Porta, Simon

Porta, Simon an Italian philosopher of the first half of the 16th century, was a pupil of Pomponatius, and is celebrated especially as the author of Magia Natureolis (Naples, 1589, and since). In 1512 the Lateran Council condemned both those who taught that the human soul was not immortal and those who asserted that the soul is one and identical in all men. It condemned also the philosophers who affirmed that these opinions, although contrary to faith, were philosophically true. It enjoined professors of philosophy to refute all heretical doctrines to which they might allude, and prohibited the clergy from studying philosophy for a course longer than five years. Indeed, Averroism as early as the 13th century had become hostile to the doctrines of the Church, and in 1271, and again in 1277, it was condemned by Stephen Tempier, archbishop of Paris, who caused its principles to be embodied in distinct propositions. Among these were the following: "Quod sermones theologici sunt funndati in fabulis. Quod nihil plus scitur propter scire theologiam. Quod fabulse et falsa sunt in lege Christiana, sicut et in allis. Quod lex Christiana impedit addiscere. Quod sapientes mundi slint philosophi tantum." Notwithstanding the condemnation of the Church, these ideas seemed to have taken hold of the philosophical mind of the age, and long continued to find favor among teachers and students. Like his preceptor, Pomponatius, Porta wrote, in agreement with the Alexandrians on the question of immortality, a work entitled De rerum naturalibus principiis, de animat et mente summa (Flor. 1551). Among other works of Porta. we mention De humana mente disutatio (1551): — De dolore: — An homo bonus vel malus volens fiat (1551). He died in 1555. See Ueberweg, Hist. of Philos. 2, 14, 467.

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