William Temple

(1555—1627) college head

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William Temple was born in Warwickshire and died at Trinity College, Dublin. He received his schooling at Eton, before entering King's College, Cambridge in 1573. He became a Fellow of King's in 1576, and graduated BA (1578) and MA (1581). Although he was intended for a career in the law, he developed a scholarly interest in philosophy, and particularly in logic. He became a disciple of Ramus and the foremost champion of Ramus's dialectic in England. In 1580 he wrote a piece in Latin, under the pseudonym of Franciscus Mildapettus of Navarre, in favour of Ramus and against the Aristotelian logic of Everard Digby. A lively international controversy ensued regarding the respective merits of the Aristotelian and Ramist approaches to logic, with replies to Temple coming from the pens of Everard Digby, Piscator (a professor at Herborn), James Martin (a Scottish professor at Turin) and the great physician Libavius. Temple replied with a number of defences of Ramus, then in 1584 published at Cambridge an annotated edition of Ramus's Dialectics, said to be the first book from the newly established University Press.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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