David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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New Scholasticism 55 (2):191-207 (1981)
The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a defence of Aristotle's principle of contradiction against the critique made on it by Jan Lukasiewicz in an article he wrote in 1910 which was translated and published in the March 1971 number of The Review of Metaphysics. Lukasiewicz maintains in general that the law of contradiction has no logical worth. Specifically, he charges Aristotle with having several laws of contradiction instead of one as Aristotle claims; with attempting to prove the law despite his claim that this is impossible and finally with failing in the very attempt to prove the law, or at least one of its formulations. In 20 chapters, each dealing with a respective section of Lukasiewicz's article, I attempt to show that all of Lukasiewicz's allegations are unfounded. My methodology is simply to follow Lukasiewicz through his 20 sections and compare what he says with what Aristotle actually wrote. If successful, this dissertation will show, in basic agreement with Professor Joseph Owens, that the best way to read Aristotle is on his own terms and not, as in the case of Lukasiewicz, via the latest developments in symbolic logic. I reiterate, with Aristotle, that the law of contradiction is the basic principle of being qua being and has logical worth precisely because of that fact
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