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Chapter Summary

Robert Kilwardby expounds three different readings of Aristotle's definition of the syllogism. He doesn't attribute these readings to anyone in particular; however the first corresponds closely to Boethius's exposition, and the second is consistent with Aristotle's own further remarks on the nature of the syllogism in the Prior Analytics. The third reading is in fact that advanced in the late twelfth-century Dialectica Monacensis. An argument is a belief-producing reason about a doubtful matter. Therefore, argument is relative to the soul in which it produces belief; and so is syllogism, in so far as it is an argument. Aristotle and Boethius define the enthymeme in different ways - Aristotle as a syllogism from probabilities or signs, and Boethius as a syllogism that is lacking one premise. The perfect syllogisms are preeminent both from an axiomatic point of view and in the degree to which they exemplify the syllogism's Final Cause.

Keywords: Aristotle; Dialectica Monacensis; Prior Analytics; Robert Kilwardby; syllogism



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