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The nature, the reason and the science of man: new edition of Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical studies

Grant number: 14/16549-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 06, 2014
Effective date (End): August 05, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Eduardo Henrique Peiruque Kickhöfel
Grantee:Eduardo Henrique Peiruque Kickhöfel
Host: Alessandro Nova
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Max Planck Society, Florenz, Italy  

Abstract

The project proposes to investigate in depth the notions of art and science that, coming from Antiquity, were present in the Renaissance. It introduces a new catalogue of Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical studies. The research is based on the Renaissance classifications of knowledge. It uses texts like Panepistemon, written by Angelo Poliziano at the end of 15th century as a praelectio to Nicomachean Ethics, and Gregor Reisch's Margarita philosophica, an encyclopaedia of knowledge used as a textbook for youthful students, published in 1503 and very read in 16th century. As in many other books, the basic concepts were Aristotelian, and Poliziano and Reisch divide the philosophy in theoretical and practical, the theoretical part considered more valuable than the practical one. The research also considers Humanist books like Giannozzo Manetti's De dignitate et excellentia hominis, in which new values to the vita activa are clearly stated, and the text-books of the craftsmen and humanist writers as Lorenzo Ghiberti and Leon Battista Alberti, in which the craftsman now has a dignity of lettered man who could work from the knowledge of certain sciences and was able to speak about them. This broad conceptual framework aims to compare Leonardo da Vinci as an anatomist with other natural philosophers and craftsmen, particularly with respect to their terms of reference of their sciences and arts. The research looks also to other examples of books that unfold encyclopaedic views on philosophy of the Renaissance, as Girolamo Cardano's De subtilitate, Franciscus Toletus' Commentaria una cum quaestionibus in VIII libros Aristotelis De physica auscultatione and other scholastic compendia of the late 16th century. Some aspects of the new science of 17th century are investigated in order to understand the place of Leonardo da Vinci in the history of Renaissance natural philosophy. In short, the research put together studies on Renaissance philosophy and Humanism, the text-book tradition of the craftsmen and texts from Early Modern philosophy, taking into account an interdisciplinary approach that aims to build bridges across today's disciplinary divide. (AU)