• What conditions are in effect?  a fortiori
  • What comes first?  a priori – in time or causation.
  • What happened immediately before and after X? causation – a posteriori
    • did _ cause _? modus ponens/modus tollens
    • If _ is true, what cannot be true? contradiction (square of opposition)
    • Are _ and _ mutually exclusive, or can they coexist?  contrariety (square of opposition)
  • Ramification
    • What were/would be the effects if the choice is affirmative?
    • What were/would be the effects if the choice is negative
  • Final Cause
  • Efficient Cause
  • Sufficient and Necessary Cause

The laws of reason bound the possibilities of inference.

The activities of human reason:

  1. Simple Apprehension – Term
    1. sense perception – perception
    2. image – imagination
    3. abstraction – intuition
  2. Judgement – Proposition
    1. a connection of abstractions
    2. logical relationship of ideas
    3. truth or falsehood
  3. Inference – Conclusion
    1. deductive – universal
    2. inductive – particular

Formal Logic provides validity of an argument (terms, propositions and conclusions) as to their proper connection.

Propositional Logic and symbolic logic are abstractions of the relation of propositions through logical operators.

Material Logic examines the content of terms.

Research Paper

Occasionally we will be called upon to write a ‘Research Paper’.   Technically, this is not a ‘Thesis Paper’, but would be more akin to a ‘proof’ that could be included in a Thesis.

Below find a link to a sample paper done in the “Chicago Manual of Style” Format.   Link to

Research Plan I

Research Plan I – Friday Week 6

The research plan will eventually evolve into the arguments and grammatical material (logic and grammar) of the Thesis. Beginning with an invention sheet based on the Working Hypothesis, the student conducts an ‘A.N.I’ (affirmative, negative, interesting) assessment based on the Five Common Topics. These results, mostly questions, will indicate the direction of research.

The Five Common Topics are:


Arrange your questions by these categories, approaching each as a positive, a negative, and an ‘interesting’ aspect of the question.


Marcus Fabius Quintilian (35 A.D. – 98? A.D.) defines rhetoric as “a good man speaking well” .   The concerns of Rhetoric may be grouped into Aristotle’s three modes of invention:  Forensic, Epidiectic, and Political.



Picture of Rome
The Ancient City of Rome

The history of ancient Rome may be divided into the Kingdom, the Republic, and the Empire.

Roman government during the monarchy:

Penguin Atlas of World History Roman Monarchy

Roman Government of the Republic:

Penguin Atlas of World History Roman Republic

Interactive history from ‘Maps as History’

The Romans separate themselves from their Etruscan kings, with the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus, establishing the early Early Republic Timeline.

Of particular importance is the historic struggle of Rome to maintain its Republican ideal in the face of the pressures of a global empire.

Punic War
The Mediterranean at the time of the 2nd Punic War

The Roman Republic, in gaining control of Italy, finds itself facing Magna Graeca, followed by Carthage.  These wars bring Rome into contact with the entities to the east.  See The Conquest of the Mediterranean, a timeline covering the events leading to social upheaval in Rome.

The Fall of the Republic , a timeline covering the events between the slave wars and the assassination of Julius Caesar.

Examine a presentation concerning the ‘Social War’

social wars

Reading Guides for the Penguin edition of ‘Cicero: Selected Works’

Part I of the Second Philippic against Antony Cicero Reading Guide