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Commonplace Learning: Ramism and its German Ramifications, 1543-1630 (Oxford-Warburg Studies) Hardcover – March 29, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0198174301 ISBN-10: 0198174306

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford-Warburg Studies
  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198174306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198174301
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,471,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Brilliantly written, perfectly constructed, Hotson's work reads like a novel...a rich and convincing panorama which will serve from this point onward as an indispensable landmark for all future research in a particularly elusive and complex field of study"--Kees Meerhoff, Bibliotheque d'humanisme et renaissance

"The virtues of Hotsons work are many. It negotiates the difficult challenge of writing prose that accommodates the detail necessary to recreate the intellectual, social and political elements involved in his story while at the same time producing a clear and intelligible text. The argument he develops in the course of the work is entirely convincing, and gains for his work the distinction of being the preeminent study of the topic, putting to rest Ongs interpretations of Ramisms appeal and spread. Those who study the intellectual life of this era will need to take Hotsons work into account" - Patrick Hayden-Roy, German History

"This volume is a fine study of Ramism in German lands, and it offers a sound argument for the popularity and impact of Ramus."--Richard A. Muller, Renaissance Quarterly

"Will undoubtedly add to the field of Dante, medieval, and religious studies."-Sixteenth Century Journal

"The information that Hotson presents on a host of individual author educators and academic institutions will be of assistance to sholars pursuing analogous research. The index is very useful. Oxford University Press deserves high praise for the general layout, figures, and jacket design of this monograph."--Joseph S. Freedman, American Historical Review

"This is a densely learned and really valuable study, which combines scholarship on areas including the history of early modern universities, late renaissance Aristotelianism and the philosophical textbook tradition with impressive, polyglot linguistic skill and strong sympathy for the importance of Ramism and encyclopaedism as significant intellectual traditions. Consequently, it contains much that will be of great interest to historians of universities and to those working on many other areas of intellectual history." - Michael Edwards, History of Universities, XXIII/2

"A valuable addition to the history of the Ramist movement in central Europe." - European History Quarterly

"Commonplace Learning is certainly a valuable addition to the history of the Ramist movement in central Europe because it is one of the first to provide a detailed account of Ramism within a national context. Taking a page from Ramus book, Hotson s work tackles a difficult topic in an orderly and methodical fashion, simplifying Ramism for a new generation of scholars."--European History Quarterly

"Howard Hotson has succeeded in portraying a nuanced and exceptionally clear image of an important educational movement of great significance for the cultural history of the western world."--Hessisches Jahrbuch

"Ramus sought to instruct clearly and efficiently, and he would have appreciated Hotson s clear prose and well organized presentation. Hotson succeeds in bringing together an impressive array of sources, including manuscripts and printed texts from across Europe, and in showing that they can all be seen as part of a broad debate about human knowledge. Commonplace Learning is indispensable for understanding Reformed theology and education of the early seventeenth century."--Sixteenth Century Journal

About the Author

Dr Hotson works in the field of early modern European intellectual history, with particular attention to central Europe and the international Reformed world c.1550-1660. Thematically, he has written on the histories of science, philosophy, religion, education, and political theory and their relationship to broader social, political, and confessional developments. At the heart of his interests are the gradually expanding reform movements of the post-Reformation period culminating in the pansophism of Comenius, the universal reform programme of Samuel Hartlib, and the audacious philosophical projects of Leibnitz. Oxford University Press published his book on Alsted in 2000: Johann Heinrich Alsted 1588-1638: Between Renaissance, Reformation and Universal Reform: it received a wide range of excellent reviews.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Farrell on September 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Howard Hotson's COMMONPLACE LEARNING: RAMISM AND ITS GERMAN RAMIFICATIONS, 1543-1630 (Oxford University Press, 2007) is a welcome book-length study of the work of Peter Ramus (1515-1572) and his influence in Germany.

It is the first book-length study of Ramus and his influence to be published since 1958. In 1958 two book-length studies of Ramus and Ramism were published: (1) R. Hooykaas' HUMANISME, SCIENCE ET REFORME: PIERRE DE LA RAMEE (1515-1572) (Brill, 1958) and (2) Walter J. Ong's RAMUS, METHOD, AND THE DECAY OF DIALOGUE: FROM THE ART OF DISCOURSE TO THE ART OF REASON (Harvard University Press, 1958; 3rd ed. University of Chicago Press, 2004, the year after Ong's death in 2003).

Ong's "Preface to the [1983] Paperback Edition" is reprinted in the 2004 edition of RMDD (pages xv-xvi). In it Ong says, "Were I to do this work again - the thought leaves me aghast - I know there are many things that would need reconsideration and revised assessment" (page xvi). In light of Ong's explicit statement, he would probably find Hotson's criticism of certain shortcomings in his 1958 work instructive, even though Ong might understandably object to some of Hotson's sharp denigrations of his work.

Ong's more recent views of Ramus and Ramism can be found in his lengthy historical introduction to John Milton's A FULLER COURSE IN THE ART OF LOGIC CONFORMED TO THE METHOD OF PETER RAMUS, which Ong and Charles J. Ermatinger translated. Their translation appears in volume eight of Yale's COMPLETE PROSE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON: 1666-1682, edited by Maurice Kelley (Yale University Press, 1982, pages 206-407; Ong's introduction appears on pages 139-205). Ong's introduction is reprinted, slightly shortened, in volume four of Ong's FAITH AND CONTEXTS, edited by Thomas J. Farrell and Paul A.
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