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Specifically, I'm curious about the loci or categories that Agricola and later Ramus used extensively. Were they found to be problematic at a later time? If not, why not use them? They're so helpful in organizing information.


In order to clear up any possible misunderstanding, I'd like to explain my position a bit further. First of all, this question is not about syllogistic logic vs. symbolic logic. It's about what changed in the study of logic over the years and what we gained or lost from those changes:

  • Classical logic dealt with manipulation of ideas (logic as we know it), rhetoric and grammar.
  • Around the 1700s or so, the subject-predicate grammatical model was abandoned and grammar was no longer studied as a "logic" topic.
  • With the advent of symbolic logic, rhetoric lost its association with logic.

Humanistic logic was the first "movement" to rebel against the Classical (Aristotelian) model. It brought some very interesting developments in method and pedagogy. They grouped all that under the heading of logic, which we no longer do, but what I'm wondering is what do we have in its stead?

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    Mordechai, in situations like this you have to write the book! This seems to be be based on Aristotle's Topics, am I right? I didn't even know Aristotle wrote such a thing until this year. How do the logics you mention differ from Talmud studies/Hermeneutics as a way of evaluating testimony, evaluating tradition, resolving disputes? Maybe this is irrelevant to these logics. I suspect the main reason that these logics receive little attention is that many people simply don't know about them. – Gordon 15 mins ago delete – Gordon Nov 10 '17 at 14:44
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    My interest was piqued so I did a search and came up with this book: Ramus, method, and the decay of dialogue : from the art of discourse to the art of reason Author: Walter J Ong Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1983, ©1958. – Gordon Nov 10 '17 at 20:50
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    @Not_Here humanistic logic is much more than mathematical logic of today. Also your statement about modern logic superseding Aristotelian or Medieval logic isn't entirely correct. Russel in his essays has a much more nuanced approach and doesn't make such sweeping claims. I am also not convinced that the modern collection of various specialized logics is somehow pedagogically superior. In fact, my question stems from observing the shortcoming of today's methods of categorizing information, especially as it relates to the field of logic. – Mordechai Nov 12 '17 at 8:16
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    @Gordon Aristotle's Topics and Cicero's loci. Humanistic approach logic and rhetoric (which to be honest makes a lot of sense). You're right that today not many people know about this method, but up to almost beginning of the 20th century it had a huge influence in Europe's major learning centers. Look up Ramist and post-Ramist influence on higher education. Not only that, but later developments in cognitive psychology confirmed the validity of this approach, and yet somehow it disappeared off the radar... – Mordechai Nov 12 '17 at 8:28
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    @Not_Here I am not talking about symbol logic eclipsing syllogistic logic. Whatever my opinion may be about either of these systems, as you put it, "it's a matter of fact". My question is about loci/categories which aren't directly tied to syllogistic logic and have more to do with how we organize information. what do we have in its place? – Mordechai Nov 12 '17 at 13:36

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