“My ultimate and most important goal,” says Huaping Lu-Adler, is to explain “Kant's account of logic as a ‘science’ in the strict sense of the term—that is, as an exhaustive and a priori proven system of the merely formal rules of thought” (5).

The explanation involves a wide-ranging history of philosophical logic. Two of the five chapters cover the development of logic from Aristotle to Christian Wolff. There are learned discussions of Epicurus and Seneca; Boethius, Avicenna, and Averroes; Bacon, Locke, and Leibniz—and many more. A third chapter, on Kant's intellectual development during the 1760s and 1770s, also considers Knutzen, Baumgarten, and Meier.

Reasons for this unusual approach are given in a separate chapter on the historiography of philosophy. Here too there's a long history to consider. The ancient Eclectics of Alexandria come into it, with their modern descendants—Thomasius, Diderot, Cousin, and others. Their method, as she explains it, was...

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