Mereology in Aristotle's Assertoric Syllogistic

History and Philosophy of Logic 40 (1):1-11 (2019)
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How does Aristotle think about sentences like ‘Every x is y’ in the Prior Analytics? A recently popular answer conceives of these sentences as expressing a mereological relationship between x and y: the sentence is true just in case x is, in some sense, a part of y. I argue that the motivations for this interpretation have so far not been compelling. I provide a new justification for the mereological interpretation. First, I prove a very general algebraic soundness and completeness result that unifies the most important soundness and completeness results to date. Then I argue that this result vindicates the mereological interpretation. In contrast to previous interpretations, this argument shows how Aristotle’s conception of predication in mereological terms can do important logical work.

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Justin Vlasits
University of Illinois, Chicago

Citations of this work

A Mereological Reading of the Dictum de Omni et Nullo.Phil Corkum - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
The Arithmetical dictum.Paolo Maffezioli & Riccardo Zanichelli - 2023 - History and Philosophy of Logic 44 (4):373-394.
Analysis in Prior Analytics I.45.Igor Martinjak - 2022 - History and Philosophy of Logic 43 (3):207-231.

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References found in this work

Aristotle's Modal Syllogistic.Marko Malink - 2013 - Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.
What is a syllogism?Timothy J. Smiley - 1973 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (1):136 - 154.
Completeness of an ancient logic.John Corcoran - 1972 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 37 (4):696-702.
Aristotle.Jonathan Barnes - 1975 - In Richard Mervyn Hare, Jonathan Barnes & Henry Chadwick (eds.), Founders of Thought. Oxford University Press.
Truth, etc.Jonathan Barnes - 2007 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 13 (4):549-552.

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