The 19 Most Famous Renaissance Philosophers

We collect the Most famous Renaissance philosophers , A stage of artistic splendor, cultural and difficult thinking equal.

In the religious sphere, the reform movement led by Martin Luther generated a division in the Catholic Church and in the secular realm, humanism developed.

Theories and treatises written by the main thinkers of the time influenced different sciences, from pedagogy to the natural sciences like astronomy.

You may also like This list of Latin American philosophers .

Top 19 Renaissance philosophers

1- Montaigne

The 19 Most Famous Renaissance Philosophers

The"Essays"by Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592) deal with different subjects, from his opinion on the wars of the time to his opinion on the upbringing of children. On this last subject it is possible to emphasize that Montaigne was one of the first thinkers who wrote on pedagogy and on marriage as necessary to raise the children.

In his essays, Montaigne touched on topics such as suicide, medical practice, sexuality, love and his opinion on the conquest, which he called barbarism. It should be noted that this thinker shared the ideas of cultural relativism, ie he respected the differences of representatives of other cultural.

Nicolas Cusa

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From Docta Ignorantia Of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) is considered one of the most important treatises of the time. Of Cusa the possibility was raised that the earth was not the center of the Universe, idea that soon was taken over by Giornado Bruno.

This thinker also opposed occult ideas. It can be considered that he was a Pantheist philosopher, since Nicholas of Cusa stated that God can not be separated from his creation. For de Cusa human science was conjectural since the human being in all his studies seeks God, but is not able to understand it to totality.

3- Giordano Bruno

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The philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) in his treatises Of the infinite universe and the worlds and On the cause, the beginning and the one Poses a new cosmogonic view that denied that the earth was the center of the Universe and that the Sun and other planets revolved around it.

Bruno believed that every object on earth moves with it, meaning that the movement is relative and influenced by it. His belief in the relativity of the movement allowed him to affirm that a reference system was necessary to measure.

4 Erasmus of Rotterdam

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The Dagger of Christ Is considered the most important treaty of Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536). In him this thinker talks about the duties of Christians and the importance of sincerity, which is necessary for Christians. From Rotterdam he considered that formalism and dogmatism did not allow the faith to reach more souls.

This philosopher and theologian fought all his life against dogmatism, Christian discipline and his institutions, which led him to be persecuted by Catholics and Protestants and to be censored.

The most important testimony about his ideas are his letters. Erasmus maintained correspondence with many of the most important thinkers of the time, especially with Martin Luther.

5- Martin Luther

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When the 95 theses were stuck in the door of the Church of Wittenberg, Martin Luther (1483-1546) initiated the movement that soon would become the Protestantism. In his thesis, Luther criticized the system of indulgences; That is to say the possibility that the Catholic Church gave to buy the forgiveness of sins, the greed of the Church and its paganism.

After visiting the Vatican, Luther was surprised by the wealth of the Papacy and criticized that this welfare was not enjoyed by the parishioners. Also, Luther criticized the pagan traditions adopted by the Church that had nothing to do with the traditions of the early Christians.

Protestantism forced the Catholic Church to reinvent itself and resulted in the Counter-Reformation, which was a renewing movement in the Catholic Church.

On the political level, the Reformation and Protestantism had a great influence on the process of formation of the European states, which were fighting against the influence of the Church in their internal affairs.

6- Ulrico Zuinglio

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Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) developed the ideas of Protestantism and was the ultimate leader of the Protestant Reformation of Switzerland. Although this thinker came to ideas similar to those of Luther, both had their differences. Swiss Protestantism was characterized by being more radical. In his treatise Of the true and the false religion , Zwingli rejects communion, images, mass and priestly celibacy.

This thinker considered that the riches of the Church should be put at the service of the poor. Zwingli attached great importance to political affairs and considered that a ruler could be overthrown if his actions contradicted Christian duties.

7- Calvin

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The last great Protestant reformer was John Calvin (1509-1564). This French theologian developed the basis of Calvinism. Unlike Luther, Clavino left the bases of Calvinism in a structured way written in his will.

Calvin believed that it was necessary to eliminate all elements of the Church that are not in the Bible declared mandatory. His thought was more rational and less mystical than that of Luther. It laid the foundation for the development of the doctrine of the five"Solas"and the five points of Calvinism.

8- Miguel Servet

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One of the humanist thinkers, who fell victim to the Inquisition for his ideas was Michael Servetus (1509 or 1511 - 1553). This thinker developed the ideas of Protestantism.

In his treatise Of the errors about the Trinity and Dialogues about the Trinity Developed the concept of Christology, which was to take the place of the traditional belief in the Trinity.

In the end, his ideas were rejected by Catholics and Protestants, since his ideas were close to pantheism (belief that the Universe and God are one).

9- Francesco Petrarca

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In the literature, the poetry of Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) influenced writers like William Shakespeare and created a literary current that was denominated Petrarchism. His prose was revolutionary, since at that time he did not get used to writing about the human being as the protagonist of the story.

Petrarch, in his writings gave great importance to the biographies of his heroes, their feelings and details about them. This humanist style put man at the center of the story.

It is important to emphasize his contribution to the development of the Italian language, since he wrote many of his works in Italian, when Italian was considered a vulgar language and every treatise or literary work was written in Latin.

10- Nicolás Machiavelli

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In the political sphere, the most important treaty of the time was written by Nicolás Machiavelli (1469-1527). Prince Is a political treaty, whose aim is to teach to govern a State.

According to Machiavelli, these methods must be applied to maintain power, which is the main attribute of a ruler.

In other treatises, Maquievalo also develops his political theory: in H Florence history The thinker analyzes the government of the Medici and the history of his hometown so far and in From the Art of War , Machiavelli exposes his vision on what should be the military policy of a State.

In his treatises, Machiavelli criticizes the policies imposed by the Medici, which exiled him and also gives advice on how to found a new state.

11- Tomás Moro

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Another important political thinker of the time was Tomás Moro (1478-1535). His work Utopia Reflects what an ideal society would be like.

In his opinion, the ideal society must be patriarchal, made up of city-states with a common central city. Each city had to have all the possible instruments to support its economy autonomously. The idea of ​​an initial society gave rise to utopian thinking and to many authors writing about their own vision on the subject. One of these authors was Tommaso Campanella.

Tommaso Campanella

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The city of the Sun Is a utopian work written by Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639). Unlike Moro, Campanella considered that the ideal state should be theocratic and based on principles of mutual aid and community development.

In this city no one should own anything, but everything belongs to the community. Citizens would work and officials would distribute wealth. His ideas are considered to have influenced Communist thought.

13- Hugo Grocio

The Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) in his treaties De Jure Belli ac Pacis , From Indis Y Mare Liberum Developed ideas that are fundamental to international relations.

Grotius posits that the sea is a free space that belongs to all the nations, that is to say that its treaty Mare Liberum Laid the foundation for the concept of international waters.

Grotius also studied the war and developed the principles of just war. His ideas on the Absolute State contributed to what would be the modern concept of national Sovereignty.

14- Jean Bodin

The founder of the concept of Sovereignty is considered Jean Bodin (1529-1596). In his treatise Les six livres de la République , Bodin explains what are the attributes of a state, including sovereignty.

Bodin was also noted for his treatise Paradoxes of M. de Malestroit touchant le fait des monnaies et l'enrichissement de toutes choses Where he described his monetary theory about the rise in prices of goods and products.

In The six books and in the Paradox of M. De Malestroit It can be said that this thinker described the economic principles of mercantilism. Bodin also considered that the gain of one part should not be based on loss for the other, that is to say that Bodin was considered an economic model of benefit for both parts.

15- Francisco de Vitoria

The professor of the School of Salamanca, Francisco de Vitoria (1483 or 1486 - 1546), emphasized by his ideas on the limit of the political and religious power and the division between them. He was one of the thinkers who criticized the treatment of the Indians in the colonies.

In his treaties he argued that there are natural rights that every human being should enjoy: the right to personal freedom, respect for the rights of others, the idea that men are the same.

Together with Hugo Grocio, he founded modern international relations with his treaty De potestate civili . Unlike Machiavelli, Francisco de Vitoria considered that morality limited the actions of the state.

16- Francisco Suárez

The greatest representative of the School of Salamanca, where great thinkers of the Renaissance worked, was Franciso Suárez (1548-1617). He made his most important contributions in metaphysics and law.

His ideas about metaphysics contradicted important thinkers like Thomas Aquinas. In his work, Disputationes metaphysicae (1597), Suarez rethinks the earlier metaphysical tradition.

Relative to the law, Suárez laid the bases to differentiate the natural right of the international right. At Suarez University he received the title of Doctor Eximius and was one of the most influential professors.

17- Lorenzo Valla

The Italian philosopher and educator Lorenzo Valla (1406 or 1407-1457) developed historical and philosophical criticism and linguistic analysis. In his treatise S On the Donation of Constantine Valla Showed that this document, which supposedly showed that the Vatican was the patrimony of the Papacy, was a false decree.

Valla, based on a linguistic analysis of the words used in the document, showed that this could not have been written in the IV Century.

The Roman curia was based on this document to demonstrate the primacy of the Catholic Church over the Orthodox Church and other aspects of the Church.

18- Marsilio Ficino

Another of the centers of humanistic thought, apart from the aforementioned University of Salamanca, was the Florentine Platonic Academy.

Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) led the Academy and stood out for having translated all the treatises of Plato.

Plato's complete works helped develop Neoplatonian thinking. On the other hand, this thinker professed religious tolerance, which made him stand out over other thinkers. Ficino's theory of platonic love is very popular.

19- Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

Ficino was mentor of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494). This humanist thinker considered that all philosophical schools and religions can be united in Christianity.

In its Discourse on the dignity of man This thinker defended the idea that each man creates himself and is responsible for his actions. His whole philosophy is summarized in the theses of this treatise.

In other works, Pico della Mirandola analyzed problems related to astrology, Christian cosmogony and metaphysics.

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