Documents sur la vie de Jules-César Vanini de Taurisano (review)

Journal of the History of Philosophy 9 (2):249-250 (1971)
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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:BOOK REVIEWS 249 Girolamo Balduino: Ricerche sulla logica della Scuola di Padova nel Rinascimento. By Giovanni Papuli. (Bark Lacerta, Universith di Bari, Pubblicazioni dell'lstituto di filosofia, 12, 1967. Pp. 313. no price.) The philosophers at the University of Padua during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance arc attracting much renewed interest. This study makes accessible again the logical philosophy of Girolamo Balduino, professor at Padua during the second quarter of the sixteenth century. Like other thinkers of his period, 13alduino follows the logic of Aristotle, and looks for progress within the ancient and mediaeval tradition, not for radically new doctrines. He continues the traditional interpretation of Aristotle by Averroes, for whom logic is only an instrumental habitus, a tool or method of demonstration. About the final contribution of the school of Padua to the improvement of Aristotelian logic was the doctrine of regressive demonstration, where demonstration terminates in or discloses the definition. Zabarella's well-known teaching on this point seems to be derived entirely from Balduino. Contrary to the interpretation of Cassirer, followed by Randall, this regressive demonstration is not a universal method of inquiry and is not at all like, and not the historical source of, the new method of Galileo. Papuli's book is solidly based on the original Latin texts, in notes, which are of great value in view of the fact that Balduino's works have been out of print since 1573. Not all of Papuli's interpretations are beyond criticism (e.g., p. 296), but he has done a service in enabling us to reestablish contact with one of the last significant commentators on Aristotle's logic. PAUL J. W. MILLER University of Colorado Documents sur la vie de Jules-Cdsar Vanini de Taurisano. By Emile Namer. (Bari: Adriatica Editrice, n.d.=Univcrsith degli Studi di Bari, Pubblicazioni delFIstituto di Filosofia, II serie, Testi e Documenti, I. Pp. 196+22 facsimile illustrations) Giulio Cesare Vanini (1585-1619) ranks with Giordano Bruno as a modern hero of freedom of philosophical expression. He was tortured and then burned at the stake in Toulouse at the age of thirty-four, because of the unorthodoxy of his views. For this reason, he has drawn more attention than is perhaps deserved on the basis of his rather mediocre writings, which are little more than a tissue of plagiarisms culled from Pomponazzi, Cardano, J. C. Scaliger, and others. In this volume, Emile Namer has collected the scattered documents dealing with Vanini's life and activities. This is a valuable service, for it should enable scholars to disentangle fact from fiction and reality from myth. There has been so much heated discussion regarding Vanini that it is now time that someone should attempt to establish the precise facts and to reevaluate Vanini's place in intellectual history. In the past, writings about him have been governed more often by emotion than by reason. Namer prints documents from Naples, London, Paris, Simancas, and Toulouse. Some of these have been printed before in various journal articles, but it is valuable to have them all together in a single volume. In addition, he prints relevant excerpts concerning--as one of them put it--le douzi~me apostre de Satan, including material from Mersenne, Garasse, and others. He also includes a series of facsimiles of sample pages from the documents which he prints. All in all Namer's work is competently 250 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY done, though perhaps a bit more annotation to put the documents in historical perspective would have been desirable. In any case this little volume must be one of the bases for any future serious biographical or interpretative studies dealing with Vanini. Moreover, it shouM also be useful for scholars dealing with more general questions of seventeenth-century intellectual, religious, and social history. Unfortunately, there is no index, nor bibliography of earlier literature on Vanini, and the Introduction is perhaps too brief to orient the reader who has little previous knowledge of Vanini. CHARLES B. SCHMITT University oJ Leeds Tommaso Campanella: Renaissance Pioneer o[ Modern Thought. By Bernardino M. Bonansea. (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1969. Pp. xi 421. $14.50) This excellent critical study of the life and...

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