The Empiricism of Seventeenth-Century Aristotelianism

  • Marco SgarbiEmail author
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 32)


The first important seventeenth-century British Aristotelian was Samuel Smith. Anthony à Wood remembers him at Oxford as ‘the most accurate disputant and profound philosopher in the university’. It is undoubtedly true that ‘throughout the middle of the century the Aditus ad Logicam of Samuel Smith, fellow of Magdalen, was in vogue’. In fact, his brief compendium to logic had 11 editions in 80 years: as a matter of fact it was the most popular textbook of the century only after that of Robert Sanderson. The scholarship has always considered Smith as a syncretist, close to the Ramist positions; however, a careful examination of his handbook shows the strong influence of Zabarella and Pace on the Aditus, in which entire propositions taken from Zabarella are repeated, revised and expanded. Smith presents a large number of Zabarella’s views from an empiricist perspective, especially with regard to the theory of science and of method.


Scientific Knowledge Seventeenth Century Lunar Eclipse Hypothetical Syllogism Aristotelian Logic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MantovaItaly

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