Introduction to Medieval Logic

Introduction to Medieval Logic

Introduction to Medieval Logic

Introduction to Medieval Logic


Medieval logicians advanced far beyond the logic of Aristotle and the aim of this book is to show how far that advance took them in two central areas. Alexander Broadie focuses upon the work of some of the great figures of the fourteenth century, including Walter Burley, William Ockham, John Buridan, Albert of Saxony, and Paul of Venice, and deals with their theories of truth, conditions and validity conditions. He reveals how much of what seems characteristically twentieth-century logica was familiar long ago. Professor Broadie has extensively revised his text for this second edition, while preserving the character of the first. There are now fuller accounts of supposition of intentional contexts, and of medieval syllogistics, and the Conclusion has been substantially expanded.


The opportunity to prepare a second edition has enabled me to make substantial improvements in the light both of my own subsequent misgivings and of criticism by reviewers, particularly E. J. Ashworth, Peter King, Norman Kretzmann, Stephen Read, and J. A. Trentman. I am happy to acknowledge their help.

Peter T. Geach has sharpened up my thinking on a number of medieval logic matters and I am grateful to him for that as for much else besides.

Among the major changes, I have extended my account of the different sorts of supposition, and of the logical problems relating to intentional contexts. The discussion of the most elementary part of medieval syllogistic is now not quite so breathless; the Conclusion also is more substantial, as is the Bibliography. The chapter 'Inference Theory: Medieval and Modern' has been deleted, as I no longer think that I can say anything useful about the topic without taking the matter a good deal further than would be justified in a book of the kind I had it in mind to write. Except where otherwise stated, the translations from Latin are my own.

This new Introduction to Medieval Logic, though appreciably longer than the first edition, has the same shape as before, and also the same character. Other books of a very different character could be written under that title, and I hope that some of them will see the light of day.


Glasgow 1992 . . .

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