Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue: From the Art of Discourse to the Art of Reason

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9780226629766: Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue: From the Art of Discourse to the Art of Reason
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Renaissance logician, philosopher, humanist, and teacher, Peter Ramus (1515-72) is best known for his attack on Aristotelian logic, his radical pedagogical theories, and his new interpretation for the canon of rhetoric. His work, published in Latin and translated into many languages, has influenced the study of Renaissance literature, rhetoric, education, logic, and—more recently—media studies.

Considered the most important work of Walter Ong's career, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue is an elegant review of the history of Ramist scholarship and Ramus's quarrels with Aristotle. A key influence on Marshall McLuhan, with whom Ong enjoys the status of honorary guru among technophiles, this challenging study remains the most detailed account of Ramus's method ever published. Out of print for more than a decade, this book—with a new foreword by Adrian Johns—is a canonical text for enthusiasts of media, Renaissance literature, and intellectual history.

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Review:

"This careful book succeeds in correcting and expanding our knowledge of the thought and works of Ramus through a patient examination and rigid reconsideration of the source materials, old and new."

"Ong''s elucidation of Ramism as a significant segment of the history of logic is by far the most complete, most searching, most convincing that has been written. In particular, his account of the internal history of Ramist dialectic is an amazing and valuable piece of scholarship. . . . So fundamental is Father Ong''s achievement, that not only scholars of Ramus and Ramism, but anyone with the lightest interest in the Renaissance as a whole, and especially in the histories of science and logic of this period, should turn, and return, to this work to obtain considerable enlightenment about a segment of intellectual history that has too long remained confused and obscure."

--John E. Murdoch"Isis" (12/01/1961)

"Ong's elucidation of Ramism as a significant segment of the history of logic is by far the most complete, most searching, most convincing that has been written. In particular, his account of the internal history of Ramist dialectic is an amazing and valuable piece of scholarship. . . . So fundamental is Father Ong's achievement, that not only scholars of Ramus and Ramism, but anyone with the lightest interest in the Renaissance as a whole, and especially in the histories of science and logic of this period, should turn, and return, to this work to obtain considerable enlightenment about a segment of intellectual history that has too long remained confused and obscure."
--John E. Murdoch"Isis" (12/01/1961)

"Indispensable for any scholar interested in Ramus and his influence. But beyond that [it makes] an important contribution to the continuing attempt to find out where the modern mind came from."
--T. K. Scott Jr. "Journal of Philosophy "

About the Author:

Walter J. Ong, SJ (1912-2003) was professor at St. Louis University and an internationally renowned scholar of rhetorical theory and history. He is the author of numerous books, including In the Human Grain: Further Explorations of Contemporary Culture and Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.

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