He was born on 1588, Paris and died 1672. He is an independent thinker and writer who developed a philosophy of skepticism more radical than that of Michel Montaigne but less absolute than that of Pierre Bayle. He became an avocat at the Parlement of Paris, taking over his father’s seat, but soon resigned when the attraction of belles letters became stronger. His work La Contrariete d’ humeur entre la nation francaise et l’espagnole (1636; “Conflicts of Interest Between the French and Spanish Nations”) and Considerations sur l’ eloquence francaise (1638) earned him admission to the Academie Francaise in 1639. He was admired by the powerful Cardinal de Richelieu and was tutor to several noble youths, including from 1652 to 1657 Louis XIV, for whom he wrote a complete series of texts. The King rewarded him by appointing him historiographer of France and councilor of state.
His many philosophical works include De la vertu des paien (1642); “On the Goodness of the Pagans”); a treatise entitled Du peu de certitude qu’il y a dans l’ histoire (1668; “On the Lack of Certitude in History”), which marked a beginning of historical criticism in France; and five skeptical Dialogues, published posthumously under the pseudonym Orosius Tubero, which are concerned, respectively, with diversity in opinions, variety in customs of life and sex roles, the value of solitude, the virtue of the fools of this time, and differences in religion.