Oration On The Dignity Of Man Summary

What is the main idea of Pico della Mirandola's "Oration on the Dignity of Man?"

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Mirandola states in this essay that man is a glorious creation because of his ability to think and to reason. He writes that humankind is "a great miracle and a being worthy of all admiration."

He writes of humans being "free" and assigns humans to a place in the great chain of being between angels and animals. He writes that God said,

We have made you a creature neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal, in order that you may, as the free and proud shaper of your own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer. It will be in your power to descend to the lower, brutish forms of life; you will be able, through your own decision, to rise again to the superior orders whose life is divine.

Because humans are so marvelously endowed with reason, all the traditions of human thought should be studied, not just those written in Latin from the Roman Catholic Church. Mirandola was a syncretist, which meant he tried to reconcile and harmonize different schools of thought. He...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 847 words.)

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