Teaching the Divine Comedy's Understanding of Philosophy

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This essay discusses five main topoi in the Divine Comedy through which teachers might encourage students to explore the question of the Divine Comedy’s treatment of philosophy. These topoi are: (1) The Divine Comedy’s representations in Inferno of noble pagans who are allegorically or historically associated with philosophy or natural reason; (2) its treatment of the relationship between faith and reason and that relationship’s consequences for the text’s understanding of the respective authoritativeness of theology and philosophy; (3) representations in the Divine Comedy that relate to the question of the practical value of philosophical (not to mention theological) speculation; (4) the text’s treatment of the respective merits of practical and contemplative activities; and (5) its implicit defense of philosophy’s authority with respect to ethical and political questions.
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Archival date: 2019-01-10
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