Logic in Early Modern Thought

Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences, (2020)
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Logical reflection in early modern philosophy (EMP) is marked by the instability of the period, although it is more lasting (the Port-Royal Logic was nevertheless used as a handbook in philosophy courses until the end of the nineteenth century). It started in the sixteenth century and ended in the nineteenth century, a period of 300 years during which there were deep transformations in the conceptions of authority and scientific method. For the history of twentieth-century philosophy, it was the period of “classical logic,” which lasted from the Renaissance to the linguistic turn conducted by Gottlob Frege. The period was used to be thought of as centuries of little or no original contribution to logic, in which conceptions of logic were tainted by rhetoric, epistemology, and psychologism in the worst sense (Kneale and Kneale 1962; Michael 1997). From the last decades of the twentieth century, however, scholars began to regard this period more accurately with respect to reflection and changes in logic and semantics. It has recently become a promising field for historical and conceptual research; today we can say that the legacy of early modern logical reformism has a philosophical, logical, and semantic value in itself.

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Katarina Peixoto
University of São Paulo


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