This essay discusses five main topoi in the Divine Comedy through which teachers might encourage students to explore the question of the Divine Comedy’s treatment of philosophy: (1) the Divine Comedy’s representations in Inferno of noble pagans who are allegorically or historically associated with philosophy or natural reason; (2) its treatment of the relationship between faith and reason and that relationship’s consequences for the text’s understanding of the respective authoritativeness of theology and philosophy; (3) representations in the Divine Comedy that relate to the question of the practical value of philosophical (not to mention theological) speculation; (4) the text’s treatment of the respective merits of practical and contemplative activities; and (5) its implicit defense of philosophy’s authority with respect to ethical and political questions.

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