Campanella, Tommaso

Campanella, Tommaso tōm–mäˈzō kämpänĕlˈlä [key], 1568–1639, Italian Renaissance philosopher and writer. He entered the Dominican order at the age of 15, and although he was frequently in trouble with the authorities, he never left the church. Imprisoned in 1599 on the grounds that he was plotting against the Spanish rule of Naples, he was released in 1626 on the representation of Pope Urban VIII. His best-known work is Civitas solis (1623, tr. The City of the Sun), an account of a utopian society that closely follows the pattern of Plato's Republic. Although he retained much of scholasticism and insisted on the preeminence of faith in matters of theology, he emphasized perception and experiment as the media of science. His importance, like that of Francis Bacon and Bruno, depends largely on his anticipation of what came to be the scientific attitude of empiricism. For his Civitas solis, see Henry Morley, ed., Ideal Commonwealths (1890).

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