Marsilio Ficino


Probably one of the least known yet most influential philosophers in the last 1000 years.

Marsilio Ficino by Leonardo da Vinci
Portrait of Marsilio Ficino by Leonardo da Vinci

Another way to understand Ficino and his academy is to examine the various ways he uses the word “academy” and its variants. What one finds is that Plato’s dialogues themselves could be referred to as an “academy,” rich with precious teachings as they were. An “academy” could be a private school organized to teach youths, though not necessarily located in one specific place or devoted to one doctrinal tradition. And the word “academy” could refer to regular meetings of literary men. Ficino’s “academy” seems to have been more associated with the first two meanings of the word. Rather than leading a regular gathering in a specific place, Ficino preferred to teach Florence’s elite youth when he could and, as a Socratic, philosophical friend, to try to draw out of his associates the better part of their natures in conversation. (Hankins 2003–04, vol.2; Celenza 2007, 83)

via Marcilio Ficino at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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