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Abstract

As indicated in the title, this contribution focuses on the interpretation of act and potency in Cusanus’ later thought, with special attention for De possest (1460) and De apice theoriae (1464), two works composed by the Cardinal in the last years of his life. In these writings, in fact, Cusanus presents his most mature reflection on the two Aristotelian notions, perfecting and, in some way, surpassing his previous interpretations, especially contained in De docta ignorantia (1440) and De coniecturis (1442-1443). In this context, I will highlight Cusanus’ reception of some cornerstones of Aristotle’s metaphysics (especially in Books IX and XII of Metaphysics) and, above all, the arguments that lead Cusanus to overcome the Aristotelian understanding of the two concepts. The difference between the two authors will emerge especially with regard to the nature of God as a principle, which the Aristotelian tradition had explained as pure act and to which Cusanus, instead, attributes (also) an important potential connotation. This contribution is therefore divided into two main parts - the first dedicated to De possest, the second to De apice theoriae - followed by some concluding remarks.

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