Aristotle and Logic, Aristotelian Logic

Aristotle and Logic, Aristotelian Logic

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

In the philosophy before Aristotle, first of all, practical problems about nature and then people were investigated, and Plato added dialectics (the doctrine of the idea, metaphysics) to these.

Thus, Aristotle now puts a new science at the head of the three emerging problem areas: logic (Logike). According to him, before undertaking studies in these three fields, a research on what science is and its structure, a teaching on the forms and laws of scientific thought is required. Aristotle processed and developed these initial essays as a system in his logic. That is why he is called the “founder of logic”.

The first thing Aristotle’s logic considers is the question of method. Just as oratory teaches the art of persuading, logic will teach the technique of scientific inquiry and demonstration.

According to Aristotle, only a proposition (protasis, propositio) is true or false, so knowledge is established only by propositions. In a proposition, too, there are always two things: the proposition is either the combination and distinction of two concepts, or it is an idiom. From here Aristotle arrived at the doctrine of categories. For Aristotle, the word is a symbol, a sign of what is thought. But categories, as forms of thought, are also forms of being: for just as words are signs of thought, so thoughts are reflections of what is: for thought to be true means to conform to what is.

Aristotle’s logic is a closed system in itself. Here we are dealing with a very high stage of abstract thought. Aristotle showed his ability to construct these abstract concepts in every field of knowledge. Aristotle was regarded as the great master of philosophy for two thousand years because of the solid, clear and consistent concepts he established. He is also the creator of the language of science; Many of our current scientific concepts and terms are derived from his formulas.

Aristotle has always been known as the founder of logic. Indeed, the logic system that he established and determined the basic principles of was used without any major changes until the eighteenth century (Arslan, 2007: 51). This success of Aristotle is undoubtedly one of the most dazzling phenomena in the history of thought. Because Aristotle established a field of knowledge that had not been dealt with as a separate discipline until that day, and he advanced and completed it alone again.

Logic, with its most general expression, is a discipline for determining the principles of reasoning and provides a correct thinking method that can be applied to different fields of knowledge. With this feature, it is possible to see it as the “science of correct thinking”. Logic is not a part or sub-branch of philosophy or science, it is a tool and a method that can be used in philosophy and other disciplines of knowledge. That’s why Aristotle named his work on logic issues “Organon”, which means “tool”, “tool”. To be sure, Aristotle was not the first thinker to reason correctly. Thinkers before him, of course, used logic and made valid reasonings. But none of these thinkers saw the basic principles on which reasoning is based as a separate field of research, and they were not directly concerned with these principles or rules themselves.

It is interesting that Aristotle never used the word “logikhe”, which is translated into our language as “logic”, in his works. The word he uses in the sense of logic is “analytical”. What he means by this word is, in its most general terms, an analysis of the ways of reasoning. Logic, on the other hand, is a method of deriving true inferences, which also has two forms. The first form, the syllogism, starts from the universal and arrives at the particular, and for this reason it is also called deductive. The other form, “induction”, reaches the universal by starting from the particulars one by one (Sahakian, 1997: 66).

Aristotle was the first to systematize the rules of logic. He saw logic as a science of proof. His works on logic are included in the Organon. The name Organon is the general name given to Aristotle’s works on logic and implies that logic is an instrument or tool used to obtain philosophical knowledge. In other words, logic is for practicing philosophy and is a kind of preparatory work for philosophy students. Logical inference has two forms of principle: deduction, which produces definite results, and induction, which produces probable results.

What is deductive reasoning in Aristotelian logic?
What is inductive reasoning in Aristotelian logic?

Logic is based on two forms of inference; deduction and induction. Deduction goes from the universal to the particular, induction from the particular to the universal.

Of course, at this point, it is necessary to clarify the terms “universal” and “particular”. According to Plato, the universal was nothing but the idea, while the particular consisted of visible things that took part in the universal, that is, the idea, and thus exist. Thus, in Plato, the universal was the sole subject of certain knowledge, and the truth of the individual visible things, that is, the particulars, was also in the universal.