Leonardo da Vinci: Renaissance and science
In the Renaissance, reason begins its triumphal journey towards the domain of philosophy and science that crystallizes in the seventeenth century with the appearance of rationalism and empiricism. Leonardo is a man of reason who wants to understand the world through this. «In his opinion, the application of reason, supreme faculty of the human mind, allows to know the universal principles that govern the universe. Two of them, the need and proportion, they powerfully attracted his attention ». Leonardo understood the "need" related to virtue in an association that reminds Aristotle, he thought it was the guide of nature.
According to the philosopher, virtue occurs when an entity performs the function that is its own perfectly. Well, Leonardo understands the need-virud as in a way in which the elements that integrate the universe are perfectly accommodated to their function in nature. The other idea, "the proportion", has its artistic expression in the man of Vitruvio, whose name derives from the architecture texts of the famous Roman architect, which Leonardo studied carefully. Leonardo is a symbol of the rebirth and paradigm of the universal sage, who called all the sciences and arts of his time.
Recognized as the architect of the rebirth of knowledge theory based on the understanding of nature. The term humanism must be understood as a search to integrate human values. The concept originated in the Renaissance, which set out to return to the Greco -Roman culture to resignify the dignity of the human, origin of anthropocentrism. Renaissance humanism, of which Leonardo was his greatest exponent, put man in the center of history, essence of humanism: life is no longer only worthy of being lived, but the magnificent event that must be known.
It was not simply to save the soul for eternal life, as medieval Christianity preached, but to sublimize man to live in harmony and joy with nature. The concept of humanism from the philosophers of ancient Greece, the fundamental thing was to free man from myth through scientific knowledge and put the human being as the architect and responsible for his own history, in opposition to the mythology that believed that history did it Sometimes the gods. Later Aristotle synthesized and organized all the scientific knowledge of antiquity in a system that, as an ideology, endured Western civilization to the Renaissance.
Leonardo took the Aristotelian conception of the soul as a source of life and knowledge, but expanded it and transformed it into a scientific theory based on empirical experience, something that for Aristotle would have been inconceivable. Da Vinci surprises with his natural anthropology, contrary to medieval thought that considered man a being debated by sin, for whom the only hope was the salvation of his soul. Given this belief, the idea arises, assumed by Da Vinci, about the dignity of human existence. This conceptual turn is the foundation of the Renaissance and humanism.