ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

I. -- Logic.

35. Notion of Logic. -- Aristotle is the creator of logic or the "analytic" of the mind. Going beyond Socrates and Plato who had investigated only the formation of general concepts, Aristotle made out a whole system of laws which the human mind must follow in order to acquire scientific knowledge. His point of view was chiefly methodological, and although in the constitution of his system logic is closely connected with psychology and metaphysics, it is treated primarily as an instrument of knowledge; it determines the form of science, abstracting altogether from its content. What is the meaning of knowing scientifically? It is to ascertain what a thing is, its essence; to get at the causes of its reality. Scientific demonstration, and the syllogism which is its basis, enable us to discover the essences of things and their causes. That is why these processes form the main topic of Aristotle's logic, and the subject-matter of his principal logical treatise, the Analytics. But both these processes of the mind presuppose a study of the elementary operations into which they resolve themselves: conception and judgment.

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