Book Series Mediaeval Sources in Translation, vol. 47

Roger Bacon

The Art and Science of Logic

A translation of the Summulae dialectices with notes and introduction

  • Pages: 256 p.
  • Size:150 x 230 mm
  • Language(s):English, Latin
  • Publication Year:2009

Temporarily Out of Stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-297-0
  • Paperback
  • Temporarily Out of Stock


Early in the 1240s the university of Paris hired a recent graduate from Oxford, Roger Bacon by name, to teach the arts and introduce Aristotle to its curriculum. Along with eight sets of questions on Aristotle's natural works and the Metaphysics he claims to have authored another eight books before he returned to Oxford around 1247. Within the prodigious output of this period we find a treatise on logic titled Summulae dialectices, and it is this that is here annotated and presented in translation.

The book is unique in several respects. First, there is the breadth of its sources. Not only do we find explicit reference to the usual authors such as Aristotle, Plato, Boethius, Porphyry, and Priscian, we also find unexpected reference to Augustine, Bernardus Silvestris, Donatus, Terence, and Themistius, along with mention of the Muslim philosophers Algazel and Ibn Rushd. Second, it is clear that Bacon is drawing on or reacting to an extraordinarily wide variety of medieval sources: Garland the Computist, Hugh of St. Victor, Master Hugo, Hugutius of Pisa, Isidore of Seville, Nicholas of Damas, Nicholas of Paris, Richard of Cornwall, Robert Kilwardby, Robert of Lincoln, and Robert the Englishman. Third, it unexpectedly presents a full-blown treatment of Aristotle's theory of demonstration. And finally, Bacon reveals a highly unorthodox view of the signification of common terms.

Bacon, here, takes his students and us deeper into medieval sources and controversy than any of his rivals do.