BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    An early European critic of Hobbes's De Corpore

    Clucas, Stephen (2017) An early European critic of Hobbes's De Corpore. Hobbes Studies 30 (1), pp. 4-27. ISSN 0921-5891.

    This is the latest version of this item.

    [img]
    Preview
    Text
    AN EARLY EUROPEAN CRITIC OF HOBBES.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (341kB) | Preview

    Abstract

    The Animadversiones in Elementorum Philosophiae by a little known Flemish scholar G. Moranus, published in Brussels in 1655 was an early European response to Hobbes’s De corpore. Although it is has been referred to by various Hobbes scholars, such as Noel Malcolm, Doug Jesseph, and Alexander Bird it has been little studied. Previous scholarship has tended to focus on the mathematical criticisms of Andre Tacquet which Moranus included in the form of a letter in his volume. Moranus’s philosophical objections to Hobbes’s natural philosophy offer a fascinating picture of the critical reception of Hobbes’s work by a religious writer trained in the late scholastic tradition. Moranus’s opening criticism clearly shows that he is unhappy with Hobbes’s exclusion of the divine and the immaterial from natural philosophy. He asks what authority Hobbes has for breaking with the common understanding of philosophy, as defined by Cicero ‘the knowledge of things human and divine’. He also offers natural philosophical and theological criticisms of Hobbes for overlooking the generation of things involved in the Creation. He also attacks the natural philosophical underpinning of Hobbes’s civil philosophy. In this paper I look at a number of philosophical topics which Moranus criticised in Hobbes’s work, including his mechanical psychology, his theory of imaginary space, his use of the concept of accidents, his blurring of the distinction between the human being and the animal, and his theories of motion. Moranus’s criticisms, which are a mixture of philosophical and theological objections, gives us some clear indications of what made Hobbes’ natural philosophy controversial amongst his contemporaries, and sheds new light on the early continental reception of Hobbes’s work.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Seth Ward, Moranus, Thomas Hobbes, mechanical psychology, minima naturalia, accidents, spatium imaginarium
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Stephen Clucas
    Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2017 12:59
    Last Modified: 27 Jun 2020 08:18
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/18839

    Available Versions of this Item

    Statistics

    Downloads
    Activity Overview
    146Downloads
    72Hits

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item