Pietro Pomponazzi

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Pomponazzi, Pietro

 

Born Sept. 16, 1462, in Mantua; died May 18, 1525, in Bologna. Italian philosopher. Leading representative of Renaissance Aristotelianism.

Pomponazzi studied philosophy and medicine in Padua. He was a professor at the universities of Padua (1495–1509), Ferrara and Bologna (from 1512).

Taking the theory of double truth as his point of departure, Pomponazzi argued in the treatise On the Immortality of the Soul (1516) that it is impossible to provide a rational proof for the immortality of the human soul, which, in his opinion, is a truth of religious revelation. He criticized the teachings of ibn Rushd (Averroës) and Thomas Aquinas on the soul, pointing out that these teachings are not based on the data of “natural reason” or the philosophy of Aristotle. Developing this point of view in ethics, Pomponazzi asserted that virtue in itself is man’s natural reward and the reason for man’s “dignity.” Vice is man’s natural punishment. Pomponazzi’s On the Immortality of the Soul gave rise to heated controversies with the representatives of orthodox Thomism.

In the treatise On the Natural Causes of Phenomena, or On Incantations (1520; published 1556), Pomponazzi refuted the belief in miracles and witchcraft and tried to explain mysterious phenomena in terms of natural causes. In the treatise On Fate, Free Will, and Predestination (1520, published 1567) he defended a conception of fate that was similar to the teachings of Stoicism. Pomponazzi had a considerable influence on the development of Western European freethinking of the 16th and 17th centuries.

WORKS

Tractatus acutissimi…. Venice, 1525.
Opera omnia. Basel, 1567.
Tractatus de immortalitate animae. Bologna, 1954.
Libri quinque de fato, de libero arbitrio et de praedestinatione. Lugano, 1957.

REFERENCES

Gorfunkel’, A. Kh. “Dve pravdy P’etro Pomponatstsi.” In the collection Srednie veka, fasc. 36. Moscow, 1973. Pages 109–28.
Florentino, F. Pietro Pomponazzi…. Florence, 1868.
Nardi, B. Studi su Pietro Pomponazzi. Florence, 1965.
References in periodicals archive ?
En el Renacimiento, Pietro Pomponazzi tambien negara toda validez a tal prueba.
Tras hacer una alusion al monismo de Pomponazzi, retoma a Gomez Pereira y su dualismo, como precedentes de Descartes, con el que concluye.
The Renaissance Philosophy of Man: Petrarca, Valla, Ficino, Pico, Pomponazzi, Vives.
Vernia therefore inaugurates Pomponazzi's solution in that both create a rift between philosophical stringency and compliance with the doctrine of faith (127).
Dall'indugio sulla phantasia alla stregoneria, il passo e breve: Matilde Capodivacca esamina la centralita di quest'ultimo tema nella produzione folenghiana, lo riscatta--distinguendo tra magia bianca e nera--da un'accezione assolutamente negativa e ne mostra l'affinita di marca immaginativa con la poesia macaronica, avallando, complici i riferimenti incrociati a Pietro Pomponazzi e a Giovanfrancesco Pico, la suggestiva equivalenza Strega=Musa (The Witch as Muse e non a caso il titolo del contributo).
In this respect, he anticipates the more radical arguments of an author closer to our period, namely Pietro Pomponazzi (1462-1525).
South's delightfully legible chapter, 'Suarez, Immortality, and the Soul's Dependence on the Body', situates Suarez within the sixteenth-century debate, maintaining that Suarez has tacit connections to the Pomponazzi debate.