By Professor of Philosophy Richard H Popkin

This quantity comprises 22 articles via Richard H. Popkin at the historical past of recent philosophy written among 1980 and 1990. a number of of those essays haven't been released earlier than. the subjects lined variety over non secular and theological impacts in smooth philosophy; extra fabric within the background of scepticism facing Hobbes, Henry extra, and Pascal, and Moritz Schlick; and new findings approximately Spinoza, pre-Adamism, Ralph Cudworth, Isaac Newton's non secular perspectives, 18th-century racism, and the liberalism of Condorcet. This quantity covers such a lot parts of Popkin's pursuits, and exhibits a few of his leader findings and interpretations built over the past decade.

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But, in the absence of more overt data, I think we have to leave him as holding slightly innovative views about the Biblical text and the development of religions, views that were and are compatible with official versions of Christianity of established churches. In saying all of this, I am not saying Hobbes was a believer, rather that he could have been an honest adherent of the Church of England. He certainly lacks the believer's fervor of his contemporary, Pascal. But his concern with religion was great, considering how much of his text is devoted to it.

We do not have a holograph copy. Instead we have what La Peyrère called "a heap of copy of copy". What we have indicates that parts of the original have been lost, parts added later than Moses, and later than Ezra's reconstitution of the Mosaic text. The decision about what items are part of Scripture was made, we are told, by a group of ancient rabbis long after the events in the Bible. The decison of what was an accurate text of either the Old or New Testaments was made long after the text had gone through many transmissions.

Following immediately after Spinoza, Father Richard Simon offered a "defense" of Scripture as an inspired document, a defense which was taken as the coup de grace of revealed religion. 38 Simon's Bible criticism, developed from La Peyrère's and Spinoza's, showed that if the Calvinists sought to use Scripture as the rule of faith, they had first to find an accurate text of Scripture. Knowing far more than La Peyrère or Spinoza about the sources of present texts, Simon cast doubt on any of them as being the correct text.

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