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7. Alessandro Piccolomini’s Instrument of Philosophy (1551)

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Chapter Summary

Alessandro Piccolomini was a key figure in the Accademia degli Infiammati, as well as becoming the academy's fourth principe. During this prolific period, Piccolomini developed his first ideas on the vernacular language and made his first inroads into philosophy, mostly under the influence of Speroni. Philosophy is divided into three parts: contemplative, practical and instrumental. Piccolomini outlines in a few brief words the core of what will become his great conception of logic, picking up ideas which had already been developed by Speroni. The first chapter of L'instrumento discusses the nature of logic. Piccolomini's doctrine of categories stands out particularly for the concept of "continence" or "being contained in". Piccolomini in this context introduces a discussion about those tasks of the logician which are possible by means of syllogism. Piccolomini's dedicatory letter to Pope Julius III in La prima parte della filosofia naturale is a miniature treatise on philosophy.

Keywords: Accademia degli Infiammati; Alessandro Piccolomini; philosophy; Pope Julius III; Speroni; syllogism; vernacular language



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