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Logic of the Fall

Right Reason and [Im]pure Reason in Milton’s "Paradise Lost</I>

Richard Arnold

Logic of the Fall is the first book to examine the formal logical properties of central speeches and dialogues in Paradise Lost, according to John Milton’s formulae, principles, and concerns in his own Art of Logic. In so doing, this book offers unconventional but cogent readings of this poem’s central issues: the respective roles and responsibilities of Adam and Eve; the method of Satan’s engineering of the Fall (and on who falls first); the causative properties of the Fall and the issue of culpability; and Milton’s ultimate legacy for his readership. The Fall of humankind in Paradise Lost is not due to passion or will over reason, but rather to «pure reason» over «right reason.»