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Nov 14th 2016

Understanding Ramon Llull: Philosophy, Arts and Science through the Ars Combinatoria (FutureLearn)

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Explore the fascinating work of philosopher Ramon Llull and its impact with this free online course. Ramon Llull, born in Majorca in the 13th Century, was an influential philosopher, writer and pioneer of many different subjects. This controversial man was admired and scorned alike by some of the most enlightened minds in European culture. He was also one of the leading lights in the intellectual circles of the late 13th century, in which Arab, Jewish and Christian philosophers and scientists alike participated.

Today he has acquired a new importance in the current debate on the ways knowledge is shared with others. In this course we’ll explore his work and how it’s influenced the arts, literature, science and technology.


Explore the work of Ramon Llull and his Ars Combinatoria
“Every philosopher has the ability to be a good mechanic.”

Ramon Llull invented a method of understanding knowledge that consisted of a complex mechanism of geometrical shapes and symbols that combine letters and concepts. It’s known as the Ars combinatoria and it was heralded as a new branch of learning with universal aspirations. The use of this mechanism, which posited the unity of the various branches of knowledge of the time, was intended to lead to peace between the religions by means of deduction, demonstration and dialogue.

Llull sought to establish a complex model of reality that encompassed the world, humankind and God as if in a vast web.

Through the course we’ll discover how Llull created this remarkable theory and understand more about his other work like the Tree of Science.


Learn about the life of Ramon Llull

As well as exploring the work of Ramon Llull we’ll also look at this visionary’s life, examining the key events and circumstances which affected his work.


Understand the impact of Ramon Llull’s work

Finally we’ll look at the ways Ramon Llull’s work has influenced huge numbers of other thinkers: from artists and writers to inventors and theorists. In particular we’ll look at how Llull’s innovative philosophy regarding networks has contributed to modern ideas in this area.