David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Vivarium 44 (s 2-3):375-395 (2006)
Lorenzo Valla (1406-1457) has often been considered to be a sceptic. Equipped with an extremely polemical and critical mind, his whole oeuvre seemed to aim at undermining received philosophical and theological dogmas. More specifically he has been associated with the burgeoning interests in ancient scepticism in the fifteenth century. In this article the arguments in support of this interpretation will be critically examined and evaluated. Based on a discussion of two of his major works, De vero bono and the Dialectica, it will be shown that Valla was not a sceptic. Even though the first work betrays the techniques of the Academy as employed by Cicero, the appropriation of these strategies served an agenda which can hardly be called 'sceptical'. The second work contains his reform of Aristotelian dialectic, which seems to testify to a sceptical interest in arguments which rely on verisimilitude and dubious validity such as sorites and paradox. But rather than reflecting an endorsement of Academic scepticism, this work, on closer reading, shows Valla to be highly critical on such arguments. This raises the question of how scepticism is related to rhetoric. Their similarities and differences will be discussed in the final section: Valla the Christian orator was no proponent of doubt, uncertainty and a suspension of judgement, even though at times he used strategies derived from Academic scepticism.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Arne Naess (1966). Psychological and Social Aspects of Pyrrhonian Scepticism. Inquiry 9 (1-4):301 – 321.
Lodi Nauta (2009). In Defense of Common Sense: Lorenzo Valla's Humanist Critique of Scholastic Philosophy. Harvard University Press.
Anthony Rudd (2008). Natural Doubts. Metaphilosophy 39 (3):305–324.
Lodi Nauta (2004). Lorenzo Valla and the Limits of Imagination. In Lodi Nauta & Detlev Pätzold (eds.), Imagination in the Later Middle Ages and Early Modern Times. Peeters.
L. Nauta (2003). Lorenzo Valla's Critique of Aristotelian Psychology. Vivarium 41 (1):120-143.
Harald Thorsrud (2009). Ancient Scepticism. University of California Press.
Paul Richard Blum (2010). Lorenzo Valla (1406/7-1457) : Humanism as Philosophy. In , Philosophers of the Renaissance. Catholic University of America Press.
Lodi Nauta, Lorenzo Valla. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Lodi Nauta (2008). From an Outsider's Point of View: Lorenzo Valla on the Soul. Vivarium 46 (3):368-391.
Letizia A. Panizza (1978). Lorenzo Valla's de Vero Falsoque Bono, Lactantius and Oratorical Scepticism. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 41:76-107.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #112,733 of 1,099,914 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #51,477 of 1,099,914 )
How can I increase my downloads?