Note sulla nozione di prima philosophia nel Seicento (a partire da Descartes)


  • Alice Ragni Universität Luzern



prima philosophia, Descartes, Clauberg, Hobbes, Tschirnhaus, Bacon


The 17th century is the century that records the greatest number of meanings attributed to prima philosophia, a sign that this is evidently one of the notions for which a reformulation is needed. It is possible to find at least five definitions of prima philosophia, in addition to the more widespread one according to which philosophy is said to be ‘prima’ both by virtue of the universality (being qua being) and the eminence (God and separate intelligences) of its object, and which derives from a reading of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. This paper intends to reconstruct, without any claim to exhaustiveness, some of the main definitions of prima philosophia that occurred in the 17th century, starting with the most innovative one due to Descartes, which certainly had the greatest influence on subsequent history, surpassing, in fact, the other definitions, including the one that arose within the reformed scholasticism and of which Clauberg represents, at least at first, a spokesman. On the other hand, I will include in this review a brief survey of some theses that are more or less eccentric to Descartes’ position, namely those of Thomas Hobbes, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and Francis Bacon.

Author Biography

Alice Ragni, Universität Luzern

Post-Doc Researcher SNSF




How to Cite

Ragni, A. (2024). Note sulla nozione di prima philosophia nel Seicento (a partire da Descartes). Lexicon Philosophicum: International Journal for the History of Texts and Ideas, (10), 161–179.