The history of logic
is the study of the development of the science of valid inference (logic
). While many cultures have employed intricate systems of reasoning, and logical methods are evident in all human thought, an explicit analysis of the principles of reasoning was developed only in three traditions: those of China
, and Greece
. Of these, only the treatment of logic descending from the Greek tradition, particularly Aristotelian logic
, found wide application and acceptance in science and mathematics. The Greek tradition was further developed by Islamic logicians
and then medieval European
logicians. Not until the 19th century does the next great advance in logic arise, with the development of symbolic logic by George Boole
and its subsequent development into formal calculable logical systems by Gottlob Frege
and set theorists such as Georg Cantor
and Giuseppe Peano
, ushering in the Information Age
Logic was known as 'dialectic' or 'analytic' in Ancient Greece. The word 'logic' (from the Greek logos, meaning discourse or sentence) does not appear in the modern sense until the commentaries of Alexander of Aphrodisias, writing in the third century A.D.
) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek
philosopher, a student of Plato
and teacher of Alexander the Great
. He wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics
, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.
Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. He was the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics. Aristotle's views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance, although they were ultimately replaced by Newtonian Physics. In the biological sciences, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate only in the nineteenth century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late nineteenth century into modern formal logic. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and it continues to influence Christian theology, especially Eastern Orthodox theology, and the scholastic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today.