Maimonides' Treatise on Logic

Makalah Fi-sina'at Al-mantik (Arabic original)
Millot ha-Higayon (Hebrew translation by Tibbon)
Maimonides' treatise on Logic ( english translation by Israel Efros)

Maimonides' Treatise on logic (Makalah fi-sina'at al-mantik):
the original Arabic and three Hebrew translations
Author: Moses Maimonides; Israel Efros; Mosheh Ibn Tibon; Ahitub ben Isaac; Jeronimo, de Santa Fe; All authors
Publisher: New York : American Academy for Jewish Research, 1938.

See also: Chapter 4 of
Joel L. Kraemer,
Maimonides. The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds,
Doubleday, 2008

Kraemer paraphrases:

The most important chapter of the logic treatise for our present and future purposes is chapter 8, in which Maimonides discussed four kinds of propositions that do not require proof and five types of syllogisms.

There are four kinds of propositions that are true and require no proof:

  1. Perceptions, as our knowing that this is black, this is sweet, and this is hot.
  2. First intelligibles (axioms), as our knowing that the whole is greater than the part, that two is an even number, and that things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.
  3. Conventions, as our knowledge that uncovering nudity is shameful, and that repaying a benefactor with favors is noble.
  4. Traditions are whatever is received from a single approved person or from an approved group.
  5. Whereas perceptions and first intelligibles are the same for all human beings with sound senses and instincts, conventions differ in that they are known among one nation (umma) and not another. The more nations there are that accept a convention, the stronger its assent is. The same is true of traditions that may be accepted by one nation and not another.
After this preparations, Maimonides continued:
  1. You must know that every syllogism whose premises are all certain we call a demonstrative syllogisms. The use of these criteria and the knowledge of their conditions we call the art of demonstration.
  2. When the syllogism's premises or one of them is conventional, we call call it a dialectical syllogisms and the use of these criteria and the knowledge of their conditions we call is the art of dialectic.
  3. When the premises of the syllogism or one of them is a received opinion [tradition], we call it a rhetorical syllogisms and the use of these criteria and the knowledge of their methods we call is the art of rhetoric.
Maimonides also listed the type of syllogisms used for deception and feigning, where one or both premises are the kind that a man uses to falsify in any of the syllogistic moods. These are sophistic syllogisms used in the art of sophisms.
Lastly, there are some who praise and blame things by means if imitations. "And any syllogism whose premise is used in this way of imitation and representation is called the art of poetry".