The aim of the paper is to determine the philosophical meaning of Francesco Petrarch’s famous letter addressed to Dionigi da Borgo San Sepolcro, dated in the year 1336. The letter, which describes Petrarch’s ascent of Mont Ventoux and his experience on the summit allows for multiple interpretations. Similarly to the interpretation of Petrarch’s entire work, the literary context has been emphasized and the philosophical meaning of the letter has been somewhat neglected. Different philosophical interpretations are discussed in the paper. Petrarch’s catch-phrase “desire to see” as the poet’s motivation of the venture is the starting point for the most. Apart from the popular alpinist context, which is doubtful, the letter was considered as the beginning of the aestetisation of the landscape or as the emergence of the subject-object philosophical paradigm. The symbolic and metaphoric understanding of physical and spiritual ways is another interpretation level of the letter. Finally, the letter can be viewed as an expression of a general philosophical attitude to the world.
Keywords: Francesco Petrarca · Renaissance Philosophy · Mont Ventou
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