Article ID: CBB710606590

How Did Regius Become Regius? The Early Doctrinal Evolution of a Heterodox Cartesian (2018)


This article offers an assessment of Henricus Regius’s (1598-1679) pre-Cartesian sources and their role in his appropriation of Descartes’s ideas, via two main questions: 1) Who was Regius, doctrinally speaking, before his exposure to Cartesianism? And 2) how did he use Descartes’s theories before his quarrel with Descartes himself in the mid-1640s? These questions are addressed by means of a textual analysis that concerns his theory of matter. In this article, I will show that 1) Regius started out with a scientific program he had found in Ramism and the medical theories of Heurnius and Santorio. 2) On this basis, he developed a physiology encompassing Descartes’s theory of blood circulation and sensory perception. 3) Regius completed the resulting physiology with a theory of matter more developed than Descartes’s, and which he appropriated from Santorio, Basson, and Gorlaeus.

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Authors & Contributors
Gaukroger, Stephen W.
Rouquayrol, Louis
Smith, Kurt
Parker, Charles H.
Schuster, John
Antoine-Mahut, Delphine
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Rivista Critica di Storia della Filosofia
Renaissance Quarterly
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
Intellectual History Review
Yale University
Natural philosophy
Descartes, René
Regius, Henricus
Ramus, Petrus
Spinoza, Baruch
Santorio, Santorio
Rohault, Jacques
Time Periods
17th century
16th century

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