Thesis ID: CBB001562693

The Accademia dei Lincei: Pedagogy and the Natural Sciences in Counter-Reformation Rome (2000)


Bindman, Rachel Elisa (Author)

University of California, Los Angeles
Symcox, Geoffrey

Publication Date: 2000
Edition Details: Advisor: Symcox, Geoffrey
Physical Details: 292 pp.
Language: English

The dissertation, The Accademia dei Lincei: Pedagogy and the Natural Sciences in Counter-Reformation Rome, examines the history and historiography concerning this seventeenth-century scientific society. The membership of Galileo Galilei is largely responsible for its reputation as a, if not the, prototype of modern scientific academies such as the Royal Society and Acadmie des Sciences. Federico Cesi founded the Lincean society (1603--1630) and articulated this program of free inquiry into the natural sciences in Counter-Reformation Rome, at a time of acute political and religious tensions. These tensions, which culminated in the trial of Galileo, would shape the development of his academy throughout its short life. Based on a close reading of primary sources, I suggest that the novelty of this academy resides not so much in its endorsement of the new philosophy but rather in its attempt to implement an international, secular program of pedagogy firmly grounded in the natural sciences. I therefore argue that we should regard the Lincei primarily as a secular counterpart to the religiously- based pedagogy of the Jesuits. Cesi pinned his hopes for disseminating and promoting the academy's pedagogical program via the printing press, but I believe that he overestimated the power of the press as an agent of change. After his death, his academy disbanded: its demise was largely the result of Cesi's idiosyncratic leadership and his failure to create an institutional framework for his academy. Its pedagogical mission thus remained unfulfilled and has disappeared from the historical account of it that was subsequently constructed. Its legacy to scientific inquiry was, however, re-discovered during the eighteenth century. The gradual rehabilitation of Galileo and the academy became a source of national pride during the Risorgimento. At the time of unification, the name of the Reale Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei was chosen as Italy's premier scientific institution.


Description Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 61 (2000): 312. UMI order no. 9957801.

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Authors & Contributors
Cesi, Federico
Galluzzi, Paolo
Trabucco, Oreste
Guardo, Marco
Guerrini, Luigi
Montalenti, Giuseppe
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
Studium: Tijdschrift voor Wetenschaps- en Universiteitgeschiedenis
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Substantia: An International Journal of the History of Chemistry
Scienze e lettere
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Rome)
Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
La Città del Sole
Societies; institutions; academies
Natural history
Natural philosophy
Science and politics
Science and religion
Cesi, Federico
Galilei, Galileo
Della Porta, Giovan Battista
Telesio, Bernardino
Colonna, Fabio
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
Rome (Italy)
Florence (Italy)
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Rome)

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