Simplex sigillum veri: Peano, Frege, and Peirce on the Primitives of Logic

Francesco Bellucci*, Amirouche Moktefi, Ahti Veikko Pietarinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a reconstruction of the constellation of problems and philosophical positions on the nature and number of the primitives of logic in four authors of the nineteenth century logical scene: Peano, Padoa, Frege and Peirce. We argue that the proposed reconstruction forces us to recognize that it is in at least four different senses that a notation can be said to be simpler than another, and we trace the origins of these four senses in the writings of these authors. We conclude that Frege, and even more so Peirce, developed new notations not to make drawing logical conclusions easier but in order to answer the needs of logical analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-95
Number of pages16
JournalHistory and Philosophy of Logic
Issue number1
Early online date31 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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