A Letter on the Principles of Justness and Decency, by Lambert van Velthuysen, 1622-1685 (author) ; Malcolm de

By Lambert van Velthuysen, 1622-1685 (author) ; Malcolm de Mowbray (Editor and translator), Catherine Secretan (introduction)

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Extra resources for A Letter on the Principles of Justness and Decency, Containing a Defence of the Treatise De Cive of the Learned Mr Hobbes

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3, p. 231; Oeuvres de Descartes, vol. 4, p. 67. bre. Elle me dona beaucoup de joye: car j’étois bien en peine de vous. Mr. ), The Correspondence of Thomas Hobbes, 2 vols (Oxford, 1994), vol. 1, pp. ) François Bonneau, sieur du Verdus, was the author of the second translation into French of De Cive, published in 1660 under the title Les Elemens de la politique. Sorbière had published the first translation in 1649, entitled Les Fondements de la politique. introduction 19 Van Velthuysen warns his reader that he will not be tackling anything that, in the latter part of De Cive, concerns politics and religion, both for reasons of thematic consistency and on account of his disagreement with Hobbes on those matters: Although I consider the remaining chapters to deserve every praise for the exceptional industry that is everywhere revealed in them, I nevertheless wish to have nothing to do with them, and I would have added what I judge to be blameworthy in them if that had not been wholly foreign to my purpose … (p.

It represented a theological position shared by authors such as Grotius, Spinoza and Lord Herbert of Cherbury and inspired by the desire to restore peace among Christians that would transcend divisions within the Church. 67 ‘Finally, I do not deny that man is greatly inclined to embrace certain teachings, for example that there is a God, that universal judgement must be awaited, that the soul is immortal, …’ (p. 98). The Epistolica dissertatio thus lists the few points of faith that are essential for civil harmony.

That remarkable concurrence reflected a movement that brought these two philosophies together under the same thought system, whether to criticize them or adhere to them. On the one hand, the Hobbesian ‘danger’ could be compared with the danger that Cartesian philosophy represented, while, on the other hand, the first disciples of Hobbes found they were also the staunchest Cartesians— for example, the De la Court brothers and Spinoza. From his very first works, Van Velthuysen, a pioneer of ‘political Cartesianism’, launched himself wholeheartedly into two of the major philosophical battles of the century—those around Descartes and Hobbes—and, in doing so, demonstrated those very qualities he had advocated at the beginning of the Epistolica dissertatio.

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