renaissance philosophy

The School of Athens (Scuola di Atene) is one of the most famous frescoes by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael’s commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.
The Stanza della Segnatura was the first of the rooms to be decorated, and The School of Athens, representing Philosophy, was probably the second painting to be finished there, after La Disputa on the opposite wall, and the Parnassus. The picture has long been seen as “Raphael’s masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance”.

What am I then? I am a fellow who never quits school, and not even that, but a backwoodsman who is roaming around through the lofty beech trees all alone, humming to himself some silly little tune, and—the very peak of presumption and assurance—dipping his shaky pen into his inkstand while sitting under a bitter laurel tree. I am not so fortunate in what I achieve as passionate in my work, being much more a lover of learning than a man who has got much of it. I am not so very eager to belong to a school of thought; I am striving for truth.

Francesco Petrarca

(I have been reading Renaissance philosophy all week for my essay on the sources and contribution of humanism in early modern Europe. I must say that I am quite taken by the humanist idea of knowledge as virtue. I should like to strive for truth)

When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some Angels got jealous and chopped him into a million pieces,but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the Sparks made them hunt for one another, but the mud is deaf and dumb. Like all the other tumbling mud balls, Janie had tried to show her shine.
—  “Their Eyes We’re Watching God”- Zora Neale Hurston
Why young Catholics inevitably become Hipsters.

- 2000 year old traditions tend to have vintage cred.
- Secularism is just so mainstream.
- Mumford and Sons. Enough said. 
- also, Lord of the Rings. 
- Pipes are smoked by all our role models.
- Having a Theology or Philosophy degree. 
- Renaissance obsession. Admit it. You can’t get enough Bernini.
- Also Caravaggio.
- Underground literature.
- G. K. Chesterton, know what I’m saying.
- Hahn and Kreeft. You probably haven’t heard of them.

the-fascist-ideal-deactivated20  asked:

What is your opinion of the Society of St. Pius X and Catholic Traditionalism as a whole?


I have a love-hate relationship with Catholic Traditionalism. What are some of the things I love? First, traditional Catholicism (TC for short) encourages, holds up, and defends the marriage of a man and a woman and their call to be fruitful and multiply.

The traditional Catholic married couples I know love each other, and they love children. They unapologetically have large families. I grew up in a family of six kids, and many TC families are larger. TC parents tend to see their kids as the greatest blessing God could have sent, as if each child is an angel that came down from heaven. They work hard to look after their families in many respects.

The TC movement also has strongly encouraged love for the priesthood and religious life. Because they have larger families, they not only do not discourage a religious vocation among their children, but pray for this. They consider themselves singularly blessed when a son goes off to the seminary, or a daughter to the convent.

They encourage their kids to serve the Church with piety, obedience, reverence, and loyalty. The result is that many holy priests and nuns have come from traditional Catholic families, where they were schooled well in prayer, confession, penance, works of charity, and carrying the Cross/sacrificing for God and country.

Traditional Catholicism is unique in its fierce defense of the prerogatives of the Catholic Church to spread the reign of Christ the King, in society and in their communities. Unlike most modern Catholics, they do not yell “separation of Church and State” whenever a public law is being debated which will encourage looser morals or the living out of the public vices.

They believe that the Church must actively enter the public square and make Christ the King respected and looked up to in His evangelical teachings of justice for all. They will staunchly condemn and resist any political party platforms which promote abortion choice, unnatural marriage, divorce, blasphemy in media and art, and unjust war.

Economically, they encourage our laws to promote hard work and personal initiative, with as little dependence on others as needed. Their outlook toward public tranquility is the defense of the widow, the orphan, the vulnerable, and the strong rule of law to subdue criminality and heinous crime.

Some people call traditional Catholics “Catholic rednecks.” I just believe they are following what they believe to be old-fashioned Catholic values regarding public decency and virtue.

Now, what I hate about traditional Catholicism is a tendency toward self-righteousness and Pharisaical wrangling over the letter of the law. In the case of the Society of St. Pius X, I find that there seems to be a return to Jansenism, condemned in the 17th century as a severe outlook and pessimism regarding human nature and God’s grace.

This Jansenism sees God as severe. His grace is very restrictive—only for the chosen few. His wrath and justice toward those who have failed to join the true Catholic Church, and strictly live by her laws, will be manifest by sending most people to hell.

As a result of the shades of this renewed Jansenism, non-Christians are seen in the SSPX as being in danger of going to hell, no matter how good they are or sincere in their faith. The Jewish people are seen as either Christ-killers or the accursed children of a Covenant that God has completely rejected and repented of. Protestants are loathed also, because among many SSPX, they are seen as aware of Catholic truth and have yet still refused to embrace it—thus, sealing their fate to most likely burn in hell.

The SSPX has no respect for the Catholic sense of confronting modernity. Throughout history, the Catholic Church could be called the inventor of the Marine Corps motto of “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome.” But TC as espoused by the SSPX seems more comfortable to sound the retreat, to gather in small chapels with prayers in hushed Latin, and to have little mixing with the great numbers of the damned and unwashed who are outside of the confines of the Church.

When Vatican II Council convened in 1962, it was with a view to adaptation of the Church’s methods of conversion, or with a view to incorporating new knowledge of the sciences and of the philosophies of contemporary thinkers. While the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages, and Renaissance, both in philosophy and theology, was allowed to undergo various transformations and growths based on advancing knowledge, the SSPX felt that Vatican II should have merely repeated the past formulas of the Councils of Trent and Vatican I.

The improvisations of the Church after Vatican II are thus seen as a laughable and disgusting experiment in compromise by the SSPX. They consider the worship in vernacular, the movement to reach out to and have dialogue with non-Catholics, and the encouragement of shared power among the clergy and laity as an overthrow of Catholic Order. 

There are numerous doctrinal disputes between Rome and the Society. But even more fundamental than resolving those disputes is overcoming a certain fear, and trembling, and loathing, in the Society, of all things that originate in the world and in modern thinking. Rome knows that countless errors were committed in the last 50 years, in the latest attempt to improvise, adapt, and overcome.

But there is, in the post-Vatican II era of the Church, among faithful and stalwart Catholics, especially with Pope Francis, an indomitable and unconquered spirit of “let’s go back to the drawing board, and try, and try again.” We cannot run away from the world and pretend that the world will return to the 16th century, when we waged wars against Protestantism with the help of Christian kings and princes who ruled with divine right and coerced dissidents and strays back into the fold of the True Catholic Church.

Our modern world has freedoms and a sense of personal rights that is, what it is. Insofar as the SSPX fail to, and refuse to, understand and deal with the modern world as it is, it will always be a Catholicism of the remnant who may be holy and faithful in their tiny chapels, but who make little difference for the great majority of people who are still searching to find God and the pearls of the wisdom of Catholicism. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise — even in their own field.
—  Isaac Asimov
A Teacher for Christine (1861)

Christine sat on the divan in the parlor, her voluminous petticoats spread out across it, and even collecting at the floor in a folded heap.  she was waiting for a new teacher to arrive, a teacher of Astronomy. her Aunt instilled in her the idea of a education not limited to house work, becoming well versed in Latin, Greek philosophy, Renaissance Literature, and even a bit of science. but, these subjects bored Christine to death, causing her to sometimes doze off during lessons. she loved to learn, but not about subjects that she paid no mind too!

her interests lied in art, music, and history. she loved to read tales of romance and horror, or books about botany and animals of the Amazon Rainforest. but her greatest passion lie within the Opera where she sang in with such vigor and purpose that people thought of her as a well oiled machine.

Christine was like a swan, beautiful and graceful, with her beautiful Swedish blue eyes, thick and curly chocolate brown hair, flawless skin, and pretty red lips. the other thing people noticed other than her immense beauty was her height of five feet and nine inches which sometimes caused her to be taller than her suitors! but, overall, Christine Daaé was one of the most beautiful ladies to walk the earth, some called her heavenly.

she heard a timid knock at the front door and Christine got up, smoothing her hair and patting her skirts down to make them look neat. she heard Nancy, the young maid of the house, open the door and welcome in Christine’s new tutor.

((Christine’s house))

((current outfit of choice))

My time was well… to infested in science and math and all that mumbo jumbo that i didn’t take time to invest actual crucial skills and passions for the essence of what makes a human. Take for example cooking and plant biology. These two topics have interested me my whole life and graciously infest me with euphoria everytime i think of them. 

And i really want to take my time and invest it in learning more about them but i feel as if i am cheating my self worth of trying to be a good and more stoic and successful sciency person. 

Like i want to be this cool chill dude that makes music, art, takes impressionistic pictures of stuff, travels a lot and cooks delicious dinners with veggies he grew himself and seasoned with kitchen grown herbs and homemade jam for his other artist friends and we’re all wearing cozy sweaters with our gf’s and bf’s and has a nice social life with people who just enjoy the essence of life.

But i also want to be this lab coat wearing, white haired, shirt stained with chalk, mathematician and physicist, who spends all his nights scribbling formulas and reading highly specialized papers on the gravitation fluctuations in nano structures of piezoelectric crystals while calculating quantum phenomena. Explaining the origin and the existence of life.

It all seems like a renaissance philosophy joke to me. But i’ve withdrawn in absurdism and am going my ways with the words, nothing matters, nothing will happen and i am kinda cool with it. But as you see, i am not. I am in a constant conflict with myself, and i don’t even know how to define myself yet.

I’m nothing but a walking philosophical joke. A horse walks into a bar, and says: “Hey bartender, how does the ice taste when it’s in the whiskey?”, The bartender replies “I have no idea, how does it taste?”, “I am a real man” - Says the horse. “I always have mine without!”

anonymous asked:

ooh baby talk botanical history to me, say silphium again but slooower (srsly this some cool knowledge ur layin down)

hey you wanna hear about materia medica? because materia medica is super interesting as a little microcosm of how scientific practice was done in the middle ages

Materia medica, for those who don’t know, is basically the stuff (materia) of medicine—an encyclopedia of the healing properties of everything from plants to drugs to food. It takes its name from De Materia Medica, a 5-volume book written by Roman physician Dioscordes. The original De Materia is essentially a record of Greek and Roman medicines, including Dacian and Thracian folk remedies found nowhere else in the historical record. Additionally, De Materia Medica was immensely popular, translated and circulated widely in Latin and Arabic as well as Greek.

(an illustration of a blackberry bush from a 6th century copy of De Materia Medica. The writing is the original Greek, but if you look at an enlarged version, someone has been taking notes in Arabic in the margins. The manuscript was discovered in Istanbul in the 1560s.)

Now, why is De Materia Medica important? Because unlike the rest of the Greek canon, Dioscordes never disappeared from the western world.

So throughout the medieval period, both Europe and the Islamic World (which was then enjoying a Renaissance of medicine and philosophy that the west wouldn’t see until the 15th-16th centuries) were engaged in this project of expanding on De Materia Medica. It was widely considered that the best materia medica were added to, annotated, updated with new discoveries or side effects, cross-referenced with other works. Materia medica therefore thrived most in cross-cultural situations—when knowledge of Persian and Turkish plants could be merged with the Greek humoral system, for example, or by individuals who had built up enough of a library to check Pliny against Avicenna.

So it’s no accident that the most influential additions in the middle ages came from Islamic scholars living in the then-Muslim dominated Spain—it was a nexus of trade, with North Africa just across the strait of Gibraltar, the rest Europe behind them, and the Greek and Islamic medical knowledge promulgated freely. Often, these herbalists were also well-traveled, collecting samples from all over the Mediterranean and near East.

However, while this makes it sound like this activity was a hotbed of medical innovation, this tended to not be the case. Islamic and European scholars alike deferred to the authority of the traditional Greek and Muslim scholars, and many of them worked only checking sources against one another. Additionally, they often would accept witness account as “proof” of a plant’s effects, or descriptions of a plant without ever having seen a sample themselves.

(There was only one who really focused on testing first-hand—I think it was al-Baitar? Definitely one of the Andalusian Muslim guys, but don’t quote me on that.)

ANYWAY this really characterizes how science was done in the middle ages because:

  1. most of the work was “categorization” as opposed to attempting to understand underlying causal mechanisms;
  2. there was a great emphasis placed on agreeing with/expanding on the traditional Greek and Islamic scientific authorities—Dioscordes, Pliny, Avicenna, Ibn Juljul, etc.
  3. that this was a multilingual, multicultural, multi-continent endeavor. A Syriac herbalist responded to an Ancient Greek text which, thousands of miles away, a North African physician annotated—and then his annotations were incorporated into a new copy of De materia medica from an Italian academic which was then translated and used by a Andalusian Muslim scholar, and expanded by Persian physician and and and
  4. (seriously despite no one speaking the same language, despite translation errors and abysmal shipping times and wars, there was in fact a medieval scientific community so fuck your “dark ages bullshit)
  5. …and all this was reflected in the way people talked about plants a couple hundred years ago.

I also have a whole thing about herb gardens—Charlemagne insisted that the royal garden be partially medicinal herbs! most monasteries in Europe grew the whole of De materia medica and so became de facto apothecaries and doctors to the townspeople! actual on-the-ground medicine versus academic medicine!

But I think this has rambled on too long, so I’ll close it here~

The Stanza della Segnatura (“Room of the Signatura”) was the first to be decorated by Raphael’s frescoes. It was the study housing the library of Julius II, in which the Signatura of grace tribunal was originally located. The theme of this room is worldly and spiritual wisdom and the harmony which Renaissance humanists perceived between Christian teaching and Greek philosophy. original photo | edit | source