I bought Principles of Logic in a London bookshop in 1983 for 1, and turned out to be one of my most valuable acquisitions. It is interesting for a number of reasons.


        It is an example in the purest form of a seminary manual of the traditional type, written in the modern age, yet uncontaminated by any modernistic prejudice.

        It is a well-written and clearly presented summary of traditional logic, from the neo-scholastic point of view.

        It is researched in a scholarly way and has many references to the Latin sources for medieval logic. Many of these (particularly Aristotle and Aquinas) are now available on the Web.

        It is a comprehensive guide to the state of Logic before the modern theory became widespread. Joyce supplies many references to nineteenth century sources on Logic, in English, French and German. Thought he never mentions (and doubtless never heard of Frege), he discusses many authorities (such as Uberweg, Jevons and Sigwart, whom we know or believe Frege had read).

        It is essentially a historical document. It was published in 1908, some thirty years after the publication of Frege's revolutionary Begriffschift, six years after Russell discovered the famous contradiction in Frege's system, and the very same year as Zermelo published a formalised version of Cantor's set theory in Peirce-Schroder notation. But Joyce's summary of modern logic does not mention these things at all. It shows how our view of the past, which reflects our history of the past, may not have been shared by those who were actually living in the past [N1].



The book was first published in 1908, by Longmans. I have used material from the third edition, published as late as 1949 (being the first four chapters, and part of the seventh chapter).


I know little about its author, George Hayward Joyce, except for his dates (1864-1943) and that his name appears on the Nihil Obstat of another neo-scholastic work, as censor deputatus of the diocese of Southwark. If anyone who has further information about Joyce, would like to contact me, I would be grateful.


[edit: 16 March 2013]. A link to this obituary in the Catholic Herald, 19th November 1943, was sent to me by a Logic Museum reader. "Eleven days after keeping the fiftieth anniversary of his entrance into the Society of Jesus, Father George Hayward Joyce died somewhat suddenly on Monday at Heythrop College". Joyce was a convert to Catholicism, his father being vicar of Harrow-on-the-Hill. He was educated at Charterhouse then Oriel. He was a novice of the Society of Jesus at Roehampton (probably at Manresa House where Gerard Manley Hopkins also stayed). "He was ordained in 1903 and the following year became Professor of Logic and Epistemology at St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, where he wrote, The Principles of Logic, his first book. Later he was at Heythrop College, where he was Prefect of Studies and Dean of the Faculty of Theology. (Many of the texts in the Logic Museum were sourced from originals in the Heythrop library).




Title Page and Author's Introduction




1. Definition of Logic

2. Divisions of Logic

3. The Place of Logic in Philosophy

4. The Scope of Logic

5. The History of Logic





1. The Concept

2. Repugnant Concepts

3. Adequate, Clear and Obscure Concepts

4. The Name and the Term

5. Categorematic and Syncategorematic Words

6. Divisions of Terms

7. Singular, General and Collective Terms

8. Abstract and Concrete Terms

9. Connotative and Non-Connotative Terms

10. Positive and Negative Terms

11. Absolute and Relative Terms

12. Terms of First and Second Intention

13. Univocal, Equivocal and Analogous Terms

14. Opposition of Terms

15. The 'Suppositio' of the Term




1. The Proposition

2. Analysis of the Judgment

3. Quality of Propositions

4. Quantity of Propositions

5. The Fourfold Scheme of Propositions

6. Analytic and Synthetic Propositions

7. Complex Propositions

8. Compound Categorical Propositions

9. Modal Propositions

10. Reduction of Propositions to Logical Form

11. Hypothetical Propositions

12. Disjunctive Propositions





1. The Laws of Thought.

2. The Law of Contradiction

3. The Law of Identity

4. The Law of Excluded Middle

5. Other Views as to the Source of the Laws of Thought





1. Import of Propositions - Predicative view

2. The Class Inclusion View

3. The Attributive View

4. Implication of Existence




[N1] As Austin acutely observed (in the introduction to his translation of the Grundgesetze), we tend to forget that Frege's inherited philosophical vocabulary is a dated one. It is the same vocabulary that which was rendered into English by his contemporaries, the "British Idealists" (such as "idea" for Vorstellung and "proposition" for Satz). Frege's thought cannot be reproduced accurately, nor can his ideas be translated consistently, unless we understand the philosophical language of his time.


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Copyright E.D.Buckner 2005, 2013.