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    This article is about Aristotle's works on logic. For other uses, see Organon . For a

    discussion of Aristotelian logic as a system, see term logic.

    The Organon is the name given by Aristotle's followers, the Peripatetics, to the standard

    collection of his six works on logic. The works are Categories, Prior Analytics, On

    Interpretation, Posterior Analytics, Sophistical Refutations, and Topics.


    ; 1 Constitution of the texts

    ; 2 Influence

    ; 3 Notes

    ; 4 References

    ; 5 External links

    Constitution of the texts

    The order of the works is not chronological (which is now hard to determine) but was deliberately chosen by Theophrastus to constitute a well-structured system. Indeed, parts of them seem to be a scheme of a lecture on logic. The arrangement of the works was made by 1Andronicus of Rhodes around 40 BC.

    Aristotle's Metaphysics has some points of overlap with the works making up the Organon but is not traditionally considered part of it; additionally there are works on logic attributed, with varying degrees of plausibility, to Aristotle that were not known to the Peripatetics.

    ; The Categories (Latin: Categoriae) introduces Aristotle's 10-fold classification of

    that which exists. These categories consist of substance, quantity, quality, relation,

    place, time, situation, condition, action, and passion.

    ; On Interpretation (Latin:De Interpretatione, Greek Perihermenias) introduces

    Aristotle's conception of proposition and judgment, and the various relations

    between affirmative, negative, universal and particular propositions. It contains

    Aristotle's principal contribution to philosophy of language. It also discusses the

    Problem of the futures contingents.

    ; The Prior Analytics (Latin: Analytica Priora) introduces his syllogistic method (see

    term logic), argues for its correctness, and discusses inductive inference.

    ; The Posterior Analytics (Latin: Analytica Posteriora) deals with demonstration,

    definition, and scientific knowledge.

    ; The Topics (Latin: Topica) treats issues in constructing valid arguments, and

    inference that is probable, rather than certain. It is in this treatise that Aristotle

    mentions the Predicables, later discussed by Porphyry and the scholastic logicians.

    ; Sophistical Refutations (Latin: De Sophisticis Elenchis) gives a treatment of logical

    fallacies, and provides a key link to Aristotle's work on rhetoric. Influence

    The Organon was used in the school founded by Aristotle at the Lyceum, and some parts of

    the works seem to be a scheme of a lecture on logic. So much so that after Aristotle's death, his publishers (Andronicus of Rhodes in 50 BC, for example) collected these works.

    Following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, much of Aristotle's work

    was lost in the Latin West. The Categories and On Interpretation are the only significant

    logical works that were available in the early Middle Ages. These had been translated into Latin by Boethius. The other logical works were not available until translated to Latin in the 12th century, although preserved in the Greek-speaking lands of the Roman Empire.

    The books of Aristotle were available in the Arab Empire and were studied by Islamic and

    Jewish scholars, including Rabbi Moses Maimonides (11351204) and Muslim Judge Ibn

    Rushd (1126 - 1198); both lived in Cordoba, Spain. Cordoba had 70 libraries, one of them

    with over 40,000 volumes; the two largest libraries in non-Arab Europe each had only 2,000 volumes.

    All the major scholastic philosophers wrote commentaries on the Organon. Aquinas,

    Ockham and Scotus wrote commentaries on On Interpretation. Ockham and Scotus wrote

    commentaries on the Categories and Sophistical Refutations. Grosseteste wrote an

    influential commentary on the Posterior Analytics.

    In the Enlightenment there was a revival of interest in logic as the basis of rational enquiry, and a number of texts, most successfully the Port-Royal Logic, polished Aristotelian term

    logic for pedagogy. During this period, while the logic certainly was based on that of Aristotle, Aristotle's writings themselves were less often the basis of study. There was a tendency in this period to regard the logical systems of the day to be complete, which in

    turn no doubt stifled innovation in this area. However Francis Bacon published his Novum [1]Organum ("The New Organon") as a scathing attack in 1620 . Immanuel Kant thought

    that there was nothing else to invent after the work of Aristotle, and a famous logic historian called Karl von Prantl claimed that any logician who said anything new about

    logic was "confused, stupid or perverse." These examples illustrate the force of influence which Aristotle's works on logic had. Indeed, he had already become known by the Scholastics (medieval Christian scholars) as "The Philosopher", in large part due to the influence he had upon Aquinas. The dogmatism created by the Scholastics in favor of Aristotle did not disappear until the early modern period.

    Since the logical innovations of the 19th century, particularly the formulation of modern predicate logic, Aristotelian logic is mainly studied out of historical interest. There is, however, a mostly pedagogical interest in term logic deriving from its close structure to the

    actual forms of reasoning encountered in natural language.


    1 Hammond, p. 64, "Andronicus Rhodus"


    1. ^ The Teaching Company - Birth of the Modern Mind ; Edghill, E. M. (translator) (2007), written at The University of Adelaide, Categories,

    eBooks @ Adelaide, <>.

    ; Edghill, E. M. (translator) (2007), written at The University of Adelaide, On

    Interpretation, eBooks @ Adelaide,


    ; Jenkinson, A. J. (translator) (2007), written at The University of Adelaide, Prior

    Analytics, eBooks @ Adelaide,


    ; Mure, G. R. G. (translator) (2007), written at The University of Adelaide, Posterior

    Analytics, eBooks @ Adelaide,


    ; Pickard-Cambridge, W. A. (translator) (2007), written at The University of

    Adelaide, Topics, eBooks @ Adelaide,


    ; Pickard-Cambridge, W. A. (translator) (2007), written at The University of

    Adelaide, On Sophistical Refutations, eBooks @ Adelaide,


    ; Bocheński, I. M., 1951. Ancient Formal Logic. Amsterdam: North-Holland. ; Couturat, Louis, 1961. La Logique de Leibniz. Hildesheim: Georg Olms


    ; Hammond and Scullard, 1992. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford University

    Press, ISBN 0-19-869117-3.

    ; Jan Łukasiewicz, 1951. Aristotle's Syllogistic, from the Standpoint of Modern

    Formal Logic. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    ; Parry and Hacker, 1991. Aristotelian Logic. Albany: State University of New York


    ; Parsons, Terence, 1999. 'Traditional Square of Opposition'. Article at the Stanford

    Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

    ; Rose, Lynn E., 1968. Aristotle's Syllogistic. Springfield, Ill.: Clarence C. Thomas.

    ; Smith, Robin, 2004. 'Aristotle's Logic'. Article at the Stanford Encyclopedia of


    ; Turner, W., 1903. 'History of Philosophy'. Ginn and Co, Boston. All references in

    this article are to Chapter nine on 'Aristotle'.

    ; Veatch, Henry B., 1969. Two Logics: The Conflict between Classical and Neo-

    Analytic Philosophy. Evanston: Northwestern Univ. Press. External links

    Wikisource has original text related to this article:


    ; J. Evans, 'A summary of the Organon'. Class notes.

    ; Aristotle article at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

    ; Aristotelian Logic (PlanetMath's entry)

    ; Aristotle's Logic entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy by Robin Smith Retrieved from ""

    Categories: Works of Aristotle | Cognitive science literature | History of logic

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