Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Liceti, Fortunio

Born: 1577, Rapallo
Died: 1657, Padua
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_1128-1


Liceti is the last of the great Paduan Aristotelians. His extensive works cover all areas of natural philosophy, and while Liceti is always careful to give full expositions of the diverging strands of Aristotle interpretation on any given subject, he does not hesitate to use traditional conceptual frameworks to develop innovative theories. One example for this is his conception of rational souls as immaterial but quantitative, extended beings. To explicate this conception, he uses an analogy between rational souls and the theory of light developed by the eclectic medieval natural philosopher Albert the Great, who argued that the dependence of light on a source from which it arises through emanative causation renders light existentially independent from the medium that it illuminates. Another innovative aspect of Liceti’s thought can be found in his version of the traditional theory of spontaneous generation. Unlike any thinker before him, he held that the substantial forms of living beings arising through spontaneous generation could be understood as material structures that arise through the completing of previously existing, but essentially different material structures.

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Primary Literature

  1. Liceti, F. 1602. De ortu animae humanae. Genua: Pavonius.Google Scholar
  2. Liceti, F. 1607. De vita. Genua: Pavonius.Google Scholar
  3. Liceti, F. 1616a. De animarum coextensione corpori libri duo. Padua: Bertellius.Google Scholar
  4. Liceti, F. 1616b. De monstrorum causis, natura et differentiis. Padua: Crivellarius.Google Scholar
  5. Liceti, F. 1618. De spontaneo viventium ortu. Padua: Bolzeia.Google Scholar
  6. Liceti, F. 1629. De animarum rationalium immortalitate. Padua: Crivellarius.Google Scholar
  7. Liceti, F. 1634. De propriorum operum historia. Padua: Frambotti.Google Scholar
  8. Liceti, F. 1640. De natura luminis. Udine: Schirattus.Google Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Blank, A. 2010. Material souls and imagination in late Aristotelian embryology. Annals of Science 67 (2010): 187–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blank, A. 2013. Fortunio Liceti on mind, light, and immaterial extension. Perspectives on Science 21: 358–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Castellani, C. 1968. Le problème de la generatio spontanea dans Fortunio Liceti. Revue de Synthèse 89: 323–340.Google Scholar
  4. Céard, J. 1977. La nature et les prodiges. L’insolite au XVIe siècle, en France. Geneva: Droz.Google Scholar
  5. Hanafi, Z. 2000. The monster in the machine. Magic, medicine and marvels in the time of the scientific revolution. Durham/London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Hirai, H. 2007. Interprétation chymique de la création et origine corpusculaire de la vie chez Athanasius Kircher. Annals of Science 64: 217–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hirai, H. 2011. Medical humanism and natural philosophy. Leiden: Brill. Chapter 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lohr, C.H. 1978. Renaissance Latin Aristotle commentaries: Authors L-M. Renaissance Quarterly 31: 532–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ongaro, G. 1964. La generazione e il ‘moto’ del sangue nel pensiero di F. Liceti. Castalia 20: 75–94.Google Scholar
  10. Ongaro, G. 1965. L’opera medica di Fortunio Liceti. In Atti del XX congresso nazionale di storia della medicina, 235–244. Roma: Societa di Storia della Medicina.Google Scholar
  11. Ongaro, G. 2005. Fortunio Liceti. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 65: 69–73.Google Scholar
  12. Zoubov, V. 1936. Une théorie aristotélicienne de la lumière du XVIIe siècle. Isis 24: 343–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alpen-Adria Universität KlagenfurtDepartment of PhilosophyKlagenfurtAustria

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hiro Hirai
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the History of Philosophy and ScienceRadboud Universiteit NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands