NATURAL PHILOSOPHY IN RENAISSANCE ITALY: THE UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA AND THE BEGINNINGS OF SPECIALIZATION * DAVID A. LINES Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München The role of science ("natural philosophy") in the early modern universities has not been the object of much serious investigation, due to the common assumption that the universities were either hostile to new approaches to science or were simply too sclerotic to be able to entertain new ideas. Thus, even though Copernicus studied at the university and Galileo was for a long time a profes- sor in the universities of Padua and Pisa, the relationship between science and the universities of the time has often been considered one of mutual mistrust or even outright opposition. We are told, for example, that the advances made by the universities in the realm of "science" occurred mainly in the fields of medicine, botany, and mathematics rather than in mechanics, physics, or astronomy, which made more gains outside of the universities. 1 And it has been argued that the second half of the sixteenth cen- tury, at least in Italy, was a time of decadence for natural philoso- phy, largely because the Counter-Reformation led to creating new * Preliminary research for this
Early Science and Medicine – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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