Bernard de Fontenelle, French writer

Bernard de Fontenelle, French writer

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Caption: Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757), French writer. Fontenelle wrote extensively on the history and philosophy of mathematics and science. His most famous work was Entretiens sur la pluralite des mondes (Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds, 1686). He suggested that life was widespread throughout the solar system, and that inhabited planets orbited other stars. His extravagant claims for extraterrestrial life ensured that his books sold well. His novelistic style made complex topics widely accessible. He was a particular advocate of the philosophical and mathematical theories of Rene Descartes (1596-1650).

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