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Reviewed by:
  • Autour de Ramus: Le combat
  • James H. Dahlinger, S.J.
Kees Meerhoff, Jean-Claude Moisan, and Michel Magnien, eds. Autour de Ramus: Le combat. Colloques, Congrès et Conférences sur la Renaissance 46. Paris: Honoré Champion Éditeur, 2005. 492 pp. index. €51. ISBN: 2–7453–1137–9.

This rich collection of papers is a companion piece to Autour de Ramus: Texte, Théorie, Commentaire, also edited by K. Meerhoff and J.-C. Moisan, from Editions [End Page 531] Nota Bene, 1997. The Quebec volume discusses Ramus's works and theories. The present work studies the controversy surrounding Ramus, hence the term combat. As the late renowned Walter J. Ong, S.J., wrote in his Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, "Ramus was a humanistic scholastic who stood in the middle ground between linguistics and metaphysics" (4). Various aspects of this single statement by Ong are a focus in many of these papers. After a comprehensive foreword, the editors introduce a first series of papers they categorize as Combats Ramistes.

Guido Oldrini notes in the first article, "Les stratégies du combat chez Ramus et les ramistes," that Ramus's proposal to simplify the Paris curriculum won him acrimony or hyperdulia that crossed all barriers. Oldrini warns that the scope of Ramist polemics is too heterogeneous in time and place to be reducible to a single schema of interpretation. Cesare Vasoli asserts in "La prima polemica antiaristotelica di Pietro Ramo" that Ramus's reform of dialectic was tied to a wider renovation of public studies. A new generation could thus avoid "outdated" methodologies (49). André Robinet examines the philosophical part of Ramus's work in "La postérité cartésienne du combat raméen et ramist: Le lieu de lieu: lieu, étendue, espace." He asserts that Ramus prepared the terrain for Descartes. Robinet also discusses the progress of thought as articulated in French, as opposed to Latin. Peter Sharratt examines Ramus's translation of Aristotle's Politics in "Ramus' Engagement with Aristotle's Politics: Unfinished Business." He opens a window on contemporary publishing practices. The Parisian Wechel moved to Frankfurt, upon which he published works of Ramus and his disciples. Sharratt surmises that Ramus's translation may have been a collaborative effort.

In "Theology and Zeitgeist: The Triumph of the Method of Peter Ramus at the Beginning of the Modern Age," Christoph Strohm suggests reasons why Ramism was adopted by Reformed theology, as well as by jurisprudence and other disciplines. Freedom of research is a theme that Riccardo Pozzo approaches in "Ramus Contra Martinum Defensus: The Helmstedt Controversy 1594–1598." Pozzo asserts that Prince Heinrich Julius of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel forbade the teaching of Ramism in his realm. Pozzo points out that for Martini, Platonism ought to have been dropped from university philosophy curricula. He also sought to reinstate metaphysics. In "Pierre Galland: Un Mélanchthonien Masqué," Kees Meerhoff notes that the fortune of Galland was often colored by authors' confessional convictions. Meerhoff examines his writings to determine the extent of Melanchthon's influence. He also studies his relationship to Adrien Turnebus.

Marc Van Der Poel's "The Dispute between Ramus and Turnebus on Cicero's Orations on the Agrarian Law" analyzes Turnebus's condemnation of Ramus and his commentary. He asserts that the commentary typifies those written in the sixteenth century. He recommends that more study is needed to assess Ramus's classical erudition. In "Professors of Eloquence and Philosophy: Muret in Two Parisian Controversies," Judith Rice Henderson argues that Marc-Antoine Muret's edition of Cicero's four Catilinarian orations responded to the dispute between Ramus and Turnebus. Rice Henderson is a thoughtful commentator on [End Page 532] contemporary relationships. Jean-Eudes Girot discusses the Jesuits in Paris in his "Petri Rami Familiares: Le P. Perpinien (S.J.) et les Discours parisiens de 1566." Pierre Perpinien, a well-known Jesuit orator, defended his order's interests in regard to the University of Paris. Girot sees Ramus as an opponent of Jesuit interests. In "La 'Forte Guerre' d'Étienne Pasquier contre Ramus réformateur de l'orthographie dans les lettres de 1586: une fiction démonstrative," Catherine Magnien wonders how Pasquier's letters to Ramus can...


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pp. 531-533
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Archived 2009
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