It is widely agreed that Aristotle’s Prior Analytics , but not the Topics , marks the beginning of formal logic. There is less agreement as to why this is so. What are the distinctive features in virtue of which Aristotle’s discussion of deductions ( syllogismoi ) qualifies as formal logic in the one treatise but not in the other? To answer this question, I argue that in the Prior Analytics —unlike in the Topics —Aristotle is concerned to make fully explicit all the premisses that are necessary to derive the conclusion in a given deduction.
Phronesis – Brill
Published: May 20, 2015
Keywords: formal logic; deduction; syllogismos ; premiss; Prior Analytics ; Topics
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