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Salvator Tongiorgi

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Philosopher, born at Rome, Italy, 25 December, 1820; d. there, 12 November, 1865. At the age of seventeen he entered the Society of Jesus. After the usual noviceship, literary and philosophical studies, a half-decade was spent in teaching rhetoric at Reggio and humanities at Forli. Then four years were passed in the study of theology, under the eminent professors Perrone, Passaglia, Ballerini, and Patrizi. Immediately after this, in 1853, the young priest was assigned to the chair of philosophy in the Roman College, and there during twelve years distinguished himself as a teacher and author. Within a few days of his forty-fourth birthday he was appointed assistant to the provincial of the Roman Province; but his health gave way before a year had elapsed. Father Tongiorgi wrote a well-known course of philosophy, "Institutiones philosophicae", which he published in three volumes at Rome in 1861 and at Brussels in 1862. Nine editions appeared during the next eighteen years, some of them modified by Claude Ramiere. A compendium of the same work and a separate volume on ethics also came from his pen. All his works are still used as text-books for college or seminary. On some of the mooted questions in philosophy the author departed from Scholastic traditions, rejecting the Peripatetic theory of matter and form, denying the real distinction between accidents and substance, and claiming that mere resultants of mechanical and chemical forces could produce the life-activity seen in the vegetable world. These doctrines, though not widely accepted, yet stimulated the Scholastics to make better use of the researches carried on in the physical sciences.


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