As in the realm of art, writers felt a great tension between progressive humanism and Church doctrine, a tension that sometimes grew to the point of conflict. Pico was not the only writer of the times to be declared a heretic, as many wrestled with the fact that the factual findings of science and the philosophical conclusions of humanism did not correspond with the teachings of the Church. This undercurrent of dissent can be seen in many works throughout the Renaissance but is perhaps demonstrated in its clearest and most blatant form in Pico's "Oration on the Dignity of Man." Pico believed that man had free will and could make decisions, and that the study of philosophy prepared man to recognize the truth and make better decisions. He also believed that each individual
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