Philosophers of the Renaissance introduces readers to philosophical thinking from the end of the Middle Ages through the sixteenth century. International specialists portray the thought of twenty-one individual philosophers, illustrating their life and work and highlighting the importance of their thinking. Best known among the personalities discussed are Nicholas of Cusa, who combined mathematics with theology; Pico della Mirandola, the first to introduce Hebrew wisdom: Marsilio Ficino, who made the works of Plato accessible to his contemporaries; Pietro Pomponazzi, who challenged the Church with unorthodox teachings; and, Tommaso Campanella, who revolutionized philosophy and science while imprisoned. Philosophers of this period explored a great variety of human knowledge: Greek scholars who had emigrated from Byzantium spread ancient and patristic learning; humanists applied their skills to art, architecture, and the text of the Bible (Leon Battista Alberti and Lorenzo Valla); some debated about methods of scientific research - always with religion in their mind (Raymond Lull, Agrippa of Nettesheim, Philipp Melanchthon, Petrus Ramus, Bernardino Telesio, Jacopo Zabarella); others pondered the ethical implications (Michel de Montaigne, Luis Vives); or they confronted a radical overturn of the traditional worldview (Francesco Patrizi, Giordano Bruno, Francisco Suarez). The book weaves together the stories of these thinkers by emphasizing the unity of Renaissance philosophy. Originally published in German in 1998, the chapters have been thoroughly revised and updated. There is a chapter on Luis Vives that was written specifically for this English edition. This is a rich and accessible introduction to the philosophical thought that shaped modernity.
PAUL RICHARD BLUM is T. J. Higgins, S.J., Chair in Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland. The author or editor of eighteen books, Blum is internationally recognized as an eminent authority on the Renaissance.