Occult and Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance

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For discussion: What do the methods and the style of presentation reveal about the purposes of "natural experiments"? In what ways, if any, do these experimental inquiries differ from Galileo's use of experiment in the study of motion? Given that both groups shared an ideal of collaborative inquiry, how did each respond to controversy among its members? For discussion: What were the major lines of inquiry that produced the new mechanics, and how did each particular set of problems shape the results that flowed from it?

The following works deal with early modern science as a whole and are worth consulting over the course of the semester: A. Lindberg and Robert S. Westman, Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution , a collection of interpretive articles that participants may find helpful in orienting them to specific readings below. On the historiographical question of the "Scientific Revolution", see H. Owen, et al. Lindberg, ed. For discussion: The aim and structure of Aristotelian natural philosophy.

Toomer, "Ptolemy", DSB ; cf. Westman ed. Session 4: Art, Engineering, and Science in the Renaissance. Picturing Machines, , ed. Clagett ed. Righini Bonelli and William R. Hagen ed. Shirley and F. David Hoeniger eds.

A skilled orator well versed in the art he espouses, Professor Vickers examines his subject in all its various parts. The result is a comprehensive survey of the subject that both instructs and defends.


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The third part of his defence lies in an examination of the art itself. It is one of the most useful summaries I have read.

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Brian Vickers agrees and, heir to an anti-Platonist tradition that goes back at least to Isocrates in the fourth century BC, he argues that the will is best directed to the good by means of rhetoric, the art of persuasive communication and the systematization of natural eloquence.

He documents in painstaking detail the immense efforts devoted to the teaching and learning of rhetoric, in Rome as well as in the Renaissance…. It also includes the best and clearest discussion of the rhetorical tropes and figures of which I am aware…. It would be inappropriate to end this discussion on anything other than a note of gratitude for the inventio, dispositio and elocutio displayed in this remarkable history. Proceedings of an international symposium held at the Centre for Renaissance Studies in Editor Rhetoric Revalued. Volume 6. Editor Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage.

Volume 5. Scott-Kilvert, Vol. Volume 4. An Abridged Edition. Co-editor: A.

From ‘Natural Magic’ to ‘Scientific Naturalism’: Basic Readings

Volume 3. Volume 2. Volume 1. The eagerness and conviction of his style has been a feature of all his books so far, and this one does not fall short in this respect. Nowhere does his account falter or flag. Here, Dr. Vickers manages neither to despise rhetoric nor to claim too much for it as an aid to our understanding. He is admirable aware of the twofold dangers in a mechanistic, too-technical approach to the interrelationship of rhetoric and poetry: that of losing sight of the poem and that of losing the interest of a large proportion of his readers.

His argument in support of this contention is both persuasive and attractive.

Professor M.S. Mahoney

The scholar already familiar with current studies of rhetoric will still find the book a convenient addition to his library; the student looking for easy access to the field will find it a valuable tool indeed. Brown, Renaissance and Reformation 9, Revised Edition London: Methuen, , pp. Watt Oxford: Oxford University Press, , pp.

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Two forthcoming volumes are announced. Editor-in-chief of the new edition, and part also of its team of twelve collaborating co-editors, Vickers is well placed to survey, in sorrow if not in anger, what has been well or ill done by his predecessors …. In its making this edition prompts confidence from its users. Brian Vickers. Skip to content. Vickers B5 , pp. German tr. Villgradter and F. Krey Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, , pp. Muir and S. Schoenbaum Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , pp.

Smith London: Methuen , pp. Buchanan-Brown London: Cassell. Edens Princeton: Princeton University Press , pp.


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Vickers B18 , pp. Studies in the Theory and Practice of Renaissance Rhetoric , ed.

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Spanish translation, La Elocuencia en el Renacimiento , by G. Bernal et al. Madrid: Visor, Vickers B19 , pp. Boris Ford, pp. John Andrews, 3 vols. Going to Pico's source, we find that William's target was a famous passage on enticing demons into idols found in the Hermetic Asclepius-a text that Yates viewed as a central catalyst in the Renaissance magical revival. Significantly, none of the ten conclusions that Pico attributes in his theses to Mercury Trismegistus contains any of the astrological magic that Ficino associated with that figure.

If as evidence for such a revival we point to the expanded magical syntheses of the later Renaissance that included Cabala, then again it was Pico and not Ficino who must be credited with having started it.

Brian Vickers Books - Biography and List of Works - Author of ''Counterfeiting' Shakespeare'

This was especially true as the printing press made wide distribution of these sources and their broader syntheses in magical handbooks like Agrippa von Nettesheim's possible for the first time. A number of these medieval treatises were, in fact, first printed in the sixteenth century and gained unprecedented circulation in an appendix to Agrippa von Nettesheim's popular magical handbook.

The mechanisms of Pico's natural magic differed from Ficino's.

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