This cosmic theory is a curious combination of materialistic and abstract ideas; the influence of his master Telesio (q.v.), generally predominant, is not strong enough to overcome his inherent disbelief in the adequacy of purely scientific explanation.
Like Bacon and Telesio he preferred the older Greek philosophers, who had looked at nature for themselves, and whose speculations had more of reality in them.
Empedocles, Plato and Aristotle; Telesio, Bruno and Campanella; Leibnitz; the idealists, Schopenhauer and Hartmann, Fechner and Paulsen; and the materialist, Haeckel - all have agreed in according some sort of appetition to Nature.
BERNARDINO TELESIO (1509-1588), Italian philosopher and natural scientist, was born of noble parentage at Cosenza near Naples in 1509.
Telesio was the head of the great South Italian movement which protested against the accepted authority of abstract reason, and sowed the seeds from which sprang the scientific methods of Campanella and Bruno, of Bacon and Descartes, with their widely divergent results.
When Telesio went on to explain the relation of mind and matter, he was still more heterodox.
The whole system of Telesio shows lacunae in argument, and ignorance of essential facts, but at the same time it is a forerunner of all subsequent empiricism, scientific and philosophical, and marks clearly the period of transition from authority and reason to experiment and individual responsibility.
The thinkers of southern Italy, Telesio, Bruno and Campanella, at last opened the two chief lines on which modern speculation has since moved.
Telesio and Campanella may be termed the predecessors of Bacon.
The tract is unusually interesting, for in it he discusses at some length the limits of science, the origin of things and the nature of primitive matter, giving at the same time full notices of Democritus among the ancient philosophers and of Telesio among the modern.
Discontented with this narrow course of study, he happened to read the De Rerum Natura of Bernardino Telesio, and was delighted with its freedom of speech and its appeal to nature s rather than to authority.
His first work in philosophy (he was already the author of numerous poems) was a defence of Telesio, Philosophia sensibus demonstrata (1 591).
In natural philosophy Campanella, closely following Telesio, advocates the experimental method and lays down heat and cold as the fundamental principles by the strife of which all life is explained.