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History of UniversitiesVolume XXIX / 1$
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Mordechai Feingold

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779919

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779919.001.0001

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Nominal Definition in the Seventeenth-Century University Disputations of the German Cultural Space

Nominal Definition in the Seventeenth-Century University Disputations of the German Cultural Space

Chapter:
(p.65) Nominal Definition in the Seventeenth-Century University Disputations of the German Cultural Space
Source:
History of Universities
Author(s):

Meelis Friedenthal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779919.003.0003

This chapter explores the tradition of scholastic disputation in the majority of Protestant universities in Germany during the seventeenth century. Disputations reflect the general intellectual atmosphere and the learned consensus, and shed light into the content of the teaching that educated elites received at the universities, thus giving an accurate idea about contemporary mentalities. They were made up of short texts and were designated variously as exercitium, disputatio, or dissertation. Early modern disputations differed significantly from today’s university dissertations: most of these texts were not written for promotion or for obtaining an academic degree (pro gradu) and a greater part of these disputations were in fact written by professors or masters who acted as presider (praeses). The task of the respondent (respondens) was to defend the proposed theses. Professors also re-used their material—this means the disputations often represent a compilation of previous ideas and texts.

Keywords:   disputation, Protestant universities, Germany, seventeenth century, intellectual atmosphere, contemporary mentalities, dissertation, pro gradu, praeses, respondens

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