Boethus and Finished Syllogisms

Jonathan Barnes

in Strategies of Argument

Published in print March 2014 | ISBN: 9780199890477
Published online April 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199345472 | DOI:
Boethus and Finished Syllogisms

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This chapter deals with a claim at the heart of Aristotle’s assertoric logical theory, that some syllogisms are ‘perfect’ i.e., obviously valid or acceptable, and that others are ‘imperfect’ but can be perfected (i) by conversion to one of the perfect syllogisms, (ii) by reductio ad impossibile, or (iii) by ekthesis. Barnes addresses post-Aristotelian controversies about whether Aristotle was right to regard only some and not all valid arguments as ‘perfect’.

Keywords: Boethus; Aristotle; logic; perfection; imperfect syllogisms; perfect syllogism; syllogistic; syllogisms

Chapter.  9974 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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