You will prepare and submit a term paper on The Italian Renaissance. Your paper should be a minimum of 1500 words in length. Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola considers humans to be more than angels because, in his work, “Oration on the Dignity of Man,” he claims, “let us not even yield place to them, the highest of the angelic orders, and not be content with a lower place, imitate them in all their glory and dignity. If we choose to, we will not be second to them in anything.” Pico believes any human has the potential to fashion and transform himself into any fleshly form and assume the character of any creature whatsoever.
Picos “Oration on the Dignity of Man” and Albertis “Book of the Family” are very important statements about human self-determination because they both speak about the infinite capacity of humans to achieve great things and rise from mediocrity to near-perfection with the use of their own free will, a gift from our Creator. Pico speaks about the divinity of the human race and how God, in His infinite goodness, created humans to “think on the plan of his great work, and love its infinite beauty, and stand in awe at its immenseness.”
Pico writes that God “made man a creature of indeterminate and indifferent nature, and, placing him in the middle of the world, said to him Adam, we give you no fixed place to live, no form that is peculiar to you, nor any function that is yours alone. According to your desires and judgment, you will have and possess whatever place to live, whatever form, and whatever functions you yourself choose. All other things have a limited and fixed nature prescribed and bounded by our laws. You, with no limit or no bound, may choose for yourself the limits and bounds of your nature.”
Pico goes on to say that God has placed man “at the center of the world so that you may survey everything else in the world. We have made you neither of heavenly nor of earthly stuff, neither mortal nor immortal, so that with free choice and dignity, you may fashion yourself into whatever form you choose.