Francesco Petrarch

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The Tasks of Human Will and Reason In this paper I will be addressing the fundamental roles of human will and human reason, deemed by Petrarch, a Renaissance humanist. Francesco Petrarca, better known as Petrarch was a renowned but controversial philosopher and poet. Petrarch was a heavy influencer to the Medieval humanist movement and is considered to be one of the first contributors to the extensive trend. Renaissance humanism was a profound reaction to the flawed Medieval educational institution and impaired societal practices. During the Medieval period, both society and the educational system centralized around religion, however, Christianity was clouded and political at times, plagued with bits of corruption. Furthermore, the common…show more content…
Unlike human will, human reason is free and has no innate morality. Human reason is persuaded by the external world and is influenced by other people’s thoughts and actions. In other words, the reasoning of one person can rub off onto other people, sending a ripple of ideas out into society. It is the element in which humans control and use to handle their thoughts and actions. Through human reason, people become imperfect and in short, human. Misunderstandings and faulty ideas are direct results of human reasoning digesting and misinterpreting ideas. Knowledge, in short, fuels reasoning. External concepts are taken in, where human reasoning then extrapolates and comprehends the knowledge. But what we take in from our senses can be misleading. Petrarch expresses in a faithful, crystalline, and unclouded Christian manner that he may not be able to trust ideas from the outside, but “it is He in whom I can trust” (101). Although humans can take in immense amounts of sensory information, Petrarch argues that total knowledge cannot be achieved. When speaking of Aristotle, Petrarch stresses that he does not have “knowledge of all things through human study” simply because humans are imperfect entities, unable to understand the absolute and unconditioned (101). Additionally, Petrarch articulates that although Aristotle “was a very great man” and was glorified by Aristotelian students,…show more content…
Petrarch, the founding humanist, published these ideas of human will and human reason to better the Renaissance society. In turn, these concepts have not only influenced his time, but have impacted our present day society. The Humanist revolution has contributed a vast amount of philosophical ideas and have permanently altered the Christian church for the better. Due to Humanist ideas, extreme asceticism is not devoutly practiced and the corruption of the church has dissipated due to the presentation and translation of early Christian texts such as the
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