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Humanistic Ideas: Pica Della Mirandola's "Oration On The Digity Of Man" And Baldassare Castiglione, "The Book Of The Courtier."

988 words - 4 pages

Humanism was an intellectual movement that developed during the renaissance period, which aimed a new evaluation of man, of his place in nature and in history of creative learning. The humanists believed that the Greek and Latin classics contained all the lessons one needed to lead a moral and effective life and the best models for a powerful Latin not only were the best but also consumed. Humanism emphasized the dignity of the individual. In fact humanism originated in the study of classical culture with the promotion of a new curriculum that emphasized a group of subjects known collectively as humanities. The humanists also stressed the responsibilities of citizenship and social leadership, and they felt they were obligated to participate in the political life of the community. Humanists believed that wealth enabled them to do noble deeds, and all citizens needed a good, well-rounded education. To humanists moral and ethical issues were related more to secular society than to spiritual concerns, and it was a shift in the focus of values to man and his affairs. Finally, the humanistic period set values on behaviors, creative thinking and helped develop the morals that were necessary for society in the Renaissance times.The humanists believed in Pico Della "Oration on the Dignity of Man", and of his dignity of boundless freedom man celebrated. Revival of learning was more than an achievement in scholarship. Pico Della believes that our own destiny takes shape by the way we shape ourselves; we are free to acquire any destiny we wish. This ability to create one's self in mans highest honor creations. Man is close to the gods, he is master over the lower creature, and he is the nodal point between eternity and time are a few reasons given for the magnificence of human nature. Man is a middle point between eternity and time. Pico Della thinks that these may be good reasons why man is wonderful. He also feels that man is second to God even above the angels. As Pico Della states that there are not any creatures more wonderful than man who is considered a great miracle. Man according to Pico Della has no limits, while all other creatures have a limited nature and are bound by the laws God has made. All creatures except man have fixed nature that cannot be changed. Nevertheless, we as human beings do not have a given being--we alone have the freedom to choose what we will become. Pico Della states that the reason for man's dignity is that he was created in God's image, and that man's place in the universe is between the beasts and the angels, but because of his divine image, he can choose his fate and there are no limits to what he can accomplish. He can ascend to the level of the beasts or he can draw into himself and will his...

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