Alexander Broadie

in Introduction to Medieval Logic

Second edition

Published in print April 1993 | ISBN: 9780198240266
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680137 | DOI:

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There can be no doubting the central role accorded logic in the educational scene in the Middle Ages. There are two related aspects to this role, one institutional and the other scientific. The first is that at the heart of the medieval educational system were the seven liberal arts, divided into the trivium, three arts of language, and the quadrivium, four mathematical sciences. The arts of the trivium, the ‘trivial’ arts, were grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and during a period of several centuries practically every university graduate received a training in those arts. The second aspect of the role of logic explains the first. Most of those who made a significant contribution to logic in the Middle Ages were philosophers just as much as they were logicians, and in most cases they were as much at home on the philosophical as on the formal frontier of logic. Their philosophical researches illuminated the logic, and their logical researches underpinned the philosophy.

Keywords: logic; Middle Ages; language; philosophy; liberal arts; trivium; rhetoric; grammar

Chapter.  2291 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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