Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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History of Logic Manuscripts:

An Inventory of the Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Title: History of Logic Collection
Dates: circa 1630-1786
Extent: 3 boxes (1.26 linear feet)
Abstract: The History of Logic Collection is made up of ten bound manuscripts concerning ancient Greek logic and ethics.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-5023
Language: Materials are written in Latin, with the occasional appearance of Ancient Greek, as well as portrait captions in French and Spanish .
Access:

Open for research. Part or all of this collection is housed off-site and may require up to three business days notice for access in the Ransom Center’s Reading and Viewing Room. Please contact the Center before requesting this material: reference@hrc.utexas.edu




Acquisition:

Purchases, 1969-1987 (R5374, R6625, R8171, R8218, R8380, R9013, R11352)

Processed by:

Betsy Young, 2006; completed by Aine McVey, 2010; updated by Betsy Nitsch, 2012

Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


The History of Logic Collection is made up of ten bound manuscripts concerning ancient Greek logic and ethics, spanning circa 1630-1786. Each item has a designated shelf mark (Logic Ms. 1 through Logic Ms. 10) and the items are organized by shelf mark number.

All of the manuscripts contain personal commentaries on Aristotle's works, particularly the Categories, Analytics, and Ethics. Also present are remarks on Porphyry (circa 234-circa 305), a Neoplatonist philosopher who wrote his own commentary on Aristotle. The Latin translation of this work, Isagoge( Introduction ), became a standard medieval textbook on logic, and is mentioned extensively in the collection. The influence of Porphyry on these authors is clear; his famous diagram, the "Porphyrian tree"( arbor porphyriana ), which illustrates his hierarchical division of substance, is included in many of the manuscripts.

Four of the manuscripts are signed and originated from France, Italy, and Spain. These four manuscripts were written by a Capuchin friar in Palermo (Antoninum Burgio), a Jesuit priest in Naples (Francesco Giordano), a scholar at the University of Valencia (Josepho Perez), and a scholar at the College of Saint-Vaast (Petro de Bevel). The authors model the organization of their works on the teachings of Aristotle and Porphyry. The commentaries generally take the form of a series of questions and answers or claims and responses/ refutations. The manuscripts, in turn, are divided into chapters and sub-topics.

The texts are written in Latin, with the occasional appearance of Ancient Greek, as well as portrait captions in French and Spanish. These portraits are featured in three of the volumes and depict famous philosophers, such as Aristotle, Plato, and Porphyry, as well as religious images, such as the birth of Jesus and saints. Many of the manuscripts contain personal markings made by the various owners, such as short prayers, signature practice, and notes.