After the Middle Ages, ages of darkness and ignorance from XII c. the revival of different sides (economical, cultural, educational) of social life began. In 13 – 14 c it led to such phenomenon as Renaissance (i.e. the epoch of wide and complete all life regeneration). A new estate stepped onto the historical arena - it was the estate of merchants and handicraftsmen (i. e. bourgeois – townsmen). They saw the life in other hues than clergy or chivalry and wanted to get all and now without postponing for the postmortem life. They were interested more in the laic (not the spiritual) life and all their cultural inquires were connected with no celestial but with the terrestrial existence. They were interested in the real human life with all its manifestations and thus the worldview gradually transited from the medieval Theocentrism to the anthropocentrism of the Renaissance Epoch. The medieval art didn't satisfy the Renaissance man's inquires hence the great interest to the Antiquity arose. This interest was so great and full that could completely drive back the church authority. In place of it the Antiquity's one came. The latter determined also the following worldview change. The medieval worldview was very unified or even totalitarian but the Antique Epoch on the contrary did not know one single authority and suggested the whole row of different ones i.e. the row of specimens on which a human could orientate. Thus the medieval worldview totalitarianism got changed with the opinions pluralism. All changes were reflected also in the philosophy and can be summarized as follows:
n the anthropocentrism;
n the authority of the Antiquity;
n the world outlook pluralism.
These characteristic features can be illustrated with the next instances. The human life and every instant of it were regarded as priceless and should be spent with all completeness and without remainder. The Italian philosopher of that time G. Manetti compared God with a banker lending the men, their life time and asking them after the death how they had spent it. The time should be spent in the way maintaining the most quantity of various life experiences. The ones having wasted it in fruitless affairs such as ascetic exercises or theological meticulations would be severely punished.
The man was considered also as the highest one in the Universe. According to Pico della Mirandola God created the world and then the man for that would appreciate his creature. Thus to be a judge to the God's creativity is the main task of human.
The authority of the Antiquity can be depicted for example that another Italian philosopher and priest M. Ficino stood a bust of Plato in a church and pronounced sermons in honor of this heathen philosopher. He considered also different religions as forms of some single universal religion blaming the religious fanaticism.
The third Italian philosopher L. Valla who was an open Epicurist and atheist standing against the Catholic Church authority and besides other having proved falseness of the deed about so-called emperor Constantine's gift (giving the Roman popes the right of managing the world) was nevertheless (in spite of this all) appointed a professor of the Rome University and the pope's secretary. The cause of such condescension was his brilliant knowing of the classic Latin. What about pluralism that it displayed itself in the great (not less than in The Antiquity) variety of different theories and conception in that time.
The epistemologic moments of it were expressed in Nicholas of Cusa's theory of the awared ignorance. Mental abilities of man according to it are limited – man can cognize (beforehand in the empiric way) the material world regularities, but no God. Before the face of God he's always only an applicant because God as himself all time remains outside of his comprehension. God is a mystery, therein all begins and finishes and the being of God in the world is equal to the being of world in God. In God all exists through measure, number and weight. All ideas therefore can be expressed by numbers even God himself can be. He according to Nicholas of Cusa is similar to the circle whose center is everywhere and the boundary is nowhere. The trinity is something like a triangle with three right angles. In the same way also in nature all can be framed in mathematic forms and without mathematics no nature science is possible.
The Renaissance Epoch gave also the first proper (in modern understanding) scientists having grounded the foundations of the contemporary science. They were Nicolaus Copernicus, Giordano Bruno, Johan Kepler and others.
Control questions and exercises
1. What is an essence of the dispute about universalias' nature in?
2. What influence has the medieval philosophy exerted on the modern science?
3. What ideas have caused an emergence and development of nature sciences in the epoch of Renaissance and New Time?