Why Are There No Conditionals in Aristotle’s Logic?

Journal of the History of Philosophy 53 (2):185-205 (2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Aristotle presents a formal logic in the Prior Analytics in which the premises and conclusions are never conditionals. In this paper I argue that he did not simply overlook conditionals, nor does their absence reflect a metaphysical prejudice on his part. Instead, he thinks that arguments with conditionals cannot be syllogisms because of the way he understands the explanatory requirement in the definition of a syllogism: the requirement that the conclusion follow because of the premises. The key passage is Prior Analytics I.32, 47a22–40, where Aristotle considers an argument with conditionals that we would consider valid, but which he denies is a syllogism. I argue that Aristotle thinks that to meet the explanatory requirement a syllogism must draw its conclusion through the way its terms are predicated of one another. Because arguments with conditionals do not, in general, draw their conclusions through predications, he did not include them in his logic.
No keywords specified (fix it)
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2017-03-15
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
776 ( #8,379 of 70,145 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
99 ( #7,343 of 70,145 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.