Deductive Inference and the History of Logic: Two Perspectives


Aristotle (384-322 BC) was the founder of the discipline of logic. Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) was one of the founders of modern mathematical logic. Aristotle's "Prior Analytics" and Frege's "Concept-Script" are among the most influential texts in the history of logic. While they differ in many respects, there are some significant similarities in their treatment of deductive inference. Both of them take a distinctively formal approach to deductive inference. This presentation will explore these similarities, aiming to determine the sense in which both logical systems can be said to be "formal". To this end, we will look at Aristotle's informal account of deduction in the "Topics", and at how it differs from the formal, syllogistic account provided in the "Prior Analytics".