Origin of the work:
1928 Brno, O. Odložilík, Z pansofických studií J. A. Komenského. V. Úryvek pansofického spisu. In: Časopis Matice moravské 52, 1928
1951 Prague, G. H. Turnbull, J. A. Komenského Dva spisy vševědné – Two Pansophical Works by John Amos Comenius
1974 Prague, J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 14
This is the second of the surviving, more extensive fragments of Comenius’ unfinished introduction to universal wisdom, the Praecognita pansophica (the Premises of Pansophy). This second fragment complements the first, the Janua rerum sive Totius pansophiae seminarium (the Gate of Things, or Seminar on the whole of Pansophy; the Pansophiae seminarium). There is however a certain difference; while the first fragment is based on the trinity of the need, the possibility and the ease of pansophy, the second is based instead on the trinity of universality, verity and ease. This shows that Comenius must have written this second fragment in the period which also saw the appearance of the Pansophiae diatyposis (Outline of pansophy; the Diatyposis), which is founded on the same trinity, i.e. in the years 1639 – 1640.
The work comprises 52 canons and 68 paragraphs. Comenius relates that since the purpose of Man and the means by which it can be attained have been set out (in the Janua rerum sive Totius pansophiae seminarium), it is necessary to establish an outline of all that is comprehensible, on the basis of the trinity of complete universality, complete verity and utter ease.
Knowledge will be commonplace if everything is explained in relation to everything and for all from God`s books (nature, Scripture and the terms written in our souls). Everything will be set down truly on the basis of a knowledge of things, the results of work, speech, virtue and piety. The book of universal wisdom (pansophy) will be easy and understandable to all, if everything will be expressed by a simple method and in the vernacular style, using the language of the people. Nothing should be included that is not clear or patently straightforward in word and meaning.
For further study, see also:
G. H. Turnbull, J. A. Komenského Dva spisy vševědné – Two Pansophical Works by John Amos Comenius. Prague 1951, pp7-18
J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 14. Prague 1974, pp89-93
Jan Kumpera, Jan Amos Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp287-288