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Pansophism
(898 words)

The term pansophism (from Greek pan, “all,” “whole”; sophía, “wisdom,” “knowledge”), which essentially means universal wisdom or universal knowledge, was probably used for the first time in 1616 in a collection containing documents of the Rosicrucian movement. The word and the program of universal knowledge it stands for fit seamlessly into the terminological and intellectual movements of that historical period. First, in the flood of Greek and Latin neologisms coined, words with the prefix pan- were very popular; the Humanist and critic of Aristotelianism Fran…

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Meier-Oeser, Stephan, “Pansophism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_025234>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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