November 24 2023, 16.15
Via Porta di Massa, 1 - Napoli

Nature and Life: the Critical Reception of Cartesianism in Tommaso Cornelio Category: Seminar in the cycle “Practicing Science in Naples”


Tommaso Cornelio has much contributed to the renovation of Neapolitan Culture in XVII Century, mostly by spreading the knowledge of Descartes’ works, method and philosophical approach. His works, especially Progymnasmata physica (1663), became soon renown in the transalpine cartesian circles, notably by Malebranche. Cornelio’s work was vast and wide-ranging. Aware that the Cartesian program involved a radical reorganization of the entire field of knowledge, he was particularly sensitive to the new Cartesian anthropology and the interpretation of the human body in a mechanistic framework strictly ruled by the laws of Nature established by God. At the same time, Cornelius observes and explains the world of life and physiological processes within a broader horizon, examining, always critically, different philosophical-scientific traditions, from the pre-Socratics up to Renaissance thinkers (Telesio, Bruno, Campanella) and to his contemporaries (Bacon, Galileo, Harvey, Hobbes, Malphighi, Redi, and so on). We thus aim to show how the Cosentine philosopher and physician felt the need to situate the novelty of Cartesianism within a broader spectrum of ideas and experiences, and that it was in this wider framing that he evaluated and applied Descartes’ tools and ideas to specific subject matter. This wider framework allowed him to chart his own course within the new map of the physical world drawn by the French thinker.

Organized by: Institute for the History of Philosophy and Science in Modern Age (ISPF), CNR.
Organizing Committee: Silvia Caianiello, Maria Conforti, Francesco Piro, Manuela Sanna.
The Seminar will be held in hybrid mode. For participation in presence, it is advised but not compelling to make a reservation.
Zoom link:
For information:
Silvia Caianiello,

Seminar in the cycle “Fare scianza a Napoli”

Attached: locandina/calendario seminari