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International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées

Tommaso Campanella

The Book and the Body of Nature

Authors: Ernst, Germana

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  • Serves as a comprehensive intellectual biography of an important and complex philosopher of the Renaissance
  • Presents a historical reconstruction of social and cultural relationships between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century
  • Clarifies some philological and interpretative problems concerning modern editions and translations of Campanella’s texts
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eBook $129.00
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  • ISBN 978-90-481-3126-6
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Hardcover $169.99
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Softcover $169.99
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About this book

A friend of Galileo and author of the renowned utopia The City of the Sun, Tommaso Campanella (Stilo, Calabria,1568- Paris, 1639) is one of the most significant and original thinkers of the early modern period. His philosophical project centred upon the idea of reconciling Renaissance philosophy with a radical reform of science and society. He produced a complex and articulate synthesis of all fields of knowledge – including magic and astrology. During his early formative years as a Dominican friar, he manifested a restless impatience towards Aristotelian philosophy and its followers. As a reaction, he enthusiastically embraced Bernardino Telesio’s view that knowledge could only be acquired through the observation of things themselves, investigated through the senses and based on a correct understanding of the link between words and objects. Campanella’s new natural philosophy rested on the principle that the books written by men needed to be compared with God’s infinite book of nature, allowing them to correct the mistakes scattered throughout the human ‘copies’ which were always imperfect, partial and liable to revisions. It is in the light of these principles that he defended Galileo’s right to read the book of nature while denouncing the mistake of those – be they Aristotelian philosophers or theologians – who wanted to stop him from carrying on his natural investigations. However, Campanella maintained that the book of nature, far from being written in mathematical characters, was a living organism in which each natural being was endowed with life and a degree of sensibility that was appropriate for its preservation and propagation. Nature as a whole was an organism in which each single part was directed towards the common good. This is the reason why Campanella thought that nature had to be regarded as an ideal model for any political organisation. Political structures were often ruled by injustice and violence precisely because they had departed from that natural model. This book charts Campanella’s intellectual life by showing the origin, development and persistence of some of the fundamental tenets of his thought.

About the authors

Germana Ernst is professor of History of Renaissance Philosophy at the Third University of Rome. She studied at the University of Milan, graduating with a thesis on Campanella’s Apologia pro Galileo. She has written papers on early modern authors, such as Girolamo Cardano, Giordano Bruno, Giovanni Battista Della Porta, Giulio Cesare Vanini, and Galileo Galilei. Her main research activities, however, have been focused on Tommaso Campanella, on whom she has written three books together with many essays and articles dealing with ethics and politics, philosophy of nature, religion, natural magic, prophecy and astrology. She edited many published and unpublished works of Campanella, including Articuli prophetales (1977), Città del sole (Milano 1996), Monarchia di Spagna (Paris 1997), a collection of Lettere (Pisa-Roma 2000), and Opuscoli astrologici (Milano 2003). She has also managed to retrieve a number of texts that had been considered lost, including shorts works, letters and five political sonnets. Her most important discovery remains the autograph manuscript in Italian of Ateismo trionfato (2 vols., Pisa 2004), a text that inaugurated a project dedicated to the publication of a significant selection of Campanella's works by the publishers of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. Recently, Ernst published Campanella’s intellectual autobiography, De libris propriis et recta ratione studendi syntagma, together with an Italian translation (Pisa-Roma 2007) as well as a new annotated edition of Campanella's main work in the field of natural philosophy, Del senso delle cose e della magia (Roma 2007). The publication of a new comprehensive edition of Campanella's epistolary corpus, Lettere, is expected in 2009.

In 1995, together with Eugenio Canone (Lessico Intellettuale Europeo, CNR, Rome), Ernst founded Bruniana & Campanelliana, a journal dedicated to representatives of Renaissance philosophy and their times. From the 1980s onwards she participated in numerous international conferences and published many articles and reviews in international journals.

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $129.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3126-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $169.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $169.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Tommaso Campanella
Book Subtitle
The Book and the Body of Nature
Authors
Series Title
International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées
Series Volume
200
Copyright
2010
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-90-481-3126-6
DOI
10.1007/978-90-481-3126-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-90-481-3125-9
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-3175-2
Series ISSN
0066-6610
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 281
Additional Information
Original Italian edition published by Laterza, Rome, 2002
Topics