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Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance Paperback – June 1, 1964

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Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance + The Renaissance Philosophy of Man: Petrarca, Valla, Ficino, Pico, Pomponazzi, Vives (Phoenix Books)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (June 1, 1964)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804701113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804701112
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,832,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The excellent, and, I believe, quite original plan of starting a book on Renaissance philosophy with Petrarch and Valla enables Professor Kristeller to expound with admirable lucidity that interpretation of the meaning of the much abused term 'Renaissance humanism' of which he himself has laid the foundations by brilliant research. . . . the selection of the eight philosophers brings out admirably the complexity of the Renaissance with its many different strands. . . . A very useful and lucid book which is sure to be popular both with students and with the general reader."
—Frances Yates
,The New York Review of Books

"Thought admittedly restricted in character, this volume is a superb example of Professor Kristeller's great scholarship and learning. He clearly delineates each of his subjects, and at the same time conveys a sense of continuity, which unites such men as Petrarch and Bruno who are historically separated by some two hundred years. . . . Will be an attractive and useful addition to the library of the student as well as the scholar of the Renaissance."

"A lucid treatment of the writings of eight Italian philosophers from the fourteenth through the sixteenth century."
The American Historical Review

About the Author

Paul Oskar Kristeller is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, and the author of several books, including Renaissance Thought and The Philosophy of Marsilio Ficino.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P.K. Ryan on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a solid introduction to the thought and philosophy of the Italian Renaissance. We are introduced to each of the following men who all had a significant influence on the era:

Francis Petrarch
Lorenzo Valla
Marsilio Ficino
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
Pietro Pomponazzi
Bernardino Telesio
Francesco Patrizi
Giordano Bruno

The book was published in 1964, but seems not to have lost any relevance with age. The book is concise, with each individual garnering around 20 pages of treatment. I must confess to reading in full only the chapters on the first four gentlemen, as was required of me for class. The rest I skimmed through.

Renaissance humanism was not, as sometimes thought, a movement simply inclined towards human values (as opposed to metaphysical values), but it was essentially a study of the humanities. Instead of simply science and theology, the humanists concentrated on things like rhetoric, philosophy, literature and history. Most humanists remained dedicated believers. Many of the men in question spent much time researching and translating ancient Greek and Latin works, a subject that was missing throughout much of the medieval era. This includes the writings of Plato and Arisotle which figured heavily in the thought and debates of the Renaissance era. My personal favorite would have to be Lorenzo Valla, largely because in his debate on Epicureanism versus Stoicism, he comes down on the side of the former.
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