AskDefine | Define pansophy

User Contributed Dictionary



Originally from Greek pan, all, and -sophy, wisdom or knowledge, then from Latin pansophia to English.


  1. Universal (complete) knowledge or a system of such universal knowledge.


Extensive Definition

Pansophism, in older usage often pansophy, is a concept of omniscience, meaning "all-knowing". In some monotheistic belief systems, a god is referred as the ultimate knowing spirit. Someone who is pansophical is someone who claims to have obtained omniscience.
It also has to do more specifically with pedagogic ideas of universal wisdom (pansophia), as it occurred in the educational system of universal knowledge proposed by John Amos Comenius, a Moravian educator.

Pansophic principle

The pansophic principle is one of the important principles of Comenius: that everything must be taught to everyone, as a guiding basis for education, something like universal education (Characteristica universalis).
Pansophism was a term used generally by Comenius to describe his pedagogical philosophy. His book Pansophiae prodromus (1639) was published in London with the cooperation of Samuel Hartlib. It was followed by Pansophiae diatyposis. Pansophy in this sense has been defined as ‘full adult comprehension of the divine order of things’. He aimed to set up a Pansophic College, a precursor of later academic institutes He wrote his ideas for this in a tract Via lucis, written 1641/2 in London; he had to leave because the English Civil War was breaking out, and this work was eventually printed in 1668, in Amsterdam.
The term was not original, having been applied by Bartolomeo Barbaro of Padua in his De omni scibili libri quadraginta: seu Prodromus pansophiae, from the middle of the sixteenth century.

Pansophic Freemasonry

There is a group within Freemasonry that is called Pansophic Freemasonry.


pansophy in Czech: Pansofie
pansophy in Polish: Pansofia
pansophy in Albanian: Pansofia
pansophy in Slovak: Pansofia
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