The Aporetic Ground of Revelation’s Authority in the Divine Comedy and Dante’s Demarcation and Defense of Philosophical Authority

Essays in Medieval Studies 26:1-14 (2010)
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Abstract

I discuss Dante’s understanding that human existence is “ordered by two final goals” and how, for Dante, this understanding defines philosophy’s and revelation’s respective scopes of authority in guiding human conduct. Specifically, I show that, although Dante subordinates our earthly beatitude to spiritual beatitude in a way that seems to suggest the subordination of the authority of philosophy to that of revelation, he in fact limits philosophy’s scope to an arena in which its authority is not only legitimate but also crucial to the cultivation of the higher, spiritual beatitude of human activity.

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Jason Aleksander
San Jose State University

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