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Cardano’s Eclectic Psychology And Its Critique By Julius Caesar Scaliger

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the theories of the soul proposed by Girolamo Cardano in his De immortalitate animorum (1545) and his De subtilitate (1550-4), Julius Caesar Scaliger's comprehensive critique of these views in the Exercitationes exotericae de subtilitate of 1557, and Cardano's reply to this critique in his Actio in calumniatorem of 1559. Throughout his writing career, Cardano returned again and again to the topic of the soul. Cardanos own reading of Aristotle leads him to stress that the Stagyrite denies immortality to the passive intellect and concedes it only to agent intellect, which is individuated and not the unique intellect of Averroes. The wide-ranging nature of Cardanos text gave Scaliger the scope to develop his own comprehensive account of psychology. Cardano and Scaliger are shown to conduct their discussions in an inherited scholastic matrix of thought.

Keywords: Aristotle; De immortalitate animorum; De subtilitate; eclectic psychology; Girolamo Cardano; Julius Caesar Scaliger; Julius Caesar Scaliger



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