This chapter describes some of the varieties of philosophical humanism and different conceptions of, and attitudes towards, the natural sciences. I focus on three kinds of humanism evident in 20th century European philosophy – humanism as essentialism, humanism as rational subjectivity, and existential humanism. Some are strongly allied to the sciences, others are antipathetic to them, while others offer subtler positions. By emphasising this diversity, I want to oppose claims about the inevitability of an 'alliance' of science to humanism, and (...) that claim that to be a humanist is something we must approve or applaud. At best, those 'alliances' and that praiseworthiness will only be true of certain varieties of humanism. (shrink)
Wonder and awe lie at the heart of life’s most profound questions. Wonderstruck shows how these emotions respond to our fundamental need to make sense of ourselves and everything around us, and how they enable us to engage with the world as if we are experiencing it for the first time. -/- Drawing on the latest psychological insights on emotions, Helen De Cruz argues that wonder and awe are emotional drives that motivate us to inquire and discover new things, and (...) that humanity has deliberately nurtured these emotions in cultural domains such as religion, science, and magic. Tracing how wonder and awe unify philosophy, the humanities, and the sciences, De Cruz provides new perspectives on figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Adam Smith, William James, Rachel Carson, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Abraham Heschel. Along the way, she explains how these singular emotions empower us to be open-minded, to experience joy and hope, and to be resilient in the face of personal troubles and global challenges. -/- Taking inspiration from Descartes’s portrayal of wonder as “that sudden surprise of the soul,” this illuminating book reveals how wonder and awe are catalysts that can help us reclaim what makes life worth living and preserve the things we find wonderful and valuable in our lives. -/- . (shrink)
Examining the period from the 1920s to the 1970s, one of the key features of the Rivista di filosofia is a lasting interest in the Renaissance and Vico, while the focus on seventeenth-century metaphysics is significantly more time-bound and linked to the activity of some prominent figures in the journal such as Piero Martinetti, Eugenio Colorni, and Gioele Solari. The rise of the Neo-Enlightenment caused a radical change in the editorial choices, and turned the journal’s focus toward the empiricist tradition (...) and the debate on historiographical methodologies. (shrink)
Historically, secular humanism has been in conflict with religious thought in the academic and social spheres. This article supports the thesis that in modern times pseu-dosciences and pseudoscientific thinking are a threat to the humanist project, comparable to religious fundamen-talism. To prove it, the concept of Secular Humanism and how it is threatened by religious fundamentalism is explai-ned. This is followed by the definition of what pseudos-ciences are and what pseudoscientific thinking is. Subse-quently, the way how pseudosciences threaten the secular (...) humanist project is described. The conclusion states that pseudoscientific thought and religious fundamentalism are equally dangerous for social coexistence. (shrink)
In the middle of the sixteenth century, Bernardo Segni (Florence, 1504 – Florence, 1588) published some Italian translations with commentaries on some works of Aristotle. He was not a scholar nor did he have a university affiliation nor could he boast a deep knowledge of Greek language, but he worked in the cultural climate of Duke of the Florentine Republic Cosimo I (Florence, 1519 – Florence, 1574) and of the Florentine Academy, whose aim was to raise the cultural centrality of (...) Florence and its dialect. In this paper I analyze some passages of his translation and commentary on Aristotle’s Ethica Nicomachea (Florence 1550; reprint Venice 1551). Through this examination some characteristics of the author’s work emerge, such as his didactic purposes, which may be related to the type of his audience, his (poor) knowledge of classical authors and sources, and his tendency towards continuous dialogue with the present. (shrink)
The trends of Platonism which proved to be the most influential throughout the Renaissance were born roughly around the same period as the Greek corpus attributed to the Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus. They resulted from the rich intermingling of Greek philosophy with other Near Eastern cultures since the time of Alexander the Great. It is not by chance, then, that their fortunes were bound together until the Early Modern period. Legend has it that Cosimo de’ Medici was highly impressed by (...) the Platonic wisdom of the Greek émigrés visiting Florence in 1439, during the Council of Union between the Eastern and Western Churches, and particularly by the eminent philosopher George Gemistos Plethon. More than twenty years later, Cosimo entrusted a young Marsilio Ficino with the task of translating into Latin a Greek manuscript of Plato’s dialogues, possibly bequeathed by the Byzantine emperor, if not by Plethon himself. Before completing his rendering of the first series of ten dialogues, Ficino presented his elderly patron with the Pimander, a translation of fifteen Greek treatises on theology and occult lore by the “thrice greatest” Mercury or Hermes, believed to be the first in a venerable tradition of ancient sages which culminated in Plato. Certainly, these and similar newly recovered collections helped to shape and enrich the intellectual life of the emergent Renaissance. Their novelty and relevance, however, tended to be overstated in some historiographical perspectives. Fortunately, profound critical studies of the various sources from the Platonic, Neoplatonic, and Hermetic traditions have multiplied since the 19th century, gradually providing a clearer picture of the extent and nature of their influence on Renaissance and Early Modern scholars. Some of the most interesting topics discussed currently regard the lines of continuity between the medieval and Renaissance receptions of Platonism and Hermetism. Indeed, the Latin, Arabic, Hebrew, and Byzantine Middle Ages offer an immense repository of Platonic and Hermetic wisdom to Renaissance humanists and philosophers, which includes new theoretical and practical approaches, interpretative methods, translations, and commentaries. Only after elucidating these elements of continuity and change can one adequately ponder the distinctive character and originality of Renaissance Platonists and Hermeticists. Another hotly debated issue since Lynn Thorndike’s pioneering studies is the role of these ancient and medieval traditions in the development of experimental sciences and the emergence of the scientific revolution around the 16th and 17th centuries. (shrink)
In light of new textual evidence in a manuscript from Toledo (BCT, MS 19, 26), the present work intends to determine the scope of Nicholas de Cusa’s influence on Giovanni Pico della Mirandola around the problem of the unity of truth and the diversity of philosophies. In his Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance (1927), Ernst Cassirer held the capital role of Cusanus’ philosophy in the configuration of the philosophical turn in Florentine Humanism during the second half of (...) the Quattrocento. In the 1960s, historians of the stature of Eugenio Garin and Paul Oskar Kristeller objected Cassirer's assertions, going so far as to affirm that there was practically no influence by Cusanus on Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico. In the case of the latter, more recent studies tended to balance the issue, pointing out several possible links between both authors, particularly through the physician and bibliophile Pierleone da Spoleto, who owned many works by the German cardinal. Some sections of Pico's Oratio, Conclusiones and other texts will be analyzed in comparison with those treatises by Cusanus which he most likely knew. For both authors, it is the unity of the incomprehensible truth that brings forth the different modes of philosophizing in the plurality of thought traditions. Resumen: A la luz de nuevas evidencias textuales en un manuscrito de Toledo (BCT, MS 19, 26), el presente trabajo se propone investigar los alcances de la influencia de Nicolás de Cusa sobre Giovanni Pico della Mirandola en torno del problema de la unidad de la verdad y la diversidad de las filosofías. En su obra de 1927, Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance, Ernst Cassirer sostenía el rol capital de la filosofía de Nicolás de Cusa en la configuración del humanismo filosófico florentino de la segunda mitad del Quattrocento. En la década del 60, historiadores de la talla de Eugenio Garin y Paul Oskar Kristeller matizaron las afirmaciones de Cassirer hasta afirmar una influencia prácticamente nula del Cusano sobre Marsilio Ficino y Giovanni Pico. En el caso de este último, estudios más recientes tendieron a equilibrar la cuestión, señalando varios posibles puntos de contacto entre ambos autores, particularmente por intermedio del médico y bibliófilo Pierleone da Spoleto, que poseía muchas obras del cardenal alemán. Se analizarán algunas secciones de la Oratio, de las Conclusiones y de otros textos de Pico en comparación con aquellos tratados del Cusano que muy probablemente haya conocido. Para ambos autores, es la unidad de la incomprensible verdad la que suscita los diversos modos del filosofar en la pluralidad de tradiciones de pensamiento. (shrink)
This essay develops a critical interpretation of Gadamer’s account of Renaissance painting. My point of departure is a brief reference in Truth and Method to Leon Battista Alberti, the Italian Renaissance humanist who developed an influential mathematical theory of perspective in painting. Through an explication of Gadamer’s critique of Alberti and of perspective generally, I argue that what is ultimately at stake in Gadamer’s confrontation with Alberti is Gadamer’s opposition to relativism and subjectivism and his downgrading of the importance of (...) the artistic medium for evaluating the truth-claim of an artwork. Against the theory of perspective, Gadamer contends that artworks make substantive claims to truth to which we interpretatively respond. By emphasizing this theme, our discussion resonates with contemporary “hermeneutical realism.”. (shrink)
The querelle des femmes was an intellectual debate over the status of women that occurred in the early modern period, between the 1400s and 1700s. A common argument for the superiority of men and inferiority of women that appeared during the debate is that women are less physically strong than men, and are therefore inferior. In response, two distinct argumentative strategies were developed by defenders of women. First, some argued that men and women did not in fact differ in physical (...) strength. A second strategy was to deny that physical strength is relevant to the question of superiority. In this case, one would argue that a difference in strength is not normatively relevant to evaluations of worth. I argue that this second strategy was the more effective response to the argument that women were inferior because of their alleged physical weakness compared to men. (shrink)
Profonda magia è un percorso a ritroso nella filosofia naturale e politica di Giordano Bruno, che ricostruisce la nozione di vincolo dagli ultimi scritti magici ai dialoghi italiani e alle prime opere latine. L’esigenza che muove la ricerca è quella di rintracciare nell’esperienza intellettuale e biografica del Nolano quale sia e come si costituisca la relazione tra filosofia naturale e politica. L’autore indaga se la riflessione politica possa essere slegata dallo studio della natura, o se trovi piuttosto la sua origine (...) e il suo sviluppo nel cuore stesso della physis. Per compiere quest’operazione egli isola e analizza quale sia la funzione che la nozione di vincolo assume tra la riflessione filosofico naturalistica e politico-antropologica. Ne risulta una ridefinizione della magia che è profonda non perché tesa verso il prodigioso, l’occulto e il soprannaturale, ma perché è la natura stessa, forza vincolante che lega e riconduce i suoi molteplici volti alla sua infinita unità. (shrink)
Despite a recent surge of interest in philosophy as a way of life, it is not clear what it might mean for philosophy to guide one's life, or how a “philosophical” way of life might differ from a life guided by religion, tradition, or some other source. We argue against John Cooper that spiritual exercises figure crucially in the idea of philosophy as a way of life—not just in the ancient world but also today, at least if the idea is (...) to be viable. In order to make the case we attempt to clarify the nature of spiritual exercises, and to explore a number of fundamental questions, such as “What role does reason have in helping us to live well?” Here we distinguish between the discerning and motivational powers of reason, and argue that both elements have limitations as guides to living well. (shrink)
Many scholars have argued that the Protestant Reformation generally departed from virtue ethics, and this claim is often accepted by Protestant ethicists. This essay argues against such discontinuity by demonstrating John Calvin’s reception of ethical concepts from Augustine and Aristotle. Calvin drew on Augustine’s concept of eudaimonia and many aspects of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics , including concepts of choice, habit, virtue as a mean, and the specific virtues of justice and prudence. Calvin also evaluated the problem of pagan virtue in (...) light of traditional Augustinian texts discussed in the medieval period. He interpreted the Decalogue as teaching virtue, including the cardinal virtues of justice and temperance. Calvin was not the harbinger of an entirely new ethical paradigm, but rather a participant in the mainstream of Christian thinkers who maintained a dual interest in Aristotelian and Augustinian eudaimonist virtue ethics. (shrink)
This paper contains the first edition of a Latin poem preserved in cod. Barb. gr. 127, written by a Latin converted to Islam who urges the Sultan Bayezid II to come in Italy and to establish in Rome a “Universal Monarchy”. In the appendix it is provided the Italian translation of an utopian text by Isidor of Kiev, dealing with a future general gathering of the Hellenes to promote a more general council composed by wise men coming from all lands, (...) with the purpose to reach a philosophical and religious concordia. (shrink)
Beyond Dordt and ‘De Auxiliis’ explores post-Reformation inter-confessional theological exchange on soteriological topics including predestination, grace, and free choice. These doctrines remained controversial within confessional traditions after the Reformation, as Dominicans and Jesuits and later Calvinists and Arminians argued about these critical issues in the Augustinian theological heritage. Some of those involved in condemning Arminianism at the Synod of Dordt (1618-1619) were inspired by Dominican followers of Thomas Aquinas in Spain who had recently opposed the vigorous defense of free choice (...) by Jesuit Molinists in the Congregatio de auxiliis (1598-1607). This volume, appearing on the 400th anniversary of the closing of the Synod of Dordt, brings together a group of scholars working in fields that only rarely speak to one another to address these theological debates that cross geographical and confessional boundaries. (shrink)
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was (probably) poisoned by his secretary, Cristoforo da Casalmaggiore, as Marin Sanudo testifies in his Diarii. After Pico’s remains exhumation, some years ago, it was also supposed that the main responsible of the poisoning was Marsilio Ficino. The purpose of this paper is to trace the ‘romance’ sources of this strange supposition.
Il volume ripercorre lo sviluppo del pensiero del giovane Nicola Cusano dalla frequentazione del maestro albertista Eimerico da Campo presso l’Università di Colonia (1425) e dal confronto con le posizioni filosofiche dei domenicani dello Studium coloniense, fino agli anni della maturità a Roma (1450). Il saggio illustra il contesto storico-culturale della genesi del De docta ignorantia, testo che suggella la presa di distanza di Cusano dal proprio passato universitario ma anche, al contempo, la sua insoddisfazione nei confronti dell’umanesimo diffuso in (...) Italia negli anni del Concilio di Ferrara-Firenze; e lo segue nella sua ‘caccia della Sapienza’, nell’incontro con differenti tradizioni e contesti, fino alla formulazione dell’ideale del ‘Socrate cristiano’ nell’Idiota. Il volume, riccamente documentato anche sul piano della storia delle interpretazioni e degli studi su Cusano, contribuisce a far luce sulla formazione del suo pensiero e sulle questioni che ne hanno segnato la vita. (shrink)
This paper focuses on two short dubitationes on animal’s technical abilities, which Pietro Pomponazzi discussed in 1514 and in 1519 while teaching at the University of Bologna and commenting on Aristotle’s Physica, II, t. 80. A comparative analysis between the respective positions, expressed at a distance of five years, allows to retrace the change in Pomponazzi’s thoughts from the period immediately preceding the composition of De immortalitate animae to the writing of the De incantationibus and De fato.
In their pioneering, masterly research and survey on Bartolomeo Fonzio’s manuscripts, published in 1974, Stefano Caroti and Stefano Zamponi informed the reader that the Ms. Ricc. 152 of the Riccardiana Library in Florence was a huge amount of notebooks with notes taken by Fonzio while attending the Studium in Florence. Among them Caroti and Zamponi called the reader’s attention to the notes Fonzio took when he went to Argyropoulos’ lessons on the Posterior Analytics. In this essay the reader finds a (...) transcription of those notes, preceded by some comments on the sources from which the outstanding commentator is likely to have drawn and which can be picked out from the fragmentary notes, that is John Philoponus and Paul of Venice. (shrink)
Marsilio Ficino is well known for his efforts to expand the philosophical canon of his time. He exhibited great interest in Platonism and Neoplatonism, but also endeavoured to recover understudied philosophical traditions of the ancient world. In his Theologia platonica de immortalitate animorum, he commented on the Presocratics. Ficino thought of the Presocratics as authorities and possessors of undisputed wisdom. This article seeks to explore the way in which Ficino treated the philosophy of Heraclitus in the Theologia platonica in order (...) to formulate his own philosophical ideas. (shrink)
Manuel Chrysoloras was a Byzantine scholar and diplomat. He is best known as the first notable professor of Greek language in Italy. He occupied the chair of Greek at the Florentine Studium, and he also taught Greek occasionally in Pavia, Milan, and Rome. Among his students were some of the prominent early Italian humanists including Leonardo Bruni, Uberto Decembrio, Guarino of Verona, Pier Paolo Vergerio, Palla Strozzi, Roberto Rossi, Jacopo Angeli da Scarperia, Cencio de’ Rustici, and others. His method of (...) teaching Greek language and literature was innovative and was continued by some of his students. He had a significant impact on the revival of Greek studies in the West through his Erotemata, as this work became the central textbook of Greek grammar until the sixteenth century. He was a pioneer of the so-called transferre ad sententiam method for translating Greek texts into Latin, and he was the first who translated Plato’s Republic (in collaboration with his student Uberto Decembrio). His other writings are mainly rhetorical epistles; he engaged in extensive correspondence with many of his contemporaries, eminent humanists and ecclesiastical and political figures, such as the Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and Coluccio Salutati. He was appointed to a number of important diplomatic missions on behalf of Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, and he was in the service of Pisan Pope John XXIII. He spent most of his life visiting the European courts in an attempt to secure help for Byzantium and to negotiate the Union of the Churches. He was an ardent unionist, he participated in the Council of Constance, and he may have converted to Catholicism. (shrink)
Through an interdisciplinary examination of sixteenth-century theatre, Visual Experiences in Cinquecento Theatrical Spaces studies the performative aspects of the early modern stage, paying special attention to the overlooked complexities of audience experience. Examining the period’s philosophical and aesthetic ideas about space, place, and setting, the book shows how artists consciously moved away from traditional representations of real spaces on stage, instead providing their audiences with more imaginative and collaborative engagements that were untethered by strict definitions of naturalism. In this way, (...) the book breaks with traditional interpretations of early modern staging techniques, arguing that the goal of artists in this period was not to cater to a single privileged viewer through the creation of a naturalistically unified stage but instead to offer up a complex multimedia experience that would captivate a diverse assembly of theatre-goers. (shrink)
The discussion on the 900 Conclusiones projected and sponsored by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola in Rome was cut short by the condemnation of 13 of them by the papal commission in 1487. Princeps Concordiae’s counter-arguments presented in his Apologia, published in the same year, can not be certainly considered a disputatio as Pico had called for; the papal intervention removed in this way the possibility to have a better acquaintance with a work which is still a very difficult one, just (...) for its “unfinished” form. Pedro Garsia’s Determinationes magistrales against Pico’s Apologia are a very poor reply to Pico. In this paper Pico’s arguments against some of the condemned Conclusiones are considered as well as Pedro Garsia’s counter-arguments. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola displays a deep familiarity with medieval logical and semantical doctrines, while Pedro Garsia’s arguments betray a solid ignorance. (shrink)
François Rabelais’s Tiers Livre constitutes a turning point in the five books of Gargantua and Pantagruel, as war finally ends and peace reigns over the Utopian kingdom. Peace brings with it the question of whether Panurge, one of Rabelais’s main characters, should marry. Pantagruel, the prince of Utopia, calls a banquet of experts, each representing a strand of Western civilization, to decide this question. The arrangement of this banquet where each expert speaks in turn and at length, uninterrupted by the (...) others, allows Rabelais to portray the arrayed opinions perspectivally or independently. Rondibilis, a medical expert who speaks at the banquet, presents a Platonism that focuses on ‘natural consequences’ and that appears less adulterated by Christianity and later forms of philosophy than the Neoplatonism of most of Rabelais’s contemporaries. Rondibilis’s advice of resignation to nature is reflected as well in the political rule of prince Pantagruel. (shrink)
У статті проаналізовано значення розуміння власної освіти для побудови ідентичності на прикладі італійських гуманістів першої половини XV ст., які позиціонували себе як автодидакти (самоучки). Автор вважає, що саме в цей час унаслідок дії цілого комплексу причин формуються передумови для виникнення явища автодидактів, яке остаточно виокремилося вже у Новому часі. Гуманісти у такий спосіб ставали в опозицію до тогочасних знання, освіти, пізнання, реалізовуючи самопрезентацію. Гуманістів приваблювали певні особливості статусу автодидакта, які давали їм змогу почуватися незалежними від усталених на той час норм, (...) поглядів, інтелектуальних традицій, водночас використовуючи як підстави для консолідації гуманістів як окремої соціальної групи. (shrink)
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola decided to study all the ancient and medieval schools of philosophy, including the Pre-Socratics, in order to broaden his scope. Pico showed interest in ancient monists. He commented that only Xenophanes’ One is the One simply, while Parmenides’ One is not the absolute One, but the oneness of Being. Melissus’ One is in extreme correspondence to that of Xenophanes. As for Xenophanes, Pico seems to have fallen victim of ancient sources, who referred to Xenophanes and Parmenides (...) as members of the Eleatic “tribe”. In the case of Parmenides Pico draws mainly on the Platonic dialogues Parmenides and Sophist and not on intermediaries such as the Neoplatonists and other commentators. Despite of Pico’s knowledge of Empedocles’ philosophy, it is worth noticing that Pico was also strongly influenced by the medieval kabbalistic literature and the pseudo Empedocles. While Neoplatonists, such as Proclus, commented Empedocles and interpreted him according to the Neoplatonic spectrum, Pico’s appreciation of the philosophy of Empedocles was mediated through Arab and Jewish mysticism. Pico counted among his sources the Pre-Socratics, but the way he read them was not always direct and consistent. He intentionally chose to interpret them through the spectrum of intermediaries such as the ancient Commentators, the Neoplatonists, the Arabs and Jews mystics. (shrink)
Both current and past analyses and critiques of transhumanist and posthumanist theories have had a propensity to cite the Greek myth of Prometheus as a paradigmatic figure. Although stark differences exist amongst the token forms of posthumanist theories and transhumanism, both theoretical domains claim promethean theory as their own. There are numerous definitions of those two concepts: therefore, this article focuses on posthumanism thought. By first analyzing the appropriation of the myth in posthumanism, we show how the myth fails to (...) be foundational and how we need to rethink the posthumanist mythological framework. We then introduce Haldane’s Daedalus figure as a fruitful analogy to understand the demiurgic posture that critics mean to unveil by first using Prometheus. Daedalus embodies the artisan role, whose status as an inventor for the mighty preserves from the gods' direct opprobrium. Thereafter, we introduce the Camusian Myth of Sisyphus as a competing analogy that ultimately serves as a myth better suited to address the posthumanist position on an existential standpoint. we ultimately show that Sisyphus, as the ‘absurd man’ that Camus claims him to be, is himself the posthuman, thus serving as a more ideal foundational myth for posthumanism and preserving the importance of narrative in posthuman discourses. To conclude, we specifically show that the concept of Sisyphus as a posthuman icon has significance that reaches beyond narrative value to current ecological debates in posthumanism. (shrink)
This article discusses the reception of Plato's Timaeus in De docta ignorantia of Nicolas of Cusa (1401-1464), particularly about the philosophical concepts of being, time and the production of the cosmos. In this context, it is argued that the School of Chartres had played a significant role in the replacement of philosophical categories of Plato in the Christianity. But the contribution of Nicolas of Cusa to the history of the reception of the Timaeus in the Middle Ages it seems original (...) because Nicolas, more than others, use this text in order to show that the world is a being-in-relation, as God is the relationship of three persons. (shrink)
Il fascino di un libro, tra Reuchlin e Bruno. -/- RINASCIMENTO ESOTERICO Speciale V centenario De arte cabalistica (1517-2017) -/- Nella sua rinomata libreria antiquaria, nel cuore di Firenze, Paolo Pampaloni sta sfogliando un grazioso volumetto in ottavo, rilegato in pelle scura. Si tratta di un esemplare del De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum di Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim.
Is it correct to accept an anthopological dimension in Baruch Spinoza’s doctrine? Regardless of the answer we may suggest for this point, how could be this connected to the prevailing Humanism of the immediately previous period in which our author lived? Our proposal points to a positive stance in relation to the presence of an anthropological perspective in Spinoza’s thought; perspective that may be seen as a reaction to that kind of Renaissance humanism that sees the human being in Nature (...) a privileged kind. Therefore, in this paper we are going to analyse the way the concept of man evolves from this to the Spinozian formulation as a foundation in which it can be possible to accept the study of a certain Anthropology in his work. (shrink)
A pervasive and much cherished paradigm among historians of science is to view the origin of “modern science” as a reaction against Aristotelians and Aristotle’s ruling authority. But what does a Renaissance Aristotelian really look like? This article seeks to answer this question by bringing to light direct accounts of what it meant to be an Aristotelian at that time and by showing a connection between the antiauthoritarian stance that is typical of early modern scientists and thinkers and that of (...) certain Renaissance Aristotelians. (shrink)
Alexander Pope's An Essay on Man is part of a long tradition of meditating on the human person. In this review the antecedents of Modernism are revised and the Pope's Essay is reinstated as a tour de force which is all the more pertinent today.
Los dos autores del círculo florentino cuya obra analizaremos, Marsilio Ficino y Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, frecuentan y asimilan las doctrinas atribuidas al sabio egipcio Hermes Trismegisto como las enseñanzas de uno de los iniciadores de la piadosa filosofía de los antiguos, la prisca theologia. Soñada e inaugurada por Cosimo el viejo, en la así llamada Academia florecían los estudios humanísticos, filosóficos y esotéricos, con la participación de otros célebres intelectuales florentinos como Angelo Poliziano, Cristoforo Landino, los hermanos Benivieni y (...) el propio Lorenzo. Puede decirse que tanto Ficino como Pico incorporan a su pensamiento los enigmáticos libros de Hermes bajo la luz de la filosofía platónica, en especial la de los sistemas cosmológicos y metafísicos que encuentran en Plotino, en Jámblico y en Proclo. Sin embargo, sus perspectivas respecto a aquellas venerables doctrinas y los intereses académicos que los vuelcan a ellas difieren considerablemente y se encuentran muchas veces en oposición a lo largo de su mutua e intensa colaboración intelectual. (shrink)
At the twilight of the nineteenth century, the French symbolist writer Marcel Schwob assimilated Paolo Uccello (1397-1475) into modern sensibilities: “For Uccello did not care about the reality of things, but about their multiplicity and about the infinitude of lines.” Schwob’s consideration of Uccello (much like Antonin Artaud’s, who wrote the surrealist “Uccello le poil”) has been traditionally neglected by art historians. And yet, these literary encounters with the painter retain a sense of hermeneutical validity that, I argue, transcends the (...) “merely” poetic. In this essay, I examine an unusual work of art, The Funerary Monument to John Hawkwood, which has been seen as exemplifying Uccello’s artistic deficiencies in its lack of unified space and illusionistic volume. In contrast, by being attentive to Schwob and Artaud’s analyses, I propose that the fresco presents a never-fulfilled visual experience in which resonating negations (of centrality, spatiality, and existence) articulate the spatial relationship between the artwork and its viewers. A reticent monument, the paradoxical space in Uccello’s Hawkwood presents a series of dislocations, traces, and erasures, which disclose the artifice of the painting and bring Hawkwood forth, not as a living being, but as a disembodied memory. (shrink)
Montaigne's thought and writings have been a subject of enduring interest across disciplines. This "Handbook brings together essays by prominent scholars that examine Montaigne's literary, philosophical, and political contributions, and assess his legacy and relevance today in a global perspective.
Les études qui composent ce volume offrent au lecteur trois perspectives générales sur le scepticisme de Montaigne, dans son rapport respectif : 1) à la raison et à la foi ; 2) aux héritages philosophiques et rhétoriques humanistes ; 3) à la pensée moderne (anthropologie, morale, politique).
Against a background of civil, political and religious conflict, Montaigne and Hobbes redeveloped a form of anthropological and political thinking that ushered in modernity. This collective work is as much concerned with the points where the two authors converge as with the difference in the paths they follow.
Richard Falckenberg (1851-1920) in his book Grundzüge der Philosophie des Nicolaus Cusanus mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Lehre vom Erkennen was among the first historians of philosophy to support the argument that Nicholas of Cusa was a modern philosopher because his innovative theory of knowledge. The Falckenberg's celebrity shall be reduced because he was later obscured by the most famous historians of philosophy as Ernst Cassirer and Joachim Ritter. In our paper we want to come back to the Falckenberg's book and (...) recover his main arguments about the proximity of Cusanus with the philosophies of Leibniz, Fichte and the positivists. (shrink)
Nicholas of Cusa in De staticis experimentis presents his perspective on the human knowledge of the world through the concept of measurement. Cusanus thinks that humans can measure the world, because the world is constituted by the trinitarian structure “pondus”, “numerus” and “mensura”: an ontological perspective that is also seen in the biblical book of Wisdom 11:21. For this reason in De staticis experimentis Cusanus tries to measure the world through numbers and weights and using a balance. Academic research on (...) Cusanus has identified Augustine of Hippo as the source of this epistemology. In this paper, we will try to ask if Augustine of Hippo should indeed be recognized as a correct source. (shrink)
The paper examines the definitions of the concept ›philosophy‹ resp. ›the philosopher‹ in Florentine renaissance Platonism, namely Marsilio Ficino and his scholar Francesco di Zanobi Cattani da Diacceto. Following Socrates and Pythagoras, Ficino distinguishes between mundane philosophy and divine sapientia. In contrast to his teacher, Diacceto's Aristotelism rejects the Pythagoreanism and connects philosophy with sapientia. In order to show how the differences between Ficino and Diacceto emerge, three more contemporaries are taken into consideration: Christoforo Landino, Angelo Poliziano and Giovanni Pico (...) della Mirandola. As a result of this examination, it can be said that the definition of ›philosophy‹ in Florentine renaissance Platonism tends either to Pythagoreism or to Aristotelism or to both. Closely connected with the debate on philosophy are topics and maxims such as meditatio mortis, theologia negativa, docta ignorantia, scio ne scio, nosce te ipsum, ne quid nimis et al. (shrink)
Johann Sturm was a Reformed pedagogic innovator, who established a teaching curriculum for gymnasia in order to provide an education based on the humanist ideals and on evangelical piety. This model described the contents and the method of learning for boys from 7 to 16 years and consisted mainly of the study of grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic (based on Cicero and on classic literature). His method of learning was based on memorization and imitation rather than on the understanding of formal (...) rules of reasoning. This model, rather than to introduce students to religion, was intended to prepare them to the autonomous understanding of Scripture. Sturm was important also as he contributed to the innovation of biography as a genre, which he intended as more realistic than the typified premodern biographies. (shrink)