Best 17th & 18th Century Philosophy in 2022

What Do Descartes, Hobbes, and Locke Have in Common?

What do Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, and other seventeenth and eighteenth-century philosophers have in common? In fact, you probably can't name one without the other. But when it comes to the philosophical ideas of these three thinkers, they all share several qualities that make them stand out from each other. Whether you like them or not depends on your own personal preferences. Listed below are a few of the main characteristics of each thinker, and a quick summary of their works.


Descartes, 17th & eighteenth century philosophy, was a French philosopher. He was born in 1632 in France to a Jewish woman named Jeanne Sain. He stayed in the Netherlands after his mother's death and returned several times. He found solitude and freedom from the religious pressures of Paris and sought to develop a new system of thought. Descartes' theories included the concept of doubt as a way to gain truth. The three major works of his philosophy include Le Geometrie, Les Meteores, La Dioptrique, and The Passion of the Soul.

Descartes' theory of the mind is a classic example of a "mind is separate from body" theory. This view suggests that a person's mind exists independently of his body, even if he does not physically see or experience it. Moreover, because the mind is separate from the body, it is possible for a mind to exist without a physical body. Descartes' arguments are based on a careful examination of human nature and the relationship between mind and body.

In Descartes' theory of cause and effect, an idea must have an attribute from its cause. For example, for water to boil, heat must have been received from its cause. The body could not be boiled if it was not in contact with its cause. A similar argument could be made for a body that is not a real object. It is also not possible to cause a purely corporeal object without an objective reality.

The question of certainty is also central to Descartes' philosophy of mind. Descartes questions whether there is a God. But he believes that God has the power to make sense of things. And he says that if we believe in God, then we should also believe in certain things, such as arithmetic and geometry. So, while it is difficult to prove that God exists, we can be sure that things are indeed true.

In his final writings, Descartes made moral arguments. In the Discourse on the Method, he put all his ideas in question. In response to this objection, Descartes developed the cosmological argument and adopted three maxims. These three maxims are known as the Provisional Morals. Therefore, we must be aware that the existence of God can only be inferred from this.

In the early seventeenth century, many philosophers in Europe disagreed with Aristotle's philosophy. However, Descartes has been hailed as the father of modern Western philosophy. His revolutionary approach shifted the debate away from the question of what is true to that of what is true. Despite the disagreement between Aristotle and Descartes, his philosophy influenced western culture.


The importance of Hobbes in 17th & eighteenth-century philosophy is widely recognized, but its connections to the past are relatively limited. This article describes some of the key connections between Hobbes and the past, including the role of geometry in the philosophy of mathematics and the influence of Galileo. However, such connections are not a sufficient basis for the discussion of Hobbes's philosophy of mathematics.

In his work, Hobbes identifies the central problem of the state of nature as the absence of a common measure of good and evil. This is a key feature of political philosophy, as there is no such thing as scientific certainty. However, Hobbes does suggest that the lack of such a common measure is responsible for the existence of social structures and societies. While the lack of a common measure is a central problem in Hobbes' work, it can be remedied by a sovereign authority.

Although his writings in political philosophy are the mainstay of the literature, a few general works on Hobbes' life and thought are available. Sorell 1986 and Martinich 2005 are the best general treatments of Hobbes, while Aubrey's biography is arguably the most thorough modern treatment of the philosopher. Moreover, the most comprehensive biography of Hobbes, The Life and Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes

A central theme of Thomas Hobbes's work is his conception of human motivation. As such, the a priori account of human motivation has led to various interpretations, including a more egoistic view of Hobbes. A more realistic picture of human motivation helps avoid the political conclusions that Hobbes often draws. Moreover, a realistic view of human nature avoids many of the pitfalls of his work.

Ultimately, the account of the soul is based on materialist psychology, and despite the fact that he denies the existence of an immaterial mind, his work is the most overtly polemical of his major works. The philosophical aspects of Hobbes' work include his conception of language and the philosophy of the imagination. The philosopher's life is incomplete without motion. And it must therefore be accompanied by a sufficient amount of motion in order to maintain a life worth living.

A key philosophical question for the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is the role of religion in human life. Aristotelian metaphysics is an important aspect of human existence, and aristotelian metaphysics is one of those foundations. The debate on religion has largely centered on the existence of a god, and Hobbes' view of God is no exception.

In addition to being a philosopher, Thomas Hobbes also had many other pursuits. He wrote on law and translations of classical works. He also engaged in disputes with Leibniz and Boyle over the importance of mathematics. While his contributions to mathematics were less successful, his role as an intellectual was considerable. In short, Hobbes' influence on the 17th and eighteenth centuries can be seen as a triumph of positivism over scholastic materialism.


In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Locke was a major figure in English history. As a physician, he worked at Lord Ashley's Exeter House in 1668, where he organized an operation that changed the course of English history. Later, he became secretary to the Board of Trade and Plantations and the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas. Lord Ashley espoused prosperity through trade, and persuaded Charles II to establish a Board of Trade and Plantations. While Locke was in exile, Ashley convinced him to write an essay about the effects of trade and economic development in his native England.

While Locke acknowledged that governments are sometimes brought about through force and violence, he would destroy the distinction between an illegitimate civil government and a legitimate one. In Locke's political philosophy, legitimate government is a result of the consent of those who govern. In this regard, the concept of legitimate slavery plays an important role, defining the limits of despotic power and illuminating its opposite.

In Book III, Locke discusses the issue of classification. He rejects both the Aristotelian and the Scholastic tradition. For Locke, necessary properties are the ones that must exist, while accidental properties can be lost. Together, these essential properties are the essence of a natural kind. These essential characteristics define its boundaries, and the distinction between natural kinds is supposed to be sharp and definitive.

In the seventeenth century, religious toleration was a serious issue in Europe. The Reformation had separated Europe into competing religious camps and resulted in massive religious persecutions. Locke had to contend with these tensions while living in the Dutch Republic, which was founded as a secular state in response to the Catholic persecution of Protestants. The Calvinist Church, in turn, began to persecute other sects. The edict of Nantes, however, temporarily quieted the religious conflict.

In his 17th and eighteenth century philosophy, he argued that humans have natural pre-social rights to life, liberty, and property. To protect these rights, a central authority is needed. That central authority, however, should be limited to ensuring equal rights for everyone. Locke's political philosophy would ultimately influence the American Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Locke's writings are often considered to be among the most influential in the history of philosophy. In the late seventeenth century, Locke's work had a profound influence on the development of liberalism. Although he did not have the wealth to become an MP, he was able to obtain an excellent education. He also studied medicine extensively, and became a close associate of Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke.

During the eighteenth century, science advanced at an incredible pace. Physicists such as Newton and Descartes were also heavily influenced by the discoveries of chemistry and physics. Similarly, seventeenth century philosophers aimed to understand and explain the world without divine intervention. By the end of the eighteenth century, materialism became a popular philosophy, but without a complete metaphysical commitment.

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