Skip to main content

De Cusa, Nicolas

Fishburn and Hughes: (1400-1464). A German cardinal, scientist and philosopher, influential in Renaissance thought for the doctrine of human knowledge expounded in Of Learned Ignorance (1440). Arguing that the essential nature of God, from whom everything flows and returns was unknowable, De Cusa concluded that all human knowledge was simply 'learned ignorance'. His philosophy was humanistic, with pantheistic tendencies. His cosmology, anticipating Copernicus, held that the earth moves round the sun. Reference is to De Cusa's preoccupation with straight lines which, according to him, were segments of a large circle. Ibn-Hakam al-Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth