I'm reading "Reason's nearest kin" of michael potter and he says:

Now the distinctive feature of reasoning that is ampliative rather than merely explicative is that it depends on objects as its subject matter. If polyadic logic is ampliative, it must therefore depend on objects in a way that syllogistic logic does not. The feature which makes this dependence manifest is the variable.

Can you develop further on the difference between ampliative and explanatory reasoning?


1 Answer 1


Ampliatian is, according to ch. 14 of John of St. Thomas's Outlines of Formal Logic,

"the extension of a term from a lesser to a greater supposition." For example, Man can be just is extended to possible men.

Explanation (explicare) literally means "to unfold, uncoil, unroll, unfurl, unclose," etc. what is already there. But with ampliation something new is added (in John of St. Thomas's example: what it means for a possible man to be just, etc.).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .