Renaissance Philosophy

By Charles B. Schmitt; Brian P. Copenhaver | Go to book overview

Preface

Anyone who had the good fortune to know Charles Schmitt, to study with him, or to read his many books and articles will know how much better this history would have been had so learned and creative a scholar lived to finish it. The present volume (not counting notes and bibliography) runs to about 117,000 words. Charles left a draft of about 40,000 words, of which perhaps a fifth dropped out in rewriting. The book's framework was his conception -- six chapters corresponding more or less to those that follow. The first two chapters contain more of his writing, down to the sentence level, than the last four, where his voice can be heard more in the larger structure of the chapters than in their sentences. The whole of the present text represents a considerable expansion of what he left. The first chapter of his draft had no section on church and state. In Chapter 2 the sections on Trapezuntius, Lefèvre, Mair, and Vitoria are additions. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 are much larger than the corresponding parts of the draft: Charles's 22,000 words in those three chapters grew to 66,000. Charles left only a title, slightly different than the present wording, for chapter six.

Charles's views on larger issues pertinent to this volume will be well known to many readers, and I have tried to preserve his opinions even in some cases where mine are different. Aristotelian and sceptical thought are prominent because Charles rightly believed that early modern philosophy owed more to them than past interpretations have allowed. A number of topics and figures on which he was expert stand out in this history: the importance of natural philosophy; the role of university education; the development of the textbook tradition; the revival of the ancient Peripatetic commentators and the continuation of Averroist influence; the place of Cicero among ancient authorities or of the younger Pico among Renaissance thinkers. These and many other points of fact and

-ix-

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Renaissance Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Opus General Editors ii
  • Title Page iii
  • P. O. Kristeller v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • 1 - The Historical Context of Renaissance Philosophy 1
  • 2 - Aristotelianism 60
  • 3 - Platonism 127
  • 4 - Stoics, Sceptics, Epicureans, and Other Innovators 196
  • 5 - Nature against Authority: Breaking Away from the Classics 285
  • 6 - Renaissance Philosophy and Modern Memory 329
  • Bibliography 358
  • Index 433
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