From the Passion of Self-Love to the Virtue of Self-Interest: The Republican Morals of the Brothers De La Court
Title: From the Passion of Self-Love to the Virtue of Self-Interest: The Republican Morals of the Brothers De La Court
Author: WESTSTEIJN, Arthur
Publisher: Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
Citation: European Review of History-Revue Europeenne d'histoire, 2010, 17, 1, 75-92
The few studies on the political thought of Johan (1620-1660) and Pieter de la Court (1618-1685), next to Spinoza the two most important Dutch republicans in the second half of the seventeenth century, have primarily focused on the institutional dimensions of their republican ideology. This article approaches the brothers' thought in a different way by focusing on the moral philosophy that underlies their radical attack against arbitrary power and monarchical rule. In particular, it examines their dual interpretation of the prime passion of self-love as either corruptive of or conducive to civic virtue, and the ensuing reappraisal of well-understood self-interest as the essence of a prosperous republic.
Subject: republicanism; rhetoric; reason of state; Cartesianism; Augustinianism
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