If, then, therefore? Neoplatonic Exegetical Logic Between the Categorical and the Hypothetical

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In late antiquity, logic developed into what Ebbesen calls the LAS, the Late Ancient Standard. This paper discusses the Neoplatonic use of LAS, as informed by epistemological and metaphysical concerns. It demonstrates this through an analysis of the late ancient debate about hypothetical and categorical logic as manifest in the practice of syllogizing Platonic dialogues. After an introduction of the Middle Platonist view on Platonic syllogistic as present in Alcinous, this paper presents an overview of its application in the syllogizing practice of Proclus and others. That overview shows that the two types were considered two sides of the same coin, to be used for the appropriate occasions, and both relying on the methods of dialectic as revealing the structure of knowledge and reality. Pragmatics, dialectic, and didactic choices determine which type or combination is selected in syllogizing Plato. So even though there is no specific Neoplatonic logic, there is a specific Neoplatonic use of LAS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-43
Number of pages41
JournalHistory of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Issue number1
Early online date7 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Special issue-editors: Jan Opsomer and Pieter D'Hoine.


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