Analecta Hermeneutica 1:168-185 (2009)

Michael Doan
Oakland University
Not only did Paracelsus (1493-1541) censure the logic of the Aristotelians, but also their "Godless" approach to questioning nature. He declared that Aristotle was “a heathen whose work had rightly been condemned repeatedly in church councils." In this essay I elucidate some of the more salient features of Paracelsus’s "epistemology," and draw parallels between his notion of experientia (Erfahrung) and that of Hans-Georg Gadamer. I also discuss Paracelsus’s educational metaphor, his creation myth, and the mysterious doctrine of signatures en route to uncovering his peculiar understanding of the relationship between theory, practice, and experience.
Keywords Paracelsus  Erfahrung  praxis  experience  Gadamer  alchemy
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