The Formation and Development of Tyssot’s Ideas
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The elements of Tyssot’s work that have attracted most attention are his ideas on religion, metaphysics and science. Tyssot attacked the authority of the Scriptures and rejected the Mosaic account of the creation, the Biblical chronology, the Fall of man and original sin, the story of the Flood, the divinity of Jesus, the concept of a Trinity, the belief in an immortal soul, and the like. All these doctrines, and many others, he rejected as being incompatible with reason, with the eternal and immutable truths of mathematics and with the recent discoveries of science. Most of Tyssot’s ideas are to be found in the Voyages et avantures de Jaques Massé and many of them, as the critics have shown, are little different from those of the “enlightened” thinkers of the time. As to the specific sources of Tyssot’s ideas these have been investigated mainly by McKee 1 who found, with some justification, that Tyssot drew his inspiration largely from writers of the seventeenth century, although, as I shall show, McKee did not fully appreciate the extent of Tyssot’s indebtedness to Spinoza. The purpose of this chapter is to find out when Tyssot first acquired his ideas and how he developed them.
KeywordsSeventeenth Century Innate Knowledge Church Authority Immortal Soul Divine Purpose
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