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Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach

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Paul Heinrich Dietrich
Paul Heinrich Dietrich, Baron d'Holbach
Full namePaul Heinrich Dietrich
Era18th-century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy
SchoolFrench materialism
Main interestsAtheism, Determinism, Materialism

Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach (8 December 1723 – 21 January 1789[1]) was a French-German author, philosopher and encyclopedist. He was an important figure in the French Enlightenment. He was born Paul Heinrich Dietrich in Edesheim, near Landau in the Rhenish Palatinate. He spent most of his life in Paris, where he kept a salon. He is best known for his atheism. He wrote a lot. Most of his writings are against religion. His best-known book is the System of Nature.


  1. Sources differ regarding d'Holbach's dates of birth and death. His exact birthday unknown, although records show that he was baptised on 8th December 1723. Some authorities incorrectly give June 1789 as the month of his death.