Course Objectives

1) To grasp the fundamental character of Aristotelian logic so that we can understand references to it in philosophical and theological discussions; 2) to be able to perceive the use of logical tools in Aristotle and St. Thomas so that we can read both with more understanding; 3) to begin to use the tools of logic to think, write, and teach more clearly.

Required Texts

This course does not require the purchase of any textbooks. All of the required readings are available on the course's web site. The readings from St. Thomas and Porphyry are not readily available in print, but the Aristotle readings are for the most part. Most of them can be found in either The Basic Works of Aristotle, edited by Richard McKeon, or Aristotle, Selected Works, translated by Hippocrates Apostle. Plato's Meno is also readily available in print, for example, in Plato, Five Dialogues, translated by G.M.A. Grube. (Note: I have occasionally altered the translation of the texts of Aristotle to bring out his meaning more clearly, but I have in the main followed the standard translation as given in McKeon's edition.)

Recommended Texts

For further help in working out the details of Aristotelian logic I can recommend either of two books: 1) Logic: The Art of Defining and Reasoning, by John A. Oesterle (a classic logic textbook still in print and available on Amazon); 2) or, Logic, An Aristotelian Approach, by Sr. Mary Michael Spangler (very good, more logic drills, but overall less highly recommended).

St. Thomas wrote commentaries on two books of the Organon, On Interpretation and Posterior Analytics. There are English translations of both works, but both may be out of print.

For a theoretical discussion of the nature of analogous naming, I recommend Aquinas and Analogy by Ralph McInerny.


Order of Study for Each Lesson

  1. First read the assigned Reading.
  2. Then view or listen to the taped lecture. An outline of each lecture is available on the web site.
  3. Next read the Supplementary Text that accompanies each lecture. This contains important matters which did not fit into the lecture format.
  4. Finally complete the exercises for that lesson.


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