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Al-Ghazali and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola on the Question of Human Freedom and the Chain of Being

Al-Ghazali and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola on the Question of Human Freedom and the Chain of Being Abstract: The person most often credited as the first to free humanity from its bonds in the chain of being was the Renaissance humanist Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Scholars have asserted that Pico's chain-of-being doctrine was either inspired or predated by earlier European thinkers, namely Marsilio Ficino, Nicholas of Cusa, Allan of Lille, and John Scotus Eriugena. By analyzing the works of the previously listed philosophers, this article argues that Pico's philosophical doctrine was in fact predated by no European writer. Instead, as the analysis of his works will show, the Muslim mystic al-Ghazali was the first to elucidate the ideas that are presently att ributed to Pico. Furthermore, after researching Pico's library and scholarly development, the possibility that Pico was inspired by al-Ghazali's writings is assessed. It may be the case that a large part of the philosophical underpinning of Renaissance Humanism has its origins in eleventh-twelfth century Muslim thought. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Al-Ghazali and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola on the Question of Human Freedom and the Chain of Being

Philosophy East and West , Volume 60 (2) – Apr 24, 2010

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1529-1898
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Abstract

Abstract: The person most often credited as the first to free humanity from its bonds in the chain of being was the Renaissance humanist Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Scholars have asserted that Pico's chain-of-being doctrine was either inspired or predated by earlier European thinkers, namely Marsilio Ficino, Nicholas of Cusa, Allan of Lille, and John Scotus Eriugena. By analyzing the works of the previously listed philosophers, this article argues that Pico's philosophical doctrine was in fact predated by no European writer. Instead, as the analysis of his works will show, the Muslim mystic al-Ghazali was the first to elucidate the ideas that are presently att ributed to Pico. Furthermore, after researching Pico's library and scholarly development, the possibility that Pico was inspired by al-Ghazali's writings is assessed. It may be the case that a large part of the philosophical underpinning of Renaissance Humanism has its origins in eleventh-twelfth century Muslim thought.

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Apr 24, 2010

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