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A Debate About Anderson's Logic

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This article is about the history of logic in Australia. Douglas Gasking (1911-1994) undertook to translate the logical terminology of John Anderson (1893-1962) into that of Ludwig Wittgenstein's (1921) Tractatus. At the time Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976), and more recently David Armstrong, recommended the result to students; but it is reasonable to have misgivings about Gasking as a guide to either Anderson or Wittgenstein. The historical interest of the debate Gasking initiated is that it yielded surprisingly little information about Anderson's traditional (syllogistic or Aristotelian) logic and its relation to classical (first-order predicate or Russellian) logic, the ostensible topic; but the materials now exist to interpret Anderson's logic in classical logic, possibly as an algebra of classes. This would be of little interest to contemporary logicians, but it might shed some light on Anderson's philosophy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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