How did Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola (Pico) contribute to Renaissance thinking?

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Pico della Mirandola contributed to Renaissance thinking most notably in his The Oration on the Dignity Of Man. In this work, he shows a shift away from the medieval notion of describing humankind as fallen and sinful to, instead, exalting humans as the centerpiece and crowning glory of God's creation. This emphasis on the centrality of the human, referred to as humanism, is one of the most important attributes of Renaissance thinking.

In Pico's worldview, God is to be greatly honored and worshipped as the creator of the universe, of life, and of humankind. Nevertheless, the main light Pico shines is on humans. He focuses on humankind as made in the image of God and, therefore, as bringing to the earth some of God's immense glory—especially through the human capacity, derived from God, of rational thought. He buttresses his argument about humankind's goodness, intelligence, and worth with many quotes from Classical authors of Greece and Rome, such as Plato and Aristotle, revealing his...

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