04/11 — Felipe Weinmann

Multiple Semantics for Syllogistics and a Problem of Adequacy

Felipe Weinmann
PhD candidate, University of Campinas, Unicamp, Brazil

Standard interpretations of Aristotle’s definition of syllogistic arguments generally agree on what this characterization is a definition of, i.e. valid arguments. Furthermore, standard interpretations agree on the basic syntax held by these arguments. What is not agreed upon is the semantics for a proper interpretation of syllogisms. Thus, since the 1970’s several proposals have been made to advance an adequate interpretation of Aristotelian logic. My aim in this talk is to compare these semantic systems, all of which show crucial differences, and to raise the question if standard interpretations are not on the wrong track. In comparing several distinct semantics, all of which are sound and complete with respect to the same given syntax, I will employ Kreisel’s famous squeezing argument.

Keywords: Aristotle’s logic, Definition of the syllogism, Multiple semantics, adequacy