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1 - Gassendi's Life and Times

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 July 2009

Antonia LoLordo
Affiliation:
University of Virginia
Antonia Lolordo
Affiliation:
Assistant Professor Corcoran Department of Philosophy, University of Virginia
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Summary

Pierre Gassendi was born – as Pierre Gassend, son of the peasant farmer Anthoine Gassend and his wife Françoise Fabry – on January 22, 1592, in the village of Champtercier, near Digne in Provence. This was the year of Montaigne's death. He attended the Collège de Digne from 1599 to 1607 – where he learned, primarily, Latin – and the Faculté d'Aix beginning in 1609, studying philosophy with Père Philibert Fesaye. He also followed a course of theology that included Greek and Hebrew. Fesaye was a Carmelite, and the ratio studiorum of the Carmelites refers to Aquinas, Toletus, Averroes, and the Carmelite doctor John Bacon or Baconthorp. Baconthorp attacked intelligible species; denied the univocity of being; held that universals precede the action of the intellect and that external objects are intelligible per se although understanding them requires an agent intellect; equated essence with quiddity; and maintained a formal distinction between essence and existence. Gassendi adopted none of these doctrines, save the rejection of intelligible species.

Gassendi was recognized as an exceptional student from early on, and received his doctorate in theology in 1614, at the age of 24, at which time he took the four minor orders of the church and became the theological canon of Digne Cathedral. He kept this job until he was promoted to provost in 1634, after some legal wrangling. In 1616, Gassendi was ordained to the priesthood.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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  • Gassendi's Life and Times
    • By Antonia Lolordo, Assistant Professor Corcoran Department of Philosophy, University of Virginia
  • Antonia LoLordo, University of Virginia
  • Book: Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy
  • Online publication: 24 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511498503.004
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  • Gassendi's Life and Times
    • By Antonia Lolordo, Assistant Professor Corcoran Department of Philosophy, University of Virginia
  • Antonia LoLordo, University of Virginia
  • Book: Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy
  • Online publication: 24 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511498503.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Gassendi's Life and Times
    • By Antonia Lolordo, Assistant Professor Corcoran Department of Philosophy, University of Virginia
  • Antonia LoLordo, University of Virginia
  • Book: Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy
  • Online publication: 24 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511498503.004
Available formats
×