George Boole showed that a mathematical approach could be applied to logic, making it amenable to calculation. He took the principles of logic and reduced them to a simple form of algebra, now widely known as Boolean algebra.
Interestingly, Boole acknowledged that, Boolean Algebra is build upon the philosophy defined by Aristotle. Aristotle’s logic was presented in his six-part book The Organon, occupied a central place in the scholarly canon for more than 2,000 years.
Boole in initial days was more known as philosopher before his logic was popularised and has now become the foundation for technology – be it computer programming, electronic circuits, transistors etc.
Aristotle’s central observation was that arguments were valid or not based on their logical structure, independent of the non-logical words involved. The most famous argument schema he discussed is known as the syllogism:
- All men are mortal.
- Socrates is a man.
- Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
You can replace “Socrates” with any other object, and “mortal” with any other predicate, and the argument remains valid. The validity of the argument is determined solely by the logical structure. The logical words — “all,” “is,” are,” and “therefore” — are doing all the work.
The Boolean algebra converts the Aristotle logic in terms of simple mathematical relationship, which is universally used as AND,OR,NOT Truth tables.
Technology today is powered by Boolean algebra which in turn was inspired from Aristotle’s philosophy.
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