Aristotle's Logic

Paolo Crivelli

in The Oxford Handbook of Aristotle

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195187489
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Aristotle's Logic

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  • Philosophy
  • Classical Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic


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Aristotle created logic and developed it to a level of great sophistication. There was nothing there before; and it took more than two millennia for something better to come around. The astonishment experienced by readers of the Prior Analytics, the most important of Aristotle's works that present the discipline, is comparable to that of an explorer discovering a cathedral in a desert. This article explains and evaluates some of Aristotle's views about propositions and syllogisms. The most important omission is the difficult subject of syllogisms involving modalities. Aristotle distinguishes two relations of opposition that can obtain between propositions with the same subject- and predicate-expressions: contrariety and contradiction. In every canonical syllogism, one term is common to the two premises: it is called “middle term,” or simply “middle.” The remaining two terms of the premises are the only ones occurring in the conclusion: they are called “extreme terms,” or simply “extremes.”

Keywords: Aristotle; logic; propositions; syllogisms; modalities; contrariety; contradiction; extremes; middle term

Article.  18423 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Classical Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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