Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

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Vernia, Nicoletto

Born: 1420, Chieti/Italy
Died: October 5, 1499, Vicenza/Italy
  • Ennio De BellisEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_108-1


Nicoletto Vernia is the greatest Aristotelian of the fifteenth century and has contributed to all the most important aspects of the speculation of his time: gnoseology and the problem of immortality of the soul, logic, physics, and the theory of impetus, research methodology and the theory of regressus demonstrativus, cosmology, and the metaphysics of celestial intelligences.

He claims the autonomy of physics with regard to metaphysics and the superiority of natural science.

Vernia was a pupil of Paolo della Pergola and Gaetano of Thiene and successor of the latter as professor of Philosophia at the University of Padua in 1465. He has among his pupils, Pietro Pomponazzi, Agostino Nifo, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.

Alternate Names

Nicoleto Vernia, Nicoletto de Vernia, Niccolò Vernia, Nicolò Vernia, Nicolettus Vernia de Chieti, Nicoletus Vernias Theatinus, Nicoletus Vernias, Nicolettus Vernias, Nicholetus Vernias, Nicoletus Verniatus


Nicoletto Vernia was born in Chieti, around 1420, the son of Ser Antonio Vernia, who was also born in Chieti.

He himself declares that he spent his youth in Venice as a guest of the noble family of Sebastiano Badoer, of which some members were the Patriarchs of Venice.

An important phase of Vernia’s education is his period of study at the Rialto School where he is a pupil of Paolo della Pergola.

Paolo della Pergola is of particular importance since Vernia regards him as his first teacher.

In 1442, he had been rector of the school annexed to the Church of San Giovanni Elemosinario in Rialto in Venice and remains here until 1455, the year of his death.

After Paolo della Pergola, many distinguished scholars of the University of Padua teach in this school, so that, from the second half of the fifteenth century to the end of the sixteenth century, the school is a branch of Padua’s university where many young Venetians begin their studies of logic and natural philosophy, which they then complete at the University of Padua and they obtain their doctorate.

It should therefore be remembered that the curriculum of studies conducted in the Rialto School has as its fundamental subjects the Aristotelian disciplines included in Organon, Physics, and Metaphysics, as well as Mathematics and Abacus.

It is evident, then, that there is a direct connection between the didactic activity of the Rialto School and the scientific activity of the Faculty of Artes of the University of Padua, and therefore there is a direct progression of Vernia’s education that passes from the magisterium of Paolo della Pergola to that of Gaetano of Thiene, the most important professor of Philosophia naturalis at the Faculty of Artes of the University of Padua from 1422 to 1465.

Vernia then reports that, after graduating, he goes to Pavia to study logic and physics according to the theory of the Calculatores and studies in depth, in particular, the doctrine of Richard Swineshead.

He began his professional curriculum in 1466 with the primum gradum profitendi qualification on the teaching of Philosophia Naturalis.

The year 1468 is the most important year in the career of Vernia who becomes an ordinary professor of philosophy in the chair previously occupied by his master Gaetano of Thiene.

On June 20, 1469, Vernia is admitted to the Sacred College of Doctors and Philosophers of the University of Padua. The prestige of this institution is increased by the fact that only the members of that college have the right to promote the admission of those who are worthy of the graduation exam.

The first work as editor of Nicoletto Vernia is the edition of De coelo written by his master Gaetano of Thiene and he adds his Quaestio de gravibus et levibus (Vernia 1474), which is both the subject of his studies as a youth and the main field of research of his master.

Concerning the text of the quaestio, Vernia, starting from Averroes’ doctrine, discusses the local motion of heavy and light bodies, that is, whether they receive the motion externally or possess the motion internally as an intrinsic virtus that develops once the obstacles that hinder it are removed.

Vernia confirms his full adherence to Averroes’ doctrine which appears to him the most faithful exposition of Aristotle’s thought. Movement leads the bodies to their natural places, where the element of the body is present in greater quantities.

Vernia can thus oppose Averroes’ thinking against the doctrines of Calculatores by pointing out his criticism, above all, on the thought of the scholars of the University of Paris.

He mainly takes into account the theories of Albert of Saxony and his supporter Gaetano of Thiene. According to Albert of Saxony, the impetus with which an object falls into the void is a virtue that the object acquires together with the progressively achieved speed and with the time it takes to reach the stasis point, regardless of the medium in which the movement takes place.

Marsilius of Inghen is instead the opponent less contrasted by Vernia, who proposes a mediation between the doctrine of Calculatores and that of orthodox Aristotelians, believing that air performs an auxiliary function in motion as the impetus is transmitted not only to the moving object but also to the air surrounding it.

In February 1480, Nicoletto Vernia completes and publishes in Padua the volume of the Commentaria to the De generatione et corruptione of Giles of Rome, Marsilius of Inghen, and Albert of Saxony, which is the second printed work of which he is the editor. Even in this edition, as he usually does, he adds his own quaestio, the second in order of a printed publication, which is titled Quaestio an ens mobile sit totius naturalis philosophiae subiectum (Vernia 1480, cc. 129r–131v).

In this work, Vernia identifies those that, in his opinion, are the fundamental conditions for unambiguously identifying the object of natural science.

One of these conditions is to set as a subject of study a natural entity that rigorously belongs to the perceptible reality.

Another condition prescribes that the goal of science is universal in every respect: it must therefore be a possible predicate of all entities in a direct or indirect way.

Another condition is that such an object not only does not transcend natural reality but is not confined to any particular science so that its validity can be verified in every field of research.

In 1480, Nicoletto Vernia wrote his first treatise on the intellectual soul titled Utrum anima intellectiva humano corpori unita tanquam vera forma substantialis dans ei esse specificum substantiale, aeterna atque unica sit in omnibus hominibus.

In this first Quaestio de unitate intellectus, left in manuscript form, Vernia studies the nature of the intellectual soul and, in particular, examines whether it is united to the human body as its true substantial form or whether it exists separately from the body and is incorruptible, eternal, and unique for all human beings.

The subject of discussion is the way in which the nature of man is to be understood, that is, whether it is of a corruptible nature or whether it is composed of an aggregate of a corruptible nature and of an intellect.

If he had only a perishable nature, man would not have intellectual attitudes or tend to happiness, as such characteristics are only of the aggregate of corruptible and incorruptible nature.

It is interesting to note the distinction that Vernia makes in the definition of the aggregate that enables the intellectual activity of man.

He emphasizes, in fact, that the bond that unites the intellect to the body, while being of a substantial nature, cannot be considered similar to the one that exists between matter and form, since it is restricted to a single function which is precisely that of knowledge.

However, such an aggregate of intellect and corporeal matter makes it possible to exercise rational function, since the body cannot exist or exercise its functions without the intellect and, vice versa, the intellect receives its perfection from the body, that is, the ability to operate.

On July 31, 1481, Nicoletto Vernia fulfilled, in Padua, the Quaestio an coelum sit ex materia et forma constitutum vel non (Vernia 1483, cc. 3r–5v).

Vernia therefore provides the ultimate answer to the question posed by the quaestio, consisting of whether heaven is made up of matter and form or not, moving from the observation that, according to the original doctrine of Aristotle and Averroes, heaven can be considered in four ways. It can be considered as the whole universe, as the entire celestial sphere, as the aggregate of all the individual celestial spheres, and as the aggregate of the intelligence and of its sphere.

Considering heaven in the fourth way, that is, as an aggregate of intelligence and its sphere, Vernia can thus clarify that, according to Aristotelian–Averrostic perspective, heaven must be considered as a unique compound of matter and form whose being is identical in each of its components so that the movement of heaven itself, which is determined by its intelligence that animates it, is produced by an absolutely harmonious synergy of potency and act. Consequently, it is animated by an intelligence that has as its attributes intellectus and virtus desiderativa but not virtus imaginativa.

Considering heaven in the first way, that is, like the whole universe, one cannot properly identify a difference between matter and form. Considering heaven in the second and third way, that is, as the whole celestial sphere or as the aggregate of all the individual celestial spheres, it only confers itself as power to occupy a space and therefore cannot be considered as a synthesis of matter form.

More specifically, heaven must be considered as a three-dimensional corpus, existing as a middle nature between the world of intelligibles and the sublunary forms characterized by generation and corruption.

Vernia concludes that heaven, as in the tradition that starts from the Chaldeans, passes through Aristotle and arrives to his time, is not generated, incorruptible and eternal, that is without a beginning and without an end, and, as a consequence, there is no creation nor a final judgment as in the Christian perspective.

The Quaestio de divisione philosophiae (Vernia 1482a, cc. 2r–3v) is completed in 1482, as it is appended by Nicoletto Vernia to the Quaestio an medicina nobilior atque praestantior sit iure civili (Vernia 1482b, cc. 3v–5r), which, in turn, he completed on February 26, 1482, and published in the edition of the Expositio of Walter Burley to the Eight Books of Physics of Aristotle, edited by Vernia, which is printed on April 15, 1482, in Venice by Johann Herbort.

Vernia, on the basis of the threefold distinction of the sciences in theoretical, practical, and poietical, engages in an interesting discussion on the classification of the sciences and artes of his time. While practical disciplines, called activae, are orthodoxly divided into ethics, politics, and economics, the poietical disciplines, called factivae, have interesting distinctions. Medicine, for example, although being so close to philosophia naturalis, which, of course, is part of the theoretical sciences, is considered an integral part of the factivae disciplines because of the simultaneous presence of theory and ars within it.

The important fact is that precisely this simultaneous presence of theory and ars within a given activity will be considered one of the most important factors in the birth of modern science.

Even when Vernia speaks of the division of theoretical sciences, he provides interesting information typical of the way of understanding philosophy in general and Aristotelianism especially during the second half of the fifteenth century. Theoretical sciences are therefore divided into three parts: philosophia naturalis, mathematics, and metaphysics, called scientia divina.

But even mathematics reserves surprises when the four traditional sciences associated with it, namely, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and music, are found united with perspective.

This discipline in the second half of the fifteenth century is becoming more and more affirmed but will have developed entirely at the height of the Renaissance.

Quaestio an medicina nobilior atque praestantior sit iure civili (Vernia 1482b, cc. 3v–5r) is part of the wider “dispute of the arts” of the fifteenth century. Nicoletto Vernia obviously sides with the superiority of medicine but that which original in his theory is the fact that his opinion has a methodical foundation and tends to return to the original teachings of Aristotle.

The first aspect taken into consideration is the use of the demonstration. Vernia establishes a ranking of the nobility of the disciplines based on the use they make of the demonstration; he, in fact, is the first to argue that the criterion of classification must be that of scientific trust.

It is obvious that the physical sciences in this have a primacy because they use the demonstration in a completely constitutive way. Medicine also uses both demonstratio quia and demonstratio propter quid. The inferiority of jurists depends, on the other hand, on the fact that they only use a particular field of logic that is dialectics and they do so also in a nonconscious and therefore unsystematic way.

The second aspect taken into consideration concerns the hierarchy within the sciences themselves, since each discipline derives its importance from the level covered by the one to which it is subordinate.

Medicine is subordinate to natural science that plays a more prominent role than politics which is subordinate to jurisprudence, and that is enough to make the practice of medicine much more valuable than the practice of law.

Precisely on this basis, Vernia founded the third aspect of the superiority of medical science over the juridical one as, while the politics, which is related to the jurisprudence, is limited to pursuing happiness within the civil community, the natural science to which medicine is bound, permits the knowledge of the highest essences allowing us to reach the sum of happiness that lies in the contemplation of the absolute.

In the same year 1482, the Quaestio de inchoatione formarum was also written. It has remained unpublished and we only have in possession a handwritten copy of it with the following title Quaeritur utrum sint ponendae rationes seminales in materia respectu rerum quae ex ipsa generantur. This manuscript is preserved in the Vatican Library and is part of the Codice Urbinate Latino 1492, ff. 83v–85r.

This quaestio is very brief and the discussion that it deals with is about the role of universals, which is one of the main topics of interest of Vernia to which he devotes a profound study that will lead to the Quaestio an dentur universalia realia.

In this work, he argues that the form operates even before arriving to the act according to the principle of inchoatio formarum, which determines not a change in the state of the substance but a certain inclination of the form to shape the matter.

On November 18, 1491, Vernia concludes his Quaestio an coelum sit animatum, which has remained unpublished and of this we have a transcription of Alessandro Sermoneta, later published by Pietro Ragnisco (1890–1891a, 275–302).

Vernia discusses two topics concerning the perfection of the heavens and the quality of their motion.

With regard to the first argument, he says that if heaven had not a soul it would lack something that completes its essence and for this reason it would be imperfect. Living beings, in fact, are more perfect than other beings precisely because they have a soul. The heavens, precisely because they must be considered absolutely perfect, must therefore also be considered endowed with a soul.

On the other hand, with regard to the subject of the quality of movement, it must be borne in mind that if the movement of the heavens is not violent, it must be determined either by the soul or by nature. The fact that the movement of the heavens is not violent is self-evident. The fact that the celestial movement is not a motion determined by nature is proved both by the observation that every natural movement ends when it reaches its place whereas the movement of the heavens is endless, and also by the fact that every natural movement has an increase and decrease while the heavens move constantly. Consequently, the motion of the heavens is caused by their soul.

Nicoletto Vernia completed the Quaestio est an dentur universalia realia (Vernia 1492, cc. 2v–5v) on February 17, 1492.

He has a position that is intermediate between the two extremes of nominalism of William of Ockham and realism of Walter Burley.

Vernia admits the existence of the universals by considering them in two distinct ways: in the first way, the universal is considered on the basis of itself; in the second way, the universal is considered on the basis of how it is realized in matter.

The first way includes, in turn, two different typologies: the first one is connected to the absolute essence of the universal that is not linked to its being present in matter; the second one is linked to its manifestation in particular things.

In this way, it is possible to affirm both the role of the universal as a common collector of meanings and the presence of the common essence in things belonging to the same species.

Vernia, between 1492 and 1495, also composed the Expositio in Posteriorum librum priorem, which remained unpublished and is now part of the Oxford manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Canon. Lat. Mix. 506, ff. 224r–241r.

This expositio has a particular relevance because it is an important testimony of an epochal transition both in theoretical and epistemological terms.

As is well known, in the second half of the fifteenth century, when the University of Padua became the leader in European scientific research, its professors achieved the overcoming of the epistemology of scholars known as Calculatores who first taught in Paris and Oxford and then in Pavia.

The opposition to the epistemology of the Calculatores, many of which are close to the nominalistic position, is through the re-evaluation of Averroes’ Commentary to Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics. This task, already begun by Paolo Veneto and continued by Gaetano da Thiene, was completed by Nicoletto Vernia.

He, in fact, opposes the attempt to arrive only logically at the comprehension of all reality, both the simplest one, consisting of phenomena, and the most complex one, constituted by the investigation of causes, which are examined by Calculatores on the basis of a calculation connected with the degrees of intensio and remissio formarum.

Vernia proposes, instead, the study of the Aristotelian Organon with the commentary of Averroes which indicates, instead, a scientific procedure based on demonstration.

The Expositio, in fact, tends to re-evaluate the centrality of scientific syllogism, whose pivotal point is the adoption of the cause of the phenomenon that we want to investigate as a medium term.

Inside the Oxford manuscript several quaestiones can be identified, such as Quaestio utrum logica sit scientia, Quaestio est quae scientiarum sit prima ordine doctrinae, sive sit practica sive speculativa, Quaestio de minimis, Quaestio de causa virtutis secundum quod gravia et levia eorum locis appropinquantia velocius moventur.

The most important quaestio is inside the Expositio and has the title Quaestio de regressu. It corresponds to the Commentary on Chapters 2 and 3 of Aristotle’s first book of Posterior Analytics, in which the Stagirite points out that the true scientific process is only that which is based on knowledge of the cause. The entire methodological tradition developed at the University of Padua focuses on the possibility of attributing maximum certainty to the principles on which science is based. Natural science is, therefore, always conjectural and cannot aspire to the absolute certainty that comes from mathematical science. In the natural sciences, in fact, we must start from that which is best known to us, using induction, and then arrive at a universal statement. Perfect induction, however, can only be achieved when all cases occur or when, after some of them have been verified, it can be said that the conclusion that has been reached is true for every other individual.

Since natural research lacks such certainty, consequently the medium term on which the syllogism of its demonstrations is based is not really universal. This universality would be possible only if the medium term were a cause attributable with absolute certainty to its effect, i.e., to the object of the observation.

The logical tradition of the University of Padua, on the other hand, pursues the ideal of conferring on natural research the same certainty that characterizes deductive sciences such as mathematics and for this reason it seeks the possibility of connecting the inductive process, typical of natural sciences, questioned by conjecture, with the deductive process of mathematical sciences capable of guaranteeing the perfect connection of a given cause to a certain effect.

The possibility of connecting the demonstratio quia, which develops the inductive process, with the demonstratio propter quid, which develops the deductive process, takes on the name of regressus demonstrativus.

During the year 1499, Vernia completed his last and most famous work, the Quaestio de pluralitate intellectus contra falsam et ab omni veritate remotam opinionem Averrois et de animae felicitate (Vernia 1504, cc. 2r–10r).

In order to understand the change of perspective in Vernia’s thought, it is necessary to remember that on May 6, 1489, the bishop of Padua Pietro Barozzi, with an episcopal edict, warned the teachers of the University of Padua against discussing the subject of immortality of the soul under threat of excommunication. From that moment begins a long phase of reflection in which Vernia’s primary objective is to prove his adherence to the orthodoxy of the Catholic faith.

The aim of this quaestio, therefore, consists in demonstrating that his thought coincides with that of Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, and John Duns Scotus and that, as they proved, Aristotle’s thought, if correctly interpreted, coincides entirely with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Vernia, in perfect conformity with the dictates of the Church, but in total divergence with his previous position on the subject, affirms that the intellectual soul is the substantial form of the human body, that it formally confers its existence, that it is intrinsic to every individual, and that it is infused by God in every man.

Vernia also asserts that the number of souls is equal to the number of individuals and that the soul is created by God and is not pre-existing in the body.

Also of great interest is Vernia’s position toward the thought of Alexander of Aphrodisias, especially in view of the fact that the pupil of Vernia, Pietro Pomponazzi, will base on Alexander’s thought the most important historical turning point on the treatment of the immortality of the soul present in Renaissance thought.

Pomponazzi, in fact, recognizes Alexander as the authentic interpreter of Aristotle’s doctrine of the soul and therefore agrees with his interpretation according to which the soul is mortal. This causes one of the most famous discussions within the thought of the Renaissance with important political implications, given its clear opposition to the Church’s thinking, based on the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas.

Nicoletto Vernia, in an astonishing way, uses philology this time to propose an interpretation which suggests that the thesis of the mortality of the soul comes from an erroneous understanding of Alexander of Aphrodisia’s thought by Averroes, who had thus erroneously handed down the doctrine according to which the soul is mortal.

Averroes misinterpreted the thought of Alexander of Aphrodisia as he did not have a reliable text of his De anima. Averroes thus attributed to Alexander the thesis of the mortal nature of the human intellect mistakenly claiming that he spoke of this subject while Alexander spoke of the cognitive virtue that for him, as for all philosophers, is obviously mortal as the attitude to abstraction ends with the body being connected with materiality.

On these bases, Vernia affirms that Alexander of Aphrodisia believes that both the active intellect and the passive intellect are eternal and therefore that the soul is eternal.

On October 5, 1499, Nicoletto Vernia dies and is buried, according to his will, in Vicenza where he still lies.

It is difficult to reconstruct, however, the destiny of his library that, leaving aside the dispersion of the texts sent to Pisa, mainly follows the destiny of the displacement of books removed, over the centuries, from the Library of the Convent of San Bartolomeo in Vicenza. That which is currently found is divided between funds available at the University Library of Padua, the Antonian Library of Padua, the Marciana Library of Venice, the National Library of Rome, the Vatican Library, the National Library of Paris, the British Library of London, and the Bodleian Library of Oxford.

The incunabula we have received are about twenty and among them are the most important texts of Albert the Great, John Duns Scotus, Walter Burley, John of Jandun, Gaetano of Thiene, Themistius, and Ermolao Barbaro.

The most important manuscripts contain writings by Giovanni Marliani, Gaetano of Thiene, Richard Swineshead, Giovanni de Arculis, Angelo of Fossombrone, Mesino de Codronchi, Dino del Garbo, Antonio of Imola, Hervaeus Natalis, Peter of Auvergne, William Heytesbury, Richard Kilvington, Walter Burley, Thomas Bradwardine, Roger Rosetus, Nicolas Oresme, Marsilio Santasofia, Biagio Pelacani, Jacopo of San Martino, Antonio of Conegliano, Gregorio of Rimini, and Giovanni of Casale.

Heritage and Rupture with the Tradition

As is known, the Posterior Analytics of Aristotle are the reference text of science throughout the period from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century, that is, until the advent of modern science.

Starting from the study of this text, Aristotelian epistemologists focus attention on scientific demonstration, which is that consisting of a syllogism that moves from universal and necessary premises, and try to connect the inductive method with the deductive method.

They want to achieve, in fact, the connection between the scientific demonstrative syllogism that starts from the effects to return to the causes, named demonstratio quia, and the scientific demonstrative syllogism that starts from the causes to get down to the effects, named demonstration propter quid. In this way, a perfect scientific method would be created that combines the analytical procedure with the synthetic one and thus manages to explain the totality of the cause–effect relations between phenomena.

Aristotle, however, not only never mentions the possibility of connecting, through syllogism, the inductive process with the deductive one, but also does not give preference to a certain modality of syllogism except on the basis of the typology of the object of the scientific investigation according to the criterion that prefers deductions in mathematical science and induction within the natural investigation.

During the fifteenth century, the University of Padua became one of the most important centers of scientific research. In this University, however, a methodology was used that is radically different from that based on calculatoria logic. The scholars of the University of Padua seek, in fact, a method more closely related to the actual reality of the objects of investigation, and this leads them to turn to the historical epistemological tradition that passes mainly through the reflection of Galen, Themistius, and Averroes.

In this way, they try to connect the demonstratio quia and the demonstratio propter quid, obtaining an original epistemological instrument destined to a centuries-old fortune, whose name is regressus demonstrativus.

The first scholar at the University of Padua to elaborate the theory of regressus is Paolo Veneto. He, however, supports the theory of the priority of the demonstratio quia within the regressus, and this position characterizes the speculation of his successors right up to Vernia. Paolo Veneto emphasizes the fact that the quia process, which follows the prius nobis, i.e., that which is present first to knowledge, is so inherent to our way of knowing that it is through the demonstratio quia that we are able to acquire the notions of cause and effect. These notions are those we use as predicates to attribute to the data we investigate in order to establish the order in which they should be placed. Veneto underlines, therefore, that such data would remain without the cause–effect connection, which characterizes its scientificity, if such notions of cause and effect did not come directly from the activity of demonstratio quia, to which the demonstratio propter quid owes everything in regard to the certainty of its results.

The idea of the superiority of the inductive phase in the cognitive process remains the most followed until Nicoletto Vernia’s speculation. He proposes, instead, for the first time the thesis of the superiority of demonstratio propter quid, that is of the deductive process, destined to characterize all subsequent logical theories.

Innovative and Original Aspects

Vernia is also the first theorist of the regressus demonstrativus at the University of Padua, given that, on the one hand, he frontally opposes those who consider the circular demonstration logically impossible, and on the other hand, he argues that not only is the circular demonstration possible but that it must use both inductive and deductive syllogism at the same time.

He is, therefore, the first supporter of the possibility of creating a virtuous and not tautological circle using two syllogisms: the first syllogism realizes the analytical process of ascending from empirical data to the first universal knowledge of the cause, while the second syllogism realizes the synthetic process with which scientific knowledge is perfected by verifying the belonging of the cause to its particular effect.

In this perspective, it is necessary both to reduce the priority of the demonstratio quia and to revalue the demonstratio propter quid, whose role of going down again from causes to effects represents for Vernia the true guarantee of scientificity because it leads to the same level of certainty proposed by natural causation.

He is also the first to propose the figure of the negotiatio intellectus, which is a third phase that follows the demonstratio quia and precedes demonstratio propter quid. In this phase, the inventio intellectus takes place which is a process whereby the cause, which after the use of inductive syllogism is still at the phase of simple hypothesis, becomes an epistemic certainty that guarantees the certainty of the cause–effect relationship, then further confirmed by the subsequent deductive syllogism.

Impact and Legacy

It is important to remember that, in the case of negotiatio intellectus, Nicoletto Vernia is the first proponent of a methodological innovation destined to be successful until the speculation of Iacopo Zabarella and the early methodological theories of Galileo Galilei.

Ultimately, it can be affirmed that, thanks to the first and original introduction of the methodological innovations constituted by the priority of the demonstratio propter quid, by the negotiatio intellectus, and by the first complete theorization of the regressus demonstrativus, Vernia represents the leader of innovations destined to indelibly mark the logic of the whole fifteenth and sixteenth century until the dawn of the modern age.



Primary Literature

    Manuscript Works

    1. Vernia, N. Utrum anima intellectiva humano corpori unita tanquam vera forma substantialis dans ei esse specificum substantiale, aeterna atque unica sit in omnibus hominibus. MSS. Venezia: Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Lat. VI, 105 (=2656), ff. 156r–160v.Google Scholar
    2. Vernia, N. Quaestio utrum sint ponendae rationes seminales in materia respectu rerum quae ex ipsa generantur. MSS. Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Codice Urbinate Latino 1492, ff. 83v–85r.Google Scholar
    3. Vernia, N. Quaestio est an coelum sit animatum. MSS. Venezia: Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Lat. VI, 149.Google Scholar
    4. Vernia, N. Expositio in Posteriorum librum priorem. MSS. Oxford: Bodleian Library, Canon. Lat. Misc. 506, ff. 224r–241r.Google Scholar
    5. Vernia, N. Quaestio utrum logica sit scientia. In Id., Expositio in Posteriorum librum priorem. MSS. Oxford: Bodleian Library, Canon. Lat. Misc. 506, ff. 230r–232v.Google Scholar
    6. Vernia, N. Quaestio de regressu. In Id., Expositio in Posteriorum librum priorem. MSS. Oxford: Bodleian Library, Canon. Lat. Misc. 506, ff. 239r–240r.Google Scholar
    7. Vernia, N. Quaestio est quae scientiarum sit prima ordine doctrinae, sive sit practica sive speculativa. MSS. Oxford: Bodleian Library, Canon. Lat. Misc. 506, ff. 319r–321v.Google Scholar
    8. Vernia, N. Quaestio de minimis. MSS. Oxford: Bodleian Library, Canon. Lat. Misc. 506, ff. 321v–323v.Google Scholar
    9. Vernia, N. Quaestio de causa virtutis secundum quod gravia et levia eorum locis appropinquantia velocius moventur. MSS. Oxford: Bodleian Library, Canon. Lat. Misc. 506, ff. 324v–325r.Google Scholar

    Printed Works

    1. Vernia, N. 1474. Quaestio de gravibus et levibus. In Gaietanus de Thienis, Expositio in libros Aristotelis De coelo et mundo, Nicoletus Vernia, Quaestio de gravibus et levibus. Padua: Bonus Gallus.Google Scholar
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  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly