Aristotle on a puzzle about logical consequence: Necessity of being vs. necessity of saying

Topoi 23 (1):101-112 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In the Posterior Analytics (I 6, 75a18–27) Aristotle discusses a puzzle which endangers the possibility of inferring a non-necessary conclusion. His solution relies on the distinction between the necessity of the conclusion's being the case and the necessity of admitting the conclusion once one has admitted the premisses. The former is a factual necessity, whereas the latter is meant to be a normative or deontic necessity that is independent of the facts stated by the premisses and the conclusion. This paper maintains that Aristotle resorts to this distinction because he thinks that, as long as it is conceived as a factual relation, logical consequence cannot exist independently of the facts expressed by the premisses and the conclusion. As a corollary, the necessity of such a consequence relation always requires the necessity of these facts. Aristotle holds this factual conception of logical consequence responsible for the puzzle, since it cannot account for valid syllogisms with contingent or false premisses. The alternative conception of necessity is then introduced by him in order to make good this deficiency. The distinction between the necessity of being and the necessity of saying was revived by the Oxford logician E. W. B. Joseph, and taken over by Frank Ramsey in his seminal Truth and Probability, but has not received attention from recent interpreters of Aristotle's logic. This paper, however, argues that, in spite of its intrinsic interest, the distinction bore no significant fruit in Aristotle's logical doctrine.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,642

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
16 (#227,957)

6 months
119 (#148,485)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Aristotle on the Non-Cause Fallacy.Luca Castagnoli - 2016 - History and Philosophy of Logic 37 (1):9-32.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays.Frank Plumpton Ramsey - 1925 - London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Edited by R. B. Braithwaite.
Logic matters.Peter Thomas Geach - 1972 - Oxford,: Blackwell.
Logic Matters.P. T. Geach - 1972 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):127-132.
Probability and conditionals.Robert C. Stalnaker - 1970 - Philosophy of Science 37 (1):64-80.

View all 22 references / Add more references