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Classics in ProgressEssays on Ancient Greece and Rome$
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T. P. Wiseman

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263235

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263235.001.0001

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Galen, Christians, logic

Galen, Christians, logic

(p.399) 16 Galen, Christians, logic
Classics in Progress

Jonathan Barnes

British Academy

The three subjects — Galen, Christians, and logic — have two things in common. First, they are major aspects of the ancient world: Galen was one of the three most influential scientists of antiquity (alongside Aristotle and Ptolemy): the Christians eventually kidnapped the Empire; and logic is one of the few ancient sciences which is not entirely out of date. Second, they are of marginal interest to classical scholarship. Galen has his votaries; but there is too much of him, and his case exemplifies one of the iron laws of philology: the more of an author survives, the less he is read. The Christians were yet more voluminous. As for logic, it has rarely been loved. Galen was dissatisfied with the bipartite discipline of logic, so he invented what he termed ‘a third class of syllogism’, the class of relational arguments.

Keywords:   Christianity, Galen, logic, categorical syllogism, relational arguments

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