THE PHILOSOPHER AS A PHYSICIAN, CONJURER AND ASTROLOGER: THE FIGURE OF THE PHILOSOPHER IN POLISH RENAISSANCE LITERATURE
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This reconstruction of the figure of the philosopher physician, who is also a conjurer and a student of astrology and astronomy, addresses one of the crucial and most representative themes of the Age of Renaissance. Chief among the traits that make up the character of the philosopher is his ambition to arrive at a rationalistic account of the origin of the elements and to find some common ground between a life of philosophical speculation and the practical skills and activities of a physician. The philosopher of Renaissance literature is usually busy conducting some observations of the human body (in terms of the doctrine of the four humours) or dispensing some medical advice, which draws heavily on natural magic and its belief in hidden sympathies and antipathies between things. The Renaissance overlapping of philosophy, magic and medicine is also exhibited in the contemporary profiles of the philosopher-astrologer, who tries to fathom the influence of the planets on people's lives, their mentality, temper, and physiology.
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