Abstract
Although in his later years Giovanni Pico della Mirandola vehemently rejected astrology, he earlier used it in a variety of ways, but primarily to provide further evidence for positions to which he had arrived by other means. One such early use appears in his commentary on his friend Girolamo Benivieni’s love poetry, the Canzone d’amore, of 1486–1487. In the passages discussed here, Pico presents an intensive Platonic natural philosophical analysis based on a deep astrologically informed understanding of human nature as he attempts to explain a perennial question, namely, why one person is attracted to a certain person , and another to others. I will place this discussion of the mysteries of attraction and desire in historical perspective by tracing Pico’s changing relationship to astrology during the course of his short but passionate life, and in historiographic perspective by revising Frances Yates’s still influential views concerning Pico’s contribution to Renaissance thought and his relationship with Marsilio Ficino
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2010.04.007
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