Martinus Smiglecius

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Martinus Smiglecius (another Latin variant: Martinus Leopolitanus, also Polish: Marcin Śmiglecki, Lithuanian: Martynas Smigleckis;[1] 11 November 1564 – 26 or 28 July 1618) was a Polish Jesuit philosopher and logician,[2][3] known for his erudite scholastic Logica.


He was born on 11 November 1564[4] in Lwów (Leopolis) in the Kingdom of Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine). He used the surname Lwowczyk, or Leopolitanus, and later adopted the name Smiglecius (after the town of Smigle, from which his family originated). He attended the Jesuit school in Pułtusk and until 1586 studied in Rome, where he joined the Jesuit order in 1581. His education was financed by the prominent Polish statesman Jan Zamojski. He obtained a master's degree in philosophy and a doctor's degree in theology at the Academy of Vilnius, and taught philosophy and theology there.[5]

In 1599 he took part in a public disputation with the Protestants Marcin Janicki and Daniel Mikołajewski. It was recorded by Martin Gratian Gertich.[6]

He spent the last 20 years of his life teaching in the colleges of Pułtusk, Poznań, Kraków and Kalisz. He died in Kalisz on 26 or 28 July 1618.[5][4]


His major works include:[5]

  • De fenore et contractu redimibili, censibus, communi quaestu, conductionibus, locationibus et monopolio brevis doctrina, first published in Polish as O Lichwie (On Usury) (Vilnae, 1596)[7][5]
  • Nodus Gordius sive de Vocatione Ministrorum disputatio (Cracoviae, 1609)
  • Nova monstra novi Arianismi (Nissae, 1612)
  • Logica (Ingolstadt, 1618)

The Logica[edit]

Marcin Śmiglecki's "Logica", first published in 1618 in Ingolstadt, was reprinted several times, in particular at Oxford in 1634, 1638, and 1658,[5] being used there as a textbook.[8] It harked back to Gregory of Rimini, discussing mental propositions.[9] As a textbook author his reputation survived in the satirical poem The Logicians Refuted,[10] 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."[11]


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.[12]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Schmitt, C. B.; Skinner, Quentin, eds. (1988). The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. p. 158. ISBN 9781139055420.
  3. ^ Haaparanta, Leila, ed. (2008). The Development of Modern Logic. Oxford University Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0195137316.
  4. ^ a b "Śmiglecki Marcin, Encyklopedia PWN". (in Polish). PWN. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e Roncaglia, Gino. Smiglecius on entia rationis (PDF). pp. 1–4.
  6. ^ Edmund de Schweinitz, History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum Or the Unity of the Brethren (1885), note p. 473.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ R. J. Ashworth, Traditional Logic, pp. 160-1 in Charles B. Schmitt, Quentin Skinner (editors), The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (1990).
  10. ^ s:The Logicians Refuted
  11. ^
  12. ^ Paolo Mancosu, Philosophy of Mathematics and Mathematical Practice in the Seventeenth Century (1996), p. 13 and p. 19.