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Additional resources for David Gorlaeus (1591-1612): An Enigmatic Figure in the History of Philosophy and Science
A clearly irresistible necessity therefore drives men’s thoughts (if they want to be consistent) to the atom, which is a true being (ens), having matter, form, dimension, place, resistance (antitypia), appetite, motion and emanation. Likewise, amid the destruction of all natural bodies, it remains constant and eternal. 58 Gorlaeus’ ens has a number of properties in common with Bacon’s, but there are also various important differences. First, from the way in which it is introduced in the Exercitationes, Gorlaeus’ atomism is in the first instance metaphysical.
By contrast, Gorlaeus insists that his own ‘first philosophy’ precedes physics in the order of the disciplines. 42 Having defined the parameters of his universal philosophy, Gorlaeus begins to lay down its principles, and he does so by introducing the following two distinctions. Following a traditional division, he first distinguishes entia realia from entia rationalia, where “real beings” mean those whose being (esse) is rooted in their independent existence (existentia), while “rational beings” depend for their esse entirely on the human intellect.
The Exercitationes were probably financed by her for the greater part, with the Leiden publishers and printers Johannes Ganne and Harman van Westerhuyzen as junior partners in this enterprise and the Commelin sons as intermediaries. That Ganne had contacts with the Commelins is known from legal acts. 7 Little is known about Ganne and Van Westerhuyzen, who worked at the lower end of the spectrum of Leiden printers; earning their living with small-scale publishing, printing and book binding. 8 There exist a number of editions of Dutch poems by the famous humanist and Leiden professor Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655) on which his name appears as a publisher.