Holbach, Paul Henri Thiry, baron d'

Holbach, Paul Henri Thiry, baron d' pôl äNrē´ tērē´ bärôN´ dôlbäk´ [key], Ger. Paul Heinrich Dietrich, Baron von Holbach poul´ hīn´rĭkh dētrĭkh bärōn´ fŭn hôl´bäkh [key], 1723–89, French philosopher, one of the Encyclopedists. Although a native of the Palatinate, he lived in Paris from childhood. He became a member of a group of notable thinkers and literary men including Diderot, Helvétius, Condorcet, and Rousseau. A supporter of naturalistic and materialistic views, he was a vigorous opponent of Christianity and all positive forms of religion. His best-known work is Système de la nature (1770), first published under the name of Mirabaud.

See biography by W. H. Wickwar (1935, repr. 1968) study by M. Cushing (1914, repr. 1971).

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