A 17th-century debate on the consequentia mirabilis
- ISSN: 01445340
- DOI: 10.1080/01445349208837193
In modern times the so-called "consequentia mirabilis" (If (if not-P,then P), then P) was first enthusiastically applied and commented upon by Cardano (1570) and Clavius (1574). Of later passages where it occurs Saccheri's use (1697) has drawn a good deal of attention. It is less known that about the middle of the 17th century this remarkable mode of arguing became the subject of an interesting debate, in which the Belgian mathematician Andreas Tacquet and Christiaan Huygens were the main representatives of opposite views concerning its probative force. In this article the several phases and moves of that debate are delineated.