Inspiring quotes by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

The top 10 most inspiring quotes by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

  • Let some holy ambition invade our souls, so that, dissatisfied with mediocrity, we shall eagerly desire the highest things and shall toil with all our strength to obtain them, since we may if we wish.
  • To [man] it is granted to have whatever he chooses, to be whatever he wills.
  • Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow to maturity and bear in him their own fruit. If they be vegetative, he will be like a plant.
  • God the Father, the supreme architect, had already built this cosmic home we behold, the most sacred temple of His godhead, by the laws of His mysterious wisdom.
  • On man, when he came into life, the Father conferred the seeds of all kinds and the germs of every way of life.
  • But, when the work was finished, the craftsman kept wishing that there were someone to ponder the plan of so great a work, to love its beauty, and to wonder at its vastness.
  • The Pythagoreans degrade impious men into brutes and, if one is to believe Empedocles, even into plants.
  • For why should we not admire more the angels themselves and the blessed choirs of heaven?
  • Admittedly great though these reasons be, they are not the principal grounds, that is, those which may rightfully claim for themselves the privilege of the highest admiration.It was not the part of His kindly love that he who was to praise God’s divine generosity in regard to others should be compelled to condemn it in regard to himself.
  • But in its final creation, it was not the part of the Father’s power to fail as though exhausted. It was not the part of His wisdom to waver in a needful matter through poverty of counsel.

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494) was an Italian Renaissance philosopher, scholar, and humanist. Born into a noble family in Mirandola, Italy, Pico became renowned for his vast intellect and eclectic interests.

He received an extensive education in philosophy, theology, and the humanities, studying in Italy and later in France. Pico was deeply influenced by the works of Plato, Aristotle, and Neoplatonist philosophers, as well as by Kabbalistic texts and Christian theology.

One of his most famous works is the “Oration on the Dignity of Man,” a seminal text that reflects his belief in the limitless potential of human beings and their capacity to pursue knowledge and virtue. In this work, Pico argued that humans possess free will and have the ability to choose their own destiny, transcending their earthly limitations to become like God.

Pico’s intellectual pursuits often brought him into conflict with established authorities, both religious and secular. He engaged in debates and controversies throughout his life, challenging prevailing ideas and advocating for intellectual freedom.

Despite his short life—he died at the age of 31—Pico’s contributions to Renaissance thought were significant, laying the groundwork for later humanist thinkers and shaping the course of Western philosophy. He remains celebrated for his bold ideas, scholarly achievements, and unwavering commitment to the pursuit of truth.

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