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Logic and Interpretation: Syllogistic Reconstructions in Simplicius’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics

Logic and Interpretation: Syllogistic Reconstructions in Simplicius’ Commentary on Aristotle’s... AbstractIn this article I explain three puzzling features of Simplicius’ use of syllogistic reconstructions in his commentary on Aristotle’s Physics: (1) Why does he reconstruct Aristotle’s non-argumentative remarks? (2) Why does he identify the syllogistic figure of an argument but does not explicitly present its reconstruction? (3) Why in certain lemmata does he present several reconstructions of the same argument? Addressing these questions, I argue that these puzzling features are an expression of Simplicius’ assumption that formal reasoning underlies Aristotle’s prose, hence they reflect his attempt to capture as faithfully as possible Aristotle’s actual mode of reasoning. I show further that, as a consequence of this seemingly descriptive use of syllogistic reconstructions, logic serves Simplicius not only as an expository and clarificatory tool of certain interpretations or philosophical views, but also motivates and shapes his exegetical stances and approach. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

Logic and Interpretation: Syllogistic Reconstructions in Simplicius’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics

History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis , Volume 24 (1): 18 – Sep 7, 2021

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-bja10044
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractIn this article I explain three puzzling features of Simplicius’ use of syllogistic reconstructions in his commentary on Aristotle’s Physics: (1) Why does he reconstruct Aristotle’s non-argumentative remarks? (2) Why does he identify the syllogistic figure of an argument but does not explicitly present its reconstruction? (3) Why in certain lemmata does he present several reconstructions of the same argument? Addressing these questions, I argue that these puzzling features are an expression of Simplicius’ assumption that formal reasoning underlies Aristotle’s prose, hence they reflect his attempt to capture as faithfully as possible Aristotle’s actual mode of reasoning. I show further that, as a consequence of this seemingly descriptive use of syllogistic reconstructions, logic serves Simplicius not only as an expository and clarificatory tool of certain interpretations or philosophical views, but also motivates and shapes his exegetical stances and approach.

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Sep 7, 2021

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