Hobbes, Descartes and ideas: a secret debate

Author/s Gianluca Mori
Publishing Year 2010 Issue 2010/2 Language Italian
Pages 18 P. 229-246 File size 467 KB
DOI 10.3280/SF2010-002002
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The author proposes that the anonymous letter dated May 19th 1641 and delivered to Descartes by Mersenne should be attributed to Thomas Hobbes. Although the content is known, what scholars are usually more interested in are Descartes’ two replies, which contain important clarifications on the proof of God’s existence. That the letter was written by Hobbes is revealed by various thematic, conceptual, and lexical analogies and, above all, by the presence of two doctrines characteristic of his thought: 1) the denial of the existence of intellectual ideas; 2) the assertion that the nature of God can only be described by the proposition "God exists". Attributing this letter to Hobbes throws new light on the debate that followed Descartes’ Meditations as well as on the role played by Mersenne.

Keywords: Hobbes, Descartes, Mersenne, idea, imagination, intellect

Gianluca Mori, Hobbes, Cartesio e le idee: un dibattito segreto in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 2/2010, pp 229-246, DOI: 10.3280/SF2010-002002