As a young man, Johann Heinrich Alsted employed all his considerable energies in the pursuit of an extraordinarily ambitious encyclopedic project. The structure of the work derived from the sounder philosophical alternative to Ramism developed by Bartholomäus Keckermann in response to the needs of the internationally and interconfessionally oriented model of further reformation pursued in the Palatinate. At its most basic level, Alsted's Encyclopaedia is the culmination and embodiment of a pedagogical tradition designed to contribute to the further reformation of church, state, and society at home. Keckermann, the convert to Aristotelianism, adamantly rejected the pansophic promises of Lullism as a contravention of human nature and divine order; but Alsted, conditioned by Herborn's Ramism to the pursuit of intellectual short cuts, became infatuated with the prospect of combining all available pedagogical, logical, combinatorial, and mnemonic techniques into a single panacea philosophica capable of curing the ailments of the fallen mind with almost miraculous ease.
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