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The Conception of Man in the Works of John Amos Comenius


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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4.Comenius’s conception of man in the "Consultatio" as a system?


105 4. Comenius’s conception of man in the Consultatio as a system? 4.1 Terminological inconsistencies As is clear from our interpretation of Comenius’s Consultation and our analysis of its individual parts, the philosophical-theological system presented by the author contains substantial terminological inconsistencies. The terms central to Comenius’s conception of man and to his system of thought as such are often inaccurately defined or mixed up with other, semantically related terms. For example, in the introductory passages of the Consultatio, Comenius gives an exposition of the basic human things, which will become the leitmotif of the book. These res humanae include politics (politia), religion (religio), and educa- tion (eruditio), as the author states in the dedicative preface to the Consultatio titled Europae lumina, viri docti, pii, eminentes, salvete, or politics, religion, and philosophy (philosophia), as he states in Panegersia.464 The conflation of education with philosophy, however, cannot be considered a terminological inconsistency on the author’s part, because in Panorthosia, he writes of a connection between the two or the identity of the two.465 Let us reiterate that in Comenius’s opinion, universal emendation must begin with the reformation of philosophy, which will lead to the rectification of man’s relationship to things and subsequently to the reformation of religion and politics. According to Comenius, the reforma- tion of the individuals precedes the reformation of society. The individual can be reformed only when we have reformed schools and the tools that are used there, i.e., books (in other words, the practical aspects of education)...

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