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NOTES SUR LES MEDICINALIA DE TOMMASO CAMPANELLA*

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<title> SUMMARY </title>The inadequacy of the Galenic theory concerning the effect of medicines prompted Campanella, after Fernel, to define a theory of the occult operation capable of curing those illnesses Hippocrates called "divine", thanks to a "metaphysical science". In his MEDICINALIA (1609), it is the "primalitary" constitution of living beings - the basic structure of reality whose specific function consists in accounting for occult operations in nature in general, and for the occult virtues of some remedies in particular - that is to generate the rules for applying the various medicines to the corresponding parts of the body. Yet its being occult prevents it from providing the medicinal practitioner with the laws of adaptation to its objects. I show that, for Campanella, as well as for Fernel, the solution most probably lies in the use of "method". For, like Fernel, he methodically divides the realm of the occult, the Platonic dichotomy, applied to diseases and remedies, allowing a rational adaptation of the latter to the former, without knowing the nature of either. Thus medical practice possesses its own logic deriving from the nature common to man, the illnesses affecting him, and the medicines that can cure them. Medical efficacy then depends on a capacity for the methodical analysis of natural beings in their complexity, and for taking this into account in therapeutic applications.

Affiliations: 1: Université de Paris I

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/content/journals/10.1163/182539198x00022
1998-01-01
2016-12-05

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