RESPONSE PAPER 9 - He introduces his opinions on the...

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RESPONSE PAPER 9 Oration on the Dignity of Man Pico’s oration resonates well with the idea of vita contemplativa associated with Plato. One of his main premises is that man does not fit into a specific spot the same way all other living things do because he was created by God to admire His creations. Man is in between earth and heaven, therefore, because of his ability to think. He can either utilize this ability to become close to heaven, or not use it all to become a vegetable or a brute. This is relatively platonic, as it could be said that Plato believed that philosophical thought brought us closer to transcendence and understanding the world of forms. At any rate, Pico demonstrates that he is a true Neo-Platonist, not only directly through his ideas, but also through his many citations both of other Neo-Platonists and of Plato, himself. What’s really interesting about the text and I would imagine about the 900 Theses, as well, is Pico’s use of somewhat edgy bases to support his points.
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Unformatted text preview: He introduces his opinions on the importance of moral philosophy to man by discussing how man can become an angel through certain thought. This seems somewhat heretical in itself, but Pico goes on to discuss the various types of angels a man can become: Throne, Cherub, or Seraph. Though I think the names Seraph and Cherub may be used once or twice in the Old Testament, I am fairly certain that in-depth descriptions of the angelic hierarchies came with mystic Jewish texts, and sure enough, Wikipedia claims that Pico used the Kabbalah in some of his arguments. While his reasoning for doing so was that he believed such texts to be nearly as ancient as the Old Testament and therefore nearly as sacred, it must have been outstandingly heretical at that time to introduce any Jewish text other than the Torah into a Christian theological debate....
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This essay was uploaded on 04/11/2008 for the course HIST 110 taught by Professor Hughes during the Fall '07 term at University of Michigan.

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