• Barry Brundell
Part of the Synthese Historical Library book series (SYHL, volume 30)


One feature of Gassendi’s philosophical work which has become very clear through the examination of the manuscripts and published works is the homogeneity of the development of his mature Epicurean philosophy from the philosopical doctrines and presuppositions which he accepted in his lectures as a professor of Aristotelian philosophy at Aix-en-Provence, as they have been recorded in the Exercitationes. In fact, the posthumously published Syntagma philosophicum must be regarded essentially as a much more complete and effective achievement of Gassendi’s original project, outlined in the preface to the Exercitationes.1


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  1. 1.
    P. Gassendi, Opera omnia, III, p. 102.Google Scholar
  2. 2a.
    E.J. Dijksterhuis: 1961, The mechanization of the world picture, Clarendon Press, Oxford, p.425. H. Kearney has presented a similar view, as follows: “His [Gassendi’s] interest for contemporaries lay in his claim to have constructed a theory of atomism which could be reconciled with Christianity. He could claim to have baptised Democritus and Lucretius as Aquinas had baptised Aristotle.”Google Scholar
  3. 2b.
    (H. Kearney: 1971, Science and change, 1500–1700, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, p. 170.)Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Cf. P. Gassendi, Opera omnia, II. p.425b; III, pp.101, 207b; V, p.171; VI, p.54a-b.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    Gassendi wrote, for example: “Where religion prescribes a thing for our belief, it is rash, indeed it is madness, even to murmur in a way that contradicts.” “Ubi religio praescripsit nobis aliquid, temeritas, imo furor est, in oppositum quidpiam mussitare.” (P. Gassendi, Opera omnia, V, p.17a.)Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Cf. H.O. Evennett: 1968, The spirit of the Counter-Re formation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p.79.Google Scholar
  7. 6a.
    Cf. Vatican Council II, “Decree on the training of Priests”, par.15, in A. Flannery (Ed.): 1975, Vatican Council II. The conciliar and postconciliar documents, Dominican Publications, Dublin, p.718.Google Scholar
  8. 6b.
    also “A note on the controversy about the place of St. Thomas in ecclesiastical studies”, in H. Vorgrimler (Ed.): 1967–1969, Commentary on the documents of Vatican II, 5 vols., Burns and Oates, London, II, p.395.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    Cf. e.g., P. Hoenen S.J.: 1949, Cosmologia, fourth edition, Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana Press, Rome, pp.99–101, 107, 108, 155, 546, 547, 552. Such modern neo-scholastic manuals of philosophy for use in seminaries were very eclectic: they provided instruction on all important systems, doctrines and theories, sometimes presenting these latter as worthy of consideration or even acceptance, along with what was usually a much vulgarized version of Thomistic-Aristotelian philosophy.Google Scholar

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© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Brundell
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Paul’s National SeminarySydneyAustralia

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