Rethinking Renaissance Aristotelianism: Bernardo Segni’s Ethica, the Florentine Academy, and the Vernacular in Sixteenth-Century Italy*
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2018
In 1550 Bernardo Segni, a member of the Florentine Academy, published an Italian translation of and commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Practically unstudied, Segni’s work represents an important moment in the evolution of vernacular Aristotelianism (and philosophy more generally) in the Renaissance. This essay examines Segni’s approach to the text, his familiarity (or not) with the Greek and Latin traditions, and his discussion of a philosophical problem, the freedom of the will. It shows that in all these areas Segni was well aware of Latin interpretations. The essay thus argues that studies of Renaissance Aristotelianism need to abondon their longstanding concentration on the Latin tradition alone and consider the complex and multilevel interactions of Latin and vernacular philosophy.
- Research Article
- Renaissance Quarterly , Volume 66 , Issue 3 , Fall 2013 , pp. 824 - 865
- Copyright © Renaissance Society of America 2013
Research for this essay was generously supported by the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council. The author wishes to thank especially Alison Knowles Frazier, Eugenio Refini, Luca Bianchi, and Simone Bionda — in addition to Claudio Ciociola, Eva Del Soldato, Simon Gilson, and the journal’s anonymous reviewers — for their helpful comments on early drafts of this article. All translations are the author’s own except where otherwise noted.