Ancient Logic and its Modern Interpretations

Boston: Reidel (1974)

Abstract

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.

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Citations of this work

Aristotle's Demonstrative Logic.John Corcoran - 2009 - History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (1):1-20.
What Is Aristotelian Ecthesis?Robin Smith - 1982 - History and Philosophy of Logic 3 (2):113-127.
Negation and Quantification in Aristotle.Michael V. Wedin - 1990 - History and Philosophy of Logic 11 (2):131-150.
Ontological Underpinnings of Aristotle's Philosophy of Science.Breno A. Zuppolini - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Campinas, Brazil

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