Publication:
Etica e politica nel pensiero di Dante

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Date
2002
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EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
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Abstract
Throughout Dante's work, and especially in the Convivio and in the Monarchia, the interlacing of political philosophy and ethical reflection is guided essentially by a secular conception new to the medieval thought. Philosophy, in Dante's opinion, is not an ancilla theologiae , but a necessary and sufficient way to worldly happiness, which is one of the duo ultima of human life. For this very reason Dante chooses as vertex of the scientific pyramid ethics and not metaphysics, thus maintaining a pre - eminence of practical reason in apparent contrast to the traditional superiority of contemplation on action: he highlights what may be called a "useful" kind of science. Dante therefore does not simply create, as Ruedi Imbach states, a "philosophy for laymen", new interlocutors of philosophy; he actually creates a "secular philosophy" within the ambit of ethical and political reflection, with special reference to the problems which the following terms cause, problems which are treated with means of a strictly rational and syllogistic methodology: happiness, freedom, justice and power. The result of this study is a philosophical profile which perfectly justifies the intention expressed in the prologue to the Monarchia: not to re-propose already heard of notions, as in the Convivio, but to demonstrate intemptatae veritates. Within these new truths the most important one is the affirmation of the dualism of powers (secular and spiritual), as the metaphor of the "two suns" which is a clear example of the complex but steady balance of Dante's secular conception.
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Dante, political philosophy
Citation
Italo Sciuto, "Etica e politica nel pensiero di Dante", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, IV (2002) 2