686), Conversation on the Plurality of the World (Preliminary Discourse, pgs. xxxviii-xlii); cited by Arthur Lovejoy (1933) in The Great Chain of Being (pg. 133)

“The universe is but a watch on a larger scale; all its motions depend on determined laws and the mutual relations of its parts . . . It is now known with certainty . . . that Venus and Mercury turn round the sun, and not round the earth; on this subject the ancient system is absolutely exploded . . . At the appearance of a certain German named Copernicus, astronomy became simplified; he destroyed all the unnecessary circles, and crushed to pieces the crystalline firmaments. Animated with philosophic enthusiasm, he dislodged the earth from the central situation which had been assigned it and in its room placed the sun, who is more worthy of such a mark of distinction. The planets were no longer supposed to perform their revolutions round the earth, and enclose it in the centre of their orbits . . . They all turn around the sun; the earth itself not excepted.”
— Bernard Fontenelle (1686), A Conversation on the Plurality of the World [2]

“Behold a universe so immense that I am lost in it. I no longer know where I am. I am just nothing at all. Our world is terrifying in its insignificance.”
— Bernard Fontenelle (1686), Conversations with a Lady on the Plurality of Worlds [3]

“Dreadful, Madam, said I; I think it very pleasant. When the heavens were a little blue arch, stuck with stars, methought the universe was too strait and close; I was almost stifled for want of air; but now it is enlarged in height and breadth and a thousand vortexes taken in. I begin to breathe with more freedom, and I think the universe to be incomparably more magnificent than it was before.”
— Bernard Fontenelle (1686), Conversation on the Plurality of the World (§4); cited by Arthur Lovejoy (1933) in The Great Chain of Being (pg. 132-33)

Calculus is to mathematics no more than what experiment is to physics, and all the truths produced solely by the calculus can be treated as truths of experiment. The sciences must proceed to first causes, above all mathematics where one cannot assume, as in physics, principles that are unknown to us. For there is in mathematics, so to speak, only what we have placed there... If, however, mathematics always has some essential obscurity that one cannot dissipate, it will lie, uniquely, I think, in the direction of the infinite; it is in that direction that mathematics touches on physics, on the innermost nature of bodies about which we know little.”
— Bernard Fontenelle (1627), Elements of the Geometry of Infinity [3]

“Women react differently: a French woman who sees herself betrayed by her husband will kill his mistress; an Italian will kill her husband; a Spaniard will kill both; and a German will kill herself.”
— Bernard Fontenelle (c.1730), Publication (Ѻ)

History is a set of agreed-upon lies.”
— Bernard Fontanelle (c.1740), Publication; citing (Ѻ) by Napoleon Bonaparte (c.1820) and John Avery (2017)

1. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 342). HarperOne.
2. (a) Fontenelle, Bernard. (1686). A Conversation on the Plurality of the World. Publisher.
(b) Grayling, A.C. (2016). The Age of Genius: the Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind (pg. #). Bloomsbury.
3. Bernard Fontenelle – WikiQuote.

External links
Bernard Fontenelle – Wikipedia.

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