Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Why the order of the figures of the hypothetical syllogisms was changed

  • Susanne Bobzien (a1)

In chapter 6 of Alcinous’ Handbook of Platonism we find a discussion of categorical, hypothetical, and mixed syllogisms. Alcinous distinguishes three figures of the hypothetical syllogism, and illustrates each figure with a syllogism based on an argument from Plato. Here he remarks in passing that most people called the second hypothetical figure the third and that some called the third figure the second. We may assume that those who called the third figure the second and those who called the second the third were the same. In a parallel passage, Alexander of Aphrodisias advocates the same ordering of figures of hypothetical syllogisms as Alcinous, and reports that Theophrastus, in the first book of his Analytics, had the second and third figure in reverse order. Combining these passages, we can infer that at the turn of the second century A.D. there existed two different views on the ordering of the figures of the hypothetical syllogisms, of which one goes back to Theophrastus, whereas the other presumably was the result of a later change.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Classical Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0009-8388
  • EISSN: 1471-6844
  • URL: /core/journals/classical-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 1 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 46 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.