Completion, reduction and analysis: three proof-theoretic processes in aristotle'sprior analytics

History and Philosophy of Logic 19 (4):187-226 (1998)
Three distinctly different interpretations of Aristotle?s notion of a sullogismos in Prior Analytics can be traced: (1) a valid or invalid premise-conclusion argument (2) a single, logically true conditional proposition and (3) a cogent argumentation or deduction. Remarkably the three interpretations hold similar notions about the logical relationships among the sullogismoi. This is most apparent in their conflating three processes that Aristotle especially distinguishes: completion (A4-6)reduction(A7) and analysis (A45). Interpretive problems result from not sufficiently recognizing Aristotle?s remarkable degree of metalogical sophistication to distinguish logical syntax from semantics and, thus, also from not grasping him to refine the deduction system of his underlying logic. While it is obvious that Aristotle most often uses ?sullogimos? to denote a valid argument of a certain kind, we show that at Prior Analytics A4-6, 7, 45 Aristotle specifically treats a sullogismos as an elemental argument pattern having only valid instances and that such a pattern then serves as a rule of deduction in his syllogistic logic. By extracting Aristotle?s understanding of three proof-theoretic processes, this paper provides new insight into what Aristotle thinks reasoning syllogistically is and, moreover, it resolves three problems in the most recent interpretation that takes a sullogismos to be a deduction
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/01445349808837311
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
W. V. Quine (1982). Methods of Logic. Harvard University Press.
Alonzo Church (1944). Introduction to Mathematical Logic. London, H. Milford, Oxford University Press.

View all 39 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
David Hitchcock (2000). Fallacies and Formal Logic in Aristotle. History and Philosophy of Logic 21 (3):207-221.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

12 ( #205,927 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.