Boethius on the Square of Opposition

Part of the Studies in Universal Logic book series (SUL)


This article intends to reconstruct the textual tradition of the square of oppositions from the earliest textual sources just as treated in Boethius’ commentaries on Aristotle’s De Interpretatione and his treatises on syllogistic, De syllogismo categorico and Introductio ad syllogismos categoricos. The research discovers two different tracks. One way comes from Plato’s Sophist and Aristotle’s De Interpretatione, and the aim is to distinguish contrariety from contradiction. The second influence also starts from Aristotle, but now in connection with his Prior Analytics and its commentaries and treatises on categorical syllogistic, where the aim is to show the square as one of the three main chapters of the complete theory of categorical logic. I suggest that this double ingredient has accompanied the development of the square from the very original beginning of logic.


Categorical logic Square of oppositions Logical/material truths Tradition of commentaries and treatises on Aristotelian logic Theory of oppositions 

Mathematics Subject Classification

03-02 03B65 



This article was made possible thanks to Fondecyt N° 1095206. I am also grateful to Prof. Pierre Simonnet for his great help and Prof. Pieter Seuren for his comments on the oral version of this paper at the Second World Congress on the Square of Opposition, June 17–20, Corsica. I am also very grateful to the editor and the referees for their comments on my paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de FilosofíaPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiago de ChileChile

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