`Nose of Wax' Early-Modern Philosophy and the Discourse of Conceptual Hybridization

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Aristotle has a nose of wax. This curious expression appears in many philosophical works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In this context, the metaphor emphasizes the ambiguity of Aristotle’s philosophy and the possibility for the commentators to make his words just what they want. This paper analyzes the use that different Early-Modern actors made of the image to address issues such as arrogance and ineptitude, fabrication and authenticity in the study of philosophy. The aim is to illuminate a further aspect of the hybridization of Aristotelianism in the early-modern period than the very fact of its change. Early-Modern actors detected, directed, or hindered this change. With what words and concepts did they depict, stimulate and (try to) thwart it?

Keywords: Hybridization, Aristotelianism, Authenticity, Early-Modern Metaphors, Early-Modern Lexicon


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