[6.8.3] Tommaso Campanella’s Universal Monarchy

Tommaso Campanella (Stilo, 1568–Paris, 1639) wrote about the causes of political association:

  • Human a is member of a political association (a role).
  • A human is member of political association (member of).
  • Monarchy characterizes sovereign.
  • Sovereign is in material relation with cause.
  • Prudence, God, and expediency are the causes.

The following OntoUML diagram on the universal monarchy.

Capanella on the universal monarchy
ClassDescriptionRelations
PoliticalAssociationA human is a member of the political association member of
PoliticalAssociarion
MemberOf PoliticalAssociationA human person is member of political association.
HumanA human is a member of a political association.
Sovereign“Appealing to biblical texts, Campanella maintains that the Spanish can aspire to the monarchy of the world if he takes inspiration from the model of Cyrus, invested by God, as Isaiah (45.1) confirms, with the mission of liberating the Church from infidels and of bringing together all peoples under a single faith. For the Catholic king the only practical way of achieving his own universal plans is through a firm accord with the Church and with the pope, following the example of Constantine and Charlemagne. Campanella further stresses that religion is the most powerful bond of political unity. Machiavelli, too, had emphasized the strength of this bond, when analyzing the events of the Roman Republic, but then had condemned the Christian religion as a cause of weakness, strife and divisions. Campanella has no doubt that religion, whether true or false, is the primary and most powerful unifying force in the political body, in that it rules over souls and brings them together, and that all other ties between human beings depend on it.
[…]
Appealing to biblical texts, Campanella maintains that the Spanish sovereign can aspire to the monarchy of the world if he takes inspiration from the model of Cyrus, invested by God, as Isaiah (45.1) confirms, with the mission of liberating the Church from infidels and
of bringing together all peoples under a single faith.”
subkind of MemberOf PoliticalAssociarion
Monarchy“Appealing to biblical texts, Campanella maintains that the Spanish can aspire to the monarchy of the world if he takes inspiration from the model of Cyrus, invested by God, as Isaiah (45.1) confirms, with the mission of liberating the Church from infidels and of bringing together all peoples under a single faith.”characterizes Sovereign
CauseGod, prudence, and expediency are causes.
Prudence “The two other primary causes of political associations are prudence. and expediency [..].
The main task of political action will therefore be to promote the most effective union among its members. The virtue specific to this activity is prudence, which has the job of reinforcing natural bonds and coming up with unifying techniques designed to strengthen the ties of individuals with the whole, of integrating unlike with like and of attenuating the most violent conflicts, so that the result is the correct functioning and prosperity of the entire organism. When he speaks of prudence, Campanella insists on distinguishing it from Machiavellian cunning and from “reason of state,” drawing on various clever and subtle contrasts and distinctions. While prudence is an instrument of organic unity, cunning and reason of state are nothing but techniques designed to affirm individualistic egoism and, for this reason, are doomed to failure, as is amply demonstrated by the tragic end of Machiavellian heroes, whose successes are revealed to be merely apparent or ephemeral, or by the sad life of tyrants, constantly plagued by suspicions and fears. “
is cause
God“Both these elements are found in a central text of Campanella’s political thought, the Monarchia di Spagna (Monarchy of Spain). Right from the outset, he expresses the doctrine of the three causes that are at the origin of political associations—God, prudence and expediency—in order to highlight the inadequacy of a vision of history, characteristic of politicians, that is limited solely to human causes. The first cause, that rules and governs the others and that is always present, even if in hidden ways, in all historical events is, of course, God. This means that a skillful and shrewd politician must endeavor to integrate empirical causes into more general ones. To this end, it is indispensable to have recourse to the “highest sciences” of prophecy and of astrology, that enable one to insert particular events into a universal background”is cause
Expediency“there is the bond of bodies, in relation to which Campanella insists on the expediency of increasing marriages by all available means, encouraging unions between individuals of different physical constitution and temperament and between the Spanish and other nations, in order both to spread Spanishness to other nations and to temper the vices of the Spanish people, who often arouse hatred for their humility when serving and for their pride when commanding.” is cause

Sources

  • Ernst, Germana and Jean-Paul De Lucca, “Tommaso Campanella“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2021 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

First published: 17/1/2023

[6.7.4] Bernardino Telesio on God

Bernardino Telesio (1509–1588) wrote about a God who does not act in nature, (however miracles might occur)-

“Whereas medieval and Renaissance authors often seemed to rely on the double-truth theory in order to maintain the freedom of scientific research and teaching, Telesio maintained a purely scientific approach. But he did not deny the existence of God and of the human soul [spirit]. Telesio’s God is not the God who acts in nature and history, though he did not deny the possibility of miracles (DRN book IV, ch. XXV; vol. I, p. 176). The God Telesio seems to imagine can be compared to a mechanic. Just as the best mechanic creates an artefact which will work without interruption and default, so the power of the almighty divine artist is represented in a cosmos which is able to generate and to sustain itself without ever running the danger of corruption (see DRN book I, ch. X).”

  • God might perform miracles.
  • The Cosmos depends on God.
  • A thing is component of cosmos.
  • A human is a subkind of thing.
  • Spirit and immortal soul are components of humans.
  • Immortal soul depends on God.

The following OntoUML diagram shows Telesio’s model of God-

Telesio on God
ClassDescriptionRelations
God“Telesio maintained a purely scientific approach. But he did not deny the existence of God and of the human soul [spirit]. Telesio’s God is not the God who acts in nature and history, though he did not deny the possibility of miracles (DRN book IV, ch. XXV; vol. I, p. 176). The God Telesio seems to imagine can be compared to a mechanic. Just as the best mechanic creates an artefact which will work without interruption and default, so the power of the almighty divine artist is represented in a cosmos which is able to generate and to sustain itself without ever running the danger of corruption (see DRN book I, ch. X).”creates Miracle
MiracleMiracles are possible: “Telesio’s God is not the God who acts in nature and history, though he did not deny the possibility of miracles (DRN book IV, ch. XXV; vol. I, p. 176).”
ImmortalSoul“Besides the natural soul or spirit Telesio accepted the existence of an immortal soul superimposed by God (DRN book V, ch. II–III). But in his theory of psychology and ethics the soul does not play any significant role, for which reason researchers have often held it to be an addition designed to avoid conflicts with the Church.
On the other hand, there do exist certain modes of behavior which cannot be explained in a purely naturalistic and materialistic way, such as the human striving for eternity and the martyrs’ denial of the highest objective of self-preservation. But far from building a bridge to the philosophical tradition, Telesio’s definition of a second, divinely superimposed soul as “forma corporis et praecipue spiritus” deals a deathblow to Aristotle’s teachings. According to Telesio, the idea of an immortal soul was totally unknown to the heathen Aristotle, who is severely criticized for confusing the concept of a natural spirit with the religious idea of a soul (DRN book V, ch. II–III):
And when we have reproved Aristotle and will continue to reprove him for having introduced the soul into the body as its peculiar form, we have not condemned him and we will not condemn him because he equated the soul created by God (a thing which one might suspect was completely unknown to him) with the form of humans, but rather because… he equated the soul which was generated from the semen and which is the only one which senses, causes movements and is (so to speak) something akin to the semen, with the form of the body. (Vol. II, p. 218f.)
Nonetheless, the few pages which Telesio dedicated to the immortal soul do not open a path to metaphysical or theological theories. “
componentOf Human; historicalDependence on God
Cosmos“Just as the best mechanic creates an artefact which will work without interruption and default, so the power of the almighty divine artist is represented in a cosmos which is able to generate and to sustain itself without ever running the danger of corruption (see DRN book I, ch. X).”historicalDependence on God
Thing“Telesio’s vision of the genesis of nature is simple to the point of being archaic, yet at the same time astonishingly modern in the sense that he seems to have been one of the very first defenders of a theory of natural evolution without metaphysical or theological presuppositions. According to his De rerum natura, the only things which must be presupposed are passive matter and active force, the latter of which Telesio thought of as twofold, heat and cold.”componentOf Cosmos
Human“And just as there is no metaphysical difference between living and non-living bodies, there also does not exist a qualitative difference between animals and humans—in both, it is the same spirit which coordinates the functions and operations of the different bodily parts.”subkind of Thing
Spirit“According to Telesio, the soul [ie spirit] is a separate being, but not in the sense of the Platonists, who define it as an immortal essence acting as the governor and mover of the body during its embodied life. Telesio held the soul to be a specific part of the body, defining it as the spiritus coursing through the nervous system and having its main seat in the brain”componentOf Human

Sources

  • Boenke, Michaela, “Bernardino Telesio“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).

First published: 15/12/2022