Daniel Canaris

Daniel Canaris

Berenson Fellow
The Aristotelian Soul in Late Ming China: The Lingyan lishao by Francesco Sambiasi and Xu Guangqi


Daniel Canaris is an Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Sun Yat-sen University and a Research Affiliate in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Sydney. After obtaining his PhD with a dissertation on China in Giambattista Vico in 2017, he has held fellowships in the Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His research focuses on the Italian Enlightenment and the intellectual exchange between China and Europe in the early modern period. His first monograph, Vico and China, appeared in the series Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment (2020). Two further books, on Michele Ruggieri and Niccolò Longobardo, are contracted for publication by Brill and Palgrave Macmillan.


Project Summary

In the late sixteenth century, Jesuit missionaries ambitiously undertook to bring Renaissance intellectual culture to China. This project will examine the seminal collaboration between the Jesuit Francesco Sambiasi (1582-1649) and the mandarin Xu Guangqi (1562-1633) on the Lingyan lishao (1624), the first Chinese translation of Aristotle’s De anima. Since Chinese lacked exact analogues for the Aristotelian soul, this project provides significant insights into how conceptual translation is conducted between disparate cultures and will enhance our understanding of the global transmission of Renaissance philosophy while revealing how the Jesuits reconciled Aristotelianism with Chinese thought.