Cristina Santinelli

«Conatus» and «Corpora Simplicissima». Hobbes and Spinoza on Nature and Origin of Movement

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The paper suggests a possible relation between the concept of "conatus", as it is presented in Hobbes' "De Corpore", and that of "corpora simplicissima", as formulated by Spinoza in his short treatise on physics in "Ethica". The reflexion doesn't concern the philological and historical question of Hobbes as a source of Spinoza's thought, but focuses on the definitions of those two concepts, in order to evaluate their function as a foundation of a philosophy of nature set free from theological premises and in light of a mechanism inspired by the idea of matter as "potentia/power", as opposed to the cartesian concept of "extentio" as "moles quiescens".


  • Conatus/Endeavour
  • Corpora Simplicissima
  • Mechanism


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