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Responses To Descartes, Aspects Of Cartesianism, Bibliography

When René Descartes died in 1650, his work had already attracted both critics and followers. In 1632 Cartesian philosophy was being taught in the Netherlands by his disciple Henri Reneri (1593–1639), and by the mid-1630s the far more independently minded Henri Regius (1598–1679) was setting out his own version of Cartesianism in a less guarded and more polemical way than had Descartes himself. Indeed it was Regius who attracted the first condemnation of Cartesianism, from the Dutch theologian Gisbert Voetius (1589–1676), in 1641, and in 1642 Voetius turned on Descartes himself, drawing him into a very public controversy. Cartesianism first flourished as a movement in the Netherlands, being established as early as the 1650s at Leiden and Utrecht—where there was a Cartesian club, the College der Savanten—as well as at other Dutch universities. It was through a member of one of these Dutch groups, Johannes Clauberg (1622–1665), that Cartesianism came to be established in Germany: he took up the chair of theology and philosophy at the University of Duisberg in 1651, a new university set up by the cousin of Princess Elizabeth, Descartes's correspondent and staunch defender.

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