History of European Ideas 41 (3):338-356 (2015)

Paul Schuurman
Erasmus University Rotterdam
SummaryIn the present article it is argued that Pieter de la Court's Political Maxims of the State of Holland presented a remarkably consistent grand strategy for Holland in relation to its Dutch allies and the European powers. I present an outline of this strategy, which was built around the accomplishment and defence of commercial goals; I sketch a historical context that takes into account the general historical shift from tribute-taking agrarian societies towards commercial wealth-generating polities, and also the violent contemporary military and ideological background against which De la Court's strategy stands out; I argue that his strategy can be understood by his use of three basic game theoretic concepts ; and I stress the distinctive character of De la Court's work, by comparing the practical and strategic use of these concepts in the Maxims with the function of the same concepts in the philosophical contract theories of Thomas Hobbes and Benedict de Spinoza.
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DOI 10.1080/01916599.2014.965783
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References found in this work BETA

Joint Action.Seumas Miller - 1992 - Philosophical Papers 21 (3):275-297.
Hobbes and Spinoza.Noel Malcolm - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.

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