Logic and Metaphysics in Vilnius during 16th–18th Centuries: The Most Important Sources of Vilnius Libraries


The aim of the article is to present the results of research conducted as part of the project Polonica Philosophica Orientalia: namely, to give an overview of the most important logical and metaphysical treatises (both manuscripts and printed editions) written in Vilnius between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries that are currently accessible in some of the Vilnius libraries. Although the research focused primarily on the Vilnius University Library and its  resources, some interesting results were also obtained while researching the Wróblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Most sources containing information about the state and the nature of metaphysical and logical investigations conducted in Vilnius during the period  discussed are the manuscripts of lecture courses delivered for the students of Vilnius University and other schools. The analysis of those manuscripts has revealed a strong and long-lasting influence of scholastic Aristotelianism in both logic and metaphysics. Namely, up to the mid-eighteenth century, the main questions discussed in logic were Aristotelian syllogism, the square of opposition and the medieval topics of semantical antinomies, modalities and supposition theory, while investigations into metaphysical issues were limited to commentaries on Aristotle’s theoretical treatises without seriously questioning their main theses. In the second part of the eighteenth century, a moderate shift towards subjectivism and psychologism was  observed in both of these disciplines. This was influenced by modern epistemologists (George Berkeley, John Locke and others). Logicians and metaphysicians of Vilnius University developed an interest in the topics of human understanding and cognition. However, this shift did not take a radical form – while the majority of eighteenth-century authors sought a combination of scholastic and modern ideas, a critical and even hostile stance towards modern philosophy and science is still noticeable in many of the analysed sources. An overview of the research supported by statistical data is followed by some preliminary remarks on how and where investigation of this topic might be continued in the future.

Biogram autora

Živilė Pabijutaitė, Vilnius University, Lithuania

Member of The Department of History of Philosophy and Analytic Philosophy at The Institute of Philosophy, Vilnius University. She specializes in the fields of traditional and non-classical logic, as well as Ancient and  Medieval philosophy. Currently is preparing PhD thesis on temporal logic.


Akademijos laurai (Laureae Academicae seu Liber continens ritum promovendi et catalogum promotorum ad gradum doctoratus, licentiatus, magisterii et baccalaureatus in alma Academia Vilnensi Soc. Iesu comparatus et ordinatus anno 1650), ed. M. Svirskas, I. Balčienė, Spindulys, Vilnius 1997.

Bartilius L., Logica, part 1: In universam Aristotelis philosophiam prooemium (1–42); part 2: Logica (42–458): 2.1: Disputatio de secundo actu intellectus (302–338); 2.2: Disputatio de scientia (339–458), VUB, F3 – 2067.

Billewicz T., Triplex philosophia rationalis, naturalis et moralis, VUB, III – 14771.

Boreyko J., Nauka o krasomówstwie z ksiąg M.T. Cicerona, VUB, IV – 22450.

Cesaris Cremonini Centensis In Schola Palavina Philosophi Primae Sedis De Intelligentiis Tractatus, VUB, F3 – 2015.

Dobsewicz B., Placita recentiorum philosophorum, VUB, IV – 20870.

Dobsewicz B., Praelectiones logicae, VUB, IV – 18201, 18710.

Działtowski D., Philosophia: Introductio ad universam philosophiam. Prolegomena dialecticae. Logica. Metaphysica, VUB, F3 – 432.

Działtowski D., Philosopia, VUB F3 – 432.

Dziewulski J., Lidius seu lapis philosophicus [...] Per cursu biennali consumando in Chodkiewiciano collegio crosensi Soc. Iesu anno 1742 in annum 1743, VUB, F1 – D34.

Excellentissimi Doctoris D. Cesaris Cremonini Centensis, In Gymnasio Palavino Papali Aristotelis philosophiam profitentis In secundum librum de anima Lectura incipit, VUB, F3 – 2057.

Gatey P., Cathechisme critique, moral et politique. A l′usuge des jeunes seigneurs polonois, qui apprennent la langue francoise par mr. L′able Pierre Gatey Ci-devant jesuite, 1774, VUB, IV – 22953.

Jonkus D., Būties problema F. Suarezo “Metafi zikos disputacijose” ir M. Smigleckio “Logikoje”, “Problemos” 1996, No. 50, p. 5–19.

Kiwillowicz L., Physica sive scientia naturalis. Ad mentem divi Thomae Aquinatis angelici ecclesiaeque doctoris in principiis Aristotelis veterum et recentiorum philosophorum secundum quod consonant sensui euisdem S. Doctoris, VUB, F3 – 880.

Kojelavičius K., Miscellanea rerum ad statum ecclesiasticum in Magno Lituaniae Ducatu pertinentium (VUB, III – 18483).

Kojelavičius K., Oculus ratione correctus... De vacuo (VUB, II – 2046).

Lemmonier P., Cursus Philosophicus. [Tomus I]. Finis Logicae quem in Harcuriano Collegio assecutus dictante celleberimo professore eregia Societate academia Le Monnier ejusdem disciplinum Metaphisicum inchoavi di decimo februarij anno Dni Mullesimo 739, VUB F3 – 809-1.

Liauksminas Ž., Praxis oratoria sive praecepta artis rhetoricae, quae ad componendam orationem scitu necessaria sunt, VUB, III – 7836.

Moygis M., Theses ethico-politicae, MAB, L-17/1100.

Olizarovius A.A., De politica hominum societate (VUB, PD – 1507).

Plečkaitis R., Č. Kremoninio traktatai Lietuvoje, “Problemos” 1969, No. 1 (3), p. 59.

Plečkaitis R., Lietuvos filosofijos istorija, t. 1: Kultūros, filosofijos ir meno institutas, Vilnius 2004, p. 31–45.

Skorulski A., Philosophia naturalis sive physica, VUB, IV – 21457.

Tylkowski W., Philosophia curiosa (VUB, U – 97268).

Valatka V., Pirmasis logikos amžius Lietuvoje: gnoseologinis universalijų teorijos lygmuo, “Logos” 2006, No. 46, p. 72–78.

Valatka V., Scholastinė logika Lietuvoje XVI a. antrojoje pusėje, doctoral dissertation, Vilnius 2001.

Załuski L., Universa philosophia (VUB, III – 8024).

Jak cytować
Pabijutaitė, Živilė. (2019). Logic and Metaphysics in Vilnius during 16th–18th Centuries: The Most Important Sources of Vilnius Libraries. Civitas. Studia Z Filozofii Polityki, 24, 117-134. https://doi.org/10.35757/CIV.2019.24.08