I am wondering if there was any shift or big revelations about logic that occurred in the history of philosophy. I am thinking it's highly likely, because if you read some of the thinkers during antiquity and even as far as the turn of the 19th century, you will see a lot of nonsense, so I am pretty sure that major developments happened. Perhaps, they weren't paradigm shifts, but still...

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  • "You will see a lot of nonsense", such as? And you should read Wikipedia's History of Logic first, and then make this much, much more specific. – Conifold Feb 25 at 4:56
  • I'm don't know much about history so I can't post a proper answer but there are indeed paradigm shifts. Roughly, the history of Logic isn't linear at all: there a lot of divergences and opposing ideas. The first shift is the "linguistic turn" in the 19th-20th century (where "formalism" and "intuitionism" but also "logicist" emerged). Recently, in the 21th century we have a "geometric turn" but also "computational shift" which is almost unknown to most philosophers. Computer Science drastically changed our understanding of Logic (see Linear Logic, Type Theory, Curry-Howard isomorphism). – Boris E. Feb 25 at 10:17
  • if 'statement' then 1=0 caused some headscratching for a while. Similarly there's Russels Paradox etc. But logic irself isn't really mutable.. we've just learned a lot about its limitations in terms of 'crap in = crap out'. That learning created formalised logic systems. – Richard Feb 25 at 10:19
  • Not a historian of logic but I share Richard's view and see evolution but no paradigm shifts. . – PeterJ Feb 25 at 10:24

I would say the biggest paradigm shift in philosophy was the change in our conception of infinity induced by Cantor's development of set theory. Prior to this, it was accepted as obvious that the concept of a completed infinity - e.g an actually infinite set of things (taken as an object in itself) - was wholly nonsensical, with good arguments against the idea. Now it is accepted, and our understanding is that prior counterarguments were not entirely sound.

  • If you have any references they may help justify your answer and direct the readers to where they may find more information. Welcome. – Frank Hubeny Feb 25 at 19:21
  • @FrankHubeny: Here are two writings of mine: CS Prehistory Math-Computer science relation – Rusi-packing-up Feb 27 at 4:35
  • Not sure this qualifies as a paradigm shift in logic/rationality rather than in mathematics/metaphysics. – Conifold Feb 27 at 10:07

I don't think there were any shifts too big, but I guess philosophy will have changed after great thinkers like Aristotle and such, or great political inventions like democracy. Philosophy would have changed a lot.


One of my favorite shifts: From Aristotle logic was deductive ie implication-al.

For 2000 years...

After Boole it became equational. ie from Boole logic became part of math.

Above well known:

Less well known Dijkstra Scholten carried Boole from proposional to predicate logic. Interestingly DS attribute their inspiration to Leibniz.

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