Leonardo da Vinci has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". These polymaths had a rounded approach to education that reflected the ideals of the humanists of the time.
Continuities[ edit ] The structure, sources, method, and topics of philosophy in the Renaissance had much in common with those of previous centuries. These areas provided the structure for the philosophy curriculum of the emerging universities.
During the Renaissance too, many thinkers saw these as the main philosophical areas, with logic providing a training of the mind to approach the other three. Sources of philosophy[ edit ] A similar continuity can be seen in the case of sources.
The latter, similar in some ways to modern debates, examined the pros and cons of particular philosophical positions or interpretations.
This style of philosophy continued to have a strong following in the Renaissance. Topics in philosophy[ edit ] Given the remarkable range of Aristotelian philosophyit was possible to discuss all kinds of issues in medieval and Renaissance philosophy.
Aristotle had treated directly problems such as the trajectory of missiles, the habits of animals, how knowledge is acquired, the freedom of the will, how virtue is connected with happiness, the relationship of the lunar and the sublunar worlds.
Indirectly he had stimulated discussion on two points that were particularly of concern to Christians: All of these continued to be of considerable interest to Renaissance thinkers, but we shall see that in some cases the solutions offered were significantly different because of changing cultural and religious landscapes.
The same outline as above will be used, to show that within trends of continuity one can also find surprising differences. Sources of philosophy[ edit ] It is therefore useful to reconsider what was mentioned above about philosophical sources. The Renaissance saw a significant broadening of source material.
Plato, known directly only through two and a half dialogues in the Middle Ages, came to be known through numerous Latin translations in fifteenth century Italy, culminating in the hugely influential translation of his complete works by Marsilio Ficino in Florence in Petrarch was also a great admirer of Roman poets such as Virgil and Horace and of Cicero for Latin prose writing.
Other movements from ancient philosophy also re-entered the mainstream. This was never really the case for Epicureanism, which was almost always caricatured and considered with suspicion, but Scepticism and Pyrrhonism did make a comeback thanks to writers like Michel Montaigneand the movement of Stoicism made an impressive re-appearance in the writings of Justus Lipsius.
Structure of philosophy[ edit ] While generally the Aristotelian structure of the branches of philosophy stayed in place, interesting developments and tensions were taking place within them. In moral philosophy, for instance, a position consistently held by Thomas Aquinas and his numerous followers was that its three subfields ethics, economics, politics were related to progressively wider spheres the individual, the family and the community.
Politics, Thomas thought, is more important than ethics because it considers the good of the greater number. He insisted, for instance, on the value of the practical aspects of ethics. Method of philosophy[ edit ] If, as mentioned above, scholasticism continued to flourish, the Italian humanists i.
As we have seen, they believed that philosophy could be brought under the wing of rhetoric. They also thought that the scholarly discourse of their time needed to return to the elegance and precision of its classical models.
They therefore tried dressing philosophy in a more appealing garb than had their predecessors, whose translations and commentaries were in technical Latin and sometimes simply transliterated the Greek.
The driving conviction was that philosophy should be freed of its technical jargon so that more people would be able to read it.
At the same time, all kinds of summaries, paraphrases, and dialogues dealing with philosophical issues were prepared, in order to give their topics a wider dissemination. Humanists also encouraged the study of Aristotle and other writers of antiquity in the original.
Desiderius Erasmusthe great Dutch humanist, even prepared a Greek edition of Aristotle, and eventually those teaching philosophy in the universities had to at least pretend that they knew Greek. Humanists were not, however, great fans of the vernacular. Once it had been determined, however, that Italian was a language with literary merit and that it could carry the weight of philosophical discussion, numerous efforts in this direction started to appear, particularly from the s onward.
Alessandro Piccolomini had a programme to translate or paraphrase the entire Aristotelian corpus into the vernacular. This rise of vernacular philosophy, which quite predated the Cartesian approach, is a new field of research whose contours are only now beginning to be clarified.
We know that debates about the freedom of the will continued to flare up for instance, in the famous exchanges between Erasmus and Martin Lutherthat Spanish thinkers were increasingly obsessed with the notion of nobility, that duelling was a practice that generated a large literature in the sixteenth century was it permissible or not?
In fact, the most successful compendium of natural philosophy in the period Compendium philosophiae naturalis, first published in was authored by Frans Titelmans, a Franciscan friar from the Low Countries whose work has a very strong religious flavour.To the scholars and thinkers of the day, however, it was primarily a time of the revival of Classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation.
Florence: Renaissance Overview of Florence, widely regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance. The Dome of Florence Cathedral, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi (), was a public symbol of Florentine superiority during the early Italian Renaissance.
See. The 18th Century proudly referred to itself as the "Age of Enlightenment" and rightfully so, for Europe had dwelled in the dim glow of the Middle Ages when suddenly the lights began to come on in men's minds and humankind moved forward.
Renaissance Thought The Renaissance Medieval philosophy had culminated in the cumulative achievements of scholasticism, a grand system of thought developed by generations of patient scholars employing neoplatonic and Aristotelean philosophy in the service of traditional Christian theology.
General Characteristics of the Renaissance "Renaissance" literally means "rebirth." It refers especially to the rebirth of learning that began in Italy in the fourteenth century, spread to the north, including England, by the sixteenth century, and ended in the north in the mid-seventeenth century (earlier in Italy).
|Harlem Renaissance||Living, I despise what melancholy fate has brought us wretches in these evil years. Long before my birth time smiled and may again, for once there was, and yet will be, more joyful days.|
|Keep Exploring Britannica||The Medieval Synthesis and the Discovery of Man: The Renaissance Living, I despise what melancholy fate has brought us wretches in these evil years.|
Philosophy, which literally means "the love of wisdom," is one of the oldest disciplines in history. There are many ideas about philosophers and what they do. Some have even considered the field to be a science that deals with logic and reason.
Either way, many famous philosophers have made their contributions known to.