6. The conception of man in the works of the preparatory and pansophic periods
Having described Comenius’s conception of man embodied in the works of the panorthotic (later) period, we shall now focus on the Comenian anthropology of the earlier periods. We said that in its mature form, Comenius’s conception of man was based on the idea of a being defined (but not limited) by his na- ture, endowed with a free and unconquerable will, from which stems the open- endedness of human existence. The main defining feature of man’s nature was the mind: a tri-unity of central faculties – the will, reason, and agency, of which the most excellent was the unlimited will. We also pointed out that in the texts written after 1635 and during the first years of the following decade, Comenius still held his older anthropological views. For example, in Via lucis or in Panau- gia, man was described as a being defined not by the will, but by reason. We also saw that the definition of the human things (and of the problems that beset them) and the idea of universal emendation only crystallised during the 1640s. We shall now focus on Comenius’s initial anthropological views and on how they had developed before acquiring their mature (panorthotic) form that we have seen in the Consultatio catholica. 6.1 Theatrum universitatis rerum Comenius’s monumentally laid-out but unfinished and partially destroyed ency- clopedic work Theatrum universitatis rerum gives evidence of the author’s earli- est philosophical and theological views.749 Comenius probably worked on the treatise between the years 1616 and 1618, while drawing on...
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