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Skeptical Aspects Of Francesco Guicciardini's Thought

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Chapter Summary

Francesco Guicciardini is associated with skepticism on a relatively frequent basis. This chapter concentrates on an analysis of some of Guicciardini's writings that contain arguments which are somewhat similar to the skeptical arguments known to Italian Renaissance readers of Sextus Empiricus and, to a smaller extent, those of Diogenes Laërtius and Cicero. It also concentrates on an analysis of his Ricordi. The first point to be observed is that Guicciardini's argument targets specifically the supposed knowledge of the future claimed by astrology, in other words, its claim to be a science. Three fundamental themes of Guicciardini's thought are enunciated in this excerpt of the Ricordi: the issue of the particular, the importance of experience, and the role of "discrezione" in knowledge of the world.

Keywords: astrology; Francesco Guicciardini; Ricordi; skeptical aspects



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