Page:A biographical dictionary of modern rationalists.djvu/68

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Cartesian philosophy and was much perse cuted for heresy. In 1680 he ridiculed the fear of the great comet which then appeared, and he nobly assailed the cruel superstition of witchcraft in DC, Betoovcrde Wereld (4 vols., 1691-93). The Church Synod condemned the book and deposed him (1692), and he was reduced to beggary. D. July 11, 1698.

BELL, Major Thomas Evans, soldier and writer. B. Nov. 11, 1825. Ed. Wandsworth. Entering the Army in 1842, he served his term in India, and in 1861 became Commissioner of Police for Madras. He retired in 1865, and after that date took a more open part in Eationalist work. The Task of To-day (1852), published in Watson s "Cabinet of Eeason," was written by Major Bell. He was an Agnostic and Secularist, of Holyoake s school. " The age of faith has passed away, and Chris tianity is now a mere abstraction " (p. 136). D. Sep. 12, 1887.

BELOT, Professor Gustave, French Positivist philosopher. B. 1859. Ed. Lycee de Lyon and Ecole Normale Superieure. From 1881 to 1900 he was professor of philosophy at, successively, Saint-Quentin, Brest, Tours, and Janson-de-Sailly. Since 1900 he has been professor at the Lycee Louis le Grand. Professor Belot is a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Officer of Public Instruction, and member of the Conseil Superieur de 1 Instruction Publique. He has translated Mill s Logic (1897) and written various Positivist works.

BENDER, Hedwig, German writer. B. Feb. 22, 1854. Ed. at various ladies colleges. She was trained as a teacher, but left the profession and devoted herself to letters and reform. Friiulein Bender has been a conspicuous worker in the German woman-movement, and has written a number of philosophical and Eationalist works. She is a Monist or Pantheist (in the sense of Spinoza). G3

B E N E K E , Professor Friedrich Edward, German philosopher. B. Feb. 17, 1798. Ed. Halle and Berlin Universities. He was a private teacher of philosophy afc Berlin (1820-22) and Gottingen (1824-27), then professor of philosophy at Berlin University from 1827 to his death. Beneke was a Critical Empiricist, and strongly opposed purely metaphysical speculation (like that of Hegel). Soul (a complex of forces) and body he regarded as two aspects of one reality ; and he held that we have no knowledge of the nature of " the uncon ditioned." His Lehrbuch der Psychologic (1833) and other works had a deep influence on German psychology and paedagogy. D. Mar. 1, 1854.

BENN, Alfred William, B.A., philo sophical writer. B. Westmeath (Ireland), 1843, son of an Irish clergyman. Ed. privately and at London University, where he took first-class honours in classics and third in logic and moral philosophy. He left England in 1866, and lived in Italy and Switzerland until his death. From 1885 to 1897 he was on the staff of the Academy, and he was a member of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies and of the British Astronomical Association. His chief works were: The Greek Philosophers (2 vols., 1882), The History of English Rationalism in the Nineteenth Century (2 vols., 1906), and The History of Ancient and Modern Philosophy (2 vols., 1912). He was Agnostic, and an Honorary Asso ciate of the E. P. A. D. Sept. 16, 1915.

BENNETT, De Robigne Mortimer,

American Freethinker. B. Dec. 23, 1818. Ed. Cooperstown. In 1833 he became a Shaker, but heleft the community in 1846 and entered into business. He was subsequently an aggressive Freethinker, and in 1873 estab lished the Truthseeker. He was arrested three times, and spent a year in prison, for . heresy. During his imprisonment a peti tion for his release was signed by 200,000 Americans. He wrote several Eationalist works, and the Freethinkers of America 6i