Periods in the Use of Euler-type Diagrams

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Logicians commonly speak in a relatively undifferentiated way about pre-euler diagrams. The thesis of this paper, however, is that there were three periods in the early modern era in which euler-type diagrams (line diagrams as well as circle diagrams) were expansively used. Expansive periods are characterized by continuity, and regressive periods by discontinuity: While on the one hand an ongoing awareness of the use of euler-type diagrams occurred within an expansive period, after a subsequent phase of regression the entire knowledge about the systematic application and the history of euler-type diagrams was lost. I will argue that the first expansive period lasted from Vives (1531) to Alsted (1614). The second period began around 1660 with Weigel and ended in 1712 with lange. The third period of expansion started around 1760 with the works of Ploucquet, euler and lambert. Finally, it is shown that euler-type diagrams became popular in the debate about intuition which took place in the 1790s between leibnizians and Kantians. The article is thus limited to the historical periodization between 1530 and 1800.
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