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Zabarella, Jacopo (1533–89)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-C046-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 23, 2024, from

Article Summary

Jacopo Zabarella was a professor of philosophy at the University of Padua. His work shows conclusively not only that it was possible to philosophize creatively within the limits of the Aristotelian tradition but also that this was still being done towards the end of the Renaissance period. Zabarella’s aim was not to overthrow Aristotle’s doctrines, but to expound them as clearly as possible. He produced an extensive body of work on the nature of logic, arguing that it was neither an art nor a science, but rather an instrumental intellectual discipline which arose from the philosopher’s practice of philosophizing or forming secondary notions. He also worked extensively on scientific method. He gives an account of order as disposing what we come to know through method, and he divides method into the method of composition, which moves from cause to effect, and the method of resolution, which moves from effect to cause. He also discussed regressus (a method for uniting composition and resolution) and thought that it would enable the scientist to discover new causal relations at the same time as proving conclusions with absolute necessity. Zabarella’s work was instrumental in a renewal of natural philosophy, methodology and the theory of knowledge; and it had a major impact on seventeenth-century philosophy textbooks, especially in the Protestant countries of northern Europe.

Citing this article:
Kessler, Eckhard. Zabarella, Jacopo (1533–89), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-C046-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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