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2 On Bodin’s Method

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reflects on sources of Bodin's method, on how he used them, and how his method generated shifts in the meanings of his sources. It offers a technical discussion of method in the eponymous work, the Methodus, and then considers methodology in a broader sense, in relation to three others of Bodin's works: Les Six livres de la republique, the Universae naturae theatrum, and De la Demonomanie des sorciers. The Methodus is Bodin's only book which bears the name of 'method'. If one assumes that this term is used in its technical Ramist meaning, one has to admit that the Methodus has a particular status by comparison with Bodin's other works which do not bear that name. In fact, both distributio and methodus are analyses, both proceeding from general to particular. Methodus appertains to dispositio or judgement, and focuses on the orientation of the division, from general to particular.

Keywords: Bodin's method; Methodus



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