Renaissance philosophy outside Italy

Brown, Stuart (2003). Renaissance philosophy outside Italy. In: Parkinson, G.H.R. ed. The Renaissance and 17th Century Rationalism. Routledge History of Philosophy, 4. London: Routledge, pp. 70–103.



Renaissance philosophy needs also to be distinguished from the earlier style of scholastic philosophy. For while the sixteenth is the main century for Renaissance philosophy outside Italy, the authors need to acknowledge some figures who flourished earlier. He wrote many theological works and, by the time he died in Italy in 1464, he was a cardinal. But Cusanus, though perhaps the major Renaissance Neoplatonist outside Italy, was neither the first nor the last in the German tradition of Neoplatonism and religious mysticism. One frequent topic of Renaissance philosophy was free will, and the traditional problem of how this could be reconciled with God's fore-knowledge and preordination was addressed by, amongst others, Luis de Molina. The respect in which Renaissance philosophy is most obviously different from that of modern philosophy is in its willingness to use arguments that rely upon appeal to traditional authorities. Methodology was already becoming a preoccupation of late Renaissance philosophy, as it was for the early moderns.

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