This book deals with a neglected episode in the history of logic and theories of cognition: the way in which conceptions of inference changed during the seventeenth century. The author focuses on the work of Descartes, contrasting his construal of inference as an instantaneous grasp in accord with the natural light of reason, with the Aristotelian view of inference as a discursive process. Gaukroger offers a new interpretation of Descartes`s contribution to the
question, revealing it to be a significant advance over humanist and late Scholastic conceptions. He argues that Descartes's account played a pivotal role in the development of our understanding of the nature of inference.
'the volume contains a wealth of scholarly detail and includes valuable chapters on how Descartes's view of inference relates to his work in mathematics and natural science'imes Higher Education Supplement
'he makes a very welcome contribution to Descartes scholarship, and to one of the neglected strands of the history of logic'
D.M. Clarke, University College, Cork, Ireland, History and Philosophy of Logic, 10 (1991)
'Gaukroger assists his readers with transparent prose and gentle transitions ... a work of quality'
Struan Jacobs, Deakin University Vol. 71, No. 3; September 1993
Abbreviations; Introduction; Descartes and traditional syllogistic: The scope of logic; The syllogism as a Petitio Principii; The heuristic role of syllogism; Descartes's conception of inference: Conceptions of logic before Descartes; Conceptions of cognitive grasp before Descartes; The natural light of reason; Eternal truths: A human model for cognition; Discovery and proof: Analysis and discovery; Synthesis and proof; Appendix: The terms `a priori'
and `a posteriori' in the Reply to the second set of objections to the meditations; Scientific reasoning: The method of discovery; The epistemic value of deduction; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index
Number Of Pages: 160
Published: 17th August 1989
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97
Weight (kg): 0.4