Ficino and Mirandola: Impressions on Humans

Topics: Neoplatonism, Philosophy, Religion Pages: 2 (408 words) Published: September 22, 2013
Kate O.
AP Language and Comp.
9/20/13
Ficino and Mirandola: Impressions on Humans

Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola are both authors of humanistic pieces, but their views are very different. The Soul of Man by Ficino believes that humans are God’s representatives, while Oration on the Dignity of Man by Mirandola shows that humans have the choice to be as great as they want to be, or to become as mediocre as they want, it is all based on how hard they try. Although they both have different views they each show their impressions of human beings during the Renaissance.

In The Soul of Man Ficino clearly believes that “Man is really the vicar of god ...” Ficino means that we are God’s representatives on Earth, and that humans strive to become all things. He uses the ideas of Greek philosopher Plato, which strongly influences his thoughts of humans. One of Plato’s main ideas shown is “We have shown that our soul in all its acts is trying with all its power to attain the first gift of God, that is, the possession of all truth and all goodness.” This is simply saying that humans live trying to achieve God’s greatness, even though we can never reach that greatness, but he does believe that we are a higher being than any animal on Earth. “Man alone abounds in such a perfection that he first rules himself, something that no animals do,” This quote indicates Ficino’s true beliefs on human beings which are that humans symbolize God but we cannot ever attain his genuine excellence.

In Oration on the Dignity of Man the views are far different from those in The Soul of Man. Mirandola shows that humans have the choice to be as great as God by saying “You shall have the power to degenerate into lower forms of life, which are savage. And you shall have the power, through reflection of your soul, to be reborn into the higher forms, which are divine!” In summary this quote means that humans have the ultimate choice of whether they are going to achieve...
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