Monday, February 18, 2008

Jan Amos Komenský

Jan Amos Komenský (1592-1670), known as Comenius, was a bishop of the Czech Unity of Brethren. With his fellow Protestants, he was exiled from Bohemia in 1628, and became a master, and later rector, at the gymnasium of Leszno, in Poland.

Comenius’s Janua linguarum was one of the most successful pedagogical works of the seventeenth century. Initially published in 1631, it was soon translated into a number of European languages,

Comenius planned a philosophical language which would be universal, to ease communication and understanding, much as his philosophically-grounded system for teaching in the Janua linguarum had aided the acquisition of tongues.

His work promised to overcome the curse of Babel by re-founding human language on a reformed philosophy, basing it on a simplified range of concepts which reflected a rational analysis of the natural world. The essence of these ideas can be detected in the form of the Janua linguarum, the book which made Comenius's reputation as a teacher and philosopher.

A little more about Comenius, by a Czech, here.

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