Cyprian Kinner

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Cyprian Kinner (died 1649)[1] was a Silesian educator and linguist. He has been described as the bridge between the projects of 17th-century Europe concerned with a universal language, and those concerned with a philosophical language.[2] He has also been called a pioneer of faceted classification.[3]

Life[edit]

Kinner was a pupil of Melchior Lauban in Brieg who also taught Samuel Hartlib and Abraham von Franckenberg,[4] who both were to be important in Kinner's life; Lauban had previously been a professor of philology in Danzig, and was an admirer of Bartholomäus Keckermann.[5] Kinner became physician in ordinary at the court of the Duchy of Brieg.[6]

Kinner's career as physician and jurist was interrupted by the invasion of Silesia by troops of the Habsburg Empire.[7] Around 1630 he was supported by the Dutch church in London. In 1631 he turned down an invitation from the Racovian Academy, instead going to the Imperial court in Prague at the request of Michael Sendivogius.[8] In 1634 to 1635 he worked with Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld and Johann Heinrich Alsted.[2][9]

From about 1644 to 1647, Kinner worked with Comenius, but the relationship was troubled.[2] In the period 1645-6 the patronage of Louis de Geer, who said the salary was too high, looked uncertain; then Kinner was held up in Schleswig-Holstein.[10] In the end he succeeded Georg Ritschel as assistant to Comenius, but suffered in the same way, being told that finances precluded keeping him on.[11][12]

Kinner spent further time in Poland. There he knew the astronomer Maria Kunicka,[13] and in Elbing in 1647 he associated with von Franckenburg and the Danzig astronomer Johan Hevelius.[14] Right at the end of his life, in 1649, he visited England, where William Petty was set by Hartlib to translate one of his books into English. He died suddenly in May 1649.[2][15]

Works[edit]

Paolo Rossi considers that Kinner was the first to make a detailed formulation of the idea of an constructed language. Further, his motivations included mnemonics and botanical classification: and the relationship generally between scientific classifications and memory.[16] He worked on botanical names alone as a pilot for a larger language project.[17]

Kinner has been suggested as an influence on John Wilkins and An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language. The connection depends on ideas unpublished at the time, though communicated to Hartlib in letters;[18] Petty set to work on a botanical scheme, not long after hearing of Kinner's ideas via Hartlib.[19] Kinner had the idea of composite signs, rather than letter combinations.[20]

The Summary Delineation,[21] translated for Hartlib from Kinner's Diatyposis,[22] was a lacklustre piece of Comenian educational theory. Kinner found a role in school education for animals, and has been called also a follower of Eilhardus Lubinus.[23]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ EMLO 14 Jul 1645: Kinner, Cyprian d.1649 (Brieg, Opole Voivodeship, Poland) to Komenský, Jan Amos, 1592-1670 (Elbing, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, (Royal Prussia) Poland).
  2. ^ a b c d M. M. Slaughter (4 March 2010). Universal Languages and Scientific Taxonomy in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-521-13544-3. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Hans G. Schulte-Albert, Cyprian Kinner and the Idea of a Faceted Classification Publication Date: 19-10-2009 ISSN 1865-8423 doi:10.1515/libr.1974.24.4.324.
  4. ^ EMLO letter.
  5. ^ Mark Greengrass; Michael Leslie (16 May 2002). Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation: Studies in Intellectual Communication. Cambridge University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-521-52011-9. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Martin Mulsow, Who was the Author of the Clavis apocalyptica of 1651? Millenarianism and Prophecy between Silesian Mysticism and the Hartlib Circle (PDF).
  7. ^ John William Adamson. Pioneers of Modern Education 1600-1700. CUP Archive. pp. 108–9. GGKEY:ZRKXYLHTL4T. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  8. ^ John Matthews; Christopher Bamford (1 April 1999). The Rosicrucian enlightenment revisited. SteinerBooks. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-940262-84-3. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Graeme Murdock (21 September 2000). Calvinism on the Frontier, 1600-1660: International Calvinism and the Reformed Church in Hungary and Transylvania. Oxford University Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-19-820859-4. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Maurice Walter Keatinge (editor), The Great didactic of John Amos Comenius: Now for the First Time Englished ... (1896) pp. 59-60; archive.org.
  11. ^ Young, John T. "Ritschel, Georg". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/23682.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  12. ^ John T. Young, Faith, Medical Alchemy and Natural Philosophy: Johann Moriaen, Reformed Intelligencer, and the Hartlib Circle, Chapter Four: Panaceas of the Soul: Comenius and the Dream of Universal Knowledge (2007).
  13. ^ Jane Stevenson (4 August 2005). Women Latin poets: language, gender, and authority, from antiquity to the eighteenth century. Oxford University Press. p. 367. ISBN 978-0-19-818502-4. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Susanna Åkerman (1998). Rose Cross over the Baltic: the spread of rosicrucianism in Northern Europe. BRILL. p. 232. ISBN 978-90-04-11030-4. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  15. ^ Benjamin DeMott, The Sources and Development of John Wilkins' Philosophical Language, The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 57, No. 1 (Jan., 1958), pp. 1-13. Published by: University of Illinois Press Article Stable URL: [1]
  16. ^ Paolo Rossi, Logic and the Art of Memory (2000 translation), pp. 168–9.
  17. ^ Arthur F. Kinney; Dan S. Collins (1987). Renaissance historicism: selections from English literary renaissance. Univ of Massachusetts Press. p. 384. ISBN 978-0-87023-598-6. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Joseph L. Subbiondo (1992). John Wilkins and 17th-century British linguistics. John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 159 note 15. ISBN 978-90-272-4554-0. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  19. ^ Joseph L. Subbiondo (1992). John Wilkins and 17th-century British linguistics. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 176. ISBN 978-90-272-4554-0. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  20. ^ John Wilkins; Brigitte Asbach-Schnitker (1708). Mercury, or, The secret and swift messenger: shewing how a man may with privacy and speed communicate his thoughts to a friend at any distance; together with an abstract of Dr. Wilkins's Essays towards a real character and a philosophical language. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 44. ISBN 978-90-272-3276-2. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  21. ^ A continuation of Mr. John-Amos-Comenius school-endeavours, or, A summary delineation of Dr. Cyprian Kinner, Silesian, his thoughts concerning education, or, The way and method of teaching, exposed to the ingenuous and free censure of all piously-learned men ... : together with an advice how these thoughts may be successfully put in practice / translated out of the original Latine, transmitted to Sam. Hartlib, and by him published; cf. [2]
  22. ^ John Wilkins; Brigitte Asbach-Schnitker (1708). Mercury, or, The secret and swift messenger: shewing how a man may with privacy and speed communicate his thoughts to a friend at any distance ; together with an abstract of Dr. Wilkins's Essays towards a real character and a philosophical language. John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 67 note 124. ISBN 978-90-272-3276-2. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  23. ^ a cyclopedia of education. Forgotten Books. p. 610. ISBN 978-1-4400-6151-6. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 

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