The intellectual roots of the Italian Enlightenment : Newtonian science, religion, and politics in the early eighteenth century /
Vincenzo Ferrone ; translated by Sue Brotherton.
Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press, 1995.
xiii, 396 p. ; 23 cm.
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Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press, 1995.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 359-385) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-10:
This history of the reception of Newtonianism in Italy, roughly 1690 to 1750, is not for beginners. It presupposes a knowledge of a host of writers whose ideas are constantly alluded to but never expounded. Accepting Paul Hazard's thesis that between 1680 and 1715 European culture became secularized, Ferrone begins with the effort to rehabilitate Galileo, whose banned works were finally reprinted in the 1710s, initiating a lively debate in which Cartesian rationalism was quickly set aside and the question of whether the new empiricism implied the material origin even of mind moved to center stage. Ferrone presents in detail the positions of materialists, antimaterialists, and those who sought some center position between them. The latter group was led by Celestino Galiani, whose intellectual biography is among the original contributions of this book. The debate took different forms in Rome, Naples, and Venice, illuminating the diversity of Italian Enlightenment thought. The story ends around 1750 when the Inquisition suppressed supporters of the new science, making clear, as the author concludes, the limits of the Italian Enlightenment. Graduate; faculty. A. Rabil, Jr.; SUNY College at Old Westbury
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, August 1995
Choice, October 1995
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