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  • Kamran Karimullah (a1) (a2)

I examine the theory of conditional propositions (qaḍāyā šarṭiyya muttaṣila) and conditional syllogisms (qiyāsāt šarṭiyya) in the logical works of Alfarabi (d. 950). I contextualize Alfarabi's logical doctrines related to conditional reasoning against the backdrop of the context-theory of logic, which was developed by Aristotle's ancient commentators. I show that Alfarabi thought that conditional propositions have truth-conditions. I provide conjectural truth-conditions for conditional propositions, and conjectural validity-conditions for connective conditional syllogisms. These truth-conditions and validity-conditions are shown to be sensitive to the pragmatic conditions in which conditional propositions and arguments are deployed. I end by suggesting that Alfarabi's logical pragmatism is a consequence of his adoption of the late antique context-theory of logic rather than a result of his developing Aristotle's formal syllogistic theory adumbrated in the Prior Analytics.


Dans cette étude j'examine la théorie des propositions conditionnelles (qaḍāyā šarṭiyya muttaṣila) d'Alfarabi (m. 950) et son système des syllogismes conditionnels (qiyāsāt šarṭiyya). J'établis qu'Alfarabi a formulé sa théorie des propositions conditionnelles et syllogismes conditionnels comme une extension d'une théorie de langue dans laquelle le contexte dialectique demeure au centre de l'analyse des propositions et des syllogismes (appelée ‘context-theory’). Je démontre que selon l'avis d'Alfarabi les propositions conditionnelles ont conditions de vérité. Je fournis des conditions de vérité conjecturales et des conditions de validité conjecturales. Je suggère que ces conditions de vérité et ces conditions de validité sont sensibles aux conditions pragmatiques dans lesquelles les prémisses conditionnelles et les arguments conditionnels sont utilisés. Je conclus que le pragmatisme logique d'Alfarabi est une conséquence de son adoption d'une théorie logique sensible au contexte dialectique d'antiquité tardive plutôt qu'une conséquence de développement de la théorie syllogistique formelle d'Aristote dans les Premiers Analytiques.

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A. Speca , Hypothetical Syllogistic and Stoic Logic (Leiden, 2001)

J. Bennett , A Philosophical Guide to Conditionals (Oxford/New York, 2003), pp. 2033

T. Smiley , ‘What is a syllogism?’, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 2/1 (1973): 136–54

J. Corcoran , ‘A mathematical model of Aristotle's syllogistic’, Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 55/2 (1973): 191219

C. Martin , ‘The logic of negation in Boethius’, Phronesis 36/3 (1991): 277304, p. 279

Denying conditionals: Abaelard and the failure of Boethius' account of the hypothetical syllogism’, Vivarium, 45 (2007): 153–68

E. Adams , ‘The logic of conditionals’, Inquiry, 8 (1965): 166–97, p. 184

J. Collins , ‘Counterfactuals, causation, and preemption’, in D. Jacquette (ed.), Philosophy of Logic (Dordrecht, 2007), pp. 1127–43

T. Smiley , ‘Rejection’, Analysis, 56/1 (1996): 19

E. Adams , The Logic of Conditionals: An Application of Probability to Deductive Logic (Dordrecht/Boston, 1975)

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Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0957-4239
  • EISSN: 1474-0524
  • URL: /core/journals/arabic-sciences-and-philosophy
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