A “Calvinist” Theory of Matter? Burgersdijk and Descartes on res extensa

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_DF7E28DEADC5
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
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Publications
Institution
Title
A “Calvinist” Theory of Matter? Burgersdijk and Descartes on res extensa
Journal
Intellectual History Review vol, 28 (2018)
Author(s)
Gellera Giovanni
Publication state
Published
Issued date
24/11/2017
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Language
english
Abstract
In the Dutch debates on Cartesianism of the 1640s, a minority believed that some Cartesian views were in fact Calvinist ones. The paper argues that, among others, a likely precursor of this position is the Aristotelian Franco Burgersdijk (1590-1635), who held a reductionist view of accidents and of the essential extension of matter on Calvinist grounds. It seems unlikely that Descartes was unaware of these views. The claim is that Descartes had two aims in his Replies to Arnauld: to show the compatibility of res extensa and the Catholic transubstantiation but also to differentiate the res extensa from some views of matter explicitly defended by some Calvinists. The association with Calvinism will be eventually used polemically against Cartesianism, for example in France. The paper finally suggests that, notwithstanding the points of conflict, the affinities between the theologically relevant theories of accidents, matter and extension ultimately facilitated the dissemination of Cartesianism among the Calvinists.
Keywords
Descartes, Burgersdijk, res extensa, accident, Calvinist scholasticism, eucharist
Open Access
Yes
Funding(s)
Swiss National Science Foundation / Careers / PP00P1_163751
Create date
20/04/2020 18:55
Last modification date
23/06/2020 6:21
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