Scholastic world

Llull was fully aware of the novelty of his epistemological project and frequently insisted upon this aspect. But it is a mistake to concentrate solely upon this novelty and to forget that the nature and meaning of this Art and the significance of what it offered in the way of innovations cannot be interpreted without taking into account the ‘old’ epistemology with respect to which it defined itself, namely that epistemology which his contemporaries claimed to follow to the letter. It is worth insisting, in this regard, upon the fact that through his Art, Llull explicitly proposed a method of argument which stood out precisely on account of its differences with respect to certain of the most characteristic features of the scholastic-Aristotelian theory of science. This was a method in which inventio and judicium did not follow parallel but rather, confluent, paths and which offered itself explicitly as a scientia universalis which, setting out from the negation of the Aristotelian principle of the incommunicability of the principles of the sciences pertaining to the different genera of being, shattered that similarly Aristotelian restriction which at the same time as imposing a science for each genus denied the possibility of demonstrating the principles of each of them within a general discipline.

In short, Llull proposed, in the 13th century, a way out from scholastic science which meant that one could forget its two defining divisions: the division which existed between the pars inveniendi and the pars judicandi of logic and that which existed between the different particular sciences. Later, during the Renaissance and the 17th century, these two divisions were seen as a peculiar drawback of scholasticism which impeded the advancement of knowledge.

Source: Josep Maria Ruiz Simon, L’Art de Ramon Llull i la teoria escolàstica de la ciència (Barcelona: Quaderns Crema, 1999), pp. 87-88.