Modern Philosophy, History of Renaissance PhilosophyJune 28, 2021
The Modern Age, whose origins date back to the Renaissance and which in a sense extends to the present day in terms of its problematic or conceptual effects, is perhaps the most active and exciting period in the history of philosophy. In this period, Latin, which was the common language of science and philosophy of the Middle Ages, was broken off, works were started to be produced in national languages, and this development led to the emergence of different ways of thinking, philosophical attitudes and movements in a short time.
While medieval thought witnessed a philosophical activity largely influenced by Christianity or Islam, modern philosophy witnessed the development of an Anglo-Saxon philosophy, German philosophy, and French philosophy.
The European thinker has put forward a new style of philosophy activity emphasizing the free mental activity of the thinking individual since the early periods of the modern age. The European people, who lived as members of the great faith institutions of Christianity during the Middle Ages, turned into an individual who thought and acted freely in time, starting from the Renaissance; He tried to reinterpret and construct the world and society with his own mental activity.
The thinking subject appeared on the Western stage of thought and in a short time all the important concepts of philosophy were reinterpreted around this subject. The developments in science and technology gave birth to a strong belief in Western people that reason and science would overcome all the problems humanity faced, and this belief led to the emergence of new philosophical tendencies and currents based on science and free thought in a short time. Each new development brought with it a determined break with the old and a strong belief in the new, and new philosophical movements, attitudes and orientations such as enlightenment, rationalism, empiricism and materialism were gaining weight.
The number and importance of thinkers who produced works during this long historical period is truly dazzling. Renaissance humanists such as Montaigne, Erasmus, Mirandola, Petrarca; continental rationalists such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz; English empiricists like Locke, Hume, Berkeley; Enlightenment thinkers such as Rousseau, Diderot, D’Alambert; political philosophy geniuses such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Bodin, Grotius, Althusius; utopian thinkers like More and Campanella; German idealists such as Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Marxist thinkers, original philosophers such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche all grew up in this period and produced many works that contributed significantly to the formation of today’s concepts and problems of philosophy.
Renaissance philosophy names the multifaceted philosophical developments that emerged from the late 14th century to the mid-16th century, especially in the 15th century. Renaissance philosophy is generally regarded as a transitional philosophy in the history of philosophy. In this age, new developments began to occur in science and the field of thought, and new perspectives and information that emerged led the philosophy of the Renaissance to play the role of a bridge between medieval thought and new age thought.
An Overview of Renaissance Philosophy
Renaissance literally means rebirth. It is an event that took place in Europe, but it can be said that especially the Latin part, which was the continuation of Western Rome, provided these developments, otherwise Eastern Rome did not have a direct influence or role in the development of the Renaissance. Western culture and Western philosophy were reborn in a sense in this period.
It is not a re-examination or re-evaluation of the ideas of the ancient and medieval times, but in a much more comprehensive sense, a completely new presentation of the issues that were discussed until then, the emergence of a very different human type from the previous ages and the development of ideas. Renaissance philosophy also served as a bridge between earlier ages and the New Age thought that would become more evident later, as it was a transitional philosophy; thus, previous discussions were transferred to new developments with new forms and contents. The Renaissance was a time of exuberance, fragmentation, and creative innovation.
It is difficult to pinpoint the beginning of the Renaissance historically; There are many observations at this point. In general, this marks the beginning of the reformation in 1517. It is possible to see the developments affecting the Renaissance since the end of the 14th century. This is a period when the church began to lose its power both economically and intellectually. Economic, social and cultural developments affected philosophical developments in a certain way and showed new leaps in this period.
Parallel to the weakening of religious authority, philosophy in the Renaissance began to make itself independent; he tried to do this by emphasizing experiment and reason. Thus, the closed way of thinking in the Middle Ages began to open up and become plural with a fragmented appearance. Philosophy came out of the influence of the clergy and began to take place in the field of interest of writers and thinkers with different positions. Established universities are important in this regard.