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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

At the end of the eighteenth century, Appiano Buonafede (i.e. Agatopisto Cromaziano) had no doubt: Italy did not want to be Cartesian—just as it had not wanted to be Baconian—and this was “much better for Italy”. While Buonafede exaggerated, Cartesianism did not have an easy life in the peninsula. The first to experience this was Mersenne, who also on two occasions tried, with little luck, to promote its circulation among a Galilean circle in Florence and Rome by bringing Descartes’s books with him to Italy. And Galileo was not very welcoming, complaining about the indecipherable writings of the Minim. This chapter reconstructs the varied life of Cartesianism in Italy, starting from the discussions generated by the writings of the French philosopher.

Keywords: Italy, Galileo, Neapolitan Cartesians, Jesuits, Cartesian mathematicians

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