Brian P. Copenhaver



I study philosophy and science, mainly between 1400 and 1700, but also in other periods. Almost all my research and writing grows out of this question: what were the philosophical foundations of belief in magic among educated Europeans in the period between Ockham and Leibniz? Because belief in magic was nearly universal at this time, even among people who studied in universities and wrote books, learned interest in the philosophical foundations of that belief was widespread. My current research, which centers on Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-94), has led me to the 19th and 20th century Italian philosophers who secured Pico’s contemporary reputation while also establishing the long reign of Hegelian idealism in Italy. My work on an earlier Italian, Lorenzo Valla (1407-57), is a separate project, focusing on Valla’s critique of scholasticism as illuminated by contemporary philosophy of language.

Department of Philosophy
334 Dodd Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
phone: 310-267-4847 (office)
phone: 310-825-4641 (department)
phone: 310-825-1880 (CMRS)