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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Mersenne’s multidisciplinary interests marked the relationship of intellectual collaboration that linked him to Descartes, whose research and publications he solicited and promoted, though without ever becoming a “Cartesian”. Mersenne “molecularized” the Cartesian philosophy in terms of a series of specific issues, but the way in which the Minim triggered the debate generated criticism and polemics rather than adhesions to Cartesianism. Mersenne based his argumentations on philosophical and theological presuppositions that differed from those formulated by Descartes, particularly concerning the hypothetical status of science, the validity of logical-mathematical truths, the radicalization of divine omnipotence, and the argument of deceiving God. The unpublished theological manuscripts of the 1640s reveal, however, that after the 1641 Objections, the Minim was ready to accept crucial Cartesian metaphysical theses, but in his own peculiar way.

Keywords: Marin Mersenne, hypothetical status of science, deceiving God, eternal truth, science of the atheist, Cartesian metaphysics and theology

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