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1. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Delphine Kolesnik-Antoine Le rôle des expériences dans la physiologie d’Henricus Regius : les « pierres lydiennes » du cartésianisme
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The historiography of Cartesianism often opposes Regius, a dissident empiricist medical doctor who denied the capacity of natural reason to demonstrate the immateriality and the immortality of the soul, to Descartes, a metaphysician who on the contrary grounded his philosophy in the real distinction between thinking and corporeal substance. In this contribution, I show how our understanding of this relation is modified when approaching the relation between the two men taking departure in the question of physiological experiments. Going back to some foundational texts, namely the disputations on physiology defended at the University of Utrecht from around 1640, I follow the evolution in how they dealt with three essential questions: the beating of the heart, digestion, and muscular movement, all the way until the last edition of the Philosophia naturalis in 1661. I reconstruct the prolonged dialogue between Regius and Descartes on these questions in order to show that the recourse to physiological experimentation in Regius’s work does not serve to question Descartes’s philosophy. Quite to the contrary, Regius wishes to consolidate this philosophy and purge it of its slag by responding to accusations of abstraction and dogmatism directed against a Cartesian metaphysics and physics that remove both venture to speak of the invisible. By following the aftermath of Regius’s innovations in the texts by Clerselier and De la Forge that accompany the posthumous edition of L’Homme in 1664, this contribution proposes, in short, to reconsider an interpretation of Cartesianismthat is too “dualist,” by taking into account what a more empiricist reading can contribute to it.
2. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Ovidiu Olar Dimitrie Cantemir şi Nicolae Mavrocordat. Rivalităţi politice şi literare la începutul secolului XVIII [Démétrius Cantemir et NicolasMavrocordatos. Rivalités politiques et littéraires au début du XVIIIe siecle] by Tudor Dinu
3. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Lynda Gaudemard L’omniprésence de Dieu. Descartes face à More (1648-1649)
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In this paper, I shall suggest that, what Descartes supported in his letter to More of August 1649, when he claimed that God’s essence might be present everywhere, was not that God can’t exist without being extended, i.e. being omnipresent, but that God has necessarily the disposition to be extended. If my interpretation is correct, then the claim that God’s essence is omnipresent is consistant with the thesis that God is omnipresent ratione potentia.
4. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Tamás Pavlovits L’interprétation de l’infini pascalien et cartésien dans La Logique ou l’Art de penser
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The authors of the Logique ou l’Art de penser, Arnauld and Nicole, declare that their work is based on the thinking of Descartes and Pascal. However, it is not easy to reconcile the differences between the two thinkers. Several commentators claim that the aim to harmonize produces a tension in the Logique. In this paper I analyse how the Cartesian and Pascalian conceptions of the infinite are being harmonised by Arnaud and Nicole. I argue that they are able to reconcile the differences of Descartes’ and Pascal’s notions of the infinite in an apologetic context. Although Pascal and Descartes use and define the infinite differently, they agree that the infinite is evident and incomprehensible at the same time. Arnauld et Nicole use this characteristic of the infinite in an apologetic context. The basis of my analysis lies in three axioms that the Logique names “axioms of belief.” In these axioms the infinite functions to limit the uses of reason and to show with evidence that something exists beyond the borders of rational knowledge.
5. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Andrea Sangiacomo Spinoza et les problemes du corps dans l’histoire de la critique: Essai bibliographique (1924-2015)
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This bibliographical essay reconstructs the scholarly debate concerning Spinoza’s account of the body over the last ninety years. The paper focuses on the notion of body considered only from a physical point of view (without relationship to the mind). Questions concerning the ontological status of bodies (both simplest bodies and complex individuals), the nature of their essence, their power of operating, or the sources of Spinoza’s views have originated a long-standing discussion. This reconstruction presents the main solutions developed so far, and pinpoints the still understudied areas in the field.
6. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Ilaria Coluccia Descartes et la scolastique sur la faussete materielle: perspectives sur les etudes recentes
7. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Olivier Dubouclez Descartes et les quarante passions. Ordre et dénombrement dans les articles 53 à 67 des Passions de l’âme
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The enumeration of the “principal passions” in the articles 53 to 67 of the Passions of the Soul (1649) is generally regarded as laborious and unclear. This article opposes to this view and proposes elements to make sense of Descartes’ enumerative procedure. First, it clarifies the nature and function of what is called “ordered enumeration”: it amounts to a methodical act of collecting which must not be confused with a cognitive sequence based on determinate principles. The article also suggests that the paragraph 52 of the Passions provides relevant indications to account for the structure of Descartes’ discourse. Indeed, different ordering criteria can be deduced from the under­standing of what the emotional object is (namely profit and importance), and from Descartes’ emotional subject as a “mind-body union” put into motion by passion (temporality). The article finally insists on Descartes’ main novelty: his forty “principal passions” are not exclusively centered on the ego and his desire; on the contrary, the enumeration makes room for other human beings who, being emotional subjects in their own right, play an active role in the develop­ment of the subject’s sentimental experience.