Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
[b]Aristotle's Logic (First published Sat Mar 18, 2000; substantive revision Wed Apr 29, 2015)
"Aristotle’s logic, especially his theory of the syllogism, has had an unparalleled influence on the history of Western thought. It did not always hold this position: in the Hellenistic period, Stoic logic, and in particular the work of Chrysippus, took ...[text shortened]... ind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." "Happiness depends upon ourselves."[/b]
Aristotelian logic was what was transmitted to the Arabic and the Latin medieval traditions
Firstly, everyone agrees that Aristotelian logic and much of Hellenistic philosophy was lost to Europe as a direct consequence of the Church suppressing it - closing the academies, preventing teaching, attacking practitioners as "pagans", burning or banning books and doctoring written records.
Secondly, it is agreed that it was rediscovered in two ways: by indirect transmission through Arab philosophers in Muslim Spain and when Byzantine scholars took manuscripts from Constantinople to the West when it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The latter event, of course, is very much later (by several centuries) than the first. So it is again agreed generally that Western Christians (notably Thomas Aquinas) learned about Greek philosophy from the Muslims.
What is false, however, is the claim that Greek philosophy passed through the Muslim world without alteration or improvement. This fiction was promoted because it would have been considered shameful (and unacceptable) to admit that Christian philosophy, when it was finally and reluctantly tolerated in the work of Aquinas, was in fact largely the product of the Muslim world of Central Asia - notably Baghdad. It was a convenient fiction to pretend a continuity from the Greeks to the Roman Church and disavow other influences. It is refuted thoroughly in a history by (an American) Randall Collins, from which I may take some material and give page numbers.
That does not mean that all this was the work exclusively of Muslims. Other religons were tolerated throughout Islam, in stark contrast to Christian Europe. During the 800s, at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, many Greek works were translated into Arabic by Nestorian Christians (heretics who had left the Byzantine Empire for Persia in 430 CE), Sabians (star worshippers) and Zoroastrians (more influential than many people seem to appreciate). They were most interested in science, medicine and mathematics, which were considered religiously neutral. "In the Greek medicine of antiquity, the doctor was not merely a dispenser of cures but a public figure; arguing and lecturing was a major part of legitimating medicine at a time when its practice was not very effective. This style carried over into the Islamic context." (p408) The doctor who would eventually construct the most comprehensive treatment of logic would be a Muslim Doctor named Ibn Sina - whom we know in the West by the name Avicenna.
In the 900s, Muslim philosophers (the Mu'tazaite - Ash'arite network) "took indigenous Muslim philosophy towards issues comparable at many points to positions later argued by the famous philosophers of mediaeval Christendom and early modern Europe. " [p412] Maybe I will come back and list some examples - there are many. The point, however, is that they did so on their own terms and without reliance on the Greeks. What emerged was a huge advance on anything achieved by the Greeks and it was this, more advanced Muslim philosophy that was transmitted to Western Europe.
The links between the Greeks and later European philosophy are in many respects fabricated in order to deny the debt we owe to the Muslim World. Indeed, this is made more apparent when we are able to appreciate the many ways in which Greek thought was entirely at odds with what we are led to expect. Again, examples could follow if there was interest.