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Lecture

NATS 1760 Lecture Notes - Giambattista Della Porta, Natural Magic, Three Books Of Occult Philosophy


Department
Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1760
Professor
Edward Jones- Imhotep

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The Authority of Ancient Sources
Practice and utility in Renaissance culture
question of knowledge
recipe for concrete is known in Ancient Rome but recipe is lost in the Middle Age
comes idea that there are secrets out there (secrets of nature)
project of rediscovering the Ancients is rediscovering the marvels of nature
practice and utility needs to be rediscovered
obsessed with practicality
“how to” books are published
practical concern because renaissance culture commercial culture
interest in commercial practical applications
Wonder and the marvels of nature
ideas of how to discover secrets of earth that need to be recovered
fables are taken for sources of potential knowledge
The Baconian Sciences
often involve marvels and exceptions
don't have overarching theory to explain
knowledge relies on trial and error experiments
seen as practical fields of study
people who contribute to them are generally artisans, people who make things for
a living
end up revealing knowledge that are produce through body of literature called the
books of secret
books of secrets deal with things such as how to dye textile, cloths,
two crucial functions: they transmit knowledge that would otherwise remain only
in the hands of the artisans, responsible for new concept of experimentation
people who read these books see how experimentation can create knowledge

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Cornelius Agrippa
studies at university of cologne
finds secret society interested in magic
has idea that universe is broken up into three parts: elemental world (the world we
inhabit; rocks, trees, water; celestial world; the world of heavens; intellectual
world: world of god and the supernatural)
sees all of these things as being connected
sees that aspects of one world end up being communicated to the other, they
influence the other
published “Of Occult Philosophy”
believes relationships between numbers hold secrets of the world
books of secrets form the basis of natural magic
natural magic is not demonic magic, it's basic assumption is that nature is full of
hidden forces that can be manipulated, understood, and directed for human gain
kind of natural philosophy that seeks to understand wondrous ways the world
behaves according to naturalistic observation
2 reasons church outlaws natural magic:
church does not draw distinction between naturalistic magic and demonic magic
church sees it as encroaching on questions of miracles, believes they are trying to
demystify miracles so they go after natural magicians and outlawing natural
magic
magician take nature and produce effects that illusions
make nature behave in ways it doesn't usually behave
people that were most interested in natural magic....
Giambattista Della Porta
travels through, Italy, France, Spain
studies optics, math, astronomy
friends with Galileo
interested in things that have to do with magic and codes
interested in cryptography: study of codes and cyphers
“Natural magic” book believes that nature can be changed through natural
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