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Metabolisms of the Soul. The Physiology of Bernardino Telesio in Oliva Sabuco’s Nueva Filosofía de la Naturaleza del Hombre (1587)

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Chapter Summary

Oliva Sabuco de Nantes y Barrera's Nueva filosofía de la naturaleza del hombre is a unique contribution to early modern physiological discourse. Over the last two decades there has been some interest in her work, mainly by feminist scholars, whose aim has been to defend the female authorship that had been subrogated to Sabuco's father. But this focus on question of autoría has left the analysis of the philosophical framework of the text largely neglected. Only some of its highly intriguing metaphors have been discussed as isolated concepts to underpin its female authorship. This chapter offers a close reading of the rhetorical apparatus of the Nueva Filosofía to expose its gynocentric psycho-physiological framework, which elaborates on new concepts proposed by contemporary Italian materialists. It suggests that when considered against the backdrop of Bernadino Telesio's De rerum natura, Sabuco's text forms a consistent model of the interplay of body and soul.

Keywords:Bernardino Telesio; De rerum natura; Italian; metabolisms; Nueva Filosofía; Oliva Sabuco; physiology; rhetorical apparatus; soul



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