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Psycology » Persons » Thinkers » Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464)

Philosopher, theologian, scholar, church and political activist. Close advisor of Pope Pius II, Cardinal (1448). Based on the ideas of neo-Platonic dialectic and German mysticism, developed the doctrine of the absolute coincidence of opposites as (infinite identity "high" and infinite "minimum"). Human knowledge is "knowledge of ignorance." Copyright mathematical treatises, one of the predecessors of the Copernican cosmology and experimental science.

Nicholas of Cusa was born in the village of Cuza in southern Germany in 1401. Philosopher father was a fisherman and winegrower. Reliable information about the childhood of Nicholas not. We only know that a teenager, he fled from his home and found refuge with the Count Theodoric von Manderscheid, who later for many years patronized him, contributing to his career. Suggest that at first gave graph capable teenager in school "brothers common life" in Deventer (Netherlands), where he subsequently studied Erasmus.

The training at this school allows a lot to understand when considering the features outlook Nicholas of Cusa. The school taught the "seven liberal arts" were engaged in commenting on theological and philosophical books, studying Latin and Greek. Back in Germany, Nicholas entered the University of Heidelberg, where he could meet with nominalistic concepts.

V1417, he arrived in Padua, famous for its averroistskimi tradition in philosophy. Padua was considered one of the major centers of education and culture. Nicholas entered the school of canon law, but his interests were not limited to jurisprudence. It was in Padua, he became fascinated by the natural sciences, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, geography. Here he met the mathematician and astronomer Paolo Toscanelli, as well as his future friend, a law professor Julian Cesarini, which prompted Nicholas love for classical literature and philosophy. That he devoted Kuzanets basic philosophical treatises "On Learned ignorance" and "On the assumptions." In 1423 Nicholas received the title of doctor of canon law, and the following year he visited Rome, where he met with humanist Poggio Bracciolini, while Chancellor Roman seniors.

Returning home, he decided to devote himself Kuzanets theological activity. Within a year he studied theology in Cologne and was ordained a priest in 1426 he entered the Secretary to the papal legate in Germany, Cardinal Orsini. After some time he becomes a priest, and then rector of the church of St. Florin in Koblenz.

Catholic Church of the first half of the XV century was losing credibility, helped countless quarrels between the pope and councils, secular and ecclesiastical feudal lords, as well as in the environment of the clergy. Outside the Christian world is threatened by the Turks. In this situation, before the Catholic Church faced the task of unification. Some of its leaders demanded reform of the Church. Part of the Cardinals tried to raise the credibility of the church by limiting the papal absolutism and strengthening the power of church councils.

Such trends have emerged, in particular, the Council of Basel, which opened in late 1431. In 1433, the cathedral came Nicholas of Cusa, where he made first as a supporter of the supreme power of cathedrals. In this spirit it is written his first essay "On consent of Catholics." Here Nicholas expressed doubts about the "Konstantinov gift" - the document, according to which the popes supposedly got the right not only the spiritual but also the secular power in Rome by the emperor Constantine. No source says Kuzanets which would indicate that the emperor gave princely rights over the country and the people Pope Sylvester and his followers.

Reform plans Kuzantsa concerned not only the church but also the state. In the same treatise he introduced the idea of ​​the people's will put forward more Occam. Nicholas believed that the popular will is divine and natural and is of equal importance for the church and the state. Constituted by any ruler, whether king or pope, is only the carrier of the general will. Kuzanets also allowed the independence of the imperial power of the church, subjecting the Emperor only to God and thereby depriving the pope claims to temporal power. During Nicholas Cathedral sided with the Pope Eugenius IV, apparently deciding that the cathedral is powerless to carry out his proposed reforms.

With the support of humanist Ambrogio Traversari, Kuzanets comes soon to serve in the papal curia. In 1437, together with the Embassy of the church he goes to Byzantium for negotiations with the Greeks about the unification of Western and Eastern Christian churches facing the threat of invasion of the Turks. In Constantinople Nicholas gathered valuable Greek manuscripts known then met Neoplatonists Plethon and Vissarion. Traveled to Constantinople was a milestone in the formation of his worldview. Returning thence, he came to one of the most fruitful ideas of his philosophy - the idea of ​​coincidence of opposites, which he wanted to use as justification for the policy of uniting all believers for the sake of ending war and strife.

In 1440 appears the first philosophical book Nicholas "On Learned ignorance." It contains the basic ideas of his doctrine: the idea of ​​the interconnectedness of all natural phenomena, the idea of ​​coincidence of opposites, the doctrine of the infinity of the universe and of man as a microcosm. Already in this work revealed a pantheistic tendency Kuzantsa philosophy.

Treatise "On the assumptions" most researchers are of the same in 1440. In the years 1442-1445 Nicholas wrote four small works (treatises "On the concealed God," "On the search for God," "On the gift of the Father of lights", "On the formation"), in which the pantheistic tendency appears in the form of mystical ideas unity of man with God, deification of man in the knowledge of God.

Tired of everyday church cares Kuzanets soul finds relief in adverse employment philosophy and mathematics.

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