Nicolaus Taurellus on Vegetative Powers and the Question of Substance Monism

In Fabrizio Baldassarri & Andreas Blank (eds.), Vegetative Powers: The Roots of Life in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Natural Philosophy. Cham: Springer. pp. 199-219 (2021)
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This article analyzes the treatment of vegetative powers in Nicolaus Taurellus’s critical response to Andrea Cesalpino. Taurellus’s interest in this topic derives from larger metaphysical and theological concerns. His concern is that Cesalpino’s view that vegetative powers are due to a divine principle of activity inherent in natural particulars leads to a version of substance monism that is incompatible with the Christian doctrine of creation. Taurellus’s critique can best be understood within the context of his defense of an immaterialist account of the basic constituents of reality, which is connected with an emergentist account of the origin of vegetative powers.

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Andreas Blank
Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt


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