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Borel, Pierre (c.1620–1671)




Protestant physician and counselor to the French court who, inspired by the atomistic philosophy of his recently deceased compatriot Descartes and also of Lucretius, published A New Treatise Proving a Multiplicity of Worlds (1658). Although scientifically naïve in parts, it was among the first of a wave of 17th century books enthusiastically endorsing pluralism and "aerial navigation" as "the way whereby one can learn the pure truth concerning the plurality of worlds." A like-minded contemporary of his was Cyrano de Bergerac.


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   • PHILOSOPHY