The Critical Reception of Cartesian Physiology in Tommaso Cornelio’s Progymnasmata Physica

  • Raffaele CarboneEmail author
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 43)


This article highlights certain key moments in the dissemination of Cartesianism in Naples in the 17th century. It focuses, in particular, on the Progymnasmata physica (1663), written by Tommaso Cornelio (1614–1684), who derived a great deal of his conceptions of physics and physiology from Descartes. Although precise references to Descartes’ texts are thin on the ground, we hypothesize that Cornelio was familiar with L’Homme, probably also on the basis of the fifth part of the Discours de la méthode, in which, as is well known, there is a summary and a completion of the treatise that Descartes declined to publish. Finally, we stress the critical aspects of Cornelio’s reception of Cartesianism and the fact that he introduces the novelty of Cartesian teachings and positions to a wider context.


French Philosopher Cartesian Treatise Platonic Theory Cartesian Philosophy Epistemological Reform 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IHRIM (UMR 5317) – ENS de LyonLyon Cedex 07France

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