Huarte de San Juan, Juan

views updated


HUARTE DE SAN JUAN, JUAN (also known as Juan de Dios Huarte of Navarra ; 1529–1589), Navarrese author and physician of presumed Marrano descent. His principal work, Examen de ingenios para las ciencias (Baeza, 1557; The Examination of Men's Wits…, London, 1594), assigns vocations to men according to their temperament and nature. In this study, Huarte de San Juan stated that men are children of their works and that their role in life should depend on personal qualities rather than on inherited position. He originated the theory of professional aptitude and established the thesis of the correlation of temperament and talent, minimizing the effects of apprenticeship, habit, and vocation on intellectual aptitude and efficiency. The theory of his Converso identity is based on the fact that his surname is found among Navarrese Judaizers. Huarte de San Juan displays notable sympathy for the Jewish people and expresses his belief that the Jews are peculiarly suited to the medical profession.


J. Caro Baroja, Los Judíos en la España moderna y contemporánea, 1 (1962), 93; 3 (1962), 274; A. Farinelli, Dos excéntricos: Christóbal de Villalón, El doctor Juan Huarte (1936).

[Kenneth R. Scholberg]