The Renaissance Philosophy - The Renaissance Philosophy The...

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The Renaissance Philosophy The authority over the universal Catholic Church did not regain its strength until after half of Europe had been lost to Protestantism at the Reformation. It was in Italy, and especially in Florence and Rome, that the Renaissance first flowered. The aspect of it which was seen as central at the time was the revival of ancient classical learning This was ‘humanism’, not in the sense of a concern with the human race, but in the sense of a devotion to ‘humane letters’. This meant, in practice, a preference for pagan Latin authors over Christian Latin authors, and an ambition to read Greek authorities in the original rather than in translation Free-will: Rome vs. Louvain Rome If freedom is done away with, it is not by divine foreknowledge but by divine will. a philosophical reconciliation between divine providence and human will Louvain Peter de Rivo, was asked by his students to discuss the question: was it in St Peter’s power not to deny Christ after Christ had said ‘Thou wilt deny me thrice’? The question, he said, had to be answered in the affirmative: but it was not possible to do so if we accepted that Christ’s words were true at the time he uttered them. We must instead maintain that they were neither true nor false, but had instead a third truth-value. Machiavelli The constant theme is that a prince should strive to appear, rather than to be, virtuous. In seeking to become a prince, one must appear to be liberal; but once one is in office, liberality is to be avoided. A prince should desire to be accounted merciful rather than cruel; but in reality it is far safer to be feared than loved. However, while imposing fear on his subjects a prince should try to avoid their hatred. More’s Utopia Like Plato’s republic, Utopia contains attractive and repellent features, and alternates devices that seem practicable with others that seem fantastic. Like Plato before him, More uses the depiction of an imaginary society as a vehicle for theories of political philosophy and criticism of contemporary social institutions. Again like Plato, More often leaves his readers to guess how far the arrangements he describes are serious political proposals and how far they merely present a mocking mirror to the distortions of real- life societies. The Reformation Luther (justification by faith) Controversy Post-Reformation Philosophy
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formal logic skepticism against the possibility of genuine knowledge: the deceptiveness of the senses, the difficulty of distinguishing between dreams and waking life, the delusions produced by
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