Regis, Pierre Sylvain
REGIS, PIERRE SYLVAIN
French Cartesian philosopher, b. La Salvetat de Blanquefort in the Diocese of Agen, 1632; d. Paris, Nov. 1, 1707. Regis attended the Cartesian conferences given in Paris by J. Rohault (1620–75), and then gave some himself at Toulouse (1661), Montpellier (1671), and Paris, but suspended them at the request of the archbishop of Paris in 1680. He waited until 1690 before publishing his Cours entier de philosophie ou système général selon les principes de M. Descartes (3 v. Paris). He defended Descartes against the Censure of P. D. huet in his Réponse … (1691) and against J. B. du hamel in his Réponse aux réflexions critiques … (1692). He answered the Réponse of N. malebranche to his criticisms in the Système through a few letters in the Journal des Savants (1694). Named to the Academy of Sciences in 1699, he published L'Usage de la raison et de la foi (1704), containing a refutation of Spinoza's ethics, and a Traité de l'amour de Dieu (1705), together with a Latin discourse on history. He influenced Cartesian dualism in the direction of empiricism and defended the real union of body and soul. His physics was mechanistic; he also taught a moral philosophy based on self–love and a political science based on absolute power in the tradition of T. hobbes.
See Also: cartesianism.
Bibliography: f. c. bouillier, Histoire de la philosophie cartésienne, 2 v. (3d ed. Paris 1868) 1:517–527. n. malebranche, Oeuvres complètes, ed. a. robinet, v. 17.1 (Paris 1960) 238–255.