Renaissance Philosophy


Courses page



Benjamin G. Kohl, and Ronald G. Witt, (eds.), The Earthly Republic


Machiavelli, The prince


Thomas More, Utopia


Ernst Cassirer, (ed.), The Renaissance Philosophy of Man


Lorenzo Valla, On Pleasure (De voluptate)


Marsilio Ficino, Meditations on the Soul: Selected Letters


Lorenzo de' Medici, "The Supreme Good," Selected Poems and Prose, pp. 65-95 [On the web]


Leone Ebreo, Philosophy of Love (Dialoghi di amore) [On the web]

Part A (pp. 205-229)

Part B (pp. 246-276)

Part C (pp. 298-355)

Part D (pp. 354-413)

Part E (pp. 414-468)

Leone Ebreo (the Hebrew) was an early sixteenth century Jewish Platonic philosophy whose "Dialogi di Amore" encapsulated the many speculations about love that had dominated Renaissance philosophy since the middle of the 15th century. The book itself is set up as a series of three dialogues between Philo (male and the teacher) and Sophia (female and the student). The setting of the dialogues is Philo's attempts to persuade Sophia to go beyond "Platonic Love" to physical fruition. In that sense it is part of a very long tradition of love poetry, fiction etc. about the male pursuit of the female. This selections focus for the most part on human love, the relationship of beauty and love, and the role of love in God's creation and management of the universe.