RSA 2020 Philadelphia – Roundtable: New Views on Pico della Mirandola

Apr 03, 2020—2:00pm to 3:30pm

Location: Philadelphia Marriott Downtown (get directions)

Brian Copenhaver’s new book on Pico, Magic and the Dignity of Man, published in November 2019 by Harvard, will be discussed by a panel of leading critics. His book, many years in preparation, focuses on the role played by Pico’s mistitled Oration on the Dignity of Man in modern accounts of the Renaissance – and of human nature. Copenhaver examines interpretations of the speech over the last five centuries.  He questions Pico’s aim in the Oration, examines misunderstandings by later interpreters, and shows that the aim of Pico’s project was to teach ascetic mysticism – a ladder to heaven, not human dignity here and now. Copenhaver finds that Kabbalah and magic defined the final stages of this journey. He discusses Pico’s relationship with Marsilio Ficino and other contemporaries as well as his later reputation.

Friday, April 3, 2020

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown – Franklin Hall 9 – Level 4

Organizer
  • Valery Rees School of Philosophy and Economic Science, London
Chair
Discussants