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Nicholas of Cusa Reading Group

Nicholas of Cusa: On Learned Ignorance
Recent interest in Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464) indicates that he is a key figure whose thought offers fresh resources to rethink modernity. In this new reading group, we will read and discuss some of Cusa’s most important works.
We will begin with what is arguably his best known work, ‘On Learned Ignorance’. Here, Cusa trades on Socrates’s claim that he was wiser than other men because he “knew that he did not know.” In De Docta Ignorantia, Cusa applies this theme to God, holding that because all human conceptualizing occurs at the finite level, our concepts cannot truly grasp the infinite God.
Michaelmas Term Card
Thursday | 8pm | Peterhouse (F5)
11th October : On Learned Ignorance, book I, chapters 1-12
25th October : On Learned Ignorance, book I, chapters 13-26
8th November : On Learned Ignorance, book II, chapters 1-7
22nd November : On Learned Ignorance, book II, chapters, 8-13
Jasper Hopkins’ translation of ‘On Learned Ignorance’ can be accessed online. The Cusanus Portal provides the Latin text alongside a translation here.
Dr Silvianne Aspray ( & Ryan Haecker (


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