Conversion Principles and the Basis of Aristotle's Modal Logic

History and Philosophy of Logic 11 (2):151-172 (1990)
Abstract
Aristotle founds his modal syllogistic, like his plain syllogistic, on a small set of ?perfect? or obviously valid sylligisms. The rest he reduces to those, usually by means of modal conversion principles. These principles are open to more than one reading, however, and they are in fact invalid on one traditional reading (de re), valid on the other (de dicto). It is argued here that this way of framing the contrast is not Aristotelian, and that an interpretation involving modal copulae allows us to see how these principles, and the modal system as a whole, are to be understood in light of close and precise connections to Aristotle's essentialist metaphysics
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