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The study of relations, in the history and philosophy of logic, plays an important role in the shift from the traditional paradigm of Aristotelian logic, primarily centred around an idea of analysis of language in terms of the subject-predicate distinction, to the new conceptual framework emerging at the end of the XIXth and at the beginning of the XXth century with the progressive mathematisation of logic.
Innovation, however, did not occur all at once in this process. Late ancient and medieval interpreters, writing in Greek, Latin, and Arabic over a span of more than ten centuries - from the 5th to the 15th - already offered a broad array of theoretical options, some of which were later on to be rediscovered and given rigorous formal treatment by moderns. For instance, the study of the validity of inferences involving polyadic terms, albeit practically absent in Aristotle, was quite elaborate in medieval logic both in the Latin and in the Arabic tradition, well before attracting the attention of early contemporary logicians in a more systematic way.
The purpose of this conference is to contribute to a deeper, multi-disciplinary, understanding of how this process developed over time, by bringing together specialists with a diversified range of competencies in logic, analytic philosophy, linguistics, history of science, philology, medieval Latin and Arabic-Islamic studies. Although the core of the conference will be made of papers focused on logic and semantics, it will also explore how these logical discussions were linked to wider philosophical concerns, and the participants will be encouraged to keep the similarities to and differences from logic today constantly in view.