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The Conception of Man in the Works of John Amos Comenius

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Jan Čížek

This book maps the entire development of Comenius’s considerations on man, from his earliest writings to his philosophical masterwork. Although this book primarily offers an analysis and description of the conception of man in Comenius’s work, it may also serve the reader as a more general introduction to his philosophical conception. The author shows that, in spite of the fact that Comenius has received no small amount of academic attention, funded studies or monographs in English language remain in single figures. Thus, a range of Comenius’s remarkable ideas are still unknown to the wider public.

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3.De rerum humanarum emendatione consultatio catholica

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27 3. De rerum humanarum emendatione consultatio catholica 3.1 Europae lumina, salvete, and Panegersia Anthropological matters are already touched upon in the dedicative preface titled Europae lumina, viri docti, pii, eminentes, salvete, which precedes the inception of the body text of the Consultatio itself.38 In the opening paragraphs, Comenius par- tially explains his understanding under the term human things (res humanae).39 38 For a comparison between the text which we have analysed, which comes from the Halle finds with the manuscript of Europae lumina discovered more recently (1992) in Finspång, Sweden, see: Komenský, Jan Amos – Karlsson, Blanka (ed.): Finspongský rukopis Jana Amose Komenského: dosud neznámý anonymní rukopis Komenského předmluvy Europae lumina a Dedikace třem královstvím nalezený ve švedském Norrköpingu [The Finspång manuscript by John Amos Comenius: The yet unknown anonymous manuscript of Comenius’s preface to Europae lumina and Dedication to Three Kingdoms, discovered in Norrköping, Sweden]. Brno 2000, pp. 14–15, 55–60, 75–77. 39 Comenius’s definition of the human things as well as his awareness that the human things have become corrupt and need to be reformed were inspired above all by his reading of Tommaso Campanella and Francis Bacon. He found in their writings the belief that the human things can be reformed through the emendation of human knowledge and the human ways of knowing. Campanella inspired Comenius’s belief that all existing scientific disciplines need to be reformed and consolidated to form a unified...

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