Giuseppe Cospito

“Comme un roi fait ses lois". Eternal Truths and Political Absolutism in Descartes' Thought (Historical-Critical Survey)

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Absolutism, Eternal truths, Hobbism, Political thought, Potentia Dei absoluta, Theology.

This paper critically examines the limited number political considerations present in the works of Descartes and the very different ways in which these have been interpreted. Descartes’ (implicit or explicit) adhesion to absolutism seems to depend on his theory of eternal truths, according to which God establishes the principles of logic and the laws of nature as a king establishes the laws in his kingdom. His conception of absolutism is closer to some currents of medieval political theology than to the outlook of his contemporary Hobbes.

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