In 1486, Renaissance philosopher Pico della Mirandola spoke the Oration on the Dignity of Man through which he called into question the primacy of the human creature. He held that God endowed man with the ability to choose his own destiny and his own perspective with which to view life and everything around.His contention was that those abilities distinguished man from all other beings. He further argued in the Oration, that animals come into the world with everything they can ever possess. Similarly, he believed that angels and other astral beings likewise come into existence as complete beings that do not continue to develop. Only the human creature is bestowed "with all possibilities."Mirandola purports that the glory of humanity is that it has an ever-changing nature. He goes on to explain that the philosopher is prime among men for his reason-based outlook on life, and even more so if he transcends thoughts of the body and immerses completely into contemplation.He cites philosophers and intellectuals from a variety of faiths and cultures, so as not to appear hypocritical, and suggests that any human has the potential for pondering existence. He calls into question the "well-worn doctrines" of some of his compatriots, urging his audience to look deeper, past the usual reasons given for human primacy such as the philosophical study of arithmetic and arts. He urges others to enter into a realm of comparative reason: man alone can choose his own path. His theory advances the idea that a description of natural magic and wonder challenges people who become angry at the idea of magic and wonder because, similar to dogs barking at strangers, they do not understand it.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document