Brian P. Copenhaver is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and History at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he directed the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, editor of History of Philosophy Quarterly, past president of the Journal of the History of Philosophy, and on the boards of Harvard's I Tatti Renaissance Library and the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Getty foundations and has authored many books, including Hermetica, The Book of Magic, and Magic in Western Culture. Lodi Nauta is Professor of the History of Philosophy, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Copenhaver and Nauta have found precisely Valla's inimitable voice. Throughout their Dialectical Disputations, the reader can hear the utterly infectious immediacy with which Valla read the works of the ancient world. The glowing gift of the Renaissance was its refusal to think of those works as dead-buoyed by the ongoing re-discovery of manuscripts and armed with a revived knowledge of Greek and Latin, scholars and bookworms like Valla embarked on entirely new ways of reading, and our translators perfectly capture how personal an endeavor it was... Readers seeking lively, challenging company can't do much better than Valla, and now they have his greatest work in an English language version he would have loved. -- Steve Donoghue * Open Letters Monthly *