Reassessing logical hylomorphism and the demarcation of logical constants
- 750 Downloads
The paper investigates the propriety of applying the form versus matter distinction to arguments and to logic in general. Its main point is that many of the currently pervasive views on form and matter with respect to logic rest on several substantive and even contentious assumptions which are nevertheless uncritically accepted. Indeed, many of the issues raised by the application of this distinction to arguments seem to be related to a questionable combination of different presuppositions and expectations; this holds in particular of the vexed issue of demarcating the class of logical constants. I begin with a characterization of currently widespread views on form and matter in logic, which I refer to as ‘logical hylomorphism as we know it’—LHAWKI, for short—and argue that the hylomorphism underlying LHAWKI is mereological. Next, I sketch an overview of the historical developments leading from Aristotelian, non-mereological metaphysical hylomorphism to mereological logical hylomorphism (LHAWKI). I conclude with a reassessment of the prospects for the combination of hylomorphism and logic, arguing in particular that LHAWKI is not the only and certainly not the most suitable version of logical hylomorphism. In particular, this implies that the project of demarcating the class of logical constants as a means to define the scope and nature of logic rests on highly problematic assumptions.
KeywordsHylomorphism Demarcation of logic Logical constants History of logic
Thanks to Stephen Read, Arianna Betti, Anthony Booth and Eric Schliesser for helpful comments on earlier drafts.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
- Alexander of Aphrodisias. (1991). On Aristotle’s prior analytics 1.1–7 (J. Barnes, S. Bobzien, K. Flannery, K. Ierodiakonou, Trans.). London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
- Barnes J. (1990) Logical form and logical matter. In: Alberti A. (eds) Logica, Mente e Persona. Leo S. Olschki, Florence, pp 7–119Google Scholar
- Barnes J. (2007) Truth etc. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Buridan, J. (1976). Tractatus de Consequentiis. H. Hubien (Ed.). Louvain: Publications Universitaires.Google Scholar
- Buridan J. (2001) Summulae de Dialectica (G. Klima, Trans.). Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
- Cohen S. M. (1992) Hylomorphism and functionalism. In: Nussbaum M. C., Rorty A. O. (eds) Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 57–73Google Scholar
- Corcoran, J. (2008). Schemata. In E. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/schema/.
- Ebbesen S. (1981a) Commentators and commentaries on Aristotle’s Sophistici elenchi, Vol. I (the Greek tradition). E. J. Brill, LeidenGoogle Scholar
- Ebbesen S. (1981b) Analyzing syllogisms or anonymus Aurelianensis III—the (presumably) earliest extant Latin commentary on the prior analytics, and its Greek model. CIMAGL 37: 1–20Google Scholar
- Etchemendy J. (1990) The concept of logical consequence. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- Gamut L. T. F. (1991) Logic, language, and meaning—Vol. 1: Introduction to logic. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
- Goodman N. (1955) Fact, fiction, and forecast. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- Johnston M. (2006) Hylomorphism. Journal of Philosophy 103(12): 652–699Google Scholar
- Koslicki K. (2006) Aristotle’s mereology and the status of forms. Journal of Philosophy 103(12): 715–736Google Scholar
- Lagerlund, H. (2004). Medieval theories of the syllogism. In E. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/medieval-syllogism/.
- MacFarlane, J. (2000), What does it mean to say that logic is formal? PhD Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. http://johnmacfarlane.net/diss.html.
- MacFarlane, J. (2009), Logical constants. In E. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logical-constants/.
- Prior, A. (Ed.). (1976). What is logic? In Papers on logic and ethics (pp. 122–129). London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
- Rawls J. (1971) A theory of justice, 2nd edition 1999. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- Read S. (1995) Thinking about logic. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Simons, P. (Ed.). (1992). Bolzano, Tarski, and the limits of logic. In Philosophy and logic in central Europe from Bolzano to Tarski (pp. 13–40). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
- Tarski, A. (1936/2002). On the concept of following logically. History and Philosophy of Logic, 23, 155–196.Google Scholar
- Tarski, A. (1966/1986). What are logical notions? History and Philosophy of Logic, 7, 143–154.Google Scholar