The Art and Logic of Ramon Llull

A User's Guide


Ramon Llull (ca. 1232–1316), mystic, missionary, philosopher, lay theologian, and one of the founding fathers of Catalan literature, was chiefly known in his own time and in subsequent generations as the inventor of a combinatorial, semi-mechanical method of demonstration, which he called his ‘Art’ and which he had developed to free interreligious debate from its fruitless textual base. Most of the extensive modern literature has been dedicated to mapping the foundations of Llull’s system, with little attempt to see how he used and combined these foundations to produce actual demonstrations. This book, in a series of explications de textes, tries to explain what kind of demonstrative systems he developed during the two main stages of the ‘Art’, how they finally evolved into an adaptation of key aspects of medieval Aristotelian logic, and why the ‘Art’ was central to all Llull’s endeavors.
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Biographical Note

Anthony Bonner, editor of the journal Studia Lulliana as well as of the new critical edition of the Catalan works of Ramon Llull, has published extensively on this figure, including Selected Works of Ramon Llull, 2 vols. (Princeton, 1985), and Doctor Illuminatus (Princeton, 1993).

Review Quotes

“…Bonner’s decision to leave critical evaluation for another occasion appears to have been a prudent one. The result is a guide to Llull’s Art and logic unlikely to be surpassed for a long time…. Special features include eight color illustrations, thirty black-and-white illustrations, and appendices on Martin Gardner’s flawed reading of Llull and a chronological list of Llull’s works.”
John R. Welch, Journal of the History of Philosophy 47:2, April 2009

"...ein wichtiger Beitrag für das Verständnis von Lulls Werk ... es [bietet] einen guten Einstieg in den Kern seiner komplizierten Methodiek..."
Fernando Domínguez Reboiras, Jahrbuch dür Religionsphilosophue 8, 2009, 229-233

“...El Sr. Bonner ha escrit un llibre decisiu per a la comprensió de l’obra de Ramon Llull...”
Jordi Gayà, Studia Lulliana 48, 2008, 146-148.

"...Il sistema logico-argomentativo di Lullo trova nel libro di Bonner una guida efficace ed originale, in grado di introdurre senza pregiudizi e senza forzature il lettore a una delle figure meno conformiste del pensiero medievale, una guida che, davanti al complesso marchingegno dell’Arte e della logica lulliane, ci evita la fine di chi, per parafrasare le parole dell’autore, talvolta si lamenta che un calcolatore non funziona, e semplicemente non ha letto il manuale di istruzioni."
Roberto, Cordeschi, Physis. Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza, 45 (2008)

Table of contents

Preface .. ix
Acknowledgments .. xv
Abbreviations .. xvii

1. Introduction .. 1
2. The quaternary phase .. 26
3. Changes in the Art during the quaternary phase, and the transition to the ternary phase .. 93
4. The ternary phase .. 121
5. The post-Art phase: logic .. 188
6. Overview .. 256

Appendices .. 301
The Martin Gardner Problem .. 303
Bibliography .. 307
Index of works cited
Index of names and subjects


All those interested in intellectual history, medieval logic, medieval philosophy and theology, as well as specialists on Ramon Llull.


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