Saturday, September 05, 2020


This is charming. William Barnes's An Outline of Rede-Craft (1880) gives a summary of basic Aristotelian logic using an Anglo-Saxon rather than latinate vocabulary (it does use the latinate version when first introducing the Anglo-Saxon vocabulary, so you don't have to guess). The predicables (p. 1):

Speech-matters (praedicabilia) are

1. Kind (genus).

2. Hue (species).

3. Odds (differentia).

4. Selfihood (proprium).

5. Haplihood (accidens).

'Haplihood' for accident is good. The categories (p. 8):

Rede-matters (praedicamenta) are,

1. Thing or being (substantia).

2. Muchness (quantitas).

3. Suchness (qualitas).

4. Twin suchness (relatio).

5. Time-taking (actio).

6. Time-giving (passio).

7. Where (ubi).

8. When (quando).

9. Self-having (situs).

10. Self-having with otherwhat (habitus).

'Twin suchness' is not a particularly good choice for relatio; 'backdrawing' or 'to-ness' would probably be better. I'm also not sure why we get 'time-taking' rather than 'doing'; and while it's harder to find an alternative to 'time-giving', 'following' would probably be closer etymologically to passio. (The 'time', I think, is trying to tie the terms to change, though; if so, I think 'timing', which originally meant a happening, would be better for passio than time-giving, which sounds too active.) 'Lying' would be better than 'self-having' for situs and 'shoeing' would be better for habitus, although I like the parallel created between 'self-having' and 'self-having with otherwhat', which I think recognizes something genuine.

On syllogistic argument (p. 23):

Wrangling is mostly by syllogism, a three-stepped rede-ship, or a rede-ship of three thought-puttings.

1. The head or first step (major propositio).

2. The under or middle step (minor propositio), and

3. The upshot or last step (conclusio)....

And, of course, kinds of rede-ship are organized according to shape and to the muchness and suchness of their thought-puttings.