Richard Popkin, RIP

This exceptionally distinguished historian of philosophy died the other day at 81, and the NYT has got around to publishing an obituary here [via].

His classic work went through three versions — A History of Skepticism from Erasmus to Descartes (1960), … from Erasmus to Spinoza (1979), and … from Savonarola to Bayle (2003) — all of which were masterpieces, and his many other works (hmm, let’s see whether this link works) virtually all have something delightful and/or useful in them.

He’s also one of the very few late moderns to have read every word of Bayle’s Dictionary — all seven million of them — when he was preparing his very handy volume of selections. That’s quite an impressive achievement on its own.

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