In the Beginning
Although early schools expressed an interest in coherent philosophy, the use of 'coherent' as a term in philosophical logic has only emerged recently.
Early instances of 'coherent' in the sense of categories and 'worlds' or 'elements' include the following:
1. Pre-Socratics held views in which the world was constituted of one or another element: 'elementalism'. Thales believed the world was made of water, and Democritus generalized the view that the world was made entirely of one 'principle substance'.
2. Plato extended the general principle of atomics into the general existence of ideas-as-substance: The Forms.
3. Aristotle introduced the word 'Meta-Physika' to express the general study of something more elemental than either substance or idea.
After the Greek period, Aristotle's logic was widely used in the areas of logical deduction and logical induction.
Several key developments occurred in direct relation to this:
1. Proofs and paradoxes were developed, especially Zeno's 40 Paradoxes (most lost), Aquinas' proofs of God, and the mathematical belief in Incompleteness (Godel, Tarski, Russell).
2. Venn developed a special form of diagram to show relations of part-to-whole. These were later used widely in business organization and creative writing. However, the method remained fundamentally unchanged.
3. A number of philosophical manuals were written which proposed systems of organization. Epictetus' The Enchiridion was written during Roman times. Wittgentein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus put mathematical organization on central stage in a highly conscious way.
Overall, these were critical developments. However, the later logic differed significantly from the cohesive quality of what now might be called 'objective metaphysics'. And further, during the 1900's, the world was going through a linguistic stage, which added confusion, and syntacticized what might otherwise develop logically or mathematically. And, as stated before, mathematics went through an incoherent trial of passage that threatened to make geometry paradoxically, 'un-tractable'.
A Period of Dissapointment
In the late 20th century, thinkers were struggling with the implications of Russell's paradox, and Godel's Incompleteness theorem, as well as tackling the problem of 'locating logic' within language. To some extent the interest in objective metaphysics was lost. And, moreover, deductive logic had been religiously linked to metaphysics specifically, leaving a rancorous feeling of old frustrations and perhaps some neglected problems.
Rescher (in his Coherent Metaphysics) and Popper (in his Objective Knowledge) were confronted with overwhelming difficulties, as Aristotelian logic and linguistic formalism appeared to be exaggerated giants, compatible with solving new, trivial problems, but none of the 'classical' ones.
As it turned out, all problems were classical. These thinkers emerged too early to apply the technological metaphor and mechanize the processes of knowledge.
However, key ideas emerged. Popper conceived that systems could be treated as external objects, under the understanding that human problems were external to the proposition of any form of logic. That is, it was not important to introduce aspects like starvation and murder, unless these things were proposed in a manner that was understandable. Certainly these things (human problems) did not constitute 'logic' in themselves. Rescher, on the other hand, realized that metaphysics could constitute a form of logic. Unfortunately for these gentleman, their ideas were most highly realized by other people: the Modal Realists, specialists who had harped upon the idea of reforming logic in any new, available way. Importantly, modal realism lacked a method of coherency. They were even at the point of declaring that coherency was itself unnecessary. This was a fundamental rejection of metaphysics as it had been known before. But it accepted neither Rescher's nor Popper's new insights: that metaphysics could be a logical system, and that human problems were external to logic.
The New Avant-Garde
Unbeknownst to the world, a new theory was emerging, which was neither subjective in the sense of Kant, nor a mere linguistic theory in the sense of Hegel or Derrida.
The new theory was based on information.
Although in the works of Floridi this theory was functionalist and bordered on a political ideology, in the works of Coppedge, information science was turned towards the old problem of metaphysical logic, using the insights of Rescher and Popper.
In The Dimensional Philosopher's Toolkit (2013), Coppedge explained a method of categorical deduction which applied a Venn concept to a deductive method. The result was, unlike any prior system, exponential, geometric, and qualia-based.
Although not metaphysical in the sense of having an ideology, Coppedge's use of opposite categories, a kind of Kantian logic that Kant himself did not have, promised to re-frame the concept of coherent theory into a new orientation, what might be called 'coherent meaning'.