I recall from readng long ago that Descartes described Llull's logic as

something that would allow one to speak on many subjects without knowing any of them

That quote from Bonner, Art and logic of Ramon Llull confirms my memory, but the book has no citation to Descartes on this.

Can someone tell me where to find this in Descartes?

1 Answer 1


Discours de la méthode (1637), Second Partie, page 18 [Édition Adam et Tannery] :

en les examinant, je pris garde que, pour la Logique, ses syllogismes & la pluspart de ses autres instructions servent plutost a expliquer a autruy les choses qu’on sçait, ou mesme, comme l’art de Lulle, a parler, sans jugement, de celles qu’on ignore, qu’a les apprendre. [on further examination I observed with regard to logic that syllogisms and most of its other techniques are of less use for learning things than for explaining to others the things they already know (or even, as in Lully’s system, for speaking without judgment about matters about which one knows nothing).]

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