Part One (“The Intelligence of Love: On the Sweet New Style”) establishes the premises for the philosophical approach to reading Cavalcanti’s poetry. Dante and Cavalcanti belong to a circle of poets who consciously set themselves apart from their predecessors in Italian and Occitan verse by writing love lyric that is not just occasionally adorned with but essentially is philosophical discourse. Although modern scholarly consensus regards the meaning of Purgatory’s formulation of the dolce stil novo as a perhaps insoluble mystery, our discussion of several related texts (Dante’s Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia, and Vita nuova; a tenzone between Bonagiunta da Lucca and Guido Guinizelli; Guinizelli’s epoch-making canzone Al cor gentil) will confirm that what Dante means by a new poetics is not at all opaque but rather transparent. As it turns out (and as has long been recognized but often forgotten), the Sweet New Style is not really a matter of style but rather of content: it is love lyric that cloaks a coherent meaning, derived from the poet’s advanced university-style studies, that can be formulated by the poet as prose philosophy. The poet does not try to do anything whatsoever, other than to declare in verse, for an elite audience of peers (and so perhaps to teach), those physical and metaphysical truths that he has learned from loving (i.e., from studying) and that he loves for their own sake.