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Jesuitical Reasoning

“In choosing arguments, one must above all take account of those which affect the listener and are appropriate to his opinions, his mind, his condition and his age.


We are all attracted by the true or false appearances of that which is good, but what is good for me is not so for you. This thing may be useful to that person;
this other thing may be pleasing and honourable for these people, while in different circumstances something else pleases and delights us.


As men will only let themselves be led by reasoning that accords with their feelings, this means that in addition to evidence that enlightens our minds, we must excite the passions, if the subject permits it, to undermine the will.


To this end, it would be useful to know the manners of men and the nature of movements of the soul. For every kind of cause, one must excite different passions.”


Père Jouvancy, SJ, Ratio docendi et discendi, 1702.
His outstanding pupil was Voltaire


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