Philosophy of the Renaissance

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The Renaissance, coined by Giorgio Vasari as the rebirth of art and literature by great men of Genius such as Michelangelo and Niccolό Machiavelli, occurred in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Italy (in all of Europe Italy had the most impact). Aside from art and literature, the renaissance showed the changing in philosophy from everything being based on religion to the idea of human nature and the creation of humanists. Major breakthroughs during the renaissance include printing leading to the Gutenberg bible in 1456 and the political achievement of the residential ambassador. (McKay et al., 2009) Humanism, and humanists, was the evolution of thought from everything about God to the ideas and philosophies about human nature, human beings, individual achievements, and the individual’s interests and capabilities. Humanists believed everyone (mostly men), instead of being solely the wealthy and noble, should be educated and therefore schools were opened in most cities. Some of the most famous humanists were Sir Thomas More and Desiderius Erasmus. (McKay et al., 2009) Martin Luther (1483-1546) wrote the ninety-five theses in response to the indulgences and how they took away from the sacrament of penance and the preaching of the Gospel. He sent the theses to Archbishop Albert as well as posting them to the door of Wittenberg Castle (October 31, 1517). Martin Luther refused to recant his ideas because he believed the Pope and authorities of the times were I error and contradiction and that reasons other than religion and God motivated them. The ninety-five theses were the explanation of these ideas. (McKay et al., 2009) The Peace of Westphalia (1648) ended the Thirty Years War and marked a major turning point ... ... middle of paper ... ...he gathered from other European nations. After defeating the Swedish at Poltava in 1709, Peter had St. Petersburg built and wanted to compete with other major European cities with glamour and modernization. Western ideas were now brought into Russia for the first time, changing many cultural traditions forever. (McKay et al., 2009) Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), beheaded by Henry VIII, was one of the great Christian Humanists who wrote the book Utopia (1516). More’s ideas expressed in Utopia argued that violence and corruption wasn’t the fault of the individual, but that of the social institutions and reform was needed in those areas which motivated the person. (McKay et al., 2009) Work Cited: McKay, J, Hill, B, Buckler, J, Ebrey, P, Beck, R, Crowston, C, Wiesner-Hanks, M. (Ed.). (2009). A History of world societies. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin.
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