Pierre Gassendi

Picture of Pierre Gassendi

Date of Birth: 01/22/1592

Age: 63

Place of birth: champtercier near Dinh in Provence

Citizenship: France


Gassendi, Pierre (Gassendi, Pierre) (1592-1655), French philosopher and scientist, known for his advocacy and Atomism and Epicureanism attempt of reconciliation with Christianity. Born in champtercier near Dinh in Provence 22 January 1592. Last Gassendi - Italian olive shape names Gassendi (Gassend). He held the small church office in 1612, in 1614 he became a doctor of theology at Avignon; He was also rector of the Cathedral of Dean. At the insistence of Mersenne engaged in philosophy, was a professor of philosophy at the College of Aix-en-Provence.

In 1624 he published a series of essays in Grenoble, called paradoxical exercise against the Aristotelians (Exercitationes paradoxicae adversus Aristoteleos), where he said that, although he is obliged by his position to teach the Aristotelian philosophy, it has always taken the issue of its weaknesses. Ceasing controversy with scholastics, because of which he could appear in church circles enemies, he turned to the study of Epicurus. In 1626 he appeared in Gassendi working idea of ??life, moral views and teachings of Epicurus. He was convinced that the ancient philosopher`s doctrine can be reconciled with the contemporary theology. In 1632 Gassendi published a paper on the passage of the planet Mercury, Kepler predicted, and in 1641 tried to prove experimentally the theory of falling bodies Galileo. However, the main contribution to the cultural history of Gassendi began his philosophy.

In 1641 Gassendi brought in response to Descartes` Meditations number of objections, the essence of which was that of philosophical speculation should be more modest. In 1644 he published his book The study of metaphysics (Disquisitio Metaphysica). In 1645 Gassendi received a professorship of mathematics (astronomy) College Royal in Paris. Lecture inaugural (Institutio astronomica, 1647), although open and did not show commitment to the ideas of Galileo, indicative of sympathy for them. In 1647 appeared his work on life and moral views of Epicurus (De vita et moribus Epicuri), changed the general opinion of the ethics of Epicurus. In 1648, suffering from tuberculosis, Gassendi went to Provence. In 1649 he published Notes on the tenth book of Diogenes Laertius (Animadversiones in decimum librum Diogenis Laertii) (about Epicurus), together with the Body of the philosophy of Epicurus (Syntagma philosophiae Epicuri). In 1653 he returned to Paris. Gassendi died in Paris October 24, 1655.

His collected works were published in 1658. The first two volumes contain the Code of Philosophy (Syntagma Philosophicum, published posthumously in 1658.), Consisting of three parts: logic, physics (general natural science, cosmology, physiology, psychology) and ethics. Logic - mainly inductive method of research; but it Gassendi attempts to strike a balance between experience and reason. Physics is devoted opisaniyumira (consisting of atoms and the void), created by God, whose existence is proved by the presence of world harmony. God - the first reason; all secondary causes related to the movement, which is inherent in the atoms. The most moving atoms make up the soul of animals capable of feeling and "sensitive intelligence". The human soul is immaterial and is able to grasp abstract ideas, based on sensory data. People seek happiness (peace of mind and lack of physical pain), which can be achieved (in the world - only in an imperfect shape) thanks to a virtuous way of life and the love of God.

Gassendi was respectful to the orthodox teachings of the Church, but the essential features of his picture of the world have been adopted by 18 in deism. He was the main rival of Descartes as a representative of the "new philosophy", influenced R. Boyle and D.Lokka; his highly esteemed Newton.