Libertus Fromondus' Christian Psychology. Medicine and Natural Philosophy in the Philosophia christiana de anima (1649)
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SourceLias: Journal of Early Modern Intellectual Culture and Its Sources, 42, 1, (2015), pp. 37-66
Article / Letter to editor
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Leerstoel Geschiedenis van de filosofie
Lias: Journal of Early Modern Intellectual Culture and Its Sources
SubjectCenter for History of Philosophy and Science (CHPS)
This article discusses Libertus Fromondus’ strictly hylomorphic account of the human soul. At a time when psychology (the study of the soul) was dominated by the erosion of Aristotelianism and the dawning of Cartesian philosophy, Fromondus sought to reconcile hylomorphism with new philosophical endeavours of physicians and anatomists who looked at the human body independently of the soul. By separating the tasks of the physician and those of the natural philosopher, Fromondus tried to draw the precise epistemic boundaries between medicine and natural philosophy. This involved a redefinition of the role of observation: given that our observation of the natural world can be misleading, it needs to be filtered by reason before being acceptable as part of a theory. The co-optation of new developments, rather than the downright rejection of them, nuances our picture of philosophers such as Fromondus, whom we still tend to regard as ‘conservative’.
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