The Medieval Logic SeminarMedieval Logic Seminar meets during Arche semesters from 9:30am until 11.00 each Monday as an online seminar by Zoom. In this seminar we read through and discuss texts in medieval logic recently translated into English along with the Latin original, including both our own work on insolubles and other medieval logical texts recently published.
- Workshop on Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages (21st – 23rd October 2020)
- Workshop on the History of Arabic Logic (7th – 8th May 2019)
- Medieval Logic and its Contemporary Relevance (30th April – 2nd May 2018)
- Proofs of Propositions in 14th-Century Logic (23rd – 24th May 2017)
Theories of Paradox in Fourteenth–Century Logic: Edition and Translation of Key Texts (Principal Investigator, Stephen Read; Honorary Research Fellow, Barbara Bartocci)
The logical paradoxes have played a significant role in the development of philosophical ideas, not just in logic but also in philosophy of language, epistemology, metaphysics and even ethics and political philosophy, throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. They played a no less significant role in later medieval philosophy and were the subject of much debate and the spur to originalideas, arguably reaching their zenith in the 14th century. Much has been learned about the medieval debate in the past fifty years, in the writings of Thomas Bradwardine, John Buridan and others. But other interesting treatises remain unedited, many only surviving in contemporary manuscripts. Among these is the treatise on insolubles (logical paradoxes) by Paulof Venice, summarizing and developing theories and solutions from his predecessors in the 14th century, constituting the final treatise of his Logica Magna. A project was begun in the 1970s to edit and translate into English the whole of the Logica Magna in 20 volumes, but only seven of the treatises from this huge work were completed and published when the project was abandoned in the 1990s, and this final treatise was not included.
The project ‘Theories of Paradox in Fourteenth-Century Logic: Edition and Translation of Key Texts’ (funded from 2017-2021 by a Research Project Grant from the Leverhulme Trust) aimed to edit and translate this treatise, which describes fifteen other theories of insolubles which it rejects and subsequently develops its own at length. The text and translation, together with a commentary, are now at press with Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations. In addition, an edition and translation of two further treatises is under way, those of Walter Segrave and John Dumbleton, writing in Oxford in the 1320s or ’30s, which Paul mentions and which remain unedited, containing rich ideas about alternative solutions. Publication of these texts will in due course allow a better overview of the development of solutions to the paradoxes through the 14th century, as well as giving further insight into the nature of the paradoxes and their possible solution.
Publications and other outputs
- Stephen Read, ‘Swyneshed, Paradox and the Rule of Contradictory Pairs’, Logica Universalis 14 (2020), 27-50
- Stephen Read, ‘The rule of contradictory pairs, insolubles and validity’, Vivarium 58 (2020), 275-304
- Barbara Bartocci, ‘Aristotle’s Metaphysics, semantic paradoxes and medieval commentators: the case of John Dinsdale’, Studi sull’Aristotelismo medievale (secoli VI-XVI) 1 (2021), 173-214
- Stephen Read, ‘“Everything true will be false”: Paul of Venice and a medieval Yablo paradox’, History and Philosophy of Logic (online ahead of print, March 2022)
- Stephen Read, ‘The Calculators on the Insolubles: Bradwardine, Kilvington, Heytesbury, Swyneshed and Dumbleton’, in D. Di Liscia & E. Sylla (ed.), Quantifying Aristotle: The Impact, Spread and Decline of the Calculatores Tradition (2022)
- Barbara Bartocci and Stephen Read, ‘John Dumbleton on insolubles: an edition of an Epitome of his solution to insolubles’, Noctua: La tradizione filosofica dall’antico al moderno, forthcoming 2022
- Barbara Bartocci and Stephen Read (ed. & tr.), Paul of Venice: Insolubles, Peeters: Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations (at press)
- Recordings of talks at the Workshop on Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages (October 2020)
- Barbara Bartocci and Stephen Read (ed.), Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages (College Publications), in preparation
Critical edition and translation of two logical works written by John Wyclif (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Mark Thakkar: 2014-18)
The aim was to produce a reliable critical edition and translation of John Wyclif’s Logic. This general title covers two of his earliest known works. The first, De logica, is an introductory textbook usually dated to around 1360. The second, Logicae continuatio, aka Probationes Propositionum, is a more advanced work usually dated to the 1360s and perhaps revised not long before Wyclif’s death in 1384.
- Mark Thakkar, ‘Wyclif’s Logica and the Logica Oxoniensis’, in L. Campi & S. Simonetta (ed.), Before and After Wyclif: Sources and Textual Influences (2020), 1–31
- Mark Thakkar, ‘Wyclif, the Black Sheep of the Oxford Calculators’, in D. Di Liscia & E. Sylla (ed.), Quantifying Aristotle: The Impact, Spread and Decline of the Calculatores Tradition (2022)
Principal Investigator: Stephen Read
Research students: Viviane Fairbank
Publication: Stephen Read and Barbara Bartocci
Publication: Barbara Bartocci, Stephen Read
Workshop on Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages: Recordings
Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages – Recording now available