Talk:Boole's Syllogistic
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Talk:Boole's Syllogistic

Future of this article

Asit stands, this article is fairly trivial, slightly POV and redundant. It's not a bad place to start a proper exegesis of Boole;s calculus, so I propose we turn it into a historical article along those lines. ---- Charles Stewart 23:52, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Proposed replacement for this article (replacement done, see next section)

I am developing an article currently under the name Boolean algebra (basic concepts), but this may be a more appropriate place to put that content. I will try to get opinions of others before moving it here. I would think the history would belong under the article on George Boole, but I have no objection to having a history section added to what I am writing, if it is placed here. StuRat 23:52, 15 September 2005 (UTC)


I, of course, support the move. StuRat 17:09, 16 September 2005 (UTC)


I have one user who supports the proposed move. Here is their comment left under the proposed replacement page currently at Talk:Boolean algebra (basic concepts):

"This is because Boolean logic is not a very good article. This one is much better, and should replace it. Septentrionalis (User:Pmanderson) 13:54, 16 September 2005 (UTC)"


Another user, Oleg Alexandrov, also seems to support this move, based on his edits of the new article currently under the name Boolean algebra (basic concepts). Those edits appear to be attempts to change the name to Boolean logic. StuRat 16:46, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I am not sure that I support the move. I don't know much about Boolean algebra. All I said that Boolean algebra (basic concepts) was a rather incoherent thing, and try to fix some of that. Maybe there is some Boolean logic using which one can infer from my edits that I support the move, but that logic is definitely not the 1, 0 logic I am accustomed with. :) Oleg Alexandrov 16:19, 18 September 2005 (UTC)


I'll recap the comments I left at the talk page for StuRat's article.

First, while this article could stand a rewrite, if "Boolean logic" does in fact refer to a simplification of Aristotelean syllogistic by allowing vacuous truth, that's important enough for an article (and by the way does not seem to be all that closely related to propositional calculus, contrary to the notice at the top).

Perhaps more importantly, WP is not the place to start a language reform. "Boolean logic" is a better name than "Boolean algebra" for the logical calculus, but it's not what people actually call it, or at least not usually. So I think we're stuck with parenthesized versons of "Boolean algebra", much as we might not wish it. --Trovatore 16:28, 16 September 2005 (UTC)


I agree with Travatore. But I wish some logicians would respond to this issue. Chareles Stewart's is the the local expert in the field I think. I would especially like to hear his opinion. Unfortunately he hasn't been around for the last month or so. By the way I think that StuRat has done an excellent job on this article, even if I don't like the name. Paul August 16:00, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the compliment. I would like a clarification of your position. Are you saying you would like to have this material (Boole's syllogistic) restored under the original name of Boolean logic ? If so, what name would you prefer for that article's current content ? StuRat 17:31, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
You are welcome. Yes to be more clear, I had forgotten which talk page I was on, so I was complimenting you on the article at Boolean logic. And yes I think that this article "Boole's syllogistic" should probably be moved back. I don't know what the other article should be called but I think it should be probably be called "Boolean algebra (something)". If I had to pick a name now it would be "Boolean algebra (logic)". But like I said above I would like the opinion of a logician like Charles. Paul August 17:59, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. "Boolean algebra (logic)" isn't a bad suggestion, but it's pretty close to "Boolean logic". Do you think someone looking up "Boolean logic" would rather see the material under Boole's syllogistic than the material currently under Boolean logic ? StuRat 18:12, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
Well I am not a logician. And I'm not particularly familiar with the history and usage of the term "Boolean logic". As Travator points out above the term may more usually refer to a simplification of Aristotelean syllogistic. As I've said twice before, I would like to know what more knowledgable editors have to say. Paul August 19:07, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
You could always e-mail Charles. From the very top of this page it seems he's not too impressed by the current Boole's syllogistic article, and of course he may well be right. OTOH from his user page it looks like he's not a hardcore philosophical logician, but at least a borderline mathematical logician. Anyone know where to find a philosophical logician of the old school, or perhaps better, a historian of logic? --Trovatore 19:29, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Article has been moved

This article was moved from Boolean logic, and a new article was placed there. If you want this article restored under Boolean logic, please say so here. If you want to move it to any other unoccupied name, go ahead and move it, but be sure to update all links to it, as well. StuRat 13:06, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

PC --> FOL

The notice at the top used to say "A very closely related topic is propositional calculus". Not so much. Propositional calculus has no quantifiers, whereas this article is about syllogistic logic of "all" and "some". --Trovatore 18:37, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Charles set me straight on this (or at least convinced me that I don't really know what's going on). I've gone ahead and removed the notice entirely; it didn't seem to serve any useful function. --Trovatore 19:12, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Late comments

Paul August mailed me, so here I am...

I'm far from an expert on Boole's logic, but I've at least read some and attended a few talks where Boole's work was discussed, so at least I have an informed ignorance. Two points:

  1. Boole did not propose a separate syllogistic calculus, rather what he proposed was an interpretation of syllogistic into his algebra. There are a few accounts of the interpretation on the web, of which Stanley Burris' A Fragment of Boole's Algebraic Logic Suitable for Traditional Syllogistic Logic is perhaps the best.
  2. The current article is talking about how this interpretation proposes a resolution to the problem of existential import (see square of opposition), one incompatible with Aristotle assertions. One of the many problems with the article as it stands is that it isn't clear that that is what it is doing. I suppose no one else is going to fix it but me: I'll get around to it...
  3. Naturally this calculus is propositional logic and not predicate logic. The embedding of syllogsitic into propositional logic shows that syllogistic corresponds to a very weak fragment of predicate logic.

I don't think Boole's syllogistic is a good title for this: first it suggest Boole proposed a syllogistic system, and second the material doesn't stand too well apart from a discussion of the logic proper. There's a reasonable case for putting this material in the George Boole article, but my preference is for a separate article, perhaps called The Laws of Thought, which would be freer to get into the technicalities of later discussions. --- Charles Stewart 18:30, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Looks like you're the man with the plan, Charles. Glanced at the Burris paper; very interesting. I await further enlightenment when you get your round tuit. --Trovatore 18:59, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
He might be "the man" but his counting skills are questionable: "Two points: 1. ... 2. ... 3."  Reminds me of variation on an old joke: there are three kinds of people I hate, those who understand binary and those who don't ;-) Paul August 19:45, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Have you seen Johnny Stecchino? --Trovatore 20:24, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
No, is it good? (By the way Charles goes out of his way to set us straight, and then I make fun of him. I'm very bad! I think for my punishment I need to be made to listen to several really bad jokes.) Paul August 20:56, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
It's great, if you like Benigni. A few of the jokes don't really work in English, but there's plenty left. No one's answered my query yet about why fields are immoral. --Trovatore 00:35, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Um ... because a field has no ideals? Paul August 00:57, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, no proper ideals, anyway. Ego te absolvo --Trovatore 01:18, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Bless me father for I have sinned ... — Paul August 03:27, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
OK, if it's time for bad jokes, I have one, too. Why do computer programmers confuse Halloween and Christmas ?
...Because 31OCT = 25DEC
 ;-) — Paul August 03:27, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
As for the name changes, I'm fine with any suggestion that clarifies it, as long as this isn't renamed back to Boolean logic. StuRat 02:19, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm still thinking about the names ... Paul August 03:27, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Counting skills: well, aren't mathematicians famous for their weaknesses here...
I'm still not done with the review, but I'll put in a bit of time this afternoon. --- Charles Stewart 18:22, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

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