The Issue of Demonstrativeness of the Five Syllogistical Arts in Peripatetic Logicians in Islam

مسألة برهانية الصنائع القياسية الخمس عند المنطقيين المشائين في الإسلام

Keywords: Peripatetic logicians in Islam, the art of demonstration, demonstrativeness of the five arts, particular actions, universal rules, philosophy of logic


In ancient philosophy, Logic was seen as the instrument and method of philosophy. However, sometimes detailed and profound discussions have been made about the demonstrativeness of philosophical sciences. Most philosophers have accepted that the mathematical sciences were especially demonstrative and likewise, most of the natural sciences are demonstrative for them. But can metaphysics be demonstrative or not? This is one of the fundamental issues around which the great debates were made in Islamic philosophy. While these issues are known to specialists in this field, we can hardly find studies and research that deal with this issue to a sufficient degree and precise discussions in our day, I mean the issue of demonstrativeness of art of demonstration, art of dialectic, art of sophistry, art of rhetoric and art of poetry. It is clear that the peripatetic philosophers did not write a separate book or treatise on the issue of the demonstrativeness of the logical arts, but we can claim that they believed that all these arts were demonstrative and that they were extracted/abstracted using the art of demonstration. We can come across important phrases and statements that prove this claim between the lines of the books that these philosophers wrote in the science of logic. And while Aristotle is the founder of the science of logic, then how is it to be understood that there are practical particular examples and some easy rules of these arts? According to their texts, we can say that they believed that the actual performance of these arts by their actors in materials by particular and practical actions differs from extracting their universal rules by abstracting them from their materials through theoretical and analytical research. For example, the poems of the great poets; Homer and al-Mutanabbi, are particular works in the matter of the art of poetry performed by poets. The books written by Aristotle and Ibn Rushd in the art of poetry contain universal rules extracted abstractly from the materials of their particular poems. As for understanding the demonstrativeness of the remaining four arts, it is easier, but how should we understand the demonstrativeness of the art of demonstration itself? It seems that the peripatetic logicians also distinguished between applying demonstrative inferences to significant materials and extracting the universal rules of the art of demonstration from these materials. These five logical arts are not particular and practical things, but they are philosophical, demonstrative, and analytical studies for the peripatetic logicians in Islam. In this paper, we will try to draw attention to the issue of the demonstrativeness of the five arts and to open a new discussion about it based on some important sentences and phrases expressed by al-Fārābī, Ibn Zur‘a, Ibn Sīnā, Ibn Bājja and Ibn Rushd between the lines in their books, which they wrote in the field of logic and within different and multiple contexts.

How to Cite
Tekin, Ali. 2023. “The Issue of Demonstrativeness of the Five Syllogistical Arts in Peripatetic Logicians in Islam”. Entelekya Logico-Metaphysical Review 7 (2), 11-33.