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History of Logic: Brief Review Essay

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Updated: Oct 14th, 2021

Logic is any inference or judgment made on some issue, which may be linked to intense reasoning and justification. Anything that occurs in our lives, and all our surroundings, are based on some form of logic. There lies a reason behind everything, and this notion was brought about by famous thinkers and philosophers of the olden days.

Amongst the great philosophers of all time, are the famous names of Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. They each came up with their own philosophies regarding logic, and all the resulting philosophies were pertaining to each of their own unique way of looking at things and opining on them. Aristotle begins the history of logic, with his discussions of principles underlying various avenues of life (Ontology and History of Logic, 2008).

The history of logic relates to the progress of the science of valid inference (Wikipedia, 2008). Numerous cultures have developed and executed varying methods of reasoning, but the most prominent ones that are known to us today, are those associated with China, India, and Greece. The theories concerning logic date back to the 4th century BC, and the most significant logical concepts developed were those of ancient Greece.

Aristotle gave his idea of logic, which was known as ‘dialectic’ or ‘analytic’ in those times. According to the Greek meaning, the term ‘logic’ is derived from ‘logos’, which means sentence. Aristotle and Plato initially came up with their studies of logic, and it is assumed that the need for the reasoning of things aroused with the advent of geometry in that era. Geometrical evaluations had begun as early as the 6th century, with the pyramids playing an empirical role in the Pythagoras studies, which introduced demonstrative science (Wikipedia, 2008).

The logic of Aristotle was of importance during the period of the Renaissance too. His famous works, which are of the highest eminence in the history of logic include, ‘The Categories’, ‘Topics’, and ‘Prior Analytics’, to name a few. There were five treatises present in his collection, which was named the “Organon” (King, P. & Shapiro, S., 1995). He is considered the first logician, giving reasoning and justifications for arguments.

Plato was the first thinker to put forth philosophical logic. He also raised three eminent questions relating to logic, firstly, if something can be called true or false, secondly, the connection between valid arguments and conclusions, and thirdly, the nature of definition.

After the philosophies of the former two thinkers, comes the Stoic form of logic. This dates back to the 5th-century thinking and liked to the thinking of Socrates. In fact, the philosopher Euclid, who came up with these teachings with his fellow men, was a pupil of Socrates. The Stoic school contributed three main aspects, which were, modality, theory of conditional statements, and truth and meaning.

Coming back to Aristotle, he stated that the logical form of a substance is known by its quantity, as well as quality. The greatest contribution he had made to the element of logic was syllogistic, a combination of opposing thoughts and converting thoughts.

Whatever is taught today is based on logic, and the logical forms taught to us by famous philosophers of the past. Everything that we encounter has meaning, and the branch of philosophy has given us the greatest connotation of the term ‘logic’, like no one else before.

References

  1. King, P. & Shapiro, S. The History of Logic. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy 1995, 496-500. Web.
  2. 2008. Web.
  3. . Web.
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