Atomism and Cartesianism: Gassendi and Gorlaeus (and More) in Utrecht Disputations in the 1650s

Erik-Jan Bos*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

In the 1650s, two professors of philosophy at the University of Utrecht defended atomism. Interestingly, one of them, Johannes de Bruyn, is considered to be a staunch Cartesian, while the other, Daniel Voet, was a neo-Aristotelian and strongly opposed to Descartes’s philosophy. This article examines this curious situation and analyses the theories of both professors. While converging with Gassendi on several crucial points, their theories relied mainly on other sources. Since De Bruyn’s atomistic view has never been studied before, the main part of the article is devoted to him and his sources. Surprisingly, it turns out that David Gorlaeus was a source of inspiration for De Bruyn’s development of a new type of Cartesianism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-444
Number of pages25
JournalErudition and the Republic of Letters
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© ERIK-JAN BOS, 2023.

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