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By Brian Duignan

Responding to the wishes of an more and more secularized and proficient population, the philosophical culture because the Renaissance has shifted dramatically clear of that of the previous centuries. involved extra with rationality, human nature, and human interplay with society and the realm than the theological questions of the center a long time, modern philosophy has complicated learn of the boundaries of the human brain. This insightful quantity lines the evolution of present-day Western philosophy and the diverging equipment of inquiry that proceed to notify quite a lot of disciplines.

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Extra resources for Modern Philosophy: From 1500 CE to the Present (The History of Philosophy)

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His words were echoed by Alberti in Della famiglia (1435–44; “On the Family”): As I have said, happiness cannot be gained without good works and just and righteous deeds…. The best works are those that benefit many people. Those are most virtuous, perhaps, that cannot be pursued without strength and nobility. We must give ourselves to manly effort, then, and follow the noblest pursuits. Matteo Palmieri (1406–75) wrote that the true merit of virtue lies in effective action, and effective action is impossible without the faculties that are necessary for it.

How to establish and maintain governments that do this was the central problem of politics, made acute for Machiavelli by the twin disasters of his time, the decline of free government in the city-states and the overrunning of Italy by French, German, and Spanish armies. In The Prince he advocated his emergency solution: Italy needed a new leader, who would unify the people, drive out “the barbarians,” and reestablish civic virtue. In the more detached and extended discussion of Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio (1517; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy), however, he analyzed the foundations and practice of republican 36 Philosophy in the Renaissance government, still trying to explain how stubborn and defective human material was transformed into political community.

The recovery of the Greek and Latin classics, which was the work of humanism, profoundly affected the entire field of Renaissance and early modern philosophy and science through the ancient schools of philosophy to which it once more directed attention. In addition to Platonism, the most notable of these schools were atomism, Skepticism, and Stoicism. De rerum natura, by the Epicurean philosopher Lucretius (flourished 1st century bce), influenced Galileo, Bruno, and later Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655), a modern follower of Epicurus (341–270 bce), through the insights into nature reflected in this work.

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