Brian Copenhaver holds the Udvar-Hazy Chair as Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He studies philosophy and science in late medieval and early modern Europe, focusing on Renaissance philosophy, modern Italian philosophy and the philosophical foundations for belief in magic in Western Europe. He has written about Averroism, the classical tradition, the Hermetica, historiography, Kabbalah, natural philosophy, nominalism, philosophical translation and scepticism, studying Tommaso Campanella, Symphorien Champier, Benedetto Croce, John Dewey, Marsilio Ficino, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Henry More, Isaac Newton, Lorenzo Valla, Polydore Vergil, Egidio da Viterbo and others.



“Lorenzo Valla, Scourge of Scholasticism: Nature, Power and Modality in the Dialectical Disputations,” Rinascimento, 51, 2011, 3-26.

“Egidio da Viterbo’s Book on Hebrew Letters: Christian Kabbalah in Papal Rome,” Renaissance Quarterly, 67 (2014), 1-42, with Daniel Stein Kokin.

“Notes from a Nominalist in a New Incunabulum by Symphorien Champier,” in Essays in Renaissance Thought and Letters, In Honor of John Monfasani, ed. A. Frazier and P. Nold (Leiden: Brill, 2015), pp. 546-603, with Thomas Ward.

“Philosophy as Descartes Found It,” in The Routledge Companion to Sixteenth Century Philosophy, eds. H. Lagerlund and B. Hill (New York: Routledge, 2016), pp. 7-53.

“Naked Dignity and Vile Bodies: Giovanni Pico and Giannozzo Manetti,” in Dignity: A History, ed. R. Debes, ‘Oxford Philosophical Concepts’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press), in press.

Recent Books

Lorenzo Valla, Dialectical Disputations, ‘The I Tatti Renaissance Library’ (Harvard University Press, 2012); with Lodi Nauta.

From Kant to Croce: Modern Philosophy in Italy, 1800-1950, ‘The Lorenzo da Ponte Library’ (University of Toronto Press, 2012); with Rebecca Copenhaver.

Peter of Spain, Summaries of Logic: Text, Translation, Introduction and Notes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014); with Calvin Normore and Terry Parsons.

Magic in Western Culture from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment (London: Penguin Books, 2015).