Universiteit Leiden

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Dissertation

Boethius and the Importance of Basic Logic and Mathematics for Philosophy

In this dissertation, Boethius’ mathematics and logic and their roles in philosophy are reassessed, and on the basis of these, the connections between mathematics and logic in Boethius and their applications to theological or philosophical topics are explored.

Author
Wang Qi
Date
06 March 2014

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480-525 A.D.) is regarded as a great thinker of the early Middle Ages. Indeed, Boethius is a man of immense erudition and his works touch upon many philosophical fields, including mathematics, logic and theology. In Boethius’ classification system, mathematics and theology belong to speculative philosophy, and logic is both a part of philosophy and an instrument of philosophy. However, scholars from different fields tend to focus only on the part of Boethius’ thoughts that relate to their own disciplines. The result is a lack of understanding Boethius as a whole.

In this dissertation, Boethius’ mathematics and logic and their roles in philosophy are reassessed, and on the basis of these, the connections between mathematics and logic in Boethius and their applications to theological or philosophical topics are explored. However, the focus will note be on the applications of Boethius' mathematical and logical knowledge, but on his basic ideas of arithmetic and music, and basic logic including knowledge of categories, theories of division and definition

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