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The Contest for KnowledgeDebates over Women's Learning in Eighteenth-Century Italy$
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Maria Gaetana Agnesi

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226010540

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226010564.001.0001

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The Debate of the Academy of the Ricovrati

The Debate of the Academy of the Ricovrati

(p.67) II The Debate of the Academy of the Ricovrati
The Contest for Knowledge
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the debate in the Ricovrati Academy in Padua regarding the education of women of the common masses in sciences and the liberal arts. In his introduction to the proceedings, Antonio Vallisneri, head of the Academy, declared the academy's objective in the debate. The debaters, Guglielmo Camposanpiero (1691–1765), poet, scholar, and chief librarian at the University of Padua, and Giovanni Antonio Volpi, a noted scholar, publisher, and professor of philosophy, Greek, and Latin at the University, generally adhered to the conventions of the querelle des femmes. Camposanpiero rested his defense of women's education on a catalog of celebrated and accomplished women already conventional to the genre, from Aspasia to Isabella Andreini, and cited arguments that he deemed sympathetic toward women made by the patriarchs of the Western cultural canon from Plato to Bembo. Volpi, by contrast, relied heavily on ancient humoralism.

Keywords:   Ricovrati Academy, women's education, Antonio Vallisneri, Guglielmo Camposanpiero, querelle des femmes, Giovanni Antonio Volpi

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