Tuesday, July 5, 2011


(I strongly advise all logicians, analytic philosophers and linguists to please read this:)

Irving H. Anellis

Abstract. The historiography of logic conceives of a Fregean revolution in which modern mathematical logic (also called symbolic logic) has replaced Aristotelian logic. The preeminent expositors of this conception are Jean van Heijenoort (1912–1986) and Do-nald Angus Gillies. The innovations and characteristics that comprise mathematical logic and distinguish it from Aristotelian logic, according to this conception, created ex nihlo by Gottlob Frege (1848–1925) in his Begriffsschrift of 1879, and with Bertrand Rus-sell (1872–1970) as its chief This position likewise understands the algebraic logic of Augustus De Morgan (1806–1871), George Boole (1815–1864), Charles Sanders Peirce (1838–1914), and Ernst Schröder (1841–1902) as belonging to the Aristotelian tradi-tion. The “Booleans” are understood, from this vantage point, to merely have rewritten Aristotelian syllogistic in algebraic guise.

The most detailed listing and elaboration of Frege’s innovations, and the characteristics that distinguish mathematical logic from Aristotelian logic, were set forth by van Heijenoort. I consider each of the elements of van Heijenoort’s list and note the extent to which Peirce had also developed each of these aspects of logic. I also consider the extent to which Peirce and Frege were aware of, and may have influenced, one another’s logical writings.

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