Monday, October 5, 2009

17th Century Jesuit Philosopher And Cartographer: Claude Buffier

Claude Buffier, S.J., was born of French parents, in Poland, in 1661, and educated at Rouen. He entered among the Jesuits, at Paris, in 1679, and afterwards fixed his residence at the College of the Society in that City. Besides the present, he composed many other works on a variety of subjects. His most celebrated performance is his
" Traite de premieres Verites," published in 1724. He died in 1737. Voltaire bestows on his Metaphysical Treatises the high commendation of containing passages of which Locke would not have been ashamed ; and observes, that " he is the only Jesuit whose writings exhibit a rational Philosophy."
" Buffier," says Sir James MacKintosh,
" the only Jesuit whose name has a place in the History of Abstract Philosophy, has no peculiar opinions which would have required any mention of him as a Moralist, were it not for the great reputation of his Treatise on First Truths, with which Dr. Reid so remarkably, though unaware of it, coincides, even in the application of so practical a term as Common Sense, to denote the faculty which recognizes the truth of first principles. His Philosophical Writings are remarkable for that perfect clearness of expression, which, since the great examples of Descartes and PasCal, has been so generally diffused as to have become one of the enviable peculiarities of French Philosophical Style, and almost of the French Language."

Link (here)

Map of Poland 1760 by Fr. Claude Buffier, S.J.

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