Pietro Pomponazzi and the Renaissance Theory of the Elements

A Study with Editions of Unpublished Texts

Luca Burzelli (Author),

Series: Ancient and Medieval Philosophy - Series 1 66

Category: Philosophy

Language: English

ISBN: 9789462704152

Publication date: June 27, 2024

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Number of pages: 335

Size: 234 x 156 x mm

Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Funded by: KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access
Universität Siegen

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Series: Ancient and Medieval Philosophy - Series 1 66

Category: Philosophy

Language: English

DOI: 10.11116/9789461665607

ISBN: 9789461665607

Publication date: June 27, 2024

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Number of pages: 335

Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Funded by: KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access
Universität Siegen

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First ever editions of texts on the elements from Pomponazzi’s lectures on De coelo, De sensu, Meteorologica and De generatione et corruptione.

In medieval and early modern natural philosophy, very few issues were as controversial as the nature of the elements. From the thirteenth up until the sixteenth century, European thinkers discussed this problem with growing interest. Defining the nature of the elements was key to deciphering the very structure of the universe and the essence of things. Along with five primary texts, here edited for the first time, this book discusses one of the most original contributions to this debate, that of Renaissance philosopher Pietro Pomponazzi (d. 1525). Pomponazzi’s account, developed in university lectures, holds significance for two reasons. First, it provides a thorough description of the most influential doctrines on the elements presented by medieval scholars, opening a window onto three hundred years of prior discussions on the topic. Second, Pomponazzi also develops his own views on the issue, explicitly defining them as ‘heretical’ to emphasise his departure from all opinions expressed before him.

Ebook available in Open Access. This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Preface

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Part One – Essay

I Historical background
1. The elements from antiquity to the Middle Ages
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Aristotle on elements and mixtures
1.3 Towards the medieval debate: intellectuals and methods
2. Four main theories of the elements in the Middle Ages
2.1 Alexander of Aphrodisias
2.2 Avicenna
2.3 Averroes
2.4 The Common Opinion
3. The status quaestionis on the elements at the turn of fifteenth and sixteenth century

II Pietro Pomponazzi on the elements
1. Stages of Pomponazzi’s teaching on the elements
2. Pomponazzi’s reconstruction of the medieval debate
3. The interpretation of Avicenna
3.1 Exposition and sources
3.2 Pomponazzi vs Avicenna
4. The interpretation of Averroes and the Averroists
4.1 Exposition and sources
4.2 Pomponazzi vs Averroes
4.3 The comparison with Averroes in the single quaestio (T.6)
4.4 Concluding remarks
5. The Common Opinion
5.1 Exposition and sources
5.2 Pomponazzi vs the Common Opinion
5.3 Final remarks on the Common Opinion
6. Pomponazzi on the elements
6.1 The mixing process and the genesis of mixtures
6.2 Pomponazzi’s sources
6.3 Solution of the aporias of the Common Opinion
6.4 Classification of mixtures
6.5 Final conjectures on mixtures
6.6 An overall judgement

III Philological and stylistic aspects of the Edition
1. The present edition: texts and copyists
2. Recensio codicum
3. Descriptio codicum
3.1 Text 1 (Winter 1520/21)
3.2 Texts 2–3 (Winter 1521/22)
3.3 Text 4 (November 1523)
3.4 Text 5 (April 1525)
3.5 Text 6 (uncertain date)
4. Stylistic aspects of Pomponazzi’s lectures
4.1 In between a commentary and a treatise
4.2 Structure of the quaestiones
4.3 Teaching devices
5. The Critical Editions

Part two – Texts

I. Text 1 – Excerpts from the lecture on De coelo III
II. Text 2 – Excerpts from the lecture on De generatione et corruptione I
III. Text 3 – Excerpts from the lecture on De generatione et corruptione II
IV. Text 4 – Excerpts from the lecture on Meteora IV
V. Text 5 – Excerpts from the lecture on De sensu et sensato
VI Text 6 – Quaestio de remanentia elementorum in mixto

Major dates in the life of Pietro Pomponazzi
Bibliography
Indexes

Luca Burzelli

Luca Burzelli is postdoctoral researcher in History of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Siegen, and member of the De Wulf-Mansion Centre at the KU Leuven. He received the Thomas Ricklin International Award 2024 for his book ‘Pietro Pomponazzi and the Renaissance Theory of the Elements: A Study with Editions of Unpublished Texts’.

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