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Censorship Of Philosophy In The Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic

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Chapter Summary

The most recent list of publications prohibited in the Dutch Republic at a States level during the seventeenth century, that is from 1583 to 1700 contains 263 titles. The list starts with a series of prohibitions reflecting the mounting tensions between the Arminian or Remonstrant faction of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Counter-Remonstrants. But even after the Synod of Dordt (1619) many Remonstrant treatises, including several written by Grotius, were banned. Although during the 1640s Descartes' philosophy had been officially proscribed repeatedly in no uncertain terms by the universities of both Utrecht and Leiden, this hardly put a stop to the remarkably successful proliferation of Cartesianism throughout Dutch academe and far beyond. A crucial dimension of genuine seventeenth-century censorship that did not involve the suppression of books at all is evident from the measures taken to ensure secrecy in Dutch politics and diplomacy.

Keywords: Dutch politics; Dutch Republic; philosophy; seventeenth-century censorship



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