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N.1/2018 Studi cartesiani tra Europa e Brasile

A proposito di novatores e nova philosophia

Giulia Belgioioso
Università del Salento

Published in June, 2018

About novatores and nova philosophia

Studi Cartesiani tra Europa e


In the 17th century, the “recentiores” were subject to varying designations. The term “Novatores” appears in the 17th century surely to indicate the “new theologians” and the “new doctors”. This is largely confirmed by many titles of theological and medical works published during the 17th century in which the term appears. In this perspective, this article aims to suggest a different interpretation (on a grammatical basis) of the passage in the letter addressed to Beeckman of 17th October 1630 where the term appears. Namely, the Cartesian statement according to which «as for mere opinions and received doctrines, such as those of the philosophers, simply to repeat them is not to teach them. Plato says one thing, Aristotle another, Epicurus another, Telesio, Campanella, Bruno, Basson, Vanini, and the innovators [the Novatores] all say something different [unum dicit Plato, aliud Aristoteles, aliud Epicurus, Telesius, Campanella, Brunus, Basso, Vaninus, Novatores omnes, quisque aliud dicunt]». The credit we gives to these opinions relies on their “cogency” based on the arguments they present or on the authority.


Descartes, Novatores, Mersenne, Voetius, Nova philosophia

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