Socrates’ Syllogism: A Study on the Origin of Aristotelian Syllogistics



The fascination exerted by an intellectual product as complex and refined as Aristotelian syllogism has fed, since ancient times, the question of its genesis. In the contemporary debate on the subject, which developed between the end of the nineteenth century and the middle of the twentieth century, the prevailing thesis is that Aristotle developed syllogistics starting from a comparison with the Platonic διαίρεσις, or dichotomous division («διαίρεσις-theory»). With the present study we take a position within the discussion, and, faced with the unsustainability of the many arguments in favor of the «διαίρεσις-theory», as well as the consistency of the objections that can be raised, we retain and present the hypothesis of poor notoriety, advanced in the 1920s by the American philologist Paul Shorey, according to which the antecedent of the inferential scheme of the Stagirite is the method of Ideas outlined by Plato in the Phaedo. In this way we propose to offer a contribution so that the interesting question of the origin of Aristotelian syllogism, substantially fallen into oblivion, is returned to the attention of current research.

Keywords: syllogism, διαίρεσις, Idea, αἰτία, part-whole relationship, intention-extension, cause, explanation, participation.

About Author

Lelio Paolo Panzone (1995) graduated in Philosophy and Educational Sciences and is currently in the second year of the degree course in Philosophical Sciences. He attended the 2019 autumn semester at Fordham University in New York and the International Workshop on World Cultural Heritage Studies (8/2019) as well as the summer course in "Ancient Spoken Greek" at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, organized by the "Polis" Institute in Jerusalem (7/2018). As part of his academic career, he has received four scholarships from various institutions and organizations (2012-2013-2014). He published "The Failure of the Revolution: Berdjaev's Analysis", in the journal "Lineatempo13" (2017,3).

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