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Nifo, Agostino (c.1470–1538)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-C027-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 19, 2024, from

Article Summary

Agostino Nifo was a university teacher, medical doctor and extremely prolific writer. His books included many commentaries on Aristotle’s logic, natural philosophy and metaphysics, as well as original works on topics ranging from elementary logic to beauty and love. However, his most important works had to do with the human intellect, and with Averroes’ view that there is just one intellect shared by all human beings. Although he never accepted Averroes’ position as true, he did initially believe that Averroes correctly interpreted Aristotle on this point. He also entered into public controversy with Pomponazzi on the question whether human immortality could be proved. Nifo’s Aristotelianism reflects his interest in many different traditions of commentary on Aristotle, including medieval Latin commentators, especially Thomas Aquinas, medieval Arab commentators and their Latin followers, especially John of Jandun, but most of all the Greek commentators. Here he shows the strong influence of Renaissance humanism, which made the Greek texts available. It was when Nifo himself learned Greek that he came to abandon the notion that Averroes was an accurate interpreter of Aristotle. Nifo was also very interested in Plato and Platonism, particularly as presented by Marsilio Ficino. His careful presentations of other people’s doctrines were popular in university circles for much of the sixteenth century.

Citing this article:
Mahoney, Edward P.. Nifo, Agostino (c.1470–1538), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-C027-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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