David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Classical Quarterly 32 (02):327-335 (1982)
In 1928, Friedrich Solmsen argued that Aristotle's Posterior Analytics was largely composed before the Prior Analytics. Ross rejected Solmsen's position in 1939, and a rather lengthy series of rebuttals and counter-attacks between the two scholars followed. Quite recently, Jonathan Barnes has revived this issue with arguments in favour of something very close to Solmsen's thesis: that Aristotle first developed a theory of demonstration before he had worked out the syllogistic, and that the Posterior Analytics was originally conceived against this background. Subsequently, when Aristotle formulated a syllogistic, he is supposed by Barnes to have revised or added to the contents of the Posterior Analytics so as to make syllogistic the logic of Aristotelian science. Thus, Barnes says: ‘the syllogism is in fact an incidental adjunct to the theory of demonstration: the theory can be formulated without reference, explicit or implicit, to Syllogistic, and it could have been discovered by someone who knew nothing whatever about the Syllogism’.
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