Juan Huarte

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.


Iriarte, M. de. El doctor Huarte de San Juan y su Examen deingenios. [Third ed. Madrid, 1948.]
References in periodicals archive ?
Paul: how Juan Huarte de San Juan responded to Inquisitorial censorship; and the Inquisition confronts Mesoamerican divination to treat child illness in 16th-century Guatemala.
Among the most fully articulated early modern accounts of the connections between the faculty of the imagination and melancholy--which in addition include reflections on the physiology of the poet--are those by the physicians, Juan Huarte de San Juan, Alonso Lopez Pinciano, and Pierre Charron, as well as by Sir Francis Bacon.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CERVANTES and Renaissance medical philosophy has been explored by both humanists and scientists, often focusing on Don Quixote and Juan Huarte de San Juan.
V): Tres libros de anima seu ente mobili animato complectens; y la pequena pero original obra del medico humanista Juan Huarte de San Juan, Examen de ingenios para las sciencias, obra por la cual el autor ha sido reconocido como uno de los precursores de la actual caracteriologia.
Martin-Araguz A, Bustamante-Martinez C (2004) The examination of men's wits by Juan Huarte de San Juan, and the dawn of the neurobiology of intelligence in the Spanish renaissance.