Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Invention, Renaissance Idea of

  • Nicoletta GiniEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_1057-2


The recovery of ancient rhetorical sources which took place in fifteenth-century Italy went hand in hand with humanists’ concern for social and political issues. Consequently, humanists’ reappropriation of such authors as Cicero and Quintilian came to broaden Aristotle’s main achievements on rhetoric. Similarly to other practical-oriented disciplines (such as law, medicine, and moral philosophy), rhetoric provided a model for teaching and discussing. Humanists dealt with the most appropriate use of inventio as a tool for building up persuasive discourses. In doing so, they could not eschew from challenging the traditional rhetorical scheme put forward by the leading lights of classical oratory.

Later on, the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century reflection on method emphasized the eminently epistemological nature of inventio, by connecting it to the inductive type of knowledge.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Scienze Umane e Sociali IRPhilScuola Normale Superiore, Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul RinascimentoFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Universuté Jean MoulinLyonFrance