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Pietro Pomponazzi


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Italian Aristotelian. Originally qualified in medicine, Pomponazzi taught philosophy in Padua and then Bologna, where in 1516 he published the Tractatus de immortalitate animae, a denial of immortality following on a materialist interpretation of Aristotle. The book was burned publicly in Venice and condemned at Rome. This did not prevent him from publishing in 1520 De naturaliu effectuum causis sive de incantantionibus liber, attacking magic, miracles and superstition, in favour, however, of non-miraculous astrological powers. This and subsequent writings which awaited posthumous publication admirably defended the autonomy of philosophical and scientific research, and played a role in undermining the fragile rapport between Aristotelian natural science and revealed theology.

Subjects: Philosophy

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