Heinrich Agrippa, German philosopher

Heinrich Agrippa, German philosopher

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535), also known as Agrippa von Nettesheim, German Philosopher. He studied theology, philosophy, law and medicine at the university of Cologne, Germany. In 1530 he published De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum (the uncertainty and vanity of sciences) in which he expressed his scepticism of the capability of improving human understanding by using natural sciences. He was one of the first persons to recognise the limits of absolute knowledge in an era when the natural sciences were receiving new impetuses. In 1533, Agrippa published a three volume book that explained western magic and esoteric traditions De Occulta Philosphia.

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