Thursday, January 27, 2011

Craven's minimizing account of Magic+Kabbalah in Pico

Craven p.57-58 in the Apologia, Pico explains that the purpose of the thesis on the divinity of Christ was to demonstrate that natural virtues could be discounted as possible explanations for the miracles. Magic and Kabbalah, science which dealt with natural virtues, could be used to show their limits. Pico can hardly be said to have "concentrated" on degending this thesis... It is, moreover, a sketchy treatment... Pico makes the conventional distinction between natural and bad magic... gives very little idea of the kind of magic Pico has in mind. It concerns little more than the virtues of numbers.

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