The Probabilistic Logic of Eusebius Amort (1692-1775)

In: Early Science and Medicine


While classical sources including Aristotle, Cicero and Boëthius addressed different notions of probability, medieval contributions to probability (other than epistemic probability) seem rather scarce. The situation changes during the Second Scholasticism with the post-Tridentine debates on “probable opinion” in moral theology and the introduction of “moral necessity” and “moral implication” (tied to the ideas of frequency, stochastic processes, and propensity) in the debates on compatibilism and theological optimism. The eighteenth-century transformation of scholastic philosophy was marked, among other characteristics, by a gravitation towards the early modern scientific revolution. In his Philosophia Pollingana ad normam Burgundicae, the renowned moral theologian Eusebius Amort (1692-1775) addressed the basic issues of probabilistic logic from the philosophical, logical, and mathematical points of view in an attempt to synthesise earlier scholastic conceptual analyses of probability and probabilistic epistemic logic with the cutting-edge mathematical calculus introduced by Jacob Bernoulli.

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