K. C. F. Krause: The Combinatorian as Logician


  • Uwe Meixner




In a time which it is not amiss to term “the Dark Ages of logic”, Karl Christian Friedrich Krause stayed not only true to logic but actually did something for its advancement. Besides making systematic use of Venn-diagrams long before Venn, Krause — once more taking his inspiration from Leibniz — propounded what appears to be the first completely symbolic systematic representation of logical forms, strongly suggestive of the powerful symbolic languages that have become the mainstay of logic since the beginning of the 20th century. However, Krause’s limits in logic are also clearly visible: Krause’s method in logic is, in the main, not axiomatic; it is combinatorial (in other words, it consists in systematically producing finite lists of logical laws, following some organizational principle). More importantly, Krause remained entirely within the confines of traditional syllogistics (his flirt with “quantification of the predicate” notwithstanding), neglecting propositional logic and, of course, first-order relational terms.


Bochenski, J. M. 1962. Formale Logik. Freiburg: Alber.

Kneale, W.; Kneale, M. 1988. The Development of Logic. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Krause, K. C. F. 1803. Grundriss der historischen Logik [First Grounds of Historical Logic]. Jena and Leipzig: Gabler.

—. 1812. Lehrbuch der Combinationlehre und der Arithmetik [Textbook of Combinatorics and Arithmetic]. Dresden: Arnold’sche Buchhandlung.

—. 1828. Abriss des Systemes der Logik als philosophischer Wissenschaft [Outline of the System of Logic as a Philosophical Science]. Göttingen: In Commission der Dieterich’schen Buchhandlung.



How to Cite

Meixner, Uwe. 2022. “K. C. F. Krause: The Combinatorian As Logician”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (2). https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.2022.3589.



Special Issue - The Philosophy and Theology of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause