439. Naturalism and the Occult Sciences. -- It was mainly the medical profession that produced those naturalists who tried to substitute for the ancient physics a new philosophy based partly on observation, partly on the data of the Cabala, astrology, magic and alchemy.
PARACELSUS OF HOHENHEIM (1493-1541) opens the list of those medical innovators by a series of works composed by him in German and translated into Latin by his disciples. We may mention the Opus Paramirum, Die grosse Wundarznei, De Natura Rerum. He conceived the science of medicine to be supported on four pillars: theology, philosophy, astrology and alchemy.
The same medley of cabalistic doctrines with alchemy, magic and astronomy, is found in the works of another famous physician, who appears to have arrived at conclusions analogous to those of Paracelsus without having known the latter's writings: the Italian, HIERONYMUS CARDANUS (1501-1576), author of the treatises De Varietate Rerum and De Subtilitate.
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