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Roger Woolhouse. Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz: The Concept of Substance in Seventeenth Century Metaphysics. Article (PDF Available) · March with .
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Some philosophers also associated with the great monarchs and administrators of the age: Descartes gave philosophical instruction to Queen Christina of Sweden, Leibniz was an intimate of the electress Sophia Charlotte of Prussia — , and Spinoza enjoyed the personal friendship of the Dutch politician Johan de Witt — Thus, in the early modern period, philosophers often belonged to the lesser nobility or were closely associated with the higher nobility, to whom—like poets—many of them dedicated their works.

Thus philosophy in the 16th and 17th centuries was clearly the preoccupation of a widely scattered elite.

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This meant that, despite the existence of printing, much philosophical communication took place within a small and informal circle. Treatises were circulated in manuscript, comments and objections were solicited, and a vast polemical correspondence was built up. Prior to its publication, Descartes prudently sent his Meditations to the theologians of the Sorbonne for comment; after its publication, his friend Marin Mersenne — sent it to Hobbes, Antoine Arnauld —94 , and Pierre Gassendi , among others, who returned formal objections to which Descartes in turn replied.

Descartes on Substance

The rich philosophical correspondence of the 17th century is exemplified by the letters that passed between Descartes and the scientist Christiaan Huygens —95 , between Leibniz and Arnauld, and between Leibniz and Samuel Clarke — , which were published in Throughout the early modern period, creative philosophy was sharply separated from formal centres of learning. Hobbes expressed extreme contempt for the Aristotelianism of Oxford; Descartes, despite his prudence , scorned the medievalists of the Sorbonne; and Spinoza refused the offer of a professorship of philosophy at Heidelberg with polite aversion.

It was to be another years before philosophy returned to the universities. Western philosophy. Article Media.

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Thank you for your feedback. Load Previous Page. The rationalism of Spinoza and Leibniz The tradition of Continental rationalism was carried on by two philosophers of genius: the Dutch Jewish philosopher Benedict de Spinoza —77 and his younger contemporary Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz — , a Leipzig scholar and polymath.

The early Renaissance commitment to the dialogue form already noted , inspired by the rediscovery of the Platonic dialogues. APA 6th ed. Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study. The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied.

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Woolhouse, Roger 1940- (R.S. Woolhouse, Roger S. Woolhouse, Roger Stuart Woolhouse)

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  • Woolhouse, Roger 1940- (R.S. Woolhouse, Roger S. Woolhouse, Roger Stuart Woolhouse).
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[(Locke: A Biography )] [Author: Roger Woolhouse] [Feb-2009] by Roger Woolhouse

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