Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 1814-1814


Regius, Hendrick

  • Stephen GaukrogerAffiliated withUniversity of Sydney

Alternate Names

Henricus Regius; Roy, Hendrick de

BornUtrecht, The Netherlands, 29 July 1598

DiedUtrecht, The Netherlands, 19 February 1679

Henricus Regius was one of René Descartes’ first disciples, and one of the principal representatives of Cartesianism in the Netherlands, but his polemical style and intransigent approach soon brought him into conflict with the authorities. He studied in Franeker, Groningen, Leiden, Paris, Montpellier, Valence, and Padua. He taught medicine at the University of Utrecht from 1638.

Descartes showed Regius the material he had intended to publish as The World, and Regius had probably based his lectures on this material. In 1646, Regius published his Fundamenta physices, which offered a form of Cartesian natural philosophy stripped of the metaphysical foundations that Descartes had provided to legitimate his approach in his Principles of Philosophy (1644). Descartes had provided a detailed physical defense of a cosmological system in which the ...

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