Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Scientific Academies

  • Giulia GianniniEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_79-1


The first Renaissance academies developed around the middle of the fifteenth century and had a primarily encyclopedic character. The main trait of the knowledge cultivated in their first phase was the revival of the classical culture. On the one hand they, fostered a renewed interest especially in Platonic philosophy, and on the other hand they cultivated the dream of a somewhat all-embracing knowledge.

Vernacular literature, liberal arts, music, mathematics, and the study of nature were all parts, within the fifteenth to sixteenth-century academies, of a wider landscape of interests.

It is exactly this tension and strife towards a unifying and organic picture of knowledge that threatens any attempt at formulating a classification of themes and contents that were addresses by the first renaissance academies.

The question of the scientific academy in the Renaissance should thus be posed and defined considering on the one hand the relation with the wider academic phenomenology and on the other hand with the birth and rise of the “new science,” in particular when it comes to the very process that science underwent in order to be autonomous from an organic and homogeneous view of knowledge, a view that was exactly the hallmark of that model in which the academies were born.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (Berlin)BerlinGermany