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The Title of Hobbes's Refutation of Thomas White's De Mundo

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Hobbes's manuscript refutation of Thomas White bears no title. Some modern scholars have proposed, on the basis of references to it by Mersenne, that the work was entitled 'De motu, loco et tempore', and the abbreviated version of this, 'De motu', has become current in modern scholarship. This research note analyses Mersenne's references, and concludes that this apparent title was a descriptive phrase introduced by Mersenne himself. The full description included the term 'philosophia' (thus: Hobbes's 'philosophy concerning motion, place and time'); this suggests a double focus, not only on the manuscript text, but also on Hobbes's 'body' of natural philosophy more generally.


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