A Renaissance Account of Human Nature: Pico Della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man

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In this video, I compare a popularized existentialist account of human nature with that of the renaissance thinker Pico Della Mirandola. Initially, both seem to affirm that man's existence precedes his essence and that, as a result, he is condemned to be free. But, for Renaissance thinkers, unlike existentialists, this choice occurred within a word of objective value. Man is responsible for who he will become, but his choice can be evaluated based on an objective structure of value flowing forth from God in a Great Chain of Being.

The images used in this video are in the public domain.
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