Huarte, Juan

Huarte, Juan

 

Born circa 1530 in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (formerly San-Juan-de-Pie-del-Puerto), Navarre; died no later than 1592 in Baeza. Spanish physician and materialist philosopher.

Huarte studied at the university in Baeza. His study Examination of Minds (1575; Russian translation, 1960, with introductory article by R. Burgete) was written in the spirit of Renaissance natural philosophy. In this work, Huarte represents the faculties of the human spirit as dependent on bodily properties—that is, on man’s temperament—as well as on climatic conditions and diet; temperament, in turn, is determined by the predominance in the brain of one of nature’s four primary elements (fire, air, earth, and water). Fire—the active element—is the source of changes in nature and also in the human organism.

Huarte was one of the first to attempt a classification of the sciences based on the human faculties of memory, intelligence, and imagination. In his theory of cognition he emphasized the role of observation. Huarte’s ideas were very influential in 16th-and 17th-century Spanish humanism.

REFERENCE

Iriarte, M. de. El doctor Huarte de San Juan y su Examen deingenios. [Third ed. Madrid, 1948.]
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En sincronia con las ideas de Huarte, Juan Luis Vives y otros pensadores acerca de la naturaleza humana, Sancho representa, en un principio, el ingenio inhabil y el alma animal que se preocupa de sus necesidades mas basicas.