Giordano Bruno and her Influence and Contribution to the Renaissance

Giordano Bruno and her Influence and Contribution to the Renaissance

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), a priest, had a good education in mathematics, astronomy and philosophy and produced original ideas in these fields. Although he spent his life wandering around Europe like a fugitive, he produced many texts.

In addition to his cosmological writings, he also did extensive work on the art of remembering. He sincerely embraced Copernicus’s heliocentric view of astronomy. Accordingly, the Earth rotates around the Sun and also around its own axis. The fact that other celestial bodies, including the sun, seem to revolve around the earth is a sensory illusion resulting from the earth’s rotation around its axis. The Earth completes its rotation around the sun in one year, and its rotation around its axis in twenty-four hours, that is, in one day. The sun is just one of the infinite number of stars that move independently in the sky. Other planets revolve around other stars. The sun, together with its planets, forms a system in the universe – the Solar System. Other stars also have their own systems. In the traditional system, the main constituents of the sublunar and superlunar worlds were also structurally different from each other. Bruno also denies this point and argues that the universe has a homogeneous structure at every point, without distinguishing between the moon and the moon. In connection with this discourse, the idea that the universe has a hierarchical structure also falls away. Our world is a celestial body just like the sun. The same physical laws apply at every point in the universe. So far it has been a kind of repetition of the Copernican understanding of the universe.

Bruno deduced from the Copernican explanation of the universe that the universe is a continuous entity. The universe is a continuum radiating outward from every point. The universe is also infinite; it reflects the eternity of God, who is infinite, in his unlimited greatness. Thus it becomes infinite. God is nature making natural (natura naturans), the universe is nature made natural (natura naturata). Therefore, God is the eternal cause or principle of the universe’s existence. The universe, on the other hand, is nothing but the sum of naturalized things. The universe is passive being, whereas God is an active cause. Although he does not seem to accept pantheism from a religious point of view, the universe and God are like two sides of a coin. God is, in a way, the universe. For the immanent and permanent cause of beings is both the material and the formal cause that creates, regulates and governs them; it constitutes an innumerable multiplicity of genera, species, and individuals without any existential relationship Bruno sometimes meets this universe-God with the term ‘matter’.

In this understanding, matter is what Aristotle calls prote hyle (first matter); this item is actually nothing more than an abstract idea; it does not take up space, does not take its existence from any other principle (form); on the contrary, it is the foundation of all forms. Everything is hidden in it as a seed, and it brings them into existence when the time comes, it is absolute and eternal. As can be seen, it is clear that the matter mentioned here is both the material and the formal cause of the concrete material objects we know; In this way, it is obvious that it is a divine principle. With these views, Bruno seems to have prioritized the great pantheist thinker of the 17th century, Spinoza. He was accused of heresy and executed by burning because of his pantheistic views and his defense of the Copernican astronomy theory.

According to Bruno, the universe reflects God’s eternity in its limitless greatness. God is naturalizing nature, and the universe is naturalizing nature.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook