Giovanni Pico della Mirandola on Anaxagoras

Viator 45 (3):363-375 (2014)
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Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) focuses on Anaxagoras (ca. 500-428 BC) because he considers him as a precursor of the the later Neoplatonic concept all things exist in all things in their own mode, which became the core of Pico’s metaphysics. Anaxagoras’s philosophy permits Pico to establish his doctrine that all things share a portion of God within them, in their own way. Pico rejects the fixed position of man in the ontological hierarchy. Man has the chance to become everything. Pico asserts that man contains all things in himself as their center, just like God contains all things as their origin. As a consequence, Anaxagoras’s principle is supportive to Pico’s metaphysics. Furthermore, Anaxagoras’s metaphysical principle is supportive of Pico’s method of allegorical interpretation, which is indispensable for his syncretism and his attempt to reveal hidden truths in every text or level of reality.
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