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Harold J. Cook - Body and Passions: Materialism and the Early Modern State | JSTOR: Osiris, 2nd Series, Vol. 17 (2002), pp. 25-48
A group of works written in the mid-seventeenth-century Netherlands shows many defenders of commerce and republicanism embracing some of the most unsettling tenets of the new and experimental philosophy. Their political arguments were based on a view consonant with Cartesianism, in which the body and its passions for the most part dominate reason, instead of the prevailing idea that reason could and should dominate the passions and through them the body. These arguments were in turn related to some of the new claims about the body that flowed from recent anatomical investigations, in a time and place comfortable with materialism. If ever there were a group of political theorists who grounded their views on contemporary science, this is it: Johann de Witt, the brothers De la Court, and Spinoza. They believed that the new philosophy showed it was unnatural and impoverishing to have a powerful head of state, natural and materially progressive to allow the self-interested pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. --downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  political_philosophy  history_of_science  political_history  17thC  Dutch  Cartesian  Spinoza  de_Witt  mind-body  emotions  materialism  mechanism  experimental_philosophy  medicine  political_economy  commerce-doux  republicanism  bibliography  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader

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