Acta Comeniana 33:121-142 (2019)

This review article is a discussion of some of the conclusions in Lenka Řezníková’s book Ad majorem evidentiam. Literární reprezentace „zřejmého“ v textech J. A. Komen-ského [Ad majorem evidentiam: Literary Representations of the Obvious in the Works of Johann Amos Comenius]. Řezníková gives an extensive and precise analysis of Comenius’s work in relation to the notion of “evidence”, or to a textual and discursive “production” of evidence. It is necessary to differentiate the two meanings of “evidence”: evidence in actual consciousness versus evidence in a text. Furthermore, it is necessary to differentiate the objectives. Is it primar-ily how Comenius gnoseologically treats “evidence”? Or how he handles the term “evidence” within discourse and “textual practice”? Or, finally, to use Řezníková’s words, how he “produces evidence” and “suggests evidence” without necessarily pondering or even using the term evidentia? Attention is given to Comenius’s social theory of knowledge, Comenius’s conception of magnetism, the question of faith, and other sources of evidence apart from the senses and reason: visual evidence and historical evidence. One of the central themes of this review article is a discussion about whether “production” of evidence by “textual practice” can be considered without respect to extra-textual, extra-discursive experience. The article puts forward an antithesis: evidence is not a thing produced by a text, but rather a process induced. The source of evidence is outside a text, outside a discourse: it is in experience, for instance. This standpoint is grounded in a different paradigm from that of Lenka Řezníková, which does not, however, imply the illegitimacy of the latter. © 2019, Czech Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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