Martinus Smiglecius

Martinus Smiglecius (another Latin variant: Martinus Leopolitanus, also Polish: Marcin Śmiglecki, Lithuanian: Martynas Smigleckis;[1] 11 November 1564 – 26 July 1618) was a Polish Jesuit philosopher, known for his erudite scholastic Logica, Ingolstadt 1618.


He was born in Lvov c. 1564. He used the surname Lwowczyk, or Leopolitanus, and then later adopted the name Smiglecius (from Szmigel) because of his family background.[2]

After study in Rome, he returned in 1586 to the University of Vilnius. He wrote also a book on economics, O Lichwie (On Usury) (1596).[3] In 1599 he took part in a public disputation with the Protestants Marcin Janicki and Daniel Mikołajewski. It was recorded by Martin Gratian Gertich.[4]

The Logica

Marcin Śmiglecki's "Logica", first published in 1618 in Cracow, was reprinted several times, in particular at Oxford in 1634,[5] in 1638[6] and in 1658,[7][8] being used there as a textbook.[9] It harked back to Gregory of Rimini, discussing mental propositions.[10] As a textbook author his reputation survived in the satirical poem The Logicians Refuted,[11] attributed to both Jonathan Swift and Oliver Goldsmith. Samuel Johnson, writing in 1751 as a fictitious correspondent in The Rambler, claimed that as a student he "slept every night with Smiglecius on my pillow."[12]


In a live controversy of the time, Smiglecius sided with Benedictus Pereyra against Giuseppe Biancani. The issue was the status of mathematical proof in physics, where Pereyra denied mathematics an essential status.[13]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gino Roncaglia, Smiglecius on entia rationis (PDF)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Edmund de Schweinitz, History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum Or the Unity of the Brethren (1885), note p. 473.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Śmiglecki, Marcin. Logica Martini Smiglecii: Selectis Disputationibus & Quæstionibus Illustrata. Oxoniæ: Excudebat Guil, 1638. Print.
  7. ^ Śmiglecki, Marcin. Logica Martini Smiglecii Societatis Iesv, S. Theologiae Doctoris: Selectis Disputationibus & Quaestionibus Illustrata Et in Duos Tomos Distributa : in Qua Quicquid in Aristotelico Organo Vel Cognitu Necessarium ... : Cum Indice Rerum Copioso. Oxonii: Excudebat A. Lichfield ... impensis H. Crypps, J. Godwin & R. Blagrave, 1658
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ R. J. Ashworth, Traditional Logic, pp. 160-1 in Charles B. Schmitt, Quentin Skinner (editors), The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (1990).
  11. ^ s:The Logicians Refuted
  12. ^
  13. ^ Paolo Mancosu, Philosophy of Mathematics and Mathematical Practice in the Seventeenth Century (1996), p. 13 and p. 19.

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