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Andrew Schumann, Joshua Halberstam, Michael Chernick, Mauro Zonta, Sergey Dolgopolski, Hany Azazy, Michael Nosonovsky, Ely Merzbach, Moshe Koppel,

Andrew Schumann worked at the Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus. His research focuses on logic and philosophy of science with an emphasis on non-well-founded phenomena: self-references and circularity. He contributed mainly to research areas such as reasoning under uncertainty, probability reasoning, non-Archimedean mathematics, as well as their applications to cognitive science. He is engaged also in unconventional computing, decision theory, logical modelling of economics.



On the Babylonian Origin of Symbolic Logic

The logical reasoning first appeared within the Babylonian legal
tradition established by the Sumerians in the law codes which were first
over the world: Ur-Nammu (ca. 2047 – 2030 B.C.); Lipit-Ishtar (ca. 1900 –
1850 B.C.), and later by their successors, the Akkadians: Hammurabi (1728
– 1686 B.C.). In these codes the casuistic law formulation began first to be
used: “If/when (Akkadian: šumma) this or that occurs, this or that must be
done” allowed the Akkadians to build up a theory of logical connectives:
“... or…”, “… and…”, “if…, then…”, “not…” that must have been applied
in their jurisprudence. So, a trial decision looked like an inference by modus
pones and modus tollens or by other logical rules from (i) some facts and
(ii) an appropriate article in the law code represented by an ever true
implication. The law code was announced by erecting a stele with the code
or by engraving the code on a stone wall. It was considered a set of axioms
announced for all. Then the trial decisions are regarded as claims logically
inferred from the law code on the stones. The only law code of the Greeks
that was excavated is the Code of Gortyn (Crete, the 5th century B.C.). It is
so similar to the Babylonian codes by its law formulations; therefore, we
can suppose that the Greeks developed their codes under a direct influence
of the Semitic legal tradition: the code was represented as the words of the
stele and the court was a logic application from these words. In this way the
Greek logic was established within a Babylonian legal tradition, as well.
Hence, we can conclude that, first, logic appeared in Babylonia and,
second, it appeared within a unique legal tradition where all trial decisions
must have been transparent, obvious, and provable. The symbolic logic
appeared first not in Greece, but in Mesopotamia and this tradition was
grounded in the Sumerian/Akkadian jurisprudence.


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