Paul of Venice, 'Logica magna': The Treatise on Insolubles
Read Stephen, Bartocci Barbara
Paul of Venice joined the Austin Friars at an early age and was sent by them from Padua to study at Oxford in 1390. When he returned, full of ideas and laden with books, he began his prodigious writing career with several books on logic, including the Logica Magna, which runs to some half a million words. The current volume contains the final treatise, on insolubles—that is, logical paradoxes. After surveying fifteen previous solutions, Paul develops his own, based on the idea that such propositions falsify themselves. Besides a critical edition of the Latin text, the volume also contains an English translation, a detailed commentary, excerpts from two other logical works of Paul’s, and a substantial introduction. The introduction describes the fourteenth-century background to Paul’s treatise; it also gives a detailed rebuttal of a recent claim that the Logica Magna is not by Paul because its content clashes with genuine works of his. All in all, the volume greatly enhances our understanding of the development of logic, in particular of the semantics of propositions, during a crucial century in its history.