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date: 27 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Formal logic was subjected to numerous criticisms during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and by the early nineteenth century was in serious decline in Britain. Its resurgence began when Edward Copleston defended it as useful for education in the liberal arts. His defense was continued by Richard Whately, whose Elements of Logic revived the study of logic in Britain. Although Whately gave the impression that he was merely restating Aristotle, he limited logic to the study of formal reasoning and provided an account of logical form. This account was challenged by Sir William Hamilton who claimed that the quantifiers “all” and “some” attach to both the subjects and the predicates of propositions. Charitably interpreted, this enlarged formal logic by admitting valid, non-Aristotelian syllogisms, but instead of completing logic as Hamilton claimed, it opened the way for further developments.

Keywords: Copleston, Hamilton, history of logic, quantification of the predicate, Whately

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