The Secular is Sacred: Platonism and Thomism in Marsilio by A.B. Collins

By A.B. Collins

This booklet offers a philosophical place tested philosophically. even though it doesn't transcend the confines ofFicino's point of view and is ruled via criteria of historic accuracy, it makes particular in its rationalization ofFicino's textual content the long-lasting philosophical questions that are at factor there. precise, the publication examines in a few element Ficino's relation to his Platonic and Scholastic assets, and this can be a subject of fundamental curiosity to people who learn the historical past of tradition or the his­ torical improvement of philosophy. even though, in Ficino's inspiration, this factor can be a philosophical factor. Ficino chooses Platonism as his advisor simply because this philosophy keeps an particular and crucial orientation to faith. while he's taking Platonism because the basic example of philoso­ phy, he takes a stand at the nature of philosophy itself. Philosophy unavoidably issues towards the divinity and for that reason is unavoidably with regards to the veneration and worship of its item. Christian theology joins Platonic philosophy during this move towards God, constructing extra thoroughly the results of its basic insights. And the 1 "splendor of Christian theology" is Thomas Aquinas. for this reason, to check the connection among Platonism and Thomism in Ficino's proposal is to check Ficino's place at the harmony of philosophy and theology. students writing approximately Ficino have pointed to 3 significant impacts on his concept. The impression of Plato and the neo-Platonists, after all, is quickly recognized.

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Still he agrees with this when he says that an agent is directed to its effect by a form within itself. 35 The principal part of Ficino's argument runs parallel to one which Aquinas gives in his article establishing that the distinction of things cannot be explained by secondary causes. Aquinas has previously established that the order of the universe is the effect of the first cause and Fieino has assumed it. From this both argue that the forms of diverse things are in the divine intellect. The same conclusion is again established by pointing to the diversity of incorporeal substances.

E. if it belongs to some things and not to others, it must be referred to a cause which is the cause of some but not others. 3 TP, II, 7, v. I, pp. 95-96, B-IOI-D2. TP, VIII, 14, v. I, p. 323, B-198. 4 THE APPROACH TO GOD THROUGH BEING 27 If, on the other hand, an effect is common to all things, it must be the mark ofthat which is the cause of all. Since, therefore, being is common to all things, it must be caused by that one God who is the cause of all things. All other agents produce effects which are less widespread; they produce being in this or that mode.

Or the argument can be reversed; God alone can produce something from nothing because God alone can produce being as being. Thus, it is one and the same for Ficino to speak of God as creator and to speak of being as his proper effect. Since every production involves being as such, on which the reality of the mode depends, and since the production of being as such involves creation, every cause depends upon God in its causing. In order to elucidate this, Ficino describes the diversifying function of secondary causes.

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