Ficino, Marsilio (1433-1499) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Hierarchy

In his description of the universe, Ficino took from Neoplatonic and medieval sources the conception of a great hierarchy in which each being occupies its place and has its degree of perfection, beginning with God at the top and descending through the orders of the angels and souls, the celestial and elementary spheres, the various species of animals, plants, and minerals, down to qualityless prime matter. In spite of Ficino's indebtedness to earlier schemes, it appears on closer examination that his hierarchy differs in significant details from those of his predecessors. It is arranged in a final scheme of five basic substances: God, the angelic mind, the rational soul, quality, and body. This scheme comes fairly close to that of Plotinus but differs from it in various ways. Above all, quality did not constitute a separate level of being for Plotinus, who instead assigned separate places...

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This section contains 4,871 words
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Ficino, Marsilio (1433-1499) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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