Reading of Ong's Ramus: Title should be: Panegyric to Peter of Spain

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  1. It's a wonderfully detailed repository of sources concerning Ramus and related topics.
  2. Fantastic insights into scholasticism.
  3. The Chapter "The Method of Method" is very insightful
  1. It is really hard to understand why the author went to such pains to write so many pages to refute Ramus in almost every conceivable particular. The author could have done it in a short Journal paper and convey the same amount of relevant information. However, he repeats the same ideas over and over again throughout the book, and only brings something new to belittle Ramus from a different perspective. I honestly don't see which is the intellectual merit of this work specifically on Ramus, because for the author, Ramus misunderstood all, copied all, etc. Almost nothing of value can be extracted from Ramus! Ong's animadversion towards all the intellectual production of Ramus permeates the whole book.
  2. Ong seems partial from the very frontispiece of the book which strangely has a quote by Lipsius stating that all that read Ramus aren't good men.
  3. The book feels like a massive and overwhelming collection of medieval and Renaissance data that hides like a forest, a more-or-less ideological hostility towards Ramus which is unwarranted by that data.
  4. I get a feeling of the text being written from a 'superior, arrogant stance. A constant belittling of Ramus. There's a constant hostile drive in the book to criticize Ramus, and all he thought or proposed, or didn't achieve. 
    1. Some calificatives include: incompetence, bad-faith, lack of understanding, obtuseness, madman...
  5. Some ad-hominem disrespectful remarks.
    1. The first chapters of the book seems to be an anti-Waddington treatise: very disrespectful allusions to Waddington as having complex of persecution, delusional, psychopathic identification with Ramus.
    2. Intolerant references: Lutherans labeled "heretics"; John Knox is belittled; and Comenius the same.
  6. There's a profusion of minute details and digressions that aren't evidently related to the topic of Ramus thought. 
  7. Misleading comparisons between medieval logic and contemporary logic. In chapter IV, Ong's frustratingly goes back and forth repeatedly between Peter Hispanus, whom he admires, and modern philosophers of logic such as Quine. There are also mentions to Łukasiewicz and Boole who were very technical logicians and certainly not equatable to the Scholastics. 
  8. Ong tacitly implies that Medieval logic was the material precursor of modern logic, but lacked symbols, therefore it failed. However, Ong fails to mention that the "objects" of medieval and modern logic are completely different! Ong seems to have an amateur knowledge of modern logic.
  9. Ong posits a continuum between medieval logic and modern logic which is incorrect. Also, he presupposes a continuum between Ramus and his predecessors, which might not do justice to the historical intellectual process. 
  10. Ong adduces that medieval logic collapsed because it lacked the correct language, or algebra. 
  11. There are frequent anachronistic comparisons between Ramus' work and that of Boole, Lucziewicz and other first rate mathematical logicians. Ramus is constantly blamed for not contributing to 'logical science' maybe in terms of Godel. It misses the point that Ramus didn't intend to be a mathematical logician understood in our terms, but a humanist.
  12. Ong attributes to Gutenberg a paramount role as a parting line into the development of Logics. Is this so? Also, awkward and repeated allusions to Latin as of paramount importance per-se in the development of Logics? 

  13. ..... to be continued.

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