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History of UniversitiesVolume XXIX / 1$
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Mordechai Feingold

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779919

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779919.001.0001

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Central European Polemics over Descartes: Johannes Placentinus and His Academic Opponents at Frankfurt on Oder (1653–1656)

Central European Polemics over Descartes: Johannes Placentinus and His Academic Opponents at Frankfurt on Oder (1653–1656)

Chapter:
(p.29) Central European Polemics over Descartes: Johannes Placentinus and His Academic Opponents at Frankfurt on Oder (1653–1656)
Source:
History of Universities
Author(s):

Pietro D. Omodeo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779919.003.0002

This chapter examines the heated polemic against Cartesianism—a field that brings together studies on individual scholars and local scholarly constellations, along with an analysis of additional primary sources and archival research—that emerged at the University of Frankfurt on Oder during the seventeenth century. The debate mainly centred on the use of Rene Descartes’s views which went against the traditional university curricula. The leader of the supporters of Descartes was Jan Kolaczek, latinized as Placentinus, who faced attacks and the vexations of his colleagues from the Faculties of Philosophy and Theology. His opponents accused him of overturning a well-established scholarly tradition—mainly resting on Aristotelianism—and subverting the university statutes. Placentinus overcame his adversaries by making a clever recourse to academic mechanisms and practices, such as the use of disputations to defend and propagate his theses, and by taking advantage of political ties.

Keywords:   Cartesianism, University of Frankfurt on Oder, seventeenth century, Rene Descartes, Jan Kolaczek, Placentinus, Aristotelianism

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