P. Ramus on Method - 2

Ramus proposes two types of Method

  1. Natural: which orders discourse in descending level of generality. Intended for Science. In this Ramus is not at odds with Quintilian who also advocated for the "natural" method. See here for the text.
  2. Prudential: which orders discourse suitably to teach the audience effectively. Intended for lay audiences.
These quotes are taken from McIlmaine's translation, who obliterates prudential method almost completely! (Howell, 183)

  • Method is the intelligible order (dianoia) of various homogeneous axioms ranged one before the other according to the clarity of their nature, whereby the agreement of all is judged... As in the axiom one considers truth and falsity, and in the syllogism consequence or lack of consequence, so in method one sees to it that what is of itself clearer precedes (praecedeat), and what is more obscure follows, and that order and confusion in everything is judged.... Thus method proceeds (progreditur) without interruption from universals to singulars. By this one and only way one proceeds (proceditur) from antecedentes entirely and absolutely more known to the clarification of unknown consequents.
  • Method is disposition (methodus est dispositio) by which, out of many homogeneous enunciations, each known by means of a judgment proper to itself [axiom] or by the judgment of syllogism, that enunciation is placed first which is first in the absolute order of knowledge [order of cognition], that next which is next, and so on. Thus there is a perpetual progression from universals to singulars.
Milton, (Logica, 473 Columbia Ed.) explains the relationship that there is between axiom, syllogism and method:
So as truth or falsity is seen in the axiom, in the syllogism consequence and inconsequence, so in method care is taken that what is clearer in itself should precede, what is more obscure should follow (dispositio); and in every way order and confusion are judged (judgment). Thus the first in absolute idea of the homogeneous axioms is disposed in the first place, the second in the second, the third in the third, and so on.

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