By Lambert van Velthuysen, 1622-1685 (author) ; Malcolm de Mowbray (Editor and translator), Catherine Secretan (introduction)
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Extra resources for A Letter on the Principles of Justness and Decency, Containing a Defence of the Treatise De Cive of the Learned Mr Hobbes
Here Van Velthuysen takes up the doctrine defended by Grotius thirty years earlier, according to which there is no natural property. 77 Van Velthuysen openly adopted the Dutch cause (undoubtedly, his position in the West India Company played a role) and, like Grotius, supported the free use of anything that was not governed by a contract. Referring— not without irony—to the vain intellectual restlessness of his opponents, he states: ‘Here, however much my opponents set their minds spinning and rummage through their papers, they will have to admit that the division of goods draws its origin from contracts’ (p.
58). The theme of his writing is narrowly defined, all the more so considering that before he even begins 53 René Descartes, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, ed. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, Dugald Murdoch and Anthony Kenny, 3 vols (Cambridge, 1985–1991), vol. 3, p. 231; Oeuvres de Descartes, vol. 4, p. 67. bre. Elle me dona beaucoup de joye: car j’étois bien en peine de vous. Mr. ), The Correspondence of Thomas Hobbes, 2 vols (Oxford, 1994), vol. 1, pp. ) François Bonneau, sieur du Verdus, was the author of the second translation into French of De Cive, published in 1660 under the title Les Elemens de la politique.
For Van Velthuysen, human history begins with the sin of Adam and Eve, and not with a war of all against all. Consequently, it is the very idea of an original sin that justifies the political institution, and it is the principle of self-preservation that stands as a basis for sociability: But since my neighbour has just as much right as I do, and often no less strength, if not in seizing sovereignty at least in pursuing vengeance, I shall be sinning gravely against the law of self-preservation if I do not come to a division of goods.
A Letter on the Principles of Justness and Decency, Containing a Defence of the Treatise De Cive of the Learned Mr Hobbes by Lambert van Velthuysen, 1622-1685 (author) ; Malcolm de Mowbray (Editor and translator), Catherine Secretan (introduction)