Paracelsus: Concerning the Nature of Things

(1537)

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Context

The popular stereotype of the Middle Ages is that it was a period of benighted superstition. But while the Scholastic philosophers (professors of philosophy and theology at the first universities) of that era saw the supernatural and natural realms married in the control of the natural world exercised by God and his angels, they were generally skeptical of the possibility of mere human beings practicing magic or witchcraft. It did not seem a rational part of nature. The humanism...