Early Modern Cartesianisms: Dutch and French Constructions

ISBN : 9780190495220

Tad M. Schmaltz
392 ページ
156 x 235 mm

There is a general sense that the philosophy of Descartes was a dominant force in early modern thought. Since the work in the nineteenth century of French historians of Cartesian philosophy, however, there has been no fully contextualized comparative examination of the various receptions of Descartes in different portions of early modern Europe. This study addresses the need for a more current understanding of these receptions by considering the different constructions of Descartes's thought that emerged in the Calvinist United Provinces (Netherlands) and Catholic France, the two main centers for early modern Cartesianism, during the period dating from the last decades of his life to the century or so following his death in 1650. It turns out that we must speak not of a single early modern Cartesianism rigidly defined in terms of Descartes's own authorial intentions, but rather of a loose collection of early modern Cartesianisms that involve a range of different positions on various sets of issues. Though more or less rooted in Descartes's somewhat open-ended views, these Cartesianisms evolved in different ways over time in response to different intellectual and social pressures. Chapters of this study are devoted to: the early modern Catholic and Calvinist condemnations of Descartes and the incompatible Cartesian responses to these; conflicting attitudes among early modern Cartesians toward ancient thought and modernity; competing early modern attempts to combine Descartes's views with those of Augustine; the different occasionalist accounts of causation within early modern Cartesianism; and the impact of various forms of early modern Cartesianism on both Dutch medicine and French physics.


Notes for Introduction
1. Cartesianisms in Crisis
1.1. Two Problems for Descartes
1.2. The Problem of the Eucharist
1.3. The Problem of Human Freedom
Notes for Chapter 1
2. Ancient and Modern Descartes(es)
2.1. Descartes on the Ancients
2.2. Ancient Descartes
2.3. Modern Descartes
Notes for Chapter 2
3. Augustinian Cartesianisms
3.1. Descartes and Augustine
3.2. Augustine in Later Cartesianism
3.3. Augustine and Eternal Truths
3.4. The Great Debate: Arnauld v. Malebranche
Notes for Chapter 3
4. Cartesian Occasionalisms
4.1. Descartes and Occasionalism
4.2. Mind-Body Occasionalisms: Clauberg and Arnauld
4.3. 1666 Occasionalisms: La Forge and Cordemoy
4.4. Complete Occasionalisms: Geulincx and Malebranche
Notes for Chapter 4
5. Cartesianisms in Dutch Medicine
5.1. Mechanism and Empiricism in Descartes's Medicine
5.2. Regius, Descartes and Cartesianism
5.3. Mechanism and Empiricism in Dutch Medicine
Notes for Chapter 5
6. Cartesianisms in French Physics
6.1. Mechanism and Empiricism in Descartes's Physics
6.2. Qualitative French Cartesian Physics
6.3. Quantitative French Cartesian Physics
Notes for Chapter 6
Notes for Afterword
Works Cited


Tad M. Schmaltz is Professor of Philosophy and James B. and Grace J. Nelson Fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has published articles and book chapters on various topics in early modern philosophy and the history and philosophy of science, and is the author of Malebranche's Theory of the Soul (1996), Radical Cartesianism (2002), and Descartes on Causation (2008).