Lire le livre du corps par le livre du Monde : essai sur la vie, philosophie et médicine d'Estêvão Rodrigues de Castro (1559-1638)
Title: Lire le livre du corps par le livre du Monde : essai sur la vie, philosophie et médicine d'Estêvão Rodrigues de Castro (1559-1638)
Author: LEITE, Bruno Martins Boto
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2012
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
The present study offers an analysis of the life and thought of Estêvão Rodrigues de Castro, a Portuguese philosopher and physician working in the court of Grand Duke of Tuscany in early seventeenth century. It traces Rodrigues de Castro’s intellectual development from the time he studied medicine at the University of Coimbra to his activity as a physician in Florence and university professor of medicine in Pisa, showing the connections between his philosophical thought and medical theories and practices and placing these in the cultural context of seventeenth—century Portugal and Tuscany. For a long, historians have attributed a very specific role to Portugal in the history of early-modern philosophy. Ruled by the Tridentine canon, Portuguese culture was seen as dominated by scholasticism and Tridentine theology, a culture based by and large on Aristotelian philosophy. Little (or even none) space for alternative philosophical trends was recognized to exist in Portuguese early-modern culture. This study focusing on the development of philosophical and medical thought of Estêvão Rodrigues de Castro demonstrates that the theory of Portuguese intellectual homogeneity is fundamentally incorrect. The thesis argues that Castro’s thought was characterized by a renewed appropriation of ancient Greek atomistic theories. This innovative theoretical approach was generated in Portuguese context and then incorporated by the Florentine medical actors and institutions. More broadly, this study demonstrates the place and importance of this Portuguese physician in the European cultural framework.
Defence date: 12 December 2012; Examining Board: Professor Antonella Romano (Supervisor); Professor Giulia Calvi, University of California, Berkeley; Professor Luís Miguel Carolino, Museu de Ciência da Universidade de Lisboa; Professor Alessandro Pastore, Università degli studi di Verona.
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