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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Spinoza’s relationship to Descartes and his followers is complex. On the one hand, he was clearly inspired and influenced by the metaphysical and epistemological principles of Cartesian philosophy. On the other hand, his system represents a significant departure from some of that philosophy’s most fundamental principles. In this chapter, I consider those aspects of Descartes’s thought that Spinoza, over the course of his philosophical career, accepted, modified, and rejected, as well as his tense relations with later Cartesians who sought to distance themselves from a “heretic” perceived by ecclesiastic, academic, and civil authorities as one of their own.

Keywords: Benedictus Spinoza, Velthuysen, Utrecht, Van Mansvelt, Burman, Desmarets, Melchior

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