Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science: Broken Lives and Organizational Power

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Cornell University Press, Jan 1, 2002 - 257 pages
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The Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno was a notable supporter of the new science that arose during his lifetime; his role in its development has been debated ever since the early seventeenth century. Hilary Gatti here reevaluates Bruno's contribution to the scientific revolution, in the process challenging the view that now dominates Bruno criticism among English-language scholars. This argument, associated with the work of Frances Yates, holds that early modern science was impregnated with and shaped by Hermetic and occult traditions, and has led scholars to view Bruno primarily as a magus. Gatti reinstates Bruno as a scientific thinker and occasional investigator of considerable significance and power whose work participates in the excitement aroused by the new science and its methods at the end of the sixteenth century. Her original research emphasizes the importance of Bruno's links to the magnetic philosophers, from Ficino to Gilbert; Bruno's reading and extension of Copernicus's work on the motions of the earth; the importance of Bruno's mathematics; and his work on the art of memory seen as a picture logic, which she examines in the light of the crises of visualization in present-day science. She concludes by emphasizing Bruno's ethics of scientific discovery.

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Giordano Bruno and Renaissance science

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Ever since Frances Yates's Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964), Bruno has been presented in English-language scholarly books as more a hermetic philosopher or magician than a forerunner ... Read full review


Discovering Copernicus
The Ash Wednesday Supper
De immenso et innumerabilibus
Bruno and the Gilbert Circle
The Infinite Universe
The Infinite Worlds
The Minimum Is the Substance of All Things
Brunos Mathematics
Picture Logic
Alienation and Reconciliation
The Ethics of Scientific Discovery

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About the author (2002)

Hilary Gatti taught for many years at the Sapienza University of Rome. Her books include "Essays on Giordano Bruno" (Princeton), "Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science", and "The Renaissance Drama of Knowledge: Giordano Bruno in England".

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