C. I. Lewis: History and philosophy of logic

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C. I. Lewis (I883-I964) was the first major figure in history and philosophy of logic—-a field that has come to be recognized as a separate specialty after years of work by Ivor Grattan-Guinness and others (Dawson 2003, 257).Lewis was among the earliest to accept the challenges offered by this field; he was the first who had the philosophical and mathematical talent, the philosophical, logical, and historical background, and the patience and dedication to objectivity needed to excel. He was blessed with many fortunate circumstances, not least of which was entering the field when mathematical logic, after only six decades of toil, had just reaped one of its most important harvests with publication of the monumental Principia Mathematica. It was a time of joyful optimism which demanded an historical account and a sober philosophical critique. Lewis was one of the first to apply to mathematical logic the Aristotelian dictum that we do not understand a living institution until we see it growing from its birth.
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