Bernardino Telesio and the Natural Sciences in the Renaissance

This volume is devoted to the natural philosopher Bernardino Telesio (1509-1588) and his place in the scientific debates of the Renaissance. Telesio’s thought is emblematic of Renaissance culture in its aspiration towards universality; the volume deals with the roots and reception of his vistas from an interdisciplinary perspective ranging from the history of philosophy to that of physics, astronomy, meteorology, medicine, and psychology. The editor, Pietro Daniel Omodeo and leading specialists of intellectual history introduce Telesio’s conceptions to English-speaking historians of science through a series of studies, which aim to foster our understanding of a crucial early modern author, his world, achievement, networks, and influence.

Contributors are Roberto Bondì, Arianna Borrelli, Rodolfo Garau, Giulia Giannini, Miguel Ángel Granada, Hiro Hirai, Martin Mulsow, Elio Nenci, Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Nuccio Ordine, Alessandro Ottaviani, Jürgen Renn, Riccarda Suitner, and Oreste Trabucco.

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Pietro Daniel Omodeo is a professor of Historical Epistemology at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and PI of the ERC endeavor EarlyModernCosmology (Horizon 2020, GA 725883). He is the author of Copernicus in the Cultural Debates of the Renaissance (Brill, 2014).


Note on Contributors

Pietro Daniel Omodeo

1 The First of the Moderns: Telesio between Bacon and Galileo
Roberto Bondí

2 “Spiritus” and “anima a Deo immissa” in Telesio
Miguel Ángel Granada

3 Telesio, Aristotle, and Hippocrates on Cosmic Heat
Hiro Hirai

4 Heat and Moving Spirits in Telesio’s and Della Porta’s Meteorological Treatises
Arianna Borrelli

5 Telesian Controversies on the Winds and Meteorology
Oreste Trabucco

6 Telesio and the Renaissance Debates on Sea Tides
Pietro Daniel Omodeo

7 In Search of the True Nature of the Rainbow: Renewal of the Aristotelian Tradition in the Renaissance and the De Iride
Elio Nenci

8 A Conversation by Telesio: Sensualism, Criticism of Aristotle, and the Theory of Light in the Late Renaissance
Martin Mulsow

9 ‘Haereticorum more leges refellendi suas proponit’. At the Beginning of Telesian Censorship: an Annotated Copy of the 1565 Roman Edition
Alessandro Ottaviani

10 Reformation, Naturalism, and Telesianism: the Case of Agostino Doni
Riccarda Suitner 202

11 Between Myth and Reality: the Accademia Telesiana
Giulia Giannini

12 The Transformation of Final Causation: Telesio’s Theories of Self-Preservation and Motion
Rodolfo Garau


The volume addresses historians of medieval and early modern science and philosophy, and Renaissance scholars in general.