American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 93, Issue 3, Summer 2019

Matthew K. Minerd
Pages 411-444

Thomism and the Formal Object of Logic

The scientific status of logic is ambiguous within a broadly Aristotelian framework. As is well known, the Stoic position is frequently contrasted with that of the the classic Peripatetic outlook on these matters. For the former, logic is a unique division of philosophy (i.e., rational philosophy), whereas for the latter, logic plays a merely instrumental role. This article explores how several Dominican thinkers articulated an outlook concerning logic that granted it a robust scientific status while maintatining a generally Peripatietic philosophical outlook. Clarity in these matters required the passing of several centuries. This article presents a set of historical vignettes showing the development of an increasingly clearer definition of the nature of the subject of logic, tracing the topic in Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Hervaeus Natalis, and Antoine Goudin.