ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

424. Division. -- In the first glow of intoxicated admiration for the past, the Renaissance scholars revived the philosophies of ancient Greece in their original, archaic forms. This effort at a restoration pure and simple of ancient systems, extended to the dialectic of the Rhetoricians (§ 2), Platonism (§ 3), Aristotelianism (§ 4), Stoicism and some secondary systems (§ 5). But this simple return to the past was soon to be modified by the results of new researches. These took two distinct turns: they explored the domains of Nature (§ 6) and of Social Right (§ 7). We may say generally of the earlier systems that they were independent of religious dogma. If, among their representatives, there were some who affected to harmonize their speculations with Catholic teaching, they made this a very secondary consideration, and generally solved the difficulty by espousing religious theories which had but little connection or kinship with the remainder of their philosophy.

There were other systems, however, whose supporters regarded religion as intimately related to philosophy, but for whom reason was the Supreme arbiter of religious beliefs. These beliefs were drawn mainly from the various forms of Protestantism (§ 8). Reuchlin sought them in the Cabala; while many others fell back on Theism simply (§ 9).

This congeries of systems led some weak thinkers to despondency and distrust. And so, Scepticism is the epilogue to the long and painful parturition of the Renaissance philosophy (§ 10).

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