Friday, January 21, 2011
Sources- Farmer, Allen Blum, Craig, Toussaint
Further on Pico and Proclus, see my introductory note to theses 24.1-55. 53 Invoking the so-called double-truth, ... Pico also referred to the first hypostasis using the plural forms "angels," "intelligences," or "intellects," etc. ...
Allen in MVD These formulas had been refined by Proclus in the belief that they were the key to our understanding of the unity of the world, of the oneness that makes the intelligible world a many and a one. For Pico continues, “Whatever is in the ...
Edelheit 233 Ficino: For whatever magnificent [things] they said about the divine mind and the angels, and [about] other things which belong to theology, ... the Areopagite was clearly adopted from [The Apostles]
Blum PRR 182 With Gemistos Plethon [influence on Pico]
mythology took on the meaning of re-creating or creating religious certainty with philosophical means... after Plethon, what needed to be done was to restore plausibility, not anymore to some mythology, but to Christianity, by means of ancient philosophy... [Ficino] ran the risk, pointed out by Pico, of over-rationalizing revelation so that the paradox of any truth claim in religion became apparent: religion claims that truth that is transcendent, that is, beyond all claims.
153 Platonists take the One above and before Being, whereas Aristotelians maintain that only what is can be done.
I think Blum exaggerates the anti-Platonism of Pico. Though taking the "Aristotelian" position post-Aquinas on Being, like Aquinas Pico is still haunted by platonism in his use of terms like participation.
Aristotelian angelology? Aristotelian mystical ascent?
119-120 Ficino's summary of Plotinus 6.9
Unity maintains essence; hence the same produces essence and being (esse).
...we find one itself more eminent than any essence, by virtue of which what participates more the one, also participates more the essence.
116 While Renaissance Platonists spiritualized nature it was Pomponazzi's endeavor to naturalize spirit.
115 Since the angelic level of intellect operated in multitude, Ficino now specifies the difference between angelic and divine knowledge. Angel cognizes through forms, whereas God is above such kind of mind. The general epistemological rule is this: "whatever intellect does it does through its own nature and thus it acts through understanding. Therefore, whatever it makes, it understands." Hence it follows that God whose "being and understanding are identical (...) acts by understanding." Epistemologically speaking, "God's knowledge and activity are coextensive," whereas ontologically and cosmologically speaking, His knowledge reaches exactly as far as his operation.
113 The postulated plurality in Angel is that of "a plurality appropriate to intellect, that is, one that has as its essence and being the power of understanding, the act of understanding, and the many species of things understood.
112 there must be angels
108 Ficino made Pico his accomplice exactly because Pico had criticized the non-Christian implications and inconsistencies of Neo-Platonism and because he had advocated the compatibility of Aristotle and Plato from a "higher point of view." Thus Pico was to help in saving Ficino's reputation as a religious philosopher.
90 Valla: porphyrian tree is asymmetrical. should be creating/created angelic/non-angelic
46 Bruno "rationally, the monad is in numbers, essentially in everything... Take away the monad anywhere and nowhere there will be anything numbered, nothing will be numerable, nothing numbering.
30 Thus descended the Pythagorean harmony into the profane money market and the obscure alchemists' shacks.
Craig 388 Routledge encyclopedia of philosophy One aim was to rediscover the "secret mysteries" of pagan theology using Neoplatonic metaphysics as a key; in the manner of Proclus and Pletho, Pico argued for identifying pagan divinities with various metaphysical entities and principles.
Pico adopts an anti-Plotinian definition of Beauty, seeing it as a visual or intelligible harmony rather than an emanation from an Idea of Beauty belonging to Nous.
Pico rejects Ficino's attempt to integrate human love into a cosmic cycle of divine creative love descending from God down to creatures and linked back to God by the desire of creation for its creator. Pico, instead, sees love as a psychological process distinct from cosmic love. Divine love is a desire excited by intelligible beauty, and Pico assimilates the excitation of divine love in the rational soul to the process of cognition. In this was Pico transforms Aristotle's analysis of cognition... as well as elements taken from Plotinus and Avicenna, into an esoteric key to the speech of Diotima in the Symposium.
Commento insists at numerous points on the differences between Platonism and Christianity... All of these doctrines since the twelfth century had subjected Platonists to charges of unorthodoxyBut since Pico in the Commento was writing under the persona of a Platonist, we are not licensed to assume that he had necessarily, at this stage of his career, embraced unorthodox beliefs, not that his thought went through a development from an early Platonism to a mature Aristotelianism. Where Pico speaks in propria persona his works display great internal consistency.
388-389 In order to achieve an angelic life of contemplation and love of the divine, one must pass through the stages of mystical education as set forth by PD... Pico assimilates these stages to the four parts of philosophy... like Plato, Pico believes that the illumination acquired at the apex of metaphysical consciousness will bring order and peace to the individual soul and unity among all rational beings who share this highest form of consciousness.
389 much of Pico's anthropology is derivative from Boethius and Greek patristic sources, particularly from the Platonisms of Gregory of Nyssa and Origen...Pico's account of the "chameleon" nature of human beings very likely represents an attempt to understand in a Christian sense the Pythagorean and Platonic doctrines of palingenesis or the transmigration of souls.he was proposing to found a new theological school altogetherPico's aim is not to show that all theologies agreed in all respects.
1486 Commento, Oration, 90020 feb 1487 Pope Innocent VIII ordered Pico's disputation suspended... condemned 13... 4 aug 1487 condemned all 9001488 Pico returned to Florence1489 Heptaplus published 1491 De Ente 1494 Pico dies, unfinished Plato+Aristotle project lost
Toussaint in Blum 76 Pico remains faithful to his new cabbalistic hermeneutic and to the "poetic theology" of the pagan myths which he had begun to elaborate in the Commento, and concentrates in the Heptaplus on the hidden meaning of the words of Moses, in which he finds esoteric links to other metaphysical traditions about the nature of the divine creation of the cosmos and of the human being... Pico attempted to demonstrate that the substantial agreement in the cosmogonic knowledge of all the ages began with the figure of Moses.
78 Pico takes a position against the transcendence of the universals, that is, of being and of the one, and seeks to demonstrate that in reality these two absolutes are equivalent, for the precise reason that they belong to historically parallel systems, to Aristotelianism as the philosophy of substance and to Platonism as the philosophy of unity. He denies the purely theological function of Plato's Parmenides (which is a vital concern of Ficino, as a reader of and commentator on Proclus) and undertakes a comprehensive and meticulous investigation of the meaning that should be attached to the designations of the divine in the central texts of Scholasticism and of ancient philosophy.
79 Pico sent letters vs. Thomist Citaddini... Pico is far from assuming a "logical" interchangeability that would see a reductio of being ad unum in the one, or else see being as the only substance that constitutes that which is real. Rather, his intention in the De Ente et Uno is to reflect on the interchangeability of being and the one with regard to the infinity of God... Pico explains several times to Cittadini that one must regard the various vategories of human speech about that which is imcomprehensible as equivalent signs of the various perspectives, which are only apparently contradictoy. These must be integrated into a metaphysics of the original unknowability or of the greater infinity of God.
80 numerous contemporary testimonies show a Pico who continued to be convinced of the prophetic power of the Cabbala and was fascinated by the idea that the human person could return to his angelic origin by means of an interiorized mysticism.