TITLE

Generosity and the Utility of the Passions: Cartesian Ethics in Restoration England

AUTHOR(S)
Tilmouth, Christopher
PUB. DATE
April 2007
SOURCE
Seventeenth Century;Spring2007, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p144
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Accounts of seventeenth-century England's reception of Cartesianism typically concentrate on metaphysics. Yet Restoration readers also engaged with Descartes's last work, Les Passions de l'Ame – a fact which has scarcely been explored by intellectual historians hitherto. This essay outlines the principal ideas and innovations of Les Passions and then shows how the Cambridge Platonists, John Smith and Henry More, and the physicians, Walter Charleton and William Ramesey, adapted or reproduced such ideas in their own writings. I examine the latter's efforts to establish the moral worth of the passions (especially generosity), and their parallel concern to demonstrate the emotions' physiological usefulness.
ACCESSION #
26774321

 

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