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Sanchez [Sanches], Francisco

1. Dates
Born: Braga, Portugal, 1551 Cobos says Tuy, Spain (on the Portuguese border), 1550.
Died: Toulouse, France, Nov. 1623
Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
Lifespan: 72
2. Father
Occupation: No Information
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Portuguese
Career: French
Death: French
4. Education
Schooling: Sapienza (Rome); Montpelier, M.D.
After studies at the Collège de Guyenne (which I take to be secondary), he went to Rome to the Sapienza.
Rabade says he earned the title of Doctor in Rome. Doctor of what? The implication is philosophy. Cavalho, without mentioning a doctorate, says he continued in Arts (i.e, philosophy) in Rome. Cobos implies that it was a medical degree.
He went on to earn an M.D. in Montpellier in 1574.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Jew, Catholic
It seems clear that Sanchez was of Jewish descent. He adhered to Catholicism.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Natural Philosophy, Medicine
Subordinate: Mathematics
Sanchez wrote anatomical works and was a careful clinical observer.
His Quod nihil scitur, 1581, was a rigorous skeptical attack on Aristotelian science. Only particulars can be known, but the senses also are imperfect.
He questioned Clavius on mathematics, in print.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Medical Practice
Secondary: Academic Position
Sanchez established himself in Toulouse in 1575. The practice of medicine was his lifetime occupation and his principal source of income. He was Director of the Hospital of St. Jacques from 1581.
He also held a number of academic appointments in Toulouse: Prof. of philosophy, 1585 - ; Prof. of medicine, 1612 - . He was also at some time Rector of the university.
8. Patronage
Types: Physician, Unknown
He dedicated Quod nihil scitur to Diogo [Jacobus] de Castro, who appears to have been one of the famous medical de Castros.
Someone was behind those appointments in Toulouse.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. José Maria Lopez Piñero, et al., Diccionaria historico de la ciencia moderna en España, 2 vols. (Barcelona: Ediciones Peninsula, 1983). Sanchez, Opera philosophica, ed. Joachim de Cavalho, (Coimbra, 1955). Sergio Rabade Romeo, "Nota preliminar," Sanchez, Quod nihil scitur, ed. & tr. S. Rabade, J.M. Artola, and M.F. Perez, (Madrid, 1984).
  2. J. Cobos, "Renaissance et/du scepticisme," Annales de la Univ. de Toulouse-Le Mirail, 15, 8 (1979), 53-72.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Joao Cruz Costa, Ensaio sobra a vida e obra do Sanchez, (Sao Paulo, 1942). J. Iriarte, "F. Sanchez," Razon y Fe, 110 (1936), 23-42, 157-8.
  2. Evarista do Maraes Filho, Francisco Sanchez na renaissance Portugal, (Rio, 1953).
  3. A. Moreira da Sa, Francisco Sanchez, Philosopher e mathematician, 2 vols. (Lisbon, 1947).
  4. C. Mellizo, Nueva introduccion a Francisco Sanchez, (Zamora, 1982).
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

©1995 Al Van Helden
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