ABSTRACT: For the Stoics, a syllogism is a formally valid argument; the primary function of their syllogistic is to establish such formal validity. Stoic syllogistic is a system of formal logic that relies on two types of argumental rules: (i) 5 rules (the accounts of the indemonstrables) which determine whether any given argument is an indemonstrable argument, i.e. an elementary syllogism the validity of which is not in need of further demonstration; (ii) one unary and three binary argumental (...) rules which establish the formal validity of non-indemonstrable arguments by analysing them in one or more steps into one or more indemonstrable arguments (cut type rules and antilogism). The function of these rules is to reduce given non-indemonstrable arguments to indemonstrable syllogisms. Moreover, the Stoic method of deduction differs from standard modern ones in that the direction is reversed (similar to tableau methods). The Stoic system may hence be called an argumental reductive system of deduction. In this paper, a reconstruction of this system of logic is presented, and similarities to relevance logic are pointed out. (shrink)
In the paper we examine the method of axiomatic rejection used to describe the set of nonvalid formulae of Aristotle's syllogistic. First we show that the condition which the system of syllogistic has to fulfil to be ompletely axiomatised, is identical to the condition for any first order theory to be used as a logic program. Than we study the connection between models used or refutation in a first order theory and rejected axioms for that theory. We show (...) that any formula of syllogistic enriched with classical connectives is decidable using models in the domain with three members. (shrink)
In the present article we attempt to show that Aristotle's syllogistic is an underlying logiC which includes a natural deductive system and that it isn't an axiomatic theory as had previously been thought. We construct a mathematical model which reflects certain structural aspects of Aristotle's logic. We examine the relation of the model to the system of logic envisaged in scattered parts of Prior and Posterior Analytics. Our interpretation restores Aristotle's reputation as a logician of consummate imagination and skill. (...) Several attributions of shortcomings and logical errors to Aristotle are shown to be without merit. Aristotle's logic is found to be self-sufficient in several senses: his theory of deduction is logically sound in every detail. (His indirect deductions have been criticized, but incorrectly on our account.) Aristotle's logic presupposes no other logical concepts, not even those of propositional logic. The Aristotelian system is seen to be complete in the sense that every valid argument expressible in his system admits of a deduction within his deductive system: every semantically valid argument is deducible. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This paper traces the evidence in Galen's Introduction to Logic (Institutio Logica) for a hypothetical syllogistic which predates Stoic propositional logic. It emerges that Galen is one of our main witnesses for such a theory, whose authors are most likely Theophrastus and Eudemus. A reconstruction of this theory is offered which - among other things - allows to solve some apparent textual difficulties in the Institutio Logica.
The question as to what makes a perfect Aristotelian syllogism a perfect one has long been discussed by Aristotelian scholars. G. Patzig was the first to point the way to a correct answer: it is the evidence of the logical necessity that is the special feature of perfect syllogisms. Patzig moreover claimed that the evidence of a perfect syllogism can be seen for Barbara in the transitivity of the a-relation. However, this explanation would give Barbara a different status over the (...) other three first figure syllogisms. I argue that, taking into account the role of the being-contained-as-in-a-whole formulation, transitivity can be seen to be present in all four first figure syllogisms. Using this wording will put the negation sign with the predicate, similar to the notation in modern predicate calculus. (shrink)
The paper examines Posterior Analytics II 11, 94a20-36 and makes three points. (1) The confusing formula ‘given what things, is it necessary for this to be’ [τίνων ὄντων ἀνάγκη τοῦτ᾿ εἶναι] at a21-22 introduces material cause, not syllogistic necessity. (2) When biological material necessitation is the only causal factor, Aristotle is reluctant to formalize it in syllogistic terms, and this helps to explain why, in II 11, he turns to geometry in order to illustrate a kind of material (...) cause that can be expressed as the middle term of an explanatory syllogism. (3) If geometrical proof is viewed as a complex construction built on simpler constructions, it can in effect be described as a case of purely material constitution. (shrink)
I use the Corcoran–Smiley interpretation of Aristotle's syllogistic as my starting point for an examination of the syllogistic from the vantage point of modern proof theory. I aim to show that fresh logical insights are afforded by a proof-theoretically more systematic account of all four figures. First I regiment the syllogisms in the Gentzen–Prawitz system of natural deduction, using the universal and existential quantifiers of standard first-order logic, and the usual formalizations of Aristotle's sentence-forms. I explain how the (...)syllogistic is a fragment of my system of Core Logic. Then I introduce my main innovation: the use of binary quantifiers, governed by introduction and elimination rules. The syllogisms in all four figures are re-proved in the binary system, and are thereby revealed as all on a par with each other. I conclude with some comments and results about grammatical generativity, ecthesis, perfect validity, skeletal validity and Aristotle's chain principle. (shrink)
This paper sets out to evaluate the claim that Aristotle’s Assertoric Syllogistic is a relevance logic or shows significant similarities with it. I prepare the grounds for a meaningful comparison by extracting the notion of relevance employed in the most influential work on modern relevance logic, Anderson and Belnap’s Entailment. This notion is characterized by two conditions imposed on the concept of validity: first, that some meaning content is shared between the premises and the conclusion, and second, that the (...) premises of a proof are actually used to derive the conclusion. Turning to Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, I argue that there is evidence that Aristotle’s Assertoric Syllogistic satisfies both conditions. Moreover, Aristotle at one point explicitly addresses the potential harmfulness of syllogisms with unused premises. Here, I argue that Aristotle’s analysis allows for a rejection of such syllogisms on formal grounds established in the foregoing parts of the Prior Analytics. In a final section I consider the view that Aristotle distinguished between validity on the one hand and syllogistic validity on the other. Following this line of reasoning, Aristotle’s logic might not be a relevance logic, since relevance is part of syllogistic validity and not, as modern relevance logic demands, of general validity. I argue that the reasons to reject this view are more compelling than the reasons to accept it and that we can, cautiously, uphold the result that Aristotle’s logic is a relevance logic. (shrink)
How does Aristotle think about sentences like ‘Every x is y’ in the Prior Analytics? A recently popular answer conceives of these sentences as expressing a mereological relationship between x and y: the sentence is true just in case x is, in some sense, a part of y. I argue that the motivations for this interpretation have so far not been compelling. I provide a new justification for the mereological interpretation. First, I prove a very general algebraic soundness and completeness (...) result that unifies the most important soundness and completeness results to date. Then I argue that this result vindicates the mereological interpretation. In contrast to previous interpretations, this argument shows how Aristotle’s conception of predication in mereological terms can do important logical work. (shrink)
The paper shows that for any invalid polysyllogism there is a procedure for constructing a model with a domain with exactly three members and an interpretation that assigns non-empty, non-universal subsets of the domain to terms such that the model invalidates the polysyllogism.
Abstract. Aristotelian assertoric syllogistic, which is currently of growing interest, has attracted the attention of the founders of modern logic, who approached it in several (semantical and syntactical) ways. Further approaches were introduced later on. These approaches (with few exceptions) are here discussed, developed and interrelated. Among other things, di-erent facets of soundness, completeness, decidability and independence are investigated. Speci/cally arithmetization (Leibniz), algebraization (Leibniz and Boole), and Venn models (Euler and Venn) are closely examined. All proofs are simple. In (...) particular there is no recourse to maximal nor minimal conditions (with only one, dispensable, exception), which makes the long awaited deciphering of the enigmatic Leibniz characteristic numbers possible. The problem was how to look at matters from the right perspective. (shrink)
Since the time of Aristotle's students, interpreters have considered Prior Analytics to be a treatise about deductive reasoning, more generally, about methods of determining the validity and invalidity of premise-conclusion arguments. People studied Prior Analytics in order to learn more about deductive reasoning and to improve their own reasoning skills. These interpreters understood Aristotle to be focusing on two epistemic processes: first, the process of establishing knowledge that a conclusion follows necessarily from a set of premises (that is, on the (...) epistemic process of extracting information implicit in explicitly given information) and, second, the process of establishing knowledge that a conclusion does not follow. Despite the overwhelming tendency to interpret the syllogistic as formal epistemology, it was not until the early 1970s that it occurred to anyone to think that Aristotle may have developed a theory of deductive reasoning with a well worked-out system of deductions comparable in rigor and precision with systems such as propositional logic or equational logic familiar from mathematical logic. When modern logicians in the 1920s and 1930s first turned their attention to the problem of understanding Aristotle's contribution to logic in modern terms, they were guided both by the Frege-Russell conception of logic as formal ontology and at the same time by a desire to protect Aristotle from possible charges of psychologism. They thought they saw Aristotle applying the informal axiomatic method to formal ontology, not as making the first steps into formal epistemology. They did not notice Aristotle's description of deductive reasoning. Ironically, the formal axiomatic method (in which one explicitly presents not merely the substantive axioms but also the deductive processes used to derive theorems from the axioms) is incipient in Aristotle's presentation. Partly in opposition to the axiomatic, ontically-oriented approach to Aristotle's logic and partly as a result of attempting to increase the degree of fit between interpretation and text, logicians in the 1970s working independently came to remarkably similar conclusions to the effect that Aristotle indeed had produced the first system of formal deductions. They concluded that Aristotle had analyzed the process of deduction and that his achievement included a semantically complete system of natural deductions including both direct and indirect deductions. Where the interpretations of the 1920s and 1930s attribute to Aristotle a system of propositions organized deductively, the interpretations of the 1970s attribute to Aristotle a system of deductions, or extended deductive discourses, organized epistemically. The logicians of the 1920s and 1930s take Aristotle to be deducing laws of logic from axiomatic origins; the logicians of the 1970s take Aristotle to be describing the process of deduction and in particular to be describing deductions themselves, both those deductions that are proofs based on axiomatic premises and those deductions that, though deductively cogent, do not establish the truth of the conclusion but only that the conclusion is implied by the premise-set. Thus, two very different and opposed interpretations had emerged, interestingly both products of modern logicians equipped with the theoretical apparatus of mathematical logic. The issue at stake between these two interpretations is the historical question of Aristotle's place in the history of logic and of his orientation in philosophy of logic. This paper affirms Aristotle's place as the founder of logic taken as formal epistemology, including the study of deductive reasoning. A by-product of this study of Aristotle's accomplishments in logic is a clarification of a distinction implicit in discourses among logicians--that between logic as formal ontology and logic as formal epistemology. (shrink)
Demonstrative logic, the study of demonstration as opposed to persuasion, is the subject of Aristotle's two-volume Analytics. Many examples are geometrical. Demonstration produces knowledge (of the truth of propositions). Persuasion merely produces opinion. Aristotle presented a general truth-and-consequence conception of demonstration meant to apply to all demonstrations. According to him, a demonstration, which normally proves a conclusion not previously known to be true, is an extended argumentation beginning with premises known to be truths and containing a chain of reasoning showing (...) by deductively evident steps that its conclusion is a consequence of its premises. In particular, a demonstration is a deduction whose premises are known to be true. Aristotle's general theory of demonstration required a prior general theory of deduction presented in the Prior Analytics. His general immediate-deduction-chaining conception of deduction was meant to apply to all deductions. According to him, any deduction that is not immediately evident is an extended argumentation that involves a chaining of intermediate immediately evident steps that shows its final conclusion to follow logically from its premises. To illustrate his general theory of deduction, he presented an ingeniously simple and mathematically precise special case traditionally known as the categorical syllogistic. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: An introduction to Stoic logic. Stoic logic can in many respects be regarded as a fore-runner of modern propositional logic. I discuss: 1. the Stoic notion of sayables or meanings (lekta); the Stoic assertibles (axiomata) and their similarities and differences to modern propositions; the time-dependency of their truth; 2.-3. assertibles with demonstratives and quantified assertibles and their truth-conditions; truth-functionality of negations and conjunctions; non-truth-functionality of disjunctions and conditionals; language regimentation and ‘bracketing’ devices; Stoic basic principles of propositional logic; 4. (...) Stoic modal logic; 5. Stoic theory of arguments: two premisses requirement; validity and soundness; 6. Stoic syllogistic or theory of formally valid arguments: a reconstruction of the Stoic deductive system, which consisted of accounts of five types of indemonstrable syllogisms, which function as nullary argumental rules that identify indemonstrables or axioms of the system, and four deductive rules (themata) by which certain complex arguments can be reduced to indemonstrables and thus shown to be formally valid themselves; 7. arguments that were considered as non-syllogistically valid (subsyllogistic and unmethodically concluding arguments). Their validity was explained by recourse to formally valid arguments. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Alexander of Aphrodisias’ commentaries on Aristotle’s Organon are valuable sources for both Stoic and early Peripatetic logic, and have often been used as such – in particular for early Peripatetic hypothetical syllogistic and Stoic propositional logic. By contrast, this paper explores the role Alexander himself played in the development and transmission of those theories. There are three areas in particular where he seems to have made a difference: First, he drew a connection between certain passages from Aristotle’s Topics (...) and Prior Analytics and the Stoic indemonstrable arguments, and, based on this connection, appropriated at least four kinds of Stoic indemonstrables as Aristotelian. Second, he developed and made use of a specifically Peripatetic terminology in which to describe and discuss those arguments – which facilitated the integration of the indemonstrables into Peripatetic logic. Third, he made some progress towards a solution to the problem of what place and interpretation the Stoic third indemonstrables should be given in a Peripatetic and Platonist setting. Overall, the picture emerges that Alexander persistently (if not always consistently) presented passages from Aristotle’s logical œuvre in a light that makes it appear as if Aristotle was in the possession of a Peripatetic correlate to the Stoic theory of indemonstrables. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: A detailed presentation of Stoic theory of arguments, including truth-value changes of arguments, Stoic syllogistic, Stoic indemonstrable arguments, Stoic inference rules (themata), including cut rules and antilogism, argumental deduction, elements of relevance logic in Stoic syllogistic, the question of completeness of Stoic logic, Stoic arguments valid in the specific sense, e.g. "Dio says it is day. But Dio speaks truly. Therefore it is day." A more formal and more detailed account of the Stoic theory of deduction can (...) be found in S. Bobzien, Stoic Syllogistic, OSAP 1996. (shrink)
This interesting and imaginative monograph is based on the author’s PhD dissertation supervised by Saul Kripke. It is dedicated to Timothy Smiley, whose interpretation of PRIOR ANALYTICS informs its approach. As suggested by its title, this short work demonstrates conclusively that Aristotle’s syllogistic is a suitable vehicle for fruitful discussion of contemporary issues in logical theory. Aristotle’s syllogistic is represented by Corcoran’s 1972 reconstruction. The review studies Lear’s treatment of Aristotle’s logic, his appreciation of the Corcoran-Smiley paradigm, and (...) his understanding of modern logical theory. In the process Corcoran and Scanlan present new, previously unpublished results. Corcoran regards this review as an important contribution to contemporary study of PRIOR ANALYTICS: both the book and the review deserve to be better known. (shrink)
As noted in 1962 by Timothy Smiley, if Aristotle’s logic is faithfully translated into modern symbolic logic, the fit is exact. If categorical sentences are translated into many-sorted logic MSL according to Smiley’s method or the two other methods presented here, an argument with arbitrarily many premises is valid according to Aristotle’s system if and only if its translation is valid according to modern standard many-sorted logic. As William Parry observed in 1973, this result can be proved using my 1972 (...) proof of the completeness of Aristotle’s syllogistic. (shrink)
Aristotle in Analytica Posteriora presented a notion of proof as a special case of syllogism. In the present paper the remarks of Aristotle on the subject are used as an inspiration for developing formal systems of demonstrative syllogistic, which are supposed to formalize syllogisms that are proofs. We build our systems in the style of J. Łukasiewicz as theories based on classical propositional logic. The difference between our systems and systems of syllogistic known from the literature lays in (...) the interpretation of general positive sentences in which the same name occurs twice (of the form SaS). As a basic assumption of demonstrative syllogistic we accept a negation of such a sentence. We present three systems which differ in the interpretation of specific positive sentences in which the same name occurs twice (of the form SiS). The theories are defined as axiomatic systems. For all of them rejected axiomatizations are also supplied. For two of them a set theoretical model is also defined. (shrink)
Parry discusses an extension of Aristotle's syllogistic that uses four nontraditional quantifiers. We show that his conjectured decision procedure for validity for the extended syllogistic is correct even if syllogisms have more than two premises. And we axiomatize this extension of the syllogistic.
Why does Aristotle not use the copulative wording for categorical propositions, but instead the clumsier terminological formulations (e. g. the B belongs to every A) in his syllogistic? The proposed explanations by Alexander, Lukasiewicz and Patzig: Aristotle wants to make clear the difference between subject and predicate, seems to be insufficient. In quantified categorical propositions, this difference is always sufficiently clear by the use of the pronouns going with the subject expressions. Aristotle opts for the terminological wording because in (...) premiss pairs of figures two and three he can thus suppress the middle term in one of the premisses and connect the major and minor term, using connecting particles. This renders the syllogisms more transparent. Had he used the copulative wording instead, he would have run into difficulties, in particular with o-propositions among the premisses (i. e. in Baroco and Bocardo) because in these cases the pronoun expressing the quantification would have to go with the subject term, the negation with the predicate. (shrink)
Articles by Ian Mueller, Ronald Zirin, Norman Kretzmann, John Corcoran, John Mulhern, Mary Mulhern,Josiah Gould, and others. Topics: Aristotle's Syllogistic, Stoic Logic, Modern Research in Ancient Logic.
Aristotle's syllogistic theory, as developed in his Prior Analytics, is often regarded as the birth of logic in Western philosophy. Over the past century, scholars have tried to identify important precursors to this theory. I argue that Platonic division, a method which aims to give accounts of essences of natural kinds by progressively narrowing down from a genus, influenced Aristotle's logical theory in a number of crucial respects. To see exactly how, I analyze the method of division as it (...) was originally conceived by Plato and received by Aristotle. I argue that, while Plato allowed that some divisions fail to rigorously investigate the essence, he began a program continued by Aristotle (and others in antiquity and the middle ages) of seeking norms for division that would apply in any domain whatsoever. This idea of a rigorous, general method was taken up and developed by Aristotle in his syllogistic. Aristotle also used Plato's conception of predication as parthood in his semantics for syllogistic propositions. As part of my argument, I prove that a semantics based on Platonic divisional structures is sound and complete for the deduction system used in the literature to model Aristotle's syllogistic. (shrink)
The work of this dissertation, in a broad sense, seeks to rescue what may be in the original project or nucleus of philosophy, from its Socratic arising: the idea of elucidative rationality. This rationality is aimed at expressing our practices in a way that can be confronted with objections and alternatives. The notion of expression is central to this rationality. This centrality is elucidated by the contemporary philosopher Brandom (1994, 2000, 2008a, 2013), from his view of the semantic inferentialism. With (...) this view, this dissertation, in a strict sense, investigates evidences that leads to the distinction of the inferentially expressivist tradition of syllogistic. In this semantic inferentialism, logic is the “organ of semantic self-consciousness”. In this sense, logic does not define the rational, in the most basic sense, but allows us to be aware, through inferential articulation, of the conceptual contents, which govern all our thoughts. Evidences presented in the work of this dissertation seek to show that the syllogism is marked by the logical-elucidative character of this semantic self-consciousness, because of its expressive role as inseparable from the notion of inference. In the first part of this dissertation, then, the tradition of syllogistics is examined, in which the expression is the main notion. This study is based on the tradition of syllogistics, composed of the Aristotelian school of Campinas, organized by Angioni (2014a), the logical economist Keynes (1906), and the “formalist” schools, represented mainly by the logician Łukasiewicz (1957, 1929/1963) and by Corcoran (1972, 1974, 2009, 2015). The main claims of the Campinas school are analyzed: the non-epistemological, but explanatory, exposition of (scientific) knowledge, in the syllogism, the secondary role of the notion of truth, the priority of the predicative structure, and the suggestion of approaching of the syllogistic to the relevant system of logic. In this analysis, we add the discussion about the reasoning of the epagogic type, important to the practical understanding of the “first principles”. The key points of Keynes are also discussed: the semantic priority of propositional judgment and the explanatory role of deductive inference. The second part of this dissertation discusses the relation between expression, inference and the expressive role of logic, based on the semantic inferentialism of Brandom. In order to discuss this relationship, propaedeutic questions are raised, related to the semantic role of sentences and subsentences (terms and predicates) in language, to different conceptions of logical validity, beyond the truth-functional aspect, to the logical demarcation of symbolic rules, to demarcation of logic, the idea of “formal logic”, and the removal of formal semantics from natural language concern. Next, the theoretical framework of Brandom's semantic inferentialism is presented. In this framework, the idea of philosophical semantics, pragmatisms of the semantic and conceptual type, expressivisms of the rationalist, logical and propositional conceptual type, and the semantically primitive notion of incompatibility come into play. Thus, to those who are interested in the correspondence between ancient logic and modern logic, the work of this dissertation offers a useful contribution, especially to projects of formalization of the syllogistics, which need not appeal against or in favor of a strictly formal approach to logic. (shrink)
Since Mates’ seminal Stoic Logic there has been uncertainty and debate about how to treat the term anapodeiktos when used of Stoic syllogisms. This paper argues that the customary translation of anapodeiktos by ‘indemonstrable’ is accurate, and it explains why this is so. At the heart of the explanation is an argument that, contrary to what is commonly assumed, indemonstrability is rooted in the generic account of the Stoic epistemic notion of demonstration (apodeixis). Some minor insights into Stoic logic ensue.
In ancient philosophy, there is no discipline called “logic” in the contemporary sense of “the study of formally valid arguments.” Rather, once a subfield of philosophy comes to be called “logic,” namely in Hellenistic philosophy, the field includes (among other things) epistemology, normative epistemology, philosophy of language, the theory of truth, and what we call logic today. This entry aims to examine ancient theorizing that makes contact with the contemporary conception. Thus, we will here emphasize the theories of the “syllogism” (...) in the Aristotelian and Stoic traditions. However, because the context in which these theories were developed and discussed were deeply epistemological in nature, we will also include references to the areas of epistemological theorizing that bear directly on theories of the syllogism, particularly concerning “demonstration.” Similarly, we will include literature that discusses the principles governing logic and the components that make up arguments, which are topics that might now fall under the headings of philosophy of logic or non-classical logic. This includes discussions of problems and paradoxes that connect to contemporary logic and which historically spurred developments of logical method. For example, there is great interest among ancient philosophers in the question of whether all statements have truth-values. Relevant themes here include future contingents, paradoxes of vagueness, and semantic paradoxes like the liar. We also include discussion of the paradoxes of the infinite for similar reasons, since solutions have introduced sophisticated tools of logical analysis and there are a range of related, modern philosophical concerns about the application of some logical principles in infinite domains. Our criterion excludes, however, many of the themes that Hellenistic philosophers consider part of logic, in particular, it excludes epistemology and metaphysical questions about truth. Ancient philosophers do not write treatises “On Logic,” where the topic would be what today counts as logic. Instead, arguments and theories that count as “logic” by our criterion are found in a wide range of texts. For the most part, our entry follows chronology, tracing ancient logic from its beginnings to Late Antiquity. However, some themes are discussed in several eras of ancient logic; ancient logicians engage closely with each other’s views. Accordingly, relevant publications address several authors and periods in conjunction. These contributions are listed in three thematic sections at the end of our entry. (shrink)
This presentation of Aristotle's natural deduction system supplements earlier presentations and gives more historical evidence. Some fine-tunings resulted from conversations with Timothy Smiley, Charles Kahn, Josiah Gould, John Kearns,John Glanvillle, and William Parry.The criticism of Aristotle's theory of propositions found at the end of this 1974 presentation was retracted in Corcoran's 2009 HPL article "Aristotle's demonstrative logic".
In previous articles, it has been shown that the deductive system developed by Aristotle in his "second logic" is a natural deduction system and not an axiomatic system as previously had been thought. It was also stated that Aristotle's logic is self-sufficient in two senses: First, that it presupposed no other logical concepts, not even those of propositional logic; second, that it is (strongly) complete in the sense that every valid argument expressible in the language of the system is deducible (...) by means of a formal deduction in the system. Review of the system makes the first point obvious. The purpose of the present article is to prove the second. Strong completeness is demonstrated for the Aristotelian system. (shrink)
JUNE 2015 UPDATE: A BIBLIOGRAPHY: JOHN CORCORAN’S PUBLICATIONS ON ARISTOTLE 1972–2015 By John Corcoran -/- This presentation includes a complete bibliography of John Corcoran’s publications relevant to his research on Aristotle’s logic. Sections I, II, III, and IV list 21 articles, 44 abstracts, 3 books, and 11 reviews. It starts with two watershed articles published in 1972: the Philosophy & Phenomenological Research article from Corcoran’s Philadelphia period that antedates his Aristotle studies and the Journal of Symbolic Logic article from his (...) Buffalo period first reporting his original results; it ends with works published in 2015. A few of the items are annotated as listed or with endnotes connecting them with other work and pointing out passages that in-retrospect are seen to be misleading and in a few places erroneous. In addition, Section V, “Discussions”, is a nearly complete secondary bibliography of works describing, interpreting, extending, improving, supporting, and criticizing Corcoran’s work: 8 items published in the 1970s, 23 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s, 56 in the 2000s, and 69 in the current decade. The secondary bibliography is also annotated as listed or with endnotes: some simply quoting from the cited item, but several answering criticisms and identifying errors. Section VI, “Alternatives”, lists recent works on Aristotle’s logic oblivious of Corcoran’s research and, more generally, of the Lukasiewicz-initiated tradition. As is evident from Section VII, “Acknowledgements”, Corcoran’s publications benefited from consultation with other scholars, most notably Timothy Smiley, Michael Scanlan, Roberto Torretti, and Kevin Tracy. All of Corcoran’s Greek translations were done in collaboration with two or more classicists. Corcoran never published a sentence without discussing it with his colleagues and students. -/- REQUEST: Please send errors, omissions, and suggestions. I am especially interested in citations made in non-English publications. Also, let me know of passages I should comment on. (shrink)
The idea of rejection originated by Aristotle. The notion of rejection was introduced into formal logic by Łukasiewicz [20]. He applied it to complete syntactic characterization of deductive systems using an axiomatic method of rejection of propositions [22, 23]. The paper gives not only genesis, but also development and generalization of the notion of rejection. It also emphasizes the methodological approach to biaspectual axiomatic method of characterization of deductive systems as acceptance (asserted) systems and rejection (refutation) systems, introduced by Łukasiewicz (...) and developed by his student Słupecki, the pioneers of the method, which becomes relevant in modern approaches to logic. (shrink)
The idea of rejection originated by Aristotle. The notion of rejection was introduced into formal logic by Łukasiewicz [20]. He applied it to complete syntactic characterization of deductive systems using an axiomatic method of rejection of propositions [22, 23]. The paper gives not only genesis, but also development and generalization of the notion of rejection. It also emphasizes the methodological approach to biaspectual axiomatic method of characterization of deductive systems as acceptance (asserted) systems and rejection (refutation) systems, introduced by Łukasiewicz (...) and developed by his student Słupecki, the pioneers of the method, which becomes relevant in modern approaches to logic. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: In this paper I argue (i) that the hypothetical arguments about which the Stoic Chrysippus wrote numerous books (DL 7.196) are not to be confused with the so-called hypothetical syllogisms" but are the same hypothetical arguments as those mentioned five times in Epictetus (e.g. Diss. 1.25.11-12); and (ii) that these hypothetical arguments are formed by replacing in a non-hypothetical argument one (or more) of the premisses by a Stoic "hypothesis" or supposition. Such "hypotheses" or suppositions differ from propositions in (...) that they have a specific logical form and no truth-value. The reason for the introduction of a distinct class of hypothetical arguments can be found in the context of dialectical argumentation. The paper concludes with the discussion of some evidence for the use of Stoic hypothetical arguments in ancient texts. (shrink)
This presentation includes a complete bibliography of John Corcoran’s publications relevant on Aristotle’s logic. The Sections I, II, III, and IV list respectively 23 articles, 44 abstracts, 3 books, and 11 reviews. Section I starts with two watershed articles published in 1972: the Philosophy & Phenomenological Research article—from Corcoran’s Philadelphia period that antedates his discovery of Aristotle’s natural deduction system—and the Journal of Symbolic Logic article—from his Buffalo period first reporting his original results. It ends with works published in 2015. (...) Some items are annotated as listed or with endnotes connecting them with other work and pointing out passages that, in retrospect, are seen to be misleading and in a few places erroneous. In addition, Section V, “Discussions”, is a nearly complete secondary bibliography of works describing, interpreting, extending, improving, supporting, and criticizing Corcoran’s work: 10 items published in the 1970s, 24 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s, 60 in the 2000s, and 70 in the current decade. The secondary bibliography is also annotated as listed or with endnotes: some simply quoting from the cited item, but several answering criticisms and identifying errors. Section VI, “Alternatives”, lists recent works on Aristotle’s logic oblivious of Corcoran’s research and, more generally in some cases, even of the Łukasiewicz-initiated tradition. As is evident from Section VII, “Acknowledgements”, Corcoran’s publications benefited from consultation with other scholars, most notably George Boger, Charles Kahn, John Mulhern, Mary Mulhern, Anthony Preus, Timothy Smiley, Michael Scanlan, Roberto Torretti, and Kevin Tracy. All of Corcoran’s Greek translations were done in collaboration with two or more classicists. Corcoran never published a sentence without discussing it with his colleagues and students. (shrink)
This review places this translation and commentary on Book A of Prior Analytics in historical, logical, and philosophical perspective. In particular, it details the author’s positions on current controversies. The author of this translation and commentary is a prolific and respected scholar, a leading figure in a large and still rapidly growing area of scholarship: Prior Analytics studies PAS. PAS treats many aspects of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics: historical context, previous writings that influenced it, preservation and transmission of its manuscripts, editions (...) of its manuscripts, interpretations, commentaries, translations, and its influence on subsequent logic, philosophy, and mathematics. All this attention is warranted because Prior Analytics marks the origin of logic: the field that, among other things, asks of a given proposition whether it follows from a given set of propositions; and, if it follows, how we determine that it follows; and, if it does not follow, how we determine that it does not follow. This translation and commentary is not suitable for use in an undergraduate course. It has too many quirks that the teacher would want to warn against. A copy editor should have dealt with these things and with other matters such as incorrect punctuation and improper end-of-line divisions. The prose is heavily laden with glaring clichés. The one-page preface contains “longer than I care to remember”, “more than I can possibly list here”, “first and foremost”, and “last and by no means least”—a sentence later is devoted to thanking the “incredibly meticulous and helpful copy-editor”. A few pages later the translator reveals the need “to find a path between the Scylla … and the Charybdis …”. Moreover, the index is far from meeting the needs of undergraduate students. The attention to scholarly detail is not what one hoped for from Oxford University Press. At 26b10-15, this translation reads “let swan and white be chosen as white things” for what Smith correctly translates “let swan and snow be selected from among those white things”. At 41b16, “angles AB and CD” should read “angles AC and BD”. Despite this book’s flaws, it will be found useful if not indispensable for those currently engaged in Prior Analytics studies. The alternatives suggested to Robin Smith’s translation choices are often worth consideration. It is to be emphasized, however, that this book is unsuitable for those entering Prior Analytics studies. (shrink)
The premise-fact confusion in Aristotle’s PRIOR ANALYTICS. -/- The premise-fact fallacy is talking about premises when the facts are what matters or talking about facts when the premises are what matters. It is not useful to put too fine a point on this pencil. -/- In one form it is thinking that the truth-values of premises are relevant to what their consequences in fact are, or relevant to determining what their consequences are. Thus, e.g., someone commits the premise-fact fallacy if (...) they think that a proposition has different consequences were it true than it would have if false. C. I. Lewis said that confusing logical consequence with material consequence leads to this fallacy. See Corcoran’s 1973 “Meanings of implication” [available on Academia. edu]. -/- The premise-fact confusion occurs in a written passage that implies the premise-fact fallacy or that suggests that the writer isn’t clear about the issues involved in the premise-fact fallacy. Here are some examples. -/- E1: If Abe is Ben and Ben swims, then it would follow that Abe swims. -/- Comment: The truth is that from “Abe is Ben and Ben swims”, the proposition “Abe swims” follows. Whether in fact Abe is Ben and Ben swims is irrelevant to whether “Abe swims” follows from “Abe is Ben and Ben swims”. -/- E1 suggests that maybe “Abe swims” wouldn’t follow from “Abe is Ben and Ben swims” if the latter were false. -/- E2: The truth of “Abe is Ben and Ben swims” implies that Abe swims. -/- E3: Indirect deduction requires assuming something false. -/- Comment: If the premises of an indirect deduction are true the conclusion is true and thus the “reductio” assumption is false. But deduction, whether direct or indirect, does not require true premises. In fact, indirect deduction is often used to determine that the premises are not all true. -/- Anyway, the one-page paper accompanying this abstract reports one of dozens of premise-fact errors in PRIOR ANALYTICS. In the session, people can add their own examples and comment on them. For example, is the one at 25b32 the first? What is the next premise-fact error after 25b32? Which translators or commentators discuss this? -/- . (shrink)
This article is intended to examine specific passages from the section of Metaphysics IV 3-4 to be found between 1005a19-1006b34 in the light of the discussions made by Aristotle in the Prior Analytics. The aim is to understand better the argumentative strategies directed at proving the Principle of Non-Contradiction adopted in the above- mentioned section, based on the logic structured by Aristotle.
Although the theory of the assertoric syllogism was Aristotle's great invention, one which dominated logical theory for the succeeding two millenia, accounts of the syllogism evolved and changed over that time. Indeed, in the twentieth century, doctrines were attributed to Aristotle which lost sight of what Aristotle intended. One of these mistaken doctrines was the very form of the syllogism: that a syllogism consists of three propositions containing three terms arranged in four figures. Yet another was that a syllogism is (...) a conditional proposition deduced from a set of axioms. There is even unclarity about what the basis of syllogistic validity consists in. Returning to Aristotle's text, and reading it in the light of commentary from late antiquity and the middle ages, we find a coherent and precise theory which shows all these claims to be based on a misunderstanding and misreading. (shrink)
In the Posterior Analytics, Aristotle imposes some requirements on scientific propositions: (i) they must be susceptible of syllogistic articulation, (ii) they must have universal terms as subjects of predication and (iii) their subjects must be primary, i.e. they cannot “be said of a distinct underlying subject”. However, it is problematic to meet those three requirements together. If associated with the theory of predication in Categories, the requirement (iii) shall prescribe names or descriptions of individuals within the category of substance (...) as subjects of predication, which are primary insofar as they cannot play the logical role of predicate. Nevertheless, if the requirement (i) is satisfied, then the terms of scientific proposition would be able to perform the function of subject as well as of predicate since the rules of conversion and syllogistic moods presuppose the interchangeability among terms of predication. The requirement (ii), by its turn, withdraws all particular subjects from scientific propositions and a fortiori individual substances. We offer as a solution for the aforementioned dilemma the association of theses from the Posterior Analytics, not with the treatise Categories, but with the new ontology of predication emerged in the Metaphysics, which, by introducing the hylomorphic analysis of compound substances, admits primary and notwithstanding universal subjects of predication: the specific forms. (shrink)
The syllogistic figures and moods can be taken to be argument schemata as can the rules of the Stoic propositional logic. Sentence schemata have been used in axiomatizations of logic only since the landmark 1927 von Neumann paper [31]. Modern philosophers know the role of schemata in explications of the semantic conception of truth through Tarski’s 1933 Convention T [42]. Mathematical logicians recognize the role of schemata in first-order number theory where Peano’s second-order Induction Axiom is approximated by Herbrand’s (...) Induction-Axiom Schema [23]. Similarly, in first-order set theory, Zermelo’s second-order Separation Axiom is approximated by Fraenkel’s first-order Separation Schema [17]. In some of several closely related senses, a schema is a complex system having multiple components one of which is a template-text or scheme-template, a syntactic string composed of one or more “blanks” and also possibly significant words and/or symbols. In accordance with a side condition the template-text of a schema is used as a “template” to specify a multitude, often infinite, of linguistic expressions such as phrases, sentences, or argument-texts, called instances of the schema. The side condition is a second component. The collection of instances may but need not be regarded as a third component. The instances are almost always considered to come from a previously identified language (whether formal or natural), which is often considered to be another component. This article reviews the often-conflicting uses of the expressions ‘schema’ and ‘scheme’ in the literature of logic. It discusses the different definitions presupposed by those uses. And it examines the ontological and epistemic presuppositions circumvented or mooted by the use of schemata, as well as the ontological and epistemic presuppositions engendered by their use. In short, this paper is an introduction to the history and philosophy of schemata. (shrink)
By pure calculus of names we mean a quantifier-free theory, based on the classical propositional calculus, which defines predicates known from Aristotle’s syllogistic and Leśniewski’s Ontology. For a large fragment of the theory decision procedures, defined by a combination of simple syntactic operations and models in two-membered domains, can be used. We compare the system which employs `ε’ as the only specific term with the system enriched with functors of Syllogistic. In the former, we do not need an (...) empty name in the model, so we are able to construct a 3-valued matrix, while for the latter, for which an empty name is necessary, the respective matrices are 4-valued. (shrink)
My topic is the intelligent guidance of action. In this paper I offer an empirically grounded case for four ideas: that [a] cognitive processes of practical reasoning play a key role in the intelligent guidance of action, [b] these processes could not do so without significant enabling work done by both perception and the motor system, [c] the work done by perceptual and motor systems can be characterized as the generation of information (often conceptually structured information) specialized for action guidance, (...) which in turn suggests that [d] the cognitive processes of practical reasoning that play a key role in the guidance of intelligent action are not the abstract, syllogistic ones philosophers often treat as the paradigm of practical reasoning. Rather, these cognitive processes are constrained by, and work well with, the specialized concepts outputted by perception and the feedback outputted by sensorimotor processes. (shrink)
Two stories have dominated the historiography of early modern philosophy: one in which a seventeenth century Age of Reason spawned the Enlightenment, and another in which a skeptical crisis cast a shadow over subsequent philosophy, resulting in ever narrower "limits to knowledge." I combine certain elements common to both into a third narrative, one that begins by taking seriously seventeenth-century conceptions of the topics and methods central to the rise of a "new" philosophy. In this revisionist story, differing approaches to (...) the central subject matter of early modern metaphysics--knowledge of substances through their essences and causal powers--arise as a result of disagreements about the powers of the human cognitive faculties. Methodological writings are seen as attempts to direct readers in the proper use of their cognitive faculties. The early modern rejection of the Aristotelian theory of cognition ranks equally in importance with rejection of Aristotelian doctrines about nature. Skepticism is more often than not a tool to be used in teaching the reader the proper use of the cognitive faculties, or indeed in convincing the reader of the existence or inexistence of certain cognitive faculties or powers. Instead of early modern "epistemology" or "theory of knowledge," one speaks, with seventeenth century writers, of theories of the cognitive faculties and their implications for the possibility of human knowledge. The early modern rejection of Aristotelian logic can then be seen as reflecting a negative assessment about the fit between syllogistic reasoning and logic as an art of reasoning or thinking which refines the use of the cognitive faculties. -/- Central to this new historiography is the story of the relation between the intellect and senses as cognitive faculties or powers. The development of philosophy from Descartes to Kant can be portrayed as a series of claims about the power of the intellect to know the essences of things, with resulting consequences for ontology and the foundations of natural philosophy. I illustrate this revised narrative by comparing three conceptions of the intellect in three philosophical settings, provided by several late scholastic Aristotelians, Descartes, and Locke. I have two aims: first, to exhibit the central role played by the conception of intellect or understanding in these authors, and, second, to locate their discussions of the cognitive faculties in relation to recent understandings of psychology, epistemology, logic, mind, and their relations. Early modern writings do not easily fit into the modern categories of epistemology and psychology; more generally, the early modern concern with the workings of mind does not coincide with recent conceptions of naturalism. These findings can help us to see problems with our current categories. (shrink)
This paper intends to explain key differences between Aristotle’s understanding of the relationships between nous, epistêmê, and the art of syllogistic reasoning(both analytic and dialectical) and the corresponding modern conceptions of intuition, knowledge, and reason. By uncovering paradoxa that Aristotle’s understanding of syllogistic reasoning presents in relation to modern philosophical conceptions of logic and science, I highlight problems of a shift in modern philosophy—a shift that occurs most dramatically in the seventeenth century—toward a project of construction, a pervasive (...) desire for rational certainty, and a general insistence on the reducibility of the sciences. The major motivation of this analysis is my intention to show that modern attempts to reduce science/epistêmê to a single science/method of inquiry occlude dialectical and ethico-political dimensions of “reason” and, hence, also impoverish philosophy’s critical capacities. (shrink)
This book treats ancient logic: the logic that originated in Greece by Aristotle and the Stoics, mainly in the hundred year period beginning about 350 BCE. Ancient logic was never completely ignored by modern logic from its Boolean origin in the middle 1800s: it was prominent in Boole’s writings and it was mentioned by Frege and by Hilbert. Nevertheless, the first century of mathematical logic did not take it seriously enough to study the ancient logic texts. A renaissance in ancient (...) logic studies occurred in the early 1950s with the publication of the landmark Aristotle’s Syllogistic by Jan Łukasiewicz, Oxford UP 1951, 2nd ed. 1957. Despite its title, it treats the logic of the Stoics as well as that of Aristotle. Łukasiewicz was a distinguished mathematical logician. He had created many-valued logic and the parenthesis-free prefix notation known as Polish notation. He co-authored with Alfred Tarski’s an important paper on metatheory of propositional logic and he was one of Tarski’s the three main teachers at the University of Warsaw. Łukasiewicz’s stature was just short of that of the giants: Aristotle, Boole, Frege, Tarski and Gödel. No mathematical logician of his caliber had ever before quoted the actual teachings of ancient logicians. -/- Not only did Łukasiewicz inject fresh hypotheses, new concepts, and imaginative modern perspectives into the field, his enormous prestige and that of the Warsaw School of Logic reflected on the whole field of ancient logic studies. Suddenly, this previously somewhat dormant and obscure field became active and gained in respectability and importance in the eyes of logicians, mathematicians, linguists, analytic philosophers, and historians. Next to Aristotle himself and perhaps the Stoic logician Chrysippus, Łukasiewicz is the most prominent figure in ancient logic studies. A huge literature traces its origins to Łukasiewicz. -/- This Ancient Logic and Its Modern Interpretations, is based on the 1973 Buffalo Symposium on Modernist Interpretations of Ancient Logic, the first conference devoted entirely to critical assessment of the state of ancient logic studies. (shrink)
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