As its name indicates, this book is an account of the growth of logic, rather than an attempt to chronicle all that past scholars, good and bad, have said about the science. For the sake of continuity, and in order to give historical perspective to our story, my wife and I have included some references to work which does not deserve to be remembered for its own sake; and occasionally we have allowed ourselves to indulge an antiquarian curiosity, when we thought that the result might be of some interest to others. But our primary purpose has been to record the first appearances of those ideas which seem to us most important in the logic of our own day. Such a programme is based on judgements of value, and we realize that our selection of material and still more our comments, especially in the later chapters, may seem eccentric to some readers. In defence of our undertaking we can only say that we have followed the plan which our interests suggested, and that we could not have written in any other way.
The idea of attempting a history of logic on these lines occurred to me first in 1947 when I was asked to give a lecture in Cambridge on the centenary of Boole Mathematical Analysis of Logic. Part of that lecture survives in Chapter VI of this book, where it is reprinted from Mind, lvii (1948), by permission of the editor. During the next ten years I gave to the project all the time I could spare from teaching and other more urgent work, and by 1957 I had a draft which covered most of the field but in a very uneven fashion. Some of the material now contained in Chapter IX, § 3, was published under the title 'The Province of Logic' in Contemporary Bŕitish Philosophy, Third Series (George Allen &Unwin, 1956), from which it is reprinted here by permission of the publishers, but much of what I had written seemed to me unsatisfactory. As might be expected, the earlier chapters, which I had put together quickly in an impressionistic style, were those in need of most revision, and I soon came to the conclusion that they would have to be completely rewritten on a larger scale. At this stage the Leverhulme Trustees gave me a grant to make possible two terms' special leave from my tutorial duties in Exeter College. I am very grateful for their generous help, which enabled me to finish the chapters now numbered IV, V, and VI. But I am afraid that even so I might have lost heart, if my wife had not at the same time agreed to take charge of the Greek part and then devoted to it not only a term of sabbatical leave but also most of her leisure during the next two and a half years. Apart from the concluding section, on the Stoic System of Inference Schemata, the first three chapters, as they stand, are her work. In addition she has helped me with advice about the treatment of many subjects in the later chapters.
We have to thank Mr. John Lemmon, Mr. Brian McGuinness, Dr. Lorenzo Minio-Paluello, Dr. Richard Walzer, and Professor Hao Wang . . .