Why, in Pico della Mirandola's views in "On the Dignity of Man," does man have great dignity and capacity?

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skipperb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pico della Mirandola believes that man has great dignity and capacity due to his ability to mold his fate or determine who he wants to be.

Mirandola gives praise to those who do not cave into the wishes of the flesh or temptation.

"If you see a philosopher judging things through his reason, admire and follow him: he is from heaven, not the earth."

To Mirandola, however, the ultimate form of achievement is to become one with God.

“If you see a person living in deep contemplation, unaware of his body and dwelling in the inmost reaches of his mind, he is neither from heaven nor earth, he is divinity clothed in flesh."

Thus, Mirandola is challenging the reader to reach their highest potential.

In doing so, a person honors God.