Term Kinds and the Formality of Aristotelian Modal Logic

History and Philosophy of Logic 38 (2):99-126 (2017)

Authors
Joshua Mendelsohn
Universität Leipzig
Abstract
Recent formalizations of Aristotle's modal syllogistic have made use of an interpretative assumption with precedent in traditional commentary: That Aristotle implicitly relies on a distinction between two classes of terms. I argue that the way Rini employs this distinction undermines her attempt to show that Aristotle gives valid proofs of his modal syllogisms. Rini does not establish that Aristotle gives valid proofs of the arguments which she takes to best represent Aristotle's modal syllogisms, nor that Aristotle's modal syllogisms are instances of any other system of schemata that could be used to define an alternative notion of validity. On the other hand, I argue, Robert Kilwardby's ca. 1240 commentary on the Prior Analytics makes use of a term-kind distinction so as to provide truth conditions for Aristotle's necessity propositions which render Aristotle's conversion rules and first figure modal syllogisms formally valid. I reconstruct a suppositio semantics for syllogistic necessity propositions based on Kilwardby's text, and yield a consequence relation which validates key results in the assertoric, pure necessity and mixed necessity-assertoric syllogistics.
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DOI 10.1080/01445340.2016.1247321
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What Does It Mean to Say That Logic is Formal?John MacFarlane - 2000 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
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The Different Ways in Which Logic is (Said to Be) Formal.Catarina Dutilh Novaes - 2011 - History and Philosophy of Logic 32 (4):303 - 332.
Truth, Etc.Jonathan Barnes - 2007 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 13 (4):549-552.

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