Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Writer, b. at the castle of Phanja Champsaur, Basses-Alpes, 1724; d. at Paris, 1797. After his admission into the Society of Jesus in 1740, he taught mathematics and physics and later philosophy at Besançon. Many of his pupils became distinguished in the sciences and in apologetics. his was esteemed both for his learning and for his conciliatory disposition. On the suppression of the Society, the Archbishop of Paris and the Princess Adelaide granted him a pension. In 1791 he took the oath to the new authorities, but retracted it as soon as the pope had spoken. Amongst his works are: "Théorie des êtres sensibles" (5 vols., Paris, 1772; 4 vols., Paris, 1788); this work is both an encyclopedia of physics and a philosophy of the sciences ; "Principes du calcul" (1st ed., Paris, 1773; 2nd ed., 1783); "Théories des nouvelles découvertes en physique et em chimie"; "Théorie des êtres insensibles" (3 vols., Paris, 1779). Para's eclecticism is not always too happy. He sides with Clarke in the latter's discussion with Leibniz as to the nature of absolute space. He keeps to close to Condillac's theory of the origin of ideas, and is deeply influenced by Malebranche's occasionalism. His works, "Les principles de la saine philosophie de la religion", and "Tableau historique et philosophique de la religion", proved very useful to the apologetics of the succeeding generation. The general treatment is marked by ingenuity in answering objections and the judicious use of his erudition.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
6 Seek out Yahweh while he is still to be found, call ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
20 all in accordance with my most confident hope and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 21st, 2014 Image

St. Matthew
September 21: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter