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4. Benedetto Varchi and the Idea of a Vernacular Logic (1540)

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Chapter Summary

Benedetto Varchi was a leading light in the Accademia degli Infiammati. To understand the extent to which Varchi's oeuvre, including his writings on topics other than logic, were influenced by the Paduan environment, it is sufficient to analyze the philosophical elements contained in his most systematic and mature work, Hercolano, dialogo nel qual si ragiona generalmente delle lingue e in particolare della fiorentina e della Toscana published in Florence in 1570. As well as articulating a personal theory of volgare, the treatise, not unlike those of Speroni and Tomitano, clearly shows traces of Aristotelian, one might say Pomponazzian anthropology. A preliminary examination of the books owned by Varchi shows that the logic section was one of the most complete, perhaps only to the ethics section, with a total of over one hundred and thirty works including Aristotelian editions, ancient commentaries, and Medieval and Renaissance texts in both Latin and vernacular.

Keywords: Accademia degli Infiammati; Aristotelian anthropology; Benedetto Varchi; medieval texts; Paduan environment; philosophical elements; Speroni; Tomitano; Varchi's oeuvre; vernacular logic



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