Determinism in humanist historiography : Facio, Palmieri and Platina
Scholars have written an immense amount about the Italian humanists of the fifteenth century and their basic attitudes towards the world around them. As philosophers without the intellectual consistency or rigour of, for example, the Scholastics, the humanists have provoked widely varying interpretations of their ideas on any number of subjects. This thesis attempts to answer some time worn questions concerning humanist ideas on free will, the secularization of man's world and so on. In doing this it makes two basic departures from traditional scholarships The first of these is to exploit the feet that most humanists, aside from writing philosophic tracts of relevance to such issues, also wrote history. By studying determinism not just in terms of philosophic tracts (beliefs stated) but also in terms of historiography (beliefs expressed through descriptions of action, an additional and important measure may be employed for attacking these problems. In writing history an historian less consciously gives his opinions on how the real world functions and it would be helpful in the confusion caused by studies of Renaissance thought to come to the problem through the back door and to analyse the patterns of causation manifested in a humanist's historical work.