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Blasius of Parma (d. 1416)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-C006-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 21, 2021, from

Article Summary

Blasius of Parma was an important Italian philosopher, mathematician and astrologer who popularized the achievements of Oxford logic and Parisian physics in Italy. He questioned the Aristotelian foundations of medieval physical science, mechanics, astronomy and optics, thus helping to open the way to the mathematics, optics and statics of modern times. His teaching influenced the artists of the Florentine Renaissance in their rediscovery of linear perspective, and his discussion of proportions influenced the Paduan mathematicians up to the time of Galileo. He presented an atomist and quantitative account of physical reality, and a materialist account of the human intellect. His consequent denial of the immortality of the soul won him the title of ‘diabolical doctor’ (doctor diabolicus). His position on the human ability to avoid astrological determinism was equivocal. Though his work was scholastic in style, he enjoyed good relations with such Italian humanists as Vittorino da Feltre, whose request for lessons in mathematics he refused. In Florence, he took part in conversations between humanists and scholastics.

Citing this article:
Vescovini, Graziella Federici. Blasius of Parma (d. 1416), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-C006-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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