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ARISTOTLE

Prior Analytics
Book I

Translated
with an Introduction and Commentary
by

GISELA STRIKER

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PREFACE
I have worked on the Prior Analytics, with more interruptions than
continuity, for longer than I care to remember. Over the years, I have
learnt from countless conversations with colleagues, students, and
friends, more than I can possibly attempt to list here. But I must
mention a few major benefactors: first and foremost, my teacher
Gi.inther Patzig, who encouraged me to begin and to persist, and with
whom I had the opportunity to discuss the first ten chapters over
two weeks in the pleasant environment of the Wissenschaftskolleg
zu Berlin. Ulrich Nortmann, who provided guidance, reassurance,
and criticism during my first venture into the obscurities of modal
syllogistic-though I sh ould emphasize that his own views on the
subject turned out to be very different from mine
W hen I had almost finished a first draft, Peter Geach kind ly lent
me his own unpublished notes and wonderful translations of several
chapters. At the last stage, Lindsay Judson read through the entire
typescript with admirable patience and attention, suggesting changes
in both style and content, and detecting numerous haplographies that
increased my respect for the medieval scribes who preserved our
manuscripts of Aristotle's text. James Allen used a final draft in
his graduate seminar and pointed out the kind of errors that only
the user of a commentary would detect by going forth and back
between text, translation, and notes. Brendan Ritchie helped with
the preparat ion of the computer files for the printer, and drafts of
bibliography, glossaries, and indices.
Last and by no means least I want to thank Peter Momtchiloff
for accepting this volume into the Clarendon Aristotle Series and
cheerfully putting up with several delays. Hilary Walford proved to
be an incredibly meticulous and helpful copy-editor and, together
with Tessa Eaton, saw to it that the process of production turned out
to be as speedy and efficient as possible. I could not have wished for
a more supportive editorial team.
Needless to say, all the remaining errors and infelicities are my
own fault.
.

C ambridge, Massachusetts, October 2008

G. S .

CONTENTS

ABBREVIATIONS

ix

INTRODUCT ION

xi

NOTE ON TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY

xix

TRANSLATION
COMMENTARY

67

NOTES ON THE TEXT

247

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPH Y

253

GLOSSARY

2 59

INDEX OF PASSAGE S CITE D

265

GENERAL INDEX

267

vii

A BBREVIATIONS

ARISTOTLE

An. Post.
An. Pr.
Cat.
DA
de lnt.
EE
EN
Met.
Phys.
Rhet.
SE
Top.

Posterior Analytics
Prior Analytics
Categories
De Anima
de lnte rpretatione
Eudemian Ethics
N icomachean Ethics
Metaphysics
Physics
Rhetoric
Sophistici E lenchi
Topics

OTHER ABBREVIATIONS

Alexander (Al . Aphr.)

Ammonius

Becker

Bonitz

Geach

Alexander of Aphrodisias, Alexandri Aphro


disiensis in Aristotelis Analyticorum Prio
rum l ibrum I commentarius, Commentaria
in Aristotelem G raeca, II. 1 , ed. M. Wallies
(Georg Reimer, B erlin, 1 883)
(referred to as 'Alexander' i n running text)
Ammonius, Amm onii in Aristotelis Analyti
corum Priorum L ibrum l Commentarius,
Commentaria in A ristotelem G raeca IV. 6,
ed. M. Wallies (Georg Reimer, Berlin, 1 890)
Albrecht B ecker, D ie A ristotel ische T heo
rie der Mogl ichkeitsschliisse (Junker, B erlin,
1 93 3 )
H. Bonitz, Index A ristotelicus (Berlin,
1 870; repr. Akademische Druck- u. Ver
langsanstalt, Graz, 1 955)
P. T. Geach, Translation and notes on chap
ters I, 3 , 8- 1 6, 34, 4 1 . Unpublished type
script
IX

ABBREVIATIONS

Lukasiew i cz

Mai er

Jan Lukasiewicz, Aristotle's Sy llogistic from


the Standpoint ofModern Formal l ogic, 2nd
edn. (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1957)
Heinrich Maier, Die Syllogistik des Ar is
toteles, 3 vols. (H. La m p Tilbingen, 18961900)
Mario Mignucci, Gl i analitici primi:
,

Mignucci

Traduz ione, introduz ione e commento di


Mario Mig nucci (Luigi Loffredo, Naples
1969)
Pacius

Patzig

Philop.

Iulius Pacius, In Porphy rii Isagogen et A ris


totelis Organum Commentarius Analyticus
(1597; repr. Hildesheim 1966)
Gunther Patzig, Aristotle's Theory of the
Syllogism , trans. J. Barnes (D. Riedel,
Dordrecht, 1968)
John Philoponus, Ioannis Philoponi In A ris

totelis Analy tica priora commentaria, Com


mentaria in Aristotelem Graeca II. I, ed. M.
Wallies (Georg Reimer, Berlin, 1905)

Ross
Smith
Waitz

Aristotle's P rior and Posterior Analy tics, ed.

W. D. Ross (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1949)


Robin Smith, A ristotle's Prior Analytics
(Hackett, Indianapolis, 1989)
Theodor Waitz, Aristotelis Organon g raece
ed. Theodorus Waitz (Hahn, Leipzig, 1 844)

INTRODUCTION

Aristotle's Prior Analytics marks the beginning of formal logic. For


Aristotle himself, this meant the discovery of a general theory of valid
deductive argument, a project that he had described as either impossi
ble or impracticable, probably not very long before he actually came
up with syllogistic.
The A n aly ti cs both Prior and Posterior belong to a group of
treatises that has been placed at the start of editions of Aristotle's
works since antiquity under the name of Organon, or 'tool' (of phi
losophy). Alongside the Analytics, these include the Categories, de
/nterpretatione, and the Topics . Though their place in the ancient
editions tells us nothing about their time of composition, there are
good reasons to think that most or all of these treatises were written
early in Aristotle's career, beginning when he was still a member
of Plato's Academy. The title 'Analytica' is Aristotle's own, and
references to this work occur in many of his other treatises. How
ever, it is not likely that the four books into which the Analytics
were divided by ancient editors-two on syllogistic, two on scientific
demonstration-were planned by their author as a single work from
the beginning. According to Aristotle's own statement in the opening
sentence of chapter A 1, the investigation as a whole is concerned
with demonstration and scientific knowledge-pointing forward to
the Posterior Analytics. But in chapter 4 he explains that syllogism in
general must be treated before demonstration because it is the more
general subject: demonstrations are a kind of deductive argument,
but not all deductive arguments are demonstrations (25 b 2 6-3 r ). Syl
logism in general is precisely the subject of the Prior Analy tics to
which Aristotle refers back at the beginning of chapters A 2 7 and
3 2 , in the second place adding that the chapters on analysis should
bring the initial project to an end (47a5). The Prior Analytics has no
introduction at all, while the Posterior Analytics begins with one of
Aristotle's characteristic grand opening statements, giving no indica
tion that it is the continuation of the previous book. Presumably, then,
the idea of combining the general treatise on deductive argument with
the books on scientific demonstration was an afterthought, albeit a
plausible one.
-

xi

I N T R O DU C T I O N

Within the Organon itself, however, it is clear that the Topics,


Aristotle's handbook of the debating-technique called dialectic, must
have been written before the Prior A nalytics. It opens with the
announcement that it will provide a method to construct arguments
for all kinds of theses that might be discussed. The definition of
'syllogism'-valid deductive argument-given there is the same as
in the Analytics, but the Topic s evidently does not yet have the system
of figures and moods that became known as Aristotle's syllogistic. Its
books are organized around the four 'predicables' defi nition, genus,
proprium, and accident, corresponding to four different relations
between the subject and predicate of a simple proposition of the
for m 'S is P' . This kind of organization leads to a lot of repetition,
as Aristotle ruefully recognized (Top. r .6, 102b27-103"5), but at
that point he seems to have thought this inevitable, because a more
general theory covering all four types of predication could not be
found.
It is precisely such a general theory that Aristotle presents in the
first seven chapters of the Prior Analytics. The predicables have been
set aside in favor of four term-relations that combine predication and
quantity, so that we now have four types of proposition: 'A belongs to
every B ' ; 'A belongs to no B ' ; 'A belongs to some B ' , and 'A does not
belong to some B ' . This constitutes a major simplification, reflected
in the fact that the terminology has changed. The expressions that
occur in the predicate - or subject position - are now uniformly called
'terms' -a word that was used in the sense of 'definition' in the Top
ics. The asymmetries of the predicables are ignored, and the four new
relations can be interpreted as relations between classes: inclusion
( 'A belongs to every B': every member of B is a member of A),
exclusion ('A belongs to no B ' : no member of B is a member of A),
overlap ( 'A belongs to some B': some member of B is a member of
A), and partial overlap ('A does not belong to some B': some member
of B is not a member of A). Instead of the more natural copula ('is'
or 'are') Aristotle now uses the somewhat artificial 'belongs to'.
The crucial innovation, however, that makes syllogistic a formal
system is the introduction of letters as placeholders for the terms,
indicating that the validity or otherwise of a deductive argument
depends on the relations between its terms rather than the extra
linguistic things they describe or refer to. Though Aristotle himself
does not speak of the form as opposed to the content or subject
matter of an argument, this way of speaking can already be found
XU

I N T R ODUC T I O N

i n the ancient commentaries o n the Analytics . The u s e o f letters


was probably inspired by the practice of the Greek geometers, who
used letters to designate points, lines, or angles in the diagrams
with which they proved their theorems.' Just as these theorems h old
for all geometrical figures of the same type as the one used in a
particular diagram, so an argument-form represented with the help of
schematic letters will be valid regardless of the concrete terms used in
its premisses and conclusion. And also like the geometers, Aristotle
devised methods of proving the validity or invalidity of argument
forms, so that he could claim that all and only arguments in the forms
recognized as valid could be accepted.
The shift from the predicables to quantitative relations allowed
him to use the rules of conversion that form the backbone of his
proofs of validity : for example, if A belongs to some B, then B also
belongs to some A; but one could not say that, if A is an accident
or attribute of B, then B is also an attribute of A. However, by
ignoring the differences between types of predication, Aristotle also
took a momentous step away from the metaphysical underpinnings
of the Topics as set out in the Categories. He never comments on
this move, which has been compared to Adam's Fall, 2 and one may
well doubt whether he realized its far-reaching consequences. While
it is indeed natural for a modern reader to interpret the propositions
of syllogistic in terms of class-relations, one should not j ump to the
conclusion that Aristotle's terms must stand for class names. Aristotle
uses the phrases 'belongs to ' and ' is predicated of' interchange
ably, and like Plato he does not distinguish between class inclusion
and membership. Thus he also envisages syllogistic premisses with
proper names in the subject position (e.g., in eh. A 3 3 ) . It seems
most likely that he developed his syllogistic without much thought
about metaphysics and simply assumed, given that ' all that is true
must agree with itself in every way' (A 3 2 , 478 8), that it would fit his
ontology.
Aristotle's logic was a logic of terms, the predecessor of mod
ern predicate-logic. Propositional logic was invented a generation
or so after Aristotle's death by the Stoics, for all we know inde
pendently of Aristotle. Stoic logic appears to have been the domi
nant theory during the next few centuries, while Aristotle's school
1

See Einarson (1936) and Smith (1978).


Geach in his spirited 'History of the Corruptions of Logic' (1968; repr. in
Geach1972). For a more lenient perspective, cf. Striker (1994).
2 By

Xlll

I N T R O DU C T I O N

was less prominent, but, with the renaissance of Platonism and


Aristotelianism in the first century BC, and after some futile disputes
between the schools over who had the 'real' logic, ph ilosophers such
as Galen came to realize that the two systems should be combined. In
the tradition of the later commentators, the simple subject-predicate
propositions of Aristotle's system came to be called 'categorical'
or predicative propositions , as distinct from the propositionally
complex conditionals, conjunctions , and so on used by the Stoics.
The integration of Aristotelian and Stoic syllogistic did not always
go without misunderstanding 3 but eventually some such combi
nation became the standard logic in the Gre ek Arabic, and Lati n
traditions usually under the name of (Aristotelian) syllogistic since
the writings of the Stoic logicians had been lost.
In early modern times, Aristotelian syllogistic was sometimes
ridiculed together with other parts of medieval Aristotelianism, but
it remained on the curriculum of universities until the nineteenth
century, and even in some places in the twentieth.
It is not surprising that the mathematicians and philosophers who
developed modern mathematical logic did not have much patience
with the old system, especially since it had also been advertised as an
' art of thinking', or an inventory of the forms of human judgment.
So it was not until the twentieth century that historians of logic
realized that Aristotle, if not his many followers, had actually been
engaged, though on a very limited scale, in the same project that
they were pursuing. After the pioneering study of modal syllogistic
by Albrecht Becker ( r 933), which did not find much of an echo
owing to the political circumstances the rediscovery of Aristotle as
a logician in the modern sense was mainly prompted by the books
of J. Lukasiewicz (r957; first edition 1 95 1 ) and G. Patzig (Eng
lish translation 1 96 8 ; first published 1 959). Lukasiewicz himself a
distinguished logician, presented an axiomatic model of assertoric
syllogistic, showing that Aristotle' s system met the standards of
modern logic . However, assuming that propositional logic was fun
damental and hence presupposed though not explicitly recognized by
Aristotle, he had set aside Aristotle's own methods of establishing
validity and of rejection. Patzig, a philosopher as well as a classical
'

'

3 An ex a mple might be Boethius' treatise on hypothetical syllogisms (De Hypo


theticis Syllogismis, ed. L. O be rtel lo , Brescia, Paideia 1969), one of the works avail
able to readers without Greek. For earlier developments in late antiquity, see Bobzien

(2000, 2002).

xiv

I N T R ODUC T I O N

scholar, offered a more sympathetic and detailed study o f Aristotle's


methods as well as his terminology, and thus provided a historically
more accurate picture of his syllogistic . Shortly after the publication
of these two books , several critics pointed out that Lukasiewicz's
axiomatic model (which had been accepted by Patzig) was not a
very adequate representation of Aristotle's own system. Apart from
the fact that Aristotle did not know propositional logic, his proofs of
val idity are more plausibly seen as derivations in a natural deduction
calculus, which proceeds from primitive rules rather than axioms.
The complex statements in which Ari stotle describes the valid moods
should be taken not as syllogisms, but rather as theorems belonging
to the meta-language of syllogistic, while the actual proofs consist in
the derivation of a conclusion from given premisses for an arbitrarily
chosen set of terms. A first model of the natural-deduction kind was
published in German by K. Ebbinghaus in 1 964 ; more influential in
the Anglophone literature has been the work of John Corcoran ( r 973,
1 974b). This interpretation is now widely accepted. It should be kept
in mind, however, that Aristotle did not use technical terminology
to distinguish between logical rules and theorems, so that we can
not assume that he chose a rule-based system in preference to an
axiomatic one. Still, it seems that he did not consider his syllogistic
as an instance of the kind of axiomatic scientific theory he describes
in the Pos terior Analytics.
While assertoric syllogistic is a flawless example of a logical
calculus, the same cannot be said of Aristotle's modal system. Its
interpretation already seems to have been controversial amopg Aris
totle 's students and colleagues, and, unlike its assertoric counter
part, it is inconsistent. In the oldest extant commentary, Alexander
of Aphrodisias already pointed out in several places that Aristo
tle rejects a mood that could be proved valid by Aristotle's own
rules, though of course he does not go on to say that this indi
cates that the system is unsound. We do not know when and why
the chapters on modal syllogistic (chs. 3 and 8-22) were written,
but it is clear that they are a later addition to the Prior Analytics.
This is apparent, not only from the obvious connection between
chapters A 7 and A 23, but also from the fact that they are based
on the system of figures from the assertoric part. Furthermore, in
several passages Aristotle seems to address objections that may well
have been raised by Theophrastus or Eudemus, colleagues who also
worked on logic and are known to have rejected some of Aristotle's
xv

I N T R O DU C T I O N

assumptions.4 If so, the modal part may have been worked out con
siderably later than the rest, which may also explain the somewhat
perfunctory style of its last chapters.
Lukasiewicz, no friend of modal logic himself, declared that this
part was a hopeless muddle. It seems that his harsh verdict has
presented a challenge to subsequent scholars-there is by now a large
number of attempts to vindicate Aristotle's system, at least by show
ing that it is not a case of total confusion. Two particularly detailed
and rigorous studies, by Paul Thom ( 1 996) and Ulrich Nortmann
( 1 996), were published in the same year and represent two contrast
ing ways of approaching Aristotle's system. While Thom assumes
that Aristotle intended to develop a system of de re-modalities and
then proceeds to take the conversion rules as primitive, Nortmann
points out that Aristotle's rudimentary formalism was inadequate to
produce an accurate version of the intended meaning of his modal
premisses. He suggests much more complicated forms, including
several modal operators, and goes on to show that a system based
on these forms can validate most of Aristotle's theorems , though it
cannot reproduce his methods. Both authors arrive at the conclusion
that Aristotle's work contains an amazingly small number of errors,
given the complexities of a subject that remains much less clear
than non-modal logic even today. Any logician who feels impelled
to 'defend' Aristotle should begin by reading these two books .
Both Nortmann's and Thom's i nterpretations remain , of course,
counterfactual-they can at best show what Aristotle might have
done if he had been aware of the de re-de dicta distinction, or if
he had been able to use the powerful tools of modern mathematical
logic . Furthermore, though it is plausible to think that Aristotle, given
his metaphysical views, would have preferred a de re-interpretation
of modal propositions to a de dicta version, it seems rash to assume
that he would have made no changes in the rules for his modal logic.
While there is a lot to be learned from these experiments, the reader
of Aristotle's treatise has to deal with the original version . It seems
to me that here Becker' s diagnosis is still the most convincing. He
pointed out that Aristotle used at least two different interpretations of
his modal propositions in different passages . Though Becker himself
did not use this terminology, the main difference can be understood as
corresponding to the de re-de dicta distinction. While the conversion
4 See P.

M. Huby (2002).

xvi

I N T R ODUC T I O N

rules are introduced and defended i n chapter 3 b y arguments that


rely on the de dicta-interpretation, later passages-most notoriously
the mood Barbara with a necessary major premiss, assertoric minor,
and necessary conclusion (eh. g)-seem to presuppose a de re read
ing. There is no indication that Aristotle-or, for that matter, any
of his ancient students or commentators-was aware of the de re
de dicta distinction. Since both versions of modal sentences may
appear natural-and in fact even modern students sometimes find it
difficult to keep them apart5-it should be no surprise if Aristotle
occasionally shifted from one to the other, and this often appears
to be the most plausible explanation of his apparent mistakes. I
have, therefore, appealed to this distinction in the notes when it
seemed helpful to do so, using different notations to mark the dif
ferences.
So far I have mentioned only the first twenty-three chapters of the
Prior Analytics, in which Aristotle sets out his system of syllogistic.
It is understandable that these should have been studied far more
closely by modern scholars than the rest, but in fact it would be
a mistake to conclude that Aristotle was simply a logician in the
modern sense. His own title for the work-both Prior and Posterior
Analytics taken together-was after all 'Analytics', not 'Syllogistic'.
His general theory of valid deductive argument, just like the Topics,
was intended for people-philosophers or scientists, but also orators
in law courts or political assemblies-who are in the business of
constructing or refuting arguments or scientific proofs. This explains,
for example, Aristotle's puzzling claim that nothing follows from a
single premiss: inferences from a single proposition would no doubt
appear question-begging as arguments. The Stoics, who seem to
have focused on logical inference in general rather than argument,
may have been closer to modern logicians in this respect. They are
criticized for their interest in 'useless' inferences by Alexander of
Aphrodisias, who evidently did not see the point of such studies. 6

5 To illustrate the distinction by a hackneyed example: it is a necessary truth that


all bachelors are unmarried men , but it is not true of any individual man that he is
necessarily unmarried. The labels de re and de dicto in dicate that in the former case
a predicate necessarily holds of a given subject, while in the latter case the necessity
applies to the proposit ion as a wh ole . In some cases both sorts of nece ssity appl y: it
is a necessary truth that all fish are animals , and all fish are nec ess aril y such as to be
animals.
6 See the introduction to his commentary on t he Prior Analytics, r.r-6.12; and
Frede (1974).

xvii

I N T R OD U C T I ON

Aristotle's book includes not only heuristic-that is, methods of find


ing appropriate premisses for given theses (chs. 27-30}--b ut also the
part that gave the work its name-analysis, the proper formulation of
premisses or the detection of syllogistic form in ordinary language
arguments (chs. 3 2-46). Aristotle explicitly mentions these parts of
his proj ect in chapters 27 and 3 2 . The examples he discusses in th ose
sections are much more likely to have come up in dialectical debates
than in scientific theories . B ut this side of the Analytics may have
been to some extent eclipsed by the explicit reference to demonstra
tion and scientific knowledge in the opening sentence, which links
the Prior to the Posterior Analytics (and may for that very reason
have been added relatively late in the composition of the work).
The rest of the Prior Analytics, including some chapters of book
I and all of book 2, is less conspicuously organized. There are some
chapters that prove what would today be called meta-theorems, most
prominently chapters 7 and 2 3 , and there is also advice about argu
mentative strategies that again invites comparison with the Topics
(see, e.g., eh. A 43 , where Aristotle explicitly speaks of a dialectical
debate). Like most of Aristotle's extant work, the Analytics were not
composed for publication, and, though what we have can be recog
nized as belonging to the general project (or projects) mentioned at
the beginning, the books as we have them no doubt also contain a
number of related studies that were originally written as independent
essays and are not strictly integrated into the overall structure. The
first book, translated in this volume, offers a fairly coherent presen
tation of Aristotle's logic as a general theory of deductive argument.

xviii

NOTE ON TRANSLA TION AND


COMMENTA RY

The translation is based on W. D. Ross's edition of 1 949 I have also


consulted Williams ( 1 984) for textual variants . Occasional deviations
from Ross's text are marked by an asterisk (*) in the translation and
explained in the 'Notes on the Text' . I have not specifically noted
differences in punctuation or paragraph division, since these do not
go back to the ancient tradition and tend to differ from one modern
text or translation to the other. The numbers in the margins refer to the
pages, columns, and lines ofl. Bekker's edition ( 1 8 3 1 ), following the
convention generally used to refer to Aristotle's text. Square brackets
indicate that the bracketed text should be omitted, though it is found
in the Greek manuscripts ; angled brackets indicate that some word or
words are added that are not found in the Greek
My translation, like almost any translation of Aristotle today, is
an attempt to find a path between the Scylla of excessive literalness
and the Charybdis of paraphrase. Aristotle's Greek is concise and
often elliptical , sometimes to the point of obscurity, so that a purely
literal rendering would be unintelligible in many places. The attempt
to use the same English word to translate a Greek one in all places
can have the same effect where the various uses of the Greek term
do not correspond to a similar variety in English. On the other hand,
while the use of technical terms such as 'implies' or 'is equivalent
to' might make the text easier to read, it would disguise the fact that
Aristotle has only a very limited number of technical terms and often
uses ordinary Greek where modern logicians might find a technical
term more natural. Greek often allows the omission of a noun or verb
that can be supplied from the context where English has to be more
explicit. I have tried to be as economical as possible in filling s uch
gaps, and not to import words that have no counterpart in Aristotle's
vocabulary. Where there is a question about the appropriate word or
phrase to be supplied, I have tried to indicate this in the notes .
For Aristotle's technical terms I have tried to use the same trans
lation throughout, even when there appears to be no difference in
meaning, as, for example, for the pairs ' affirmative/negative' and
'positive/privative' . However, I have not attempted to find different
XIX

NOTE ON T R A N SL A T I O N A N D C O M M ENTA R Y

English counterparts for Aristotle' s two expressions for possibility


as far as I can see, he uses them in the same sense, with variations
following linguistic convenience rather than a distinction in meaning.
The glossaries contain references to passages where the translation of
a particular word or phrase is discussed in the notes.
Finally, I have obviously benefited from the modern translations of
Aristotle' s text, into English as well as into other modern languages.
I hope this has had the effect that there are no serious linguistic as
opposed to exegetical mistakes.
The commentary is intended as an aid to readers who are interested
in reading Aristotle's treatise as a foundational text in the history
of logic. The notes are therefore mainly concerned with question s
concerning the interpretation of particular passages or arguments .
More general questions are often mentioned, but not pursued in detail
where this would lead too far away from a given context. I have not
attempted to provide a survey of the vast scholarly literature, though
I have, of course, acknowledged my debts to others to the best of my
knowledge.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the authors most com
monly cited in the notes are commentators, beginning with Alexander
of Aphrodisias in the third century AD, whose commentary is the
oldest extant and no doubt one of the best representatives of the
ancient tradition. This commentary is now fortunately available in
English translation, but, since I have used the Greek edition, the
translations in the notes are my own. The second most important
older commentator, from my perspective, is Pacius ( 1 597a), who
often goes beyond what one can find in the ancient Greek tradition
and indeed anticipates quite a few proposals that reappeared in the
twentieth century. And obviously any modern commentary on Aris
totle' s logic will be heavily indebted to the logicians and more recent
commentators who have studied Ari stotle's text ' from the standpoint
of modern formal logic' .
The S elect Bibliography lists only the works cited and is to some
extent focused on works published in English. Extensive bibliogra
phies of earlier work can be found in Thom (I 98 1 ) for assertoric sy ]
logistic, and for modal logic in Nortmann ( 1 996) and Thom ( 1 996).

xx

TRANSLATION
C H A PTER

First, to say about what and of what this is an investigation : it is about


de monstrati on and of demo n s trat i ve science. Then, to define what is
a premiss, what i s a term, and what a syllogism, and which kind of
syl l og i s m is perfect and which imperfect. After that, what it is for
th is to be or not to be in that as in a whole, and what we mean by 'to
be predicated of al l or o f none' .
A p remiss, then, is a sentence that affirms or denies something of
something, and thi s is either universal or p artic ul ar or indeterminate.
By 'universal' I mean belonging to all or to none of something ; by
'particular' , belonging to some, or not to some, or not to all ; by
'indeterminate ' , belonging without universality or particularity, as
i n ' of contraries there i s a single science' or 'pleasure is not a
good' .
A demonstrative premiss differs from a dialectical one in that
the demonstrative premiss is the taking of one part of a pair of
contradictories-for the person who demonstrates does not ask a
question, but assumes s omething wh i l e a di alectical premiss is a
question about a pair of contradictories . However, this will make no
difference with regard to the syllogism produced by either of them,
for both the demon strator and the questioner deduces by taking it
that something belongs or does not belong to s omething. Hence a
syllogistic premiss in general will be an affirmation or denial of
something about something in the way mentioned, and it will be
demonstrative if it is true and accepted on the basis of the initial
assum ptio ns. The dialectical premiss will b e a question about a pair
of contradictories for the questioner, but for the person who deduces
i t will b e the taking of what i s apparent and plausible, a s w e have sai d
in the Topics. What a pre m i s s is, then, and what the differences are
between a syllogistic, a demonstrative, and a dialectical premiss will
be set out more precisely in what follows. For our present purpose let
it be sufficiently explained by what has been said now.
I call a term that in to which a premiss is resolved, that is, what is
predicated and what it is predicated of, with the addition of 'to be' or
' not to be' . *
'

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A syllogism is an argument in which, certain things being posited,


something other than what was laid down results by necessity
because these things are so. By 'because these things are so' I mean
that it results through these, and by 'resulting through these' I mean
that no term is required from outside for the necessity to come about.
Now I call a syllogism perfect if it requires nothing beyond the
things posited for the necessity to be evident; I call a syll o gism
imperfect if it requires one or more things that are indeed necessary
because o f the terms laid down, but that have not been taken among
the premisses.
For one thing to be in another as in a whole is the same as for the
other to be predicated of all of the first. We speak of 'being predicated
of all ' when nothing can be found of the subject* of which the other
will not be said, and the same account holds for 'of none' .
CHAPTER 2

25a Given that every premiss states either that something belongs or that
it belongs of necessity or that it may belong, and of these some are
affirmative, others negative, for each added expression, and again
of the affirmative and negative premisses some are universal, others
particular, and others indeterminate, it is necessary for the universal
5
privative pre miss of belonging to convert with respect to its terms.
So, for instance, if no pleasure is a good, then neither will any good
be a pleasure. And the positive premiss converts necessarily, though
not universally, but to the particular; for instance, if every pleasure
is a good, it is necessary that some good be also a pleasure. Of
the particular premisses the affirmative necessarily converts to the
IO
particular, for if some pleasure is a good, then some good will also be
a pleasure; but for the privative premiss this is not necessary. For it is
not the case that, if man does not belong to some animal , then animal
also does not belong to some man .
First, let the prem i ss AB be a universal privative. Now if A belongs
1 5 t o none o f the B s , then neither will B belong t o any o f the A s . For if
it does belong to some, for example, to C, it will not be true that
A belongs to none of the Bs, since C is one of the B s . And if A
belongs to every B , B also belongs to some A, for if it belongs to
none, neither will A belong to any of the B s . But it was assumed that
20 it belongs to all . Similarly also in the case of the particular premiss ;
2

T R A NS L A T I O N

25

for i f A belongs to some of the Bs, it is necessary that B belong to


some of the As . For if it belongs to none, neither does A belong to
any of the B s . However, if A does not belong to some of the Bs, it is
not necessary for B also not to belong to some A, for example, if B is
animal, A man. For man does not belong to every animal, but animal
belo ngs to every man. *

25

CHAPTER 3
It will

be the same way also in the case of necessary premisses, for the
universal privative converts universally, and each of the affirmatives
converts with respect to a part.
For if it is necessary for A to belong to no B, it is also necessary for
B to belong to no A, since if it could belong to some A, then A could
also belong to some B. If A belongs of necessity to all or to some B,
it is also necessary for B to belong to some A. For if this were not
necessary, then neither would A belong to some B of necessity. The
particular privative premiss does not convert, for the same reason that
we mentioned before.
In the case of possible premisses, given that 'being possible ' is
said in several ways-for we say of the necessary as well as of
what is not necessary, and also of the possible, that it may be-all
the affirmative premi sses will indeed behave in the same way with
respect to conversion. For if A may belong to all or to some B, B may
also belong to some A, for if it could not, neither could A belong to
any B , as was shown before. However, the negative premisses will
not behave in the same way. The same account does hold, though,
for whatever is possible because it necessarily does not belong or
because it does not necessarily belong,* as , for example, if someone
said that it is possible for man not to be a horse, or that white may
belong to no garment. Of these the first necessarily does not belong,
the second does not necessarily belong, and the premiss converts in
the same way. For if it is possible for no man to be a horse, it is
also possible for no horse to be a man; and if white may belong to
no garment, then garment may also belong to no white thing. For if
it necessarily belongs to some, then white will also belong to some
garment by necessity ; this was shown before. The same holds also
for the particular negative.
But when something is said to be possible because it belongs for
the most part or by nature-the way we define the possible-the same
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account will not hold for the conversion of privative premisses ; rather,
the universal privative does not convert, while the particular does .
This will be evident when we discuss the possible.
For the moment, let this be clear in addition to what we have
said: that 'possibly belonging to none' and 'possibly not belonging to
some' are affirmative in form. For ' is possibly' has the same position
as 'is' , but 'is' , wherever it is added in predication, always and in
any case produces an affirmation, such as 'is not-good' or 'is not
white', or in general 'is not-such-and-such ' . This will also be shown
l ater. And with respect to conversions these will behave like other
affirmations .
CHAPTER 4

After these determinations let us now say through what premisses,


when and how every syllogism comes about. We will have to discuss
demonstration later. Syllogism must be discussed before demonstra
tion because syllogism is more universal than demonstration, for a
30 demonstration is indeed a kind of syllogism, but not every syllogism
is a demonstration.
Whenever, then, three terms are related to one another in such a
way that the last is in the middle as in a whole and the middle either
is or is not in the first as in a whole, it is necessary for there to be
a perfect syllogism with respect to the extremes . (I call 'middle' the
35 term that is itself in another and in which there is also another-the
one that also has the middle position . Extremes are what is in another
and that in which there is another.) For if A is predicated of every B
and B of every C, it is necessary that A be predicated of every C268 for it was said before what we mean by 'of all ' . S imilarly also if A
is predicated of no B and B of every C, it is necessary that A will
belong to no C.
However, if the first follows all of the middle but the middle
belongs to none of the last, there will be no syllogism with respect
to the extremes, since nothing necessary comes about because these
things are so. For the first may belong to all as well as to none
5
of the last, so that neither the particular nor the universal becomes
necessary ; and if nothing is necessary through these premisses, there
will be no syllogism. Terms for belonging to all : animal, human,
horse; for belonging to none: animal, human, stone. Nor when neither
4

T R A NSL A T I O N

the

26

first belongs to the middle nor the middle to any of the last; in this 1 o
way also there will be no syllogism. Terms for belonging : science,
li ne, medicine; for not belonging : science, line, unit.
So if the terms are universal, it is clear when there will be a syllo
gism in this figure and when not; also, that if there is a syllogism, then
the terms must necessarily be related as we have said, and if they are 15
so related, then there will be a syllogi sm. If one term is universal, one
particular in relation to the other, then when the universal is j oined
to the major extreme, whether the premiss be positive or privative,
while the particular is joined to the minor in a positive premiss, it
is necessary that there will be a perfect syllogism. But when < the 20
universal > is joined to the minor or the terms are related in some
other way, this is impossible. (I call ' maj or' the extreme that contains
the middle and 'minor' the one that is under the middle. ) For let A
belong to every B and B to some C. Now if 'being predicated of all' is
what was said at the beginning, it is necessary for A to belong to some
C. And if A belongs to no B and B belongs to some C, it is necessary 25
for A not to belong to some C. For it was also defined what we mean
by 'of none ' , so that there will be a perfect syllogism. The same
holds if the premiss BC should be indeterminate and positive, for
the same syllogism will result whether we take it to be indeterminate 30
or particular.
But if the universal is joined to the minor extreme in a positive or
negative premiss, there will be no syllogism, whether the indeterminate or particular premiss is affirmative or negative-for example, if
A belongs or does not belong to some B and B belongs to every C.
Terms for belonging: good, disposition, wisdom ; for not belonging: 3 5
good, disposition, ignorance. Again, if B belongs to no C and A either
does or does not belong to some B , or does not belong to every B-in
this way also there will be no syllogism. Terms : white, horse, swan;
white, horse, raven. The same terms also if AB is indeterminate.
Nor will there be a syllogism when the premiss with the major 26b
extreme is universal, whether positive or privative, while the premiss
with the minor extreme is particular and privative, for example, if
A belongs to every B and B does not belong to some C, or not to
every C. For something to which the middle does not belong may 5
be such that the first will follow all as well as none of it. For let the
terms animal, human, white be assumed; then let swan and snow also
be chosen as white things of which human is not predicated. Now
animal is predicated of all of the one and of none of the other, so
5

PRIOR A N A L Y T I CS

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that there will not be a syllogism. Again, let A belong to no B and B


not belong to some C, and let the terms be inanimate, human, white.
Then let swan and white be chosen as white things of which human
is not predicated; for inanimate is predicated of all of the one and of
none of the other.
Further, since B ' s not belonging to some C is indeterminate-it' is
true that it does not belong to some both if it belongs to none and
if it does not belong to all-and when terms are chosen such that B
belongs to none no syllogism comes about, as was said before, it is
evident that there will be no syllogism in virtue of the terms being so
related, for then there would also be one in the case of those terms.
The proof will be similar if the universal premiss is taken as privative.
Nor will there ever be a syllogism if both intervals are particular,
whether positive or privative, or if one is stated positively, the other
privatively, or one indeterminate, the other determinate, or both indeterminate. Common terms for all cases : animal, white, horse; animal,
white, stone.
It is now evident from what has been said that if there is a syllogism
for a particular conclusion in this figure, then the terms must neces
sarily be related as we have said, for if they are related otherwise, no
syllogism ever comes about. It is also clear that all the syllogisms in
this figure are perfect, for they all reach their conclusion through the
initial assumptions. Also, that all kinds of theses are proved in this
figure-belonging to all as well as belonging to none, and belonging
to some as well as not belonging to some. I call this sort of figure the
first.
C H A PTER 5

When the same thing belongs to all of one and none of the other, or
to all or none of both other terms, I call this sort of figure the second.
And in this figure I call middle the term that is predicated of both ; I
call extremes the terms of which it is predicated. The major extreme
is the one that lies next to the middle, the minor the one that is farther
from the middle. The middle is placed outside the extremes and has
the first position.
27 3
There will not be any perfect syllogism in this figure, but a syllogism will be possible, both if the terms are universal and if they are
not. If the terms are universal, there will be a syllogism whenever the

35

T R A N S L AT I O N

middle belongs to all o f one and none o f the other, whichever term
the privative is j oined to ; otherwise there will never be a syllogism.
For let M be predicated of no N and of all X. Now since the privative
pre mis s converts, N will belong to no M ; but it was assumed that
M bel ongs to all X, so that N will belong to no X-this was proved
before.
Again, if M belongs to all N and to no X, X will belong to no N.
For if M belongs to no X, neither does X belong to any M; but it
was assumed that M belongs to all X ; therefore, X will belong to no
N-for the first figure has come about again . And since the privative
premiss converts, neither will N belong to any X, so that there will
be the same syllogism. (These things can al so be proved by reduction
to the impossible.) It is evident, then, that a syllogism comes about
when the terms are so related, but not a perfect syllogism, for the
necessity is brought to perfection not only from the initial assump
tions, but from others as well.
If M is predicated of all N and all X, there will be no syllogism.
Terms for belonging : substance, animal, human ; for not belonging:
substance, animal, number; middle term: substance. Nor will there be
a syllogism if M is predicated neither of any N nor of any X. Terms
for belonging: line, animal, human ; for not belonging: line, animal,
stone . It is evident, then, that if there is a syllogism with universal
terms, the terms must be related as we said at the beginning, for if
they are related in some other way, the necessity does not come about.
I f the middle is universal i n relation to only one o f the other terms,
a privative particular syllogism necessarily comes about when the
middle is universal in relation to the major, whether positively or
privatively, and particular in relation to the minor in the way opposite
to the universal premiss. (By 'opposite' I mean that if the universal
premiss is privative, then the particular is affirmative, and if the
universal is positive, then the particular is privative .) For if M belongs
to no N but to some X, it is necessary for N not to belong to some X.
For since the privative premiss converts, N will belong to no M; but
it was assumed that M belongs to some X, so that N will not belong
to some X. For a syllogism i n the first figure comes about.
Again, if M belongs to all N but does not belong to some X, it
is necessary for N not to belong to some X. For if it belongs to all
X and M is predicated of every N, it is necessary for M to belong
to every X. But it was assumed that it did not belong to some.
And if M belongs to every N but not to every X, there will be a
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P R I O R A N A L Y T IC S

syllogism to the effect that N does not belong to al l X; the proof is the
same.
But if M is predicated of every X but not of every N, there will be
no syllogism. Terms: animal, substance, raven ; animal, white, raven .
5
Nor will there be a syllogism if M belongs to no X, but to some
.
N. Terms for belonging: animal, substance, unit; for not belonging :
animal, substance, science.
We have said, then, in which cases there will or will not be a
1 0 syllogism when the universal premiss i s opposite t o the particular.
But when the premisses have the same form, that is, if both are
privative or both are affirmative, there will not be a syllogism at all.
First, let them be privative, and let the universal be j oined to the major
extreme-that is, let M belong to no N and not belong to some X.
Then N may belong to all as well as to no X. Terms for not belonging:
15
black, snow, animal. For belonging to all one cannot find terms if M
belongs to some of the X, but not to others. For if N belongs to all X
and M to no N, then M will belong to no X ; but it was assumed that it
did belong to some. It is not possible, then, to find terms in this way,
and one must prove the point from indeterminacy. For since it is true
20
that M does not belong to some X even if it belongs to none, and there
was no syllogism when it belonged to none, it is evident that there
will not be one in this case either. Again, let the premisses be positive
and the universal in the same position, that is, let M belong to all N
25 and to some X. Then N may belong to all as well as to no X. Terms
for belonging to none: white, swan, stone. It will not be possible to
find terms for belonging to all, for the same reason as we mentioned
before; rather, the proof must proceed from indeterminacy.
But if the universal is j oined to the minor term and M belongs to
30 no X and does not belong to some N, then N may belong to all as
well as to no X. Terms for belonging: white, animal , raven; for not
belonging : white, stone, raven. If the premisses are positive, terms for
not belonging are white, animal , snow ; for belonging: white, animal,
swan. It is evident, then, that when the premisses have the same form,
35 one being universal, the other particular, no syllogism ever comes
about. Nor will there be a syllogism if the middle belongs or does
not belong to some of each, or if it belongs to the one and not to the
other, or not to all of either term, or indeterminately. Common terms
for all these cases : white, animal, human; white, animal , inanimate.
28 8
It is now evident from what has been said that if the terms are
related to one another as we have said, then a syllogism will come
8

T R A N S L AT I ON

:z s

about of necessity, and if there is a syllogism, it is necessary for


the terms to be so related. It is also clear that all the syllogisms in
thi s figure are imperfect, for all of them are brought to perfection by 5
adding some things that are either necessarily inherent in the terms
or assumed as hypotheses, as when we give a proof through the
im po s sibl e. Also, that no affirmative syllogism comes about through
thi s fi gure; rather, they are all privative, both the universal and the
particu lar one s.
C H A PTER 6

If one term belongs to all, another to none of the same thing, or both
to all or both to none, I call this sort of figure the third. And in this
figure I call middle the term of which both the predicated terms are
said, and the predicated terms I call extremes. The major extreme
is the one that is farther from the middle, the minor is the one that
is closer. The middle is placed outside the extremes and has the last
position . Now in this figure too no perfect syllogism will come about,
but a syllogism will be possible both when the terms are universal in
relation to the middle and when they are not.
If they are universal, then, and when both P and R belong to every
S , I say that P will belong to some R of necessity. For since the
positive premiss converts, S will belong to some R, so that, since
P belongs to all S and R to some S, it is necessary for P to belong
to some R, for a syllogism in the first figure comes about. (The
demonstration can also be carried out through the impossible or by
setting out. For if both terms belong to all S , and one chooses one of
the Ss, say N, then both P and R will belong to it, so that P will belong
to some R . ) And if R belongs t o all S and P belongs t o none, there
will be a syllogism to the effect that P will not belong to some R of
necessity. For the demonstration can be carried out in the same way,
by converting the premiss RS . (This could also be proved through the
impossible, as in the previous cases. )
But if R belongs to no S and P belongs to every S, there will not
be a syllogism. Terms for belonging: animal, horse, human ; for not
belonging: animal, inanimate, human. Nor when both are said of no
S ; then there will not be a syllogism either. Terms for belonging: animal, horse, inanimate ; for not belonging : human, horse, inanimate;
middle term: inanimate.

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I t i s now evident fo r this figure too when there will or will not be
a syllogism with universal terms. For when both are positive, there
will be a syllogism to the effect that one extreme belongs to some
of the other, while when they are both privative, there will not be a
28 b syllogism. And when one is privative, one affirmative, and the major
is privative, the other affirmative, there will be a syllogism to the
effect that one extreme does not belong to some of the other, but if
the order is the reverse, there will be no syllogism.
5
If one of the terms is universal, the other particular in relation to
the middle, and if both are p osi ti ve, it is necessary for a s y ll ogi sm
to come about, whichever of the terms is universal. For if R belongs
to all S an d P to some, it is necessary for P to belong to some R. For
since the affirmative premiss converts, S will belong to some P, so that
I O since R belongs t o all S and S t o some P, R will belong t o some P and
hence P will belong to some R . Again, if R belongs to some S and P to
all S, it is necessary for P to belong to some R, for the demonstration
proceeds in the same way. (This can also be demonstrated through
1 5 the impossible and b y s ett ing out, as in the previous cases.)
If one of the terms is positive and the other privative, and the
positive one is universal, then if the minor term is positive, there will
be a syllogism. For if R belongs to all S but P does not belong to some
S, i t is necessary for P not to be l o n g to some R. For if it belongs to
all R and R belongs to all S, then P will also belong to all S ; but it
20 did not belong to all. (This can also be proved without the reduction
to the i mpossible if one chooses one of the S s to which P does not
belong.)
But if the major term is posit ive , there will not be a s y l log i s m
for example, if P belongs to all S and R does not belong to some S .
Terms for belo n g in g to all: animate, human, animal. For belo n g in g to
none one cannot find terms if R belongs to some S but also does not
25
belon g to some S, for if P belongs to all S and R to some, then P will
al so belong to some R ; but it was assumed that it belonged to none.
Instead, one must proceed as in the earlier cases : s ince not belonging
to some is indeterminate, it is true to say even of what belongs to
none that it does not belong to some. But there was no syllogism
30 when R belonged to none, so it is evident that there w i l l not be a
syllogism .
If the privative term i s universal , then when the major is privative
and the minor positive, there will be a syllogism. For if P belo n g s to
no S and R belongs to some S , P will not belong to some R, for there

IO

T RANS L A T I O N

will be the first figure again when the prem iss R S i s converted. B ut i f 3 5
the minor term i s universal, there will not b e a syllogism. Terms for
bel on gin g: animal, human, wild; for not belonging: animal, science,
wild; mid dle term in both cases: wild. Nor will there be a syllogism
wh en both premisses are taken as privative and one of them is universa l, th e oth er particular. Terms when the minor is universal in relation
to th e middle: animal, science, wild; animal, human, wild . When the
maj or is universal, terms for not belonging : raven, snow, white. For 293
be lon ging one cannot find terms if R belongs to some S but also does
no t bel ong to some S ; for if P beongs to all R and R to some S, P 5
will also belong to some S ; but it was assumed that it belonged to
none. Rather, one must prove this from indeterminacy. Nor if each of
the terms belongs or does not belong to some of the middle, [or the
one belongs, the other does not belong]* or the one belongs to some,
the other not to all, or both are indeterminate-there will never be a
syllo gism. Common terms for all these cases: animal, human, white;
Io
anim al, inanimate, white.
It is now evident for this figure too when there will or will not be
a syllogism. Also, that when the terms are related as we have said, a
syllogism comes about of necessity, and that if there is a syllogism,
then it is necessary for the terms to be so related. It is also evident
that all the syllogisms in this figure are imperfect, for all of them are r 5
perfected by adding some things ; and also that it will not be possible
to deduce a universal conclusion in this figure, neither a privative nor
an affirmative one.
C H A P T ER 7

It is also clear for all the figures that in those cases where no syl
logism comes about, if both terms are positive or privative, nothing 20
necessary comes about at all; but if one term is positive, the other
privative and the privative is taken as universal, then a syllogism
always comes about of the minor extreme in relation to the maj or.
For example, if A belongs to all or some B and B to no C . For if the
premisses are converted, it is necessary for C not to belong to some 2 5
A. Similarly fo r the other figures; for a syllogism always comes about
through conversion. It is also clear that an indeterminate premiss put
in the place of a positive particular premiss will produce the same
syllogism in all the figures .
II

2 9

PRI O R A N A L Y T I C S

It i s evident too that all imperfect syllogisms are perfected through


the first figure. For they are all brought to a conclusion either osten
sively or through the impossible, and in both cases the first figure
comes about. When they are perfected ostensively, this is so because
they were all brought to a conclusion through conversion, and the
conversion produced the first figure; when they were proved through
35 the impossible, it is so because once the false assumption is made, the
syllogism comes about through the first figure. So, for example, in the
last figure: if A and B belong to every C, then A belongs to some B .
For i f it belongs to none and B belongs to all C, then A belongs to no
C. But it belonged to all . S imilarly for the other cases.
But one can also reduce all syllogisms to the universal ones in the
29 h
first figure. For it is evident that the syllogisms in the second figure
were all perfected through these, though not all in the same way
the universal ones by conversion of the privative premiss, each of
the particular ones through reduction to the impossible. Now those
5
in the first figure-the particular ones-are perfected even through
themselves, but one can also prove them through the second figure
by reduction to the impossible. For example, if A belongs to every
B and B to some C, then A belongs to some C. For if it belongs to
1 0 none, but to every B , B will belong to n o C ; this w e know from the
second figure. The demonstration will be similar in the case of the
privative syllogism. For if A belongs to no B and B to some C,
then A will not belong to some C. For if it belongs to every C but
to no B , then B will belong to no C-this was the middle figure.
1 5 Hence, since all syllogisms in the second figure are reduced to the
universal syllogisms in the first and the particular syllogisms in the
first to those in the middle figure, it is evident that the particular
syllogisms will also be reduced to the universal ones in the firs t
20 figure. The syllogisms in the third figure are perfected right away
through those syllogisms when the terms are universal, and when the
terms are taken as particular, they are perfected through the particular
syllogisms in the first figure. But those were reduced to the former;
hence this is so also for the particular syllogisms in the third figure.
It is evident, then, that all syllogisms will be reduced to the universal
25 syllogisms in the first figure.
We have now said what holds for those syllogisms that prove
something to belong or not to belong, both for the syllogisms in
the same figure taken by themselves and for syllogisms in different
figures in relation to one another.

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T R A N S L AT I O N

C H APTER 8

Since belonging is different from belonging of necessity or possibly


belonging (for many things belong, but not of necessity ; others do
not belong of necessity nor even belong at all, but may belong), it is
clear that syllogisms for each of these will also be different, and from
term s that are not related in the same way. Rather, one syllogism will
be from necessary terms, one from terms that belong, and one from
terms that may belong .
The case of necessary terms is much the same as that of terms
that belong. For the same order of terms will or will not produce a
syl logis m in the case of belonging as in the case of belonging or not
belon ging of necessity, the only difference being that 'belonging (or
not belon ging) of necessity' is added to the terms. For the privative
premis s converts in the same way, and ' being in something as in a
whole' and 'predicated of all' will be explained in similar fashio n .
Now in the other cases the conclusion will b e shown t o be necessary by conversion, in the same way as in the case of belonging; but
in the middle figure, when the universal premiss is affirmative and the
particular privative, and again in the third figure, when the universal
premiss is positive and the particular privative, the demonstration
will not proceed in the same way. Rather, it is necessary to set out
something to which each of the two terms does not belong and to
construct the syllogism with respect to that, for it will be necessary
for those. And if it is necessary for the thing set out, it is also
necessary for something of the respective term, since what is set out
is precisely such a thing. Each of the syllogisms comes about in its
own figure.

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C H APTER 9

It happens sometimes that a syllogism leads to a necessary conclu- 1 5


sion, even if only one of the premisses is necessary-not any premiss,
though, but the one with the greater extreme. For instance, if it has
been assumed that A belongs (or does not belong) to B of necessity
while B merely belongs to C; for when the premisses have been taken
in this way, A will (or will not) belong to C of necessity. For since 20
A belongs (or does not belong) to every B of necessity, and C is one
of the Bs, it is evident that one or the other will hold of C also of
13

P R I O R AN A L Y T I C S

necessity. B u t when the premiss A B is not necessary while BC is


necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary. For if it is, the result
25 will be that A belongs to some B of necessity, both through the first
and through the third figure. B ut this is false, for B might be such that
it is possible for A to belong to none of it. Further, it is also clear from
the terms that the conclusion will not be necessary. For example, if
30 A were motion, B animal, the term designated by C, man. For man
is an animal of necessity, but an animal does not move of necessity,
nor does man . S imilarly if AB were privative, for the demonstration
is the s ame.
In the case of the particular syllogisms, if the universal premiss is
necessary, the conclusion will be necessary too; but if the particular
35 premiss is necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary, whether
the universal premiss is privative or pos itive. First, then , let the
universal premiss be necessary, and let A belong to B of necessity
and B merely belong to some C. Then it is necessary that A belong
3oh to some C of necessity, for C is under B, and A belonged to every
B of necessity. S imilarly if the syllogism were privative, for the
demonstration will be the same. But if the particular premiss is nec
essary, the conclusion will not be necessary, for nothing impossible
comes about, just as it did not in the case of the universal syllogisms . The same holds for the privative ones. Terms : motion , animal,
5
white.

CHAPTER

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I n the case o f the second figure, i f the privative premiss i s necessary,


the conclusion will be necessary too, but if it is the positive one, the
conclusion will not be necessary.
For first, let the privative premiss be necessary : let it not be
possible for A to belong to any B , and let A merely belong to C .
Now since the privative premiss converts, i t i s also not possible for
B to belong to any A; but A belongs to every C, so that it is not
possible for B to belong to any C, for C is under A. It is the same if
the privative premiss is the one with C, for if A cannot belong to any
C, neither can C belong t o any A . B u t A belongs to every B , so that
it is not possible for C to belong to any B , for the first figure comes
about again. Therefore, neither will it be possible for B to belong to
C, for the premiss converts in the same way.
14

TRANSLATION

Wh en the positive premiss i s necessary, the conclusion will not


be neces sary. For let A belong to every B of necessity but merely
bel ong to no C. Now when the privative premiss is converted, the
fi rst figu re comes about. But it was proved that in the first figure,
when the privative premiss with the major extreme is not necessary,
the conclusion will not be necessary either, so that it will also not be
necessary in these cases.
Furthermore, if the conclusion is necessary, the result is that C
does not belong to some A of necessity. For if B belongs to no C
of necessity, neither will C belong to any B of necessity. Yet it is
nec essary for B to belong to some A, given that A also belonged
to B of necessity. So it is necessary for C not to belong to some
A. But nothing prevents one from choosing an A such that C may
belong to all of it. Furthermore, one might also set out terms to
prove that the conclusion is not necessary without qualification,
but necessary only when these things are so. For example, let A
be animal , B man, C white, and let the premisses be taken in the
same way-for it is possible for animal to belong to no white thing.
So man will also belong t o n o white thing, but not o f necessity,
for a man might come to be white, though not as long as animal
belo ngs to no white thing . So that when these things are so, the
conclusion will be necessary, but it will not be necessary without
qualification.
It will be similar al so in the case of the particular syllogisms. For
when the privative premiss is universal and necessary, the conclusion
will be necessary too, but when the positive premiss is universal and
the privative one particular, the conclusion will not be necessary.
First, then, let the privative premiss be universal; let it not be possible
for A to belong to any B , and let A belong to some C. Now since
the privative premiss converts, it should also not be possible for B to
belong to any A. But A belongs to some C, so that B will not belong
to some C of necessity.
Again, let the positive premiss be universal and necessary and let
the universal premiss be the one with B . Then if A belongs to every
B of necessity but does not belong to some C, it i s clear that B will
not belong to some C, but not of necessity. For the same terms can
be used to demonstrate this as for the universal syllogisms . But if the
privative premiss is necessary and taken as particular, the conclusion
will not be necessary in this case either, for the demonstration will
proceed through the same terms .
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C H APTER

In

I 1

the last figure, when the terms are universal in relation to the
middle and both premisses are positive, then if any one of the pre20 misses is necessary, the conclusion will be necessary too. And when
one premiss is privative, the other positive, then if the privative is
necessary, the conclusion will be necessary too, but if it is the positive
premiss, the conclusion will not be necessary.
25
First, let both premisses be positive; let A and B belong to every
C, and let AC be necessary. Now since B belongs to every C, C will
also belong to some B, since the universal premiss converts to the
particular. Hence if A belongs to every C of necessity and C belongs
to some B, it is also necessary for A to belong to some B, for B is
30 under C, so the first figure comes about. The proof will proceed in
the same way also if BC is necessary, for C converts with respect
to some A, so that if B belongs to every C of necessity, it will also
belong to some A of necessity.
Again, let AC be privative, BC affirmative, and let the privative
35 premiss be necessary. Now since C converts with respect to some B
and A belongs to no C of necessity, A will also not belong to some B
of necessity, for B is under C .
But if the positive premiss i s necessary, the conclusion will not be
necessary. For let BC be positive and necessary and AC be privative
and not necessary. Now since the affirmative premiss converts , C will
3 1 h also belong to some B of necessity. Hence if A belongs to no C and
C to some B, A will not belong to some B, but not of necessity. For
it was shown in the first figure that when the privative premiss is not
necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary either. Furthermore,
this might be evident also through the terms : for let A be good, what
is designated by B , animal, and C, horse. Now good may belong to
5
no horse, but animal necessarily belongs to every horse, and it is not
necessary that some animal not be good, given that all animals might
be good. Or if this is not possible, one should use waking or sleeping
I O as a term, fo r every animal admits o f these.
For the cases where the terms are universal in relation to the
middle we have now said when the conclusion will be necessary.
But when one is universal, the other particular, and both are positive,
then whenever the universal one is necessary, the conclusion will
15 be necessary too. The demonstration is the same as before, for the
particular positive premiss converts . So if it is necessary for B to
I6

TRAN S L ATION

belong to every C and A i s under C , it i s necessary for B to belong


to some A; and if it is necessary for B to belong to some A, it is
also necessary for A to belong to some B, for the premiss converts .
S imilarly also if AC is universal and necessary, for B is under C .
But if the particular premiss is necessary, the conclusion will not
be necessary. For let BC be particular and necessary, and let A belong
to every C, but not of necessity. Now when BC is converted, the first
figure comes about, with the universal premiss not being necessary
and the particular one being necessary. But when the premisses were
like this, the conclusion was not necessary; hence it will not be
necessary in this case either. Furthermore, this is also evident from
terms. For let A be the waking state, B biped, what is designated by
c, animal . Now it is necessary for B to belong to some C, and A may
belong to C, but it is not necessary for A to belong to B , for it is not
necessary for some biped to be either asleep or awake. In the same
way and with the same terms one will also construct the proof if AC
is particular and necessary.
If one of the terms is positive and the other privative, then when
ever the universal one is privative and necessary, the conclusion will
be necessary too. For if A cannot belong to any C and B belongs to
some C, i t is necessary fo r A not t o belong t o some B . B u t when the
affirmative premiss is taken as necessary, whether it be universal or
particular, or when the privative premiss is particular, the conclusion
will not be necessary. As far as proofs go, we will say the same as in
the previous cases ; terms for the case where the universal positive
premiss is necessary: the waking state, animal, man (middle term
man); when the particular positive premiss is necessary : the waking
state, animal, white . For it is necessary for animal to belong to some
white thing, but the waking state may belong to none, and it is
not necessary for the waking state not to belong to some animal.
And when the privative premiss is particular and necessary: biped,
moving, animal (middle term animal).

C HA P TER 1 2

It is evident, then, that there can be no syllogism for belonging unless


both premisses assert belonging, but there may be a syllogism for
the necessary when only one of the premisses is necessary. In both
cases, however, whether the syllogisms are affirmative or privative,
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i t is necessary fo r one o f the premisses t o b e like the conclusion.


By 'like' I mean that if the conclusion asserts belonging, one premiss
must assert belonging, and if the conclusion is necessary, one premiss
must be necessary. Hence this is also clear, that the conclusion cannot
be necessary or assert belonging unless a premiss has been taken that
is necessary or asserts belonging.

C H A PTER 1 3

15

About the necessary, how it comes about and how it is different from
what belongs, we have said more or less enough. Let us next speak
of the possible, when and how and through what premisses there
will be a syllogism for it. By 'being possible' and 'the possible' I
mean that which, while not being necessary, will not lead to anything
20 impossible when it is assumed to belong . For the necessary is called
possible in a different sense.
[That this is indeed the possible is evident from the denials
and affirmations opposed to one another. For 'cannot belong' and
' impossible to belong' and 'necessarily does not belong' are either
25 the same or follow one another, and so their opposites too, 'may
belong' , ' not impossible to belong ' , and 'does not necessarily not
belong' , will be either the same or follow one another. For either
the affirmation or the denial holds of everything . Therefore, what
is possible will not be necessary and what is not necessary will be
possible. ]
30
I t follows that all possible premisses convert t o one another. I d o
not mean that affirmative ones convert t o negatives, but that those
that are affirmative in form convert with respect to opposites. So, for
example, 'possibly belonging' converts to 'possibly not belonging' ,
'possibly belonging to all' converts to 'possibly belonging to none'
or ' not to all ' , and 'possibly belonging to some' converts to 'possibly
3 5 not belonging to some' . The same holds for the others . For since
what is possible is not necessary and what is not necessary may not
belong, it is evident that if A may belong to B , it may also not belong
to B, and if it may belong to every B, then it may also not belong
to every B. Similarly for the particular affirmations, for the demon3 2h stration is the same. Premisses of this sort are positive, not privative,
for 'being possible' has the same position as 'being' , as was said
before.
18

TRANSLATION

After these explanati ons, let u s add that 'being possible' is said
in two ways: in one way of what happens for the most part, when
the necessity has gaps, such as that a man turns gray or grows or
ag es, or generally what belongs by natu e. For this has no cntinuous
necessity because a man does not exist forever, but whlie a man
exists, it happens either of necessity or for the most part. In another
way 'being possible' is said of what is indeterminate, that is, what
i s possible both this way and not this way, such as that an animal
walks or that an earthquake happens while it walks, or, generally,
what comes about by chance, for this is by nature no more this way
than the opp osite way. B oth these kinds of being possible [also ] *
convert with respect t o opposite premisses, but n o t i n the s am e way.
Rather, what i s so by nature converts because it does not belong of
necessity (for in this way it is possible for a man not to turn gray),
wh ile the indeterminate converts because it is no more this way than
t h at .
There is no knowledge or demonstrative syllogism of indeterminate things because the middle term is irregular, but there is knowl
edge of things that happen by nature, and by and large arguments and
investigations are concerned with what is possible in thi s way. For
the other sort a syllogism may come about, but one does not usually
try to find one.
These things will be explained more precisely later. Now let us
say when and how and of what sort there will be a syllogism from
possible premisses.
Given that 'this possibly belongs to that' may be understood in
two ways-either o f what that belongs to, o r o f what that may belong
to (for 'A possibly belongs to what B belongs to' signifies one or
the other of these, either that A may belong to what B is said of, or
that it may belong to what B may be said of )-and that there is no
difference between 'A possibly belongs to what B is said of' and 'A
possibly belongs to every B ' , it is evident that 'A possibly belongs to
every B' would be said in two ways.
Let us first say, then, what syllogism will result and of what sort,
if B possibly belongs to what C is said of and A possibly belongs
to what B is said of. [For in this way both premisses are taken in
the sense of possibil ity, but when A possibly belongs to what B
belongs to, one premiss asserts belonging, the other the possible.]
So we should begin with premisses of the same form, as in the other
cases .
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CHAPTER 1 4

Now whenever i t is possible for A t o belong to every B and for B


to belong to every C, there will be a perfect syllogism to the effect
that it is possible for A to belong to every C. This is evident from the
definition, for we have explained 'possibly belonging to all' in this
33 8 way. And similarly also, if it is possible for A to belong to no B and
for B to belong to every C, that it is possible for A to belong to no C.
For that A may not belong to what B may be said of was just what
was meant by nothing that could possibly be under B being left out.
5
And when it is possible for A to belong to every B and for B to
belong to no C, no syllogism comes about through the premisses as
they are taken, but when BC is converted according to the possible,
the same syllogism comes about as before. For since it is possible for
10 B to belong to no C, it is also possible for it to belong to every C-this
was said earlier. So if B possibly belongs to every C and A to every
B . the same syllogism comes about again. Similarly if one were to
add a negation together with 'possibly' to both prem isses-I mean,
for instance, if A possibly belongs to no B and B possibly belongs
1 5 to n o C : while n o syllogism comes about through the premisses as
taken, when they are converted there will be the same syllogism as
before. It is evident, then, that when a negation is added either to the
minor extreme or to both premisses, either no syllogism comes about
20 or there is one, but not a perfect one, for the necessity was completed*
by the conversion.
When one of the premisses is taken as universal, the other as par
ticular, and the universal premiss is the one with the major extreme,
there will be a perfect syllogism. For if A possibly belongs to every B
and B to some C, then A possibly belongs to some C. This is evident
25 from the definition of 'possibly belonging ' . Again, if it is possible
for A to belong to no B and for B to belong to some of the Cs, it is
necessary that A may possibly not belong to some of the Cs; the proof
is the same . And when the particular premiss is taken as privative, the
universal one as affirmative, and they are in the same position (that
30 is, it is possible for A to belong to every B and for B not to belong
to some C), then an evident syllogism does not come about through
the premisses as taken, but when the particular premiss is converted
and it is assumed that B possibly belongs to some C, there will be
the same conclusion as before, just as in the cases with which we
began.
20

TRA N S LATION

33

B u t if th e premiss with the major extreme is taken as particular


a nd th e prem iss with the minor as universal, whether both are posited
ve or as privative or whether they do not have the s ame
as affi rm ati
form , or whe ther both are indeterminate or particular, there will not
be a sy l logi sm in any case. For nothing prevents B from extending
beyond A and not being predicated of an equal number of things. Let
c be taken as the part by which B extends beyond A: then it is not
possib le for A to belong either to all of C or to none, or to some,
or not to s ome, given that the possible premisses convert, and it is
pos sibl e for B to belong to more things than A.
Furthermore, this is also evident from terms, for when the pre
mis ses are related in this way, then it is not possible for the first term
to bel ong to any of the last, and it is also necessary for the first to
be l o n g to all of the last. Common terms for all cases-for belonging
of n eces sity : animal, white, man ; for not possibly belonging: animal,
white, garment It is evident, then, that when the terms are related in
this way, no syllogism comes about. For every syllogism is either for
belonging or for belonging of necessity or for possibly belonging .
Now it i s clear that there is no syllogism either for belonging or
for belonging of necessity, for the affirmative conclusion is ruled out
by the privative proposition and the privative by the affirmative. So
there remains the case of a syllogism for the possible. But this is
i mpossible, for it has been shown that when the terms are related
in th is way, the first belongs to the last necessarily but also cannot
possibly belong to any of the last. So there could not be a syllogism
for the possible, for what is necessary was not possible.
It is evident that when the terms are universal in possibility
premisses, a syllogism always comes about in the first figure, whether
the terms are positive or privative, except that it is perfect when
the premisses are positive, imperfect when they are negative. How
ever, one must take the possible not to include what is necessary,
but according to the definition stated above; this is sometimes
overlooked.

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CHAPTER 1 5

If one of the premisses asserts belonging, the other possibly belong- 2 5


ing, then when the premiss with the major extreme signifies the pos
sible, all the syllogisms will be perfect and conclude to the possible
21

PRIOR ANALYTJCS

i n the sense o f the definition stated. But when the premiss with the
minor extreme does so, the syllogisms will all be imperfect and
30 the privative ones conclude, not to the possible in the sense of the
defi nition, but to belonging to none or not to all of necessity. For if
something belongs to none or not to all of necessity, we also say that
it possibly belongs to none or not to all .
For let A possibly belong t o every B and let B b e posited t o belong
to every C. Now since C is under B and A possibly belongs to every
3 5 B , it is evident that it also possibly belongs to every C ; so a perfect
syllogism comes about. Similarly also if the premiss AB is privative
and BC is affirmative, the one taken as asserting possibly belonging,
343 the other belongi ng: there will be a perfect syllogism to the effect that
A possibly belongs to no C .
I t is evident, then, that when belonging is used in the premiss
with the minor extreme, perfect syllogisms come about. But that
there will be syllogisms when it is the opposite way has to be shown
through the impossible. It will also be clear at the same time that these
syllogisms are imperfect, for the proof is not from the premisses as
taken.
5
But first we must say that if it is necessary that B is the case if A
is, then if A is possible, B will also be possible of necessity. For let
them be so related, and what is designated by A be possible, what
is designated by B, impossible. Now if what i s possible, when it is
possible for it to be, might come about, and what is impossible, when
1 0 i t is impossible, could not come about, and if A is possible and B
impossible at the same time, A might come about without B, and if
it might come about, it might also be: for what has come to be, when
it has done so, is. (One should take 'impossible' and 'possible' not
only with respect to coming about, but also with respect to being true
1 5 and belonging and any other way w e speak o f the possible, fo r i t will
be the same in all cases . Furthermore, one should not understand 'B
is the case if A is' as though, if some single thing A is so, B will be.
For nothing is of necessity if j ust one thing is the case; there must
be at least two, as, for instance, when the premisses are related as
20 we said for a syllogism. For if C is said of D and D of F, C must
also be said of F of necessity, and if each of the two is possible, so
too is the conclusion. So if one assigned A to the premisses, B to
the conclusion, the result would be, not only that if A is necessary,
B is necessary at the same time, but also that if A is possible, B is
possible.)
22

TRANSLATI ON

34

Now that this has been proved, it is evident that if a false though not
i mp ossi bl e hypothesis is assumed, what results through the hypothesis w ill also be false and not impossible. For example, if A is false but
not im pos sible and, given A, B is the case, then B will also be false
but n ot imp ossible. For since it has been proved that if, given A, B is
th e case, the n also if A is possible, B is possible, and it was assumed
that A is possible, then B will be possible too, for if it is impossible,
the same thing will be possible and impossible at the same time.
With these explanations in place, let A belong to every B and let B
possibly belong to every C: then it is necessary that A possibly belong
1 0 every C. For let this not b e possible, but let i t be assumed that B
belongs to every C-this is false, but not impossible. Now if it is not
pos sib le for A to belong to every C and B belongs to every C, then it
is not po ssible for A to belong to every B, for a syllogism in the third
figure comes about. But the assumption was that it could belong to
every one. So it is necessary that A possibly belong to every C, for
a false though not impossible assumption has led to an impossible
resul t. (One can also produce the impossible through the first figure,
assuming that B belongs to C: for if B belongs to every C and A
possibly belongs to every B , A should also possibly belong to every
C. But the hypothesis was that it could not belong to every C.)
One must choose what belongs to all not with a limitation of time
such as ' now' or 'at such-and-such a time ' , but without qualification . For it is through premisses of this sort that we construct the
syllogisms, since if the premiss is taken in the sense of 'now' , there
will be no syllogism. For presumably there is nothing to prevent man
from belonging at some time to everything that moves, for instance,
if nothing else were moving: and moving possibly belongs to every
horse-but man cannot possibly belong to any horse. Further, let the
first term be animal, the middle term moving, the last man : then the
premisses will be related as before, but the conclusion will be neces
sary, not possible, for man is an animal of necessity. So it is evident
that the universal premiss must be chosen without qualification and
not with a limitation of time.
Again, let the privative premiss AB be universal and assume that
A belongs to no B and B possibly belongs to every C. With these
things posited, it is necessary that A possibly belong to no C. For let
this not be possible and let it be laid down that B belongs to C, as
before: then it is necessary that A belong to some B, for a syllogism
through the third figure comes about. But this is impossible; so it
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should b e possible for A t o belong to n o C, fo r assuming a falsehood


has led to an impossible result. Now this syllogism does not conclude
to the possible in the sense of the defin ition, but to belonging to none
of necessity-this is the contradictory of the hypothesis used, s ince it
30 was assumed that A belongs to some C of necessity, and the syllogism
through the impossible concludes to the opposite statement. Further,
it is also evident from terms that the conclusion will not be possible.
For let A be raven, what is designated by B, thinking, and what is
designated by C, man. Then A belongs to no B (for nothing that is
3 5 thinking is a raven); but B possibly belongs to every C, for every man
may be thinking. However, A belongs of necessity to no C; therefore,
the conclusion is not possible. But neither is it always necessary.
For let A be moving, B knowledge, what is designated by C, man.
Now A will belong to no B, B possibly belongs to every C, and the
conclusion will not be necessary. For it is not necessary that no man
should be moving, though it is not necessary that any man should
35 8 be. It is clear, then, that the conclusion is for belonging to none of
necessity. (The terms must be better chosen .)
When the privative premiss is the one with the minor extreme
and signifies possibly belonging, there will be no syllogism from
the premisses themselves as they are taken, but when the possible
5
premiss is converted, there will be one, just as in the previous cases .
For let A belong to every B and B possibly belong to no C: when the
terms are so related nothing will be necessary ; but if BC is converted
and it is assumed that B possibly belongs to every C, a syllogism
10 comes about as before, for the terms are similarly arranged. It is the
same way also with both intervals being privative, when AB signifies
not belonging, BC possibly belonging to none. For through these
premisses themselves as taken no necessity comes about at all, but
1 5 when the premiss in the sense of the possible is converted, there will
be a syllogism. For let it be assumed that A belongs to no B and B
possibly belongs to no C-through these premisses nothing will be
necessary ; but when it is assumed that B possibly belongs to every
C-which is true-and the premiss AB is the same as before, there
20 will agai n be the same syllogism.
But when B is posited as not belonging to every C and not as pos
sibly not belonging, there will not be a syllogism at all, whether the
premiss AB is privative or affirmative. Common terms for belonging
of necessity : white, animal, snow; for not possibly belonging: white,
animal, pitch.
24

TRANSLATION

35

It is evident, then, that when the terms are universal and one of the
em
pr is ses is taken a s asserting belonging, the other possibly belongin g , a syllogism always comes about when the premiss with the minor
ex trem e is taken as asserting the possible; however, the syllogism
so metimes results from the premisses themselves, sometimes only
after a p remiss is converted. We have said which of these happens
wh en, and for what reason.
When one o f the intervals is taken a s universal, the other a s partic
ular, and the interval with the major extreme is posited as universal
and possible, whether it be negative or affirmative, while the p artic
ular one is affirmative and asserts belonging, there will be a perfect
syllogism, j ust as when the terms were universal. The demonstration
is the same as before. But when the interval with the maj or extreme
is universal and asserts belonging rather than possibly belonging
and the other one is particular and asserts possibly belonging, then
whether both are posited as negative or as affirmative or whether
one is negative, the other affirmative, in all cases there will be an
imperfect syllogism, though some of these will be proved through
the impossible, others * through the conversion of the possible, j ust
as in the previous cases. There will [also] * be a syllogism through
the conversion when the universal premiss with the maj or extreme
signifies belonging or not belonging and the particular premiss is
negative and assumes the possible-for instance, if A belongs (or
does not belong) to every B and B possibly does not belong to some
C : for when BC is converted according to the possible, a syllogism
comes about. But when the premiss posited as particular assumes
not belonging, there will not be a syllogism. Terms for belonging:
white, animal, snow; for not belonging: white, animal, pitch ; for the
demonstration must be through indeterminacy.
When it is the premiss with the minor extreme that is posited
as universal while the particular goes with the major extreme, then
whichever prem iss is privative or affirmative, asserting the possible
or asserting belonging, there will never be a syll ogism in any way.
Nor will there be one when the premisses are posited as particular or
indeterminate, whether they < both > assume possibly belonging or
belonging or one of these each; there will not be a syllogism in this
way either. The demonstration is the same as in the previous cases.
Common terms for belonging of necessity : animal, white, man ; for
not possibly belonging: animal , white, garment. It is evident, then,
that when the interval with the maj or extreme is posited as universal,
25

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35

40
35 b

Io

I5

20

PRIOR ANALYTICS

a syllogism always comes about, while when i t i s the one with the
minor, never ever.
CHAPTER 1 6

When one of the premisses signifies belonging of necessity, the other


possibly belonging, there will be a syllogism when the terms are
25 related in the same way, and the syllogisms will be perfect when
the necessity is posited with the minor extreme. When the terms are
positive, the conclusion will assert possibly belongi ng, rather than
not belonging, whether the terms are posited as universal or not as
universal. When one premiss is affirmative, the other privative, and
the affirmative one is necessary, the conclusion will assert possibly
3 0 not belonging rather than not belonging; but when the privative is
necessary, the conclusion will hold both for possibly not belonging
and for not belonging, whether the terms are universal or not univer
sal. ( ' Possibly' in the conclusion must be taken in the same way as in
the previous cases. ) There will not be a syllogism for necessarily not
3 5 belonging, for not necessarily belonging is different from necessarily
not belonging.
Now that the conclusion will not be necessary when the terms
are affirmative is evident. For let A belong to every B of necessity
and let B possibly belong to every C: then there will be an imperfect
368 syllogism to the effect that A possibly belongs to every C. That the
syllogism is imperfect is clear from the demonstration, for it will be
proved in the same way as the previous ones . Again, let A possibly
belong to every B and B belong of necessity to every C: then there
will be a syllogism to the effect that A possibly belongs to every
C, but not that it does belong, and the syllogism will be perfect,
5
not imperfect. For it is perfected straightaway through the initial
premisses.
If the premisses are not of the same form, first let the privative
one be necessary, and let it not be possible for A to belong to any
B, but let B possibly belong to every C : then it is necessary for A
I O t o belong to n o C . For let i t be laid down that i t belongs to all or
to some, while it was assumed that it could not belong to any B .
Now since the privative premiss converts, B also cannot belong to
any A, but it was laid down that A belongs to all or some C, so that
it would not be possible for B to belong to any or to every C. B ut it
26

T R A N S L A T I ON

wa s in itially assumed that it possibly belonged to all. It is evident that


syll ogism for possibly not belonging also comes about, given that
not belonging . Again, let the affirmative premiss be
there is one for
nece ssary; let A possibly belong to no B and let B belong to every C
of n ec es sity. Now the syllogism will be perfect, but it will not be for
not belonging, but for possibly not belonging. For the premiss from
the major extreme was al so taken in this way, and one cannot derive
an impossibility, for if it were assumed that A belongs to some C and
it is also laid down that it possibly belongs to no B, no impossibility
will result through those assumptions .
When the privative premiss is posited with the minor extreme and
signifies possibly belonging, there will be a syllogism through con
version just as in the previous cases, but when it signifies not possibly
belonging, there will not be one. Nor will there be a syllogism when
both premisses are posited as privative and the one with the minor
extreme is not possible. The terms are the same; for belonging: white,
animal, snow; for not belonging: white, animal, pitch.
I t will b e the same way also i n the case o f particular syllogi sms,
for when the privative premiss is necessary, then the conclusion will
also assert not belonging. Thus, if A cannot belong to any of the Bs
and B possibly belongs to some of the Cs, it is necessary for A not to
belong to some of the Cs . For if it belongs to all of them but cannot
belong to any B, neither can B belong to any A; so if A belongs to
every C, B cannot belong to any of the Cs. But it was assumed that
it possibly belongs to some. But when the particular premi ss in the
privative syllogism (that is, BC) is necessary, or the universal premiss
in the positive syllogism (that is, AB ), there will not be a syllogism
for belonging. The demonstration is the same as in the previous cases.
When the universal premiss is posited with the minor extreme and
asserts possibly belonging, whether it is affirmative of privative, and
the particular premiss [with the maj or extreme] * is necessary, there
will be no syllogism. Terms for belonging of necessity : animal, white,
man ; for not possibly belonging : animal , white, garment. When the
universal premiss is necessary and the particular is possible, then if
the universal is privative, the terms for belonging are animal, white,
raven; for not belonging, animal, white, pitch ; if the universal is
affirmative, the terms for belonging are animal, white, swan; for
not possibly belonging: animal , white, snow. Nor will there be a
syllogism when the premisses are taken as indeterminate or both as
particular. Common terms for belonging: animal, white, man; for not
a

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IO

PRIOR ANALYT!CS

15

20

25

belonging : animal , white, inanimate. For animal belongs necessarily


to some white things but also cannot belong to some, and white
belongs necessarily to some inanimate things but also cannot belong
to some. And the same holds for possibly belonging, so that the same
terms can be used in all cases.
It is evident from what has been said that with the same relatio ns
between terms a syllogism does or does not come about in the case
of belonging as in the case of necessarily belonging, except that
when the privative premiss was posited in the sense of belonging,
the syllogism was for possibly belonging, while when the privative
premiss was posited in the sense of necessity, the syllogism was both
for possibly belonging and for belonging. [It is also clear that all
the syllogisms are imperfect, and that they are perfected through the
aforementioned figures. ]
C H APTER 1 7

In the second figure, when both premisses take something to be pos


sible, there will be no syllogism, whether the premisses are posited as
positive or as privative, and whether they are universal or particular.
But when one premiss signifies belonging, the other possibly belong3 0 ing, then, if the affirmative one signifies belonging, there will never
be a syllogism; but if it is the universal privative, there will always
be one. It is the same way also when one of the premisses is taken to
hold of necessity, the other to assert the possible. In these cases too
one must take possibly belonging in the conclusions in the same way
as in the previous ones.
35
First, then, we must prove that the privative premiss in the case of
the possible does not convert; that is, if A possibly belongs to no B ,
i t i s not necessary that B also possibly belong to no A . For let this
be supposed, and let it be possible for B to belong to no A. Now
since the affirmations of possibility convert to the denials, both the
40 contrary ones and the contradictories, and B possibly belongs to no
3 7 a A, it is evident that it could also belong to every A. But this is false,
for it is not the case that if this possibly belongs to all of that, then
necessarily that also belongs to this. So the privative premiss does not
convert.
Furthermore, nothing prevents its being the case that A possibly
belongs to no B while B necessarily does not belong to some A. For
5
28

T RA N S L A T I O N

37

may not belong to any man (for it may also belong


i ns tan c e, white

all ) , but it is not true to say that man possibly belongs to no white
ssarily does not belong to many of them, and what is
t h i ng , for it nece
pos s ible .
not
was
ary
ess
ec
n
r
can
one
show through the impossible that this premiss
B u t neithe
example,
if someone were to maintain 'Given that it is
For
c on verts.
belongs
to n o A , it i s true that it cannot possibly
possibly
at
B
fal s e th
e,
for
these
are
affirmation and denial. But if so, it is
non
to
g
be lon
tru e th at B belongs to some of the As of necessity, and so A also
bel ong s nece ssarily to some of the B s . B ut this is impossible.' For if
B do es not possibly belong to no A, it is not necessary that it belong
to some. For 'not possibly belonging to none' i s said i n two waysin one way if something belongs to some of necessity, in another if
i t neces sarily does not belong to some. For of what necessarily does
not bel ong to some of the As, it is not true to say that it possibly
do es not belong to any A, just as it is not true of what belongs to
some of necessity that it possibly belongs to all. Now if someone
mai ntained ' Given that it is not possible for C to belong to every D,
i t does not belong to some of necessity' , that person might make a
false assumption, for C belongs to all, but because it belongs to some
of necessity, for that reason we say that it does not possibly belong
to al l. Therefore, both belonging to some of necessity and also not
belonging to some of necessity are opposed to possibly belonging
t o all, and similarly for possibly belonging to none. It is clear, then,
that with respect to what is possible or not possible in the sense we
determined at the beginning, one must assume not only belonging
to some of necessity, but also not belonging to some of necessity. *
But when that is assumed, nothing impossible results, so that no
syllogism comes about. It is evident, then, from what has been said
that the privative premiss does not convert.
With thi s proved, let it be supposed that A possibly belongs to no
B and to every C. There will be no syllogism through conversion, for
as we said, a premiss of this sort does not convert. But neither will
there be one through the impossible. For if one posits that it is < not>
possible for B <not> to belong t o every C , nothing false results, for
A might possibly belong to every C as well as to none.
In general, if there is a syllogism, it is clear that it would conclude
to possibly belonging, since neither premiss is taken in the sense of
belonging; and the conclusion would be either affirmative or privative. B ut it cannot be either of these. For if one posits an affirmative,
lO

29

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37b

P R IOR A N A L Y T I C S

10

I5

it will be shown through terms that it cannot belong, and if a privative,


that the conclusion is not possible, but necessary. For let A be white,
B man, what is designated by C, horse. Clearly A, the white, possibly
belongs to all of the one and none of the other, but it is not possible
for B either to belong or not to belong to C. That it cannot belong is
evident, for no horse is a man . But neither can it possibly not belong,
for it is necessary that no horse be a man, and what is necessary was
not possible. Therefore, no syllogism comes about.
This will be shown in the same way also if the privative premiss is
put the other way around, or if both premisses are taken as affirmative
or as privative, for the proof will be through the same terms. And
also when one premiss is universal , the other particular, or both
particular or indeterminate, or any other way that the premisses can
be exchanged, for the proof will always go through the same terms.
It is evident, then, that when both premisses are posited in the sense
of possibil ity, no syllogism comes about.

CHAPTER 1 8

20

25

30

35

If one premiss signifies belonging, the other possible belonging, and


the positive one is posited as asserting belonging, the privative one
possibly belonging, there will never be a syllogism, whether the terms
are taken as universal or as particular. The proof is the same and
through the same terms . But when the affirmative premiss signifies
possible belonging and the privative one belonging, there will be a
syllogism. For let A be taken as belonging to no B and possibly
belonging to every C . Now if the privative premiss is converted,
B will belong to no A; but A possibly belonged to every C, so a
syllogism comes about to the effect that B possibly belongs to no C,
in the first figure. Similarly also if the privative premiss is the one
with C .
When both premisses are privative and one o f them signifies
not belonging, the other possibly not belonging, nothing necessary
results through the assumptions themselves, but when the premiss in
the sense of the possible is converted, a syllogism comes about to the
effect that B possibly belongs to no C, as in the previous cases, for
again there will be the first figure. When both premisses are posited
as positive, there will not be a syllogism. Terms for belonging: health,
animal, man; for not belonging: health, horse, man.
30

TRANSLATION

It wi ll be the same way also i n the case o f the particular syllogisms.


For wh en the affirmative premiss asserts belonging, whether it be
t ake n as u niversal or as particular, there will be no syllogism (this is 3 8a
pro ved si mil arly and through the same terms as before) ; but when it
i s th e pri vati ve one, there will be a syllogism through conversion, as
i n the previous cases. Again, if both intervals are taken as privative
and the on e that asserts not belonging is universal, the necessity 5
will not come from the premisses themselves , but when the possible
premiss is converted, as in the previous cases, there will be a syl
logism. If the privative premiss is taken in the sense of belonging,
but as particular, there will not be a syllogism, whether the other
premiss is affirmative or privative. Nor will there be one when both I O
premisses are taken as indeterminate-either affirmative or
negati ve-or as particular. The proof is the same and through the
sam e term s .
C HA P TER 1 9

I f o n e o f the premisses signifies belonging of necessity, the other


possibly belonging, then if the privative one is necessary, there
will be a syllogism not only for possibly not belonging, but also for
not belonging. Not so if the affirmative premiss is necessary. For let
it be supposed that A belongs to no B of necessity and that it possibly
belongs to every C. Now when the privative premiss is converted,
B will also belong to no A, but A possibly belonged to every C, so
that a syllogism in the first figure comes about again, to the effect
that B possibly belongs t o n o C. I t is clear a t the same time that
B <actually> belongs to none of the Cs. For let it be supposed to
belong. Then if A cannot belong to any B and B belongs to some of
the Cs, A cannot belong to some of the Cs. But it was assumed that
it could belong to all. The proof will proceed in the same way also if
the privative premiss i s the one with C .
Again, let the positive premiss b e necessary and the other one
assert a possibility, and let A possibly belong to no B while it belongs
of necessity to every C. Now when the terms are related in this
way, there will be no syllogism, for it may happen that B belongs
of necessity to no C. For let A be white, what is designated by B,
man, what i s designated b y C , swan : clearly white belongs to s wan
of necessity but may belong to no man, and man belongs to no swan
31

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30

P R I O R AJ\ A L Y T I C S

o f necessity. I t i s evident, then, that there will b e n o syllogism for


the possible, for what is necessary was not possible. B u t neither will
there be a syllogism for the necessary, for the necessary followed
when either both prem isses or the negative one were necessary. Fur
thermore, it is even possible, given these assumptions, that B belongs
to C. For nothing precludes C being under B , A possibly belonging
40 to every B and belonging to C of necessity, as, for instance, if C w ere
waking, B animal, and what is designated by A, motion. For motion
3 8b belongs of necessity to the waking and possibly to every animal , and
every waking thing is an animal. It is evident, then, that there will not
be a syllogism for not belonging either, since with the terms so related
it is necessary < for B to belong to C > . Nor will there be one for the
opposite affirmations, so that there will be no syllogism . This will be
shown in the same way also if the affirmative premiss is posited the
5
other way around.
If the premisses have the same form and are privative, a syllogism
always comes about when the possibility-prem iss is converted, j ust
as in the earlier cases. For let it be assumed that A necessarily does
IO
not belong t o B and possibly does not belong t o C . Now when the
premisses are converted, B belongs to no A and A possibly belongs
to every C, so the first figure comes about. The same happens if the
privative premiss is the one with C .
B u t i f the premi sses ar e posited a s positive, there w i l l not b e a
1 5 syllogism. That there will not b e one for not belonging, o r fo r not
belonging of necessity, is evident, because no privative premiss was
assumed either in the sense of belonging or in the sense of belonging
of necessity. But neither will there be one for possibly not belonging,
for when the terms are related in this way, B will necessarily not
belong to C; for instance, if A is posited as white, what is designated
20 by B, swan , and C, man. Nor will there be a syllogism for the opposite
affirmations , since we have shown B necessarily not belonging to C.
Therefore, no syllogism comes about at all .
It will be the same way also in the case of the particular syllogisms,
25 for when the privative premiss is universal and necessary, there will
always be a syllogism both for possibly belonging and for belonging
(the proof is through conversion) . But when it is the affirmative
premiss, there will never be a syllogism; for this will be proved in
the same way and through the same terms as in the case of universal
premisses. Nor will there be a syllogism when both premisses are
35

32

TRANSLATION

rmative, fo r here too the proof will be the same as before. 30


premisses are privative and the one signifying not
and necessary, the necessity will not come
universal
is
ng
gi
hd o n
but when the possible premiss is
themselves,
ptions
assum
e
th
m
fro
co nverte d there will be a syllogism, as in the previous cases . If both 3 5
p re mis ses are posited as indeterminate or as particular, there will not
be a sy ll ogis m. The demonstration is the same and through the same
ta ke n as affi
B u t wh en both

term s .
It is

evid ent from what has been said that when the privative
u n i vers al premiss is posited as necessary, a syllogism always comes
ahou t n ot o nly for possibly not belonging but also for not belonging, 40
but when it is the affirmative one, in no case. Also, that the same
relatio ns of terms do or do not lead to a syllogism in the case of 39 8
nec essary premisses as in the case of premisses that assert belonging.
I t is also clear that all these syllogisms are imperfect and that they are
p erfected through the aforementioned figures.
CHAPTER 2 0

In

the last figure there will be a syllogism if both premisses signify


the possible and also if one of them does so. Now when the premisses
signify possible belonging, the conclusion will also be possible, and
so too when one premiss asserts possible belonging and the other
bel onging.
When one of the premisses is posited as necessary and affirmative,
the conclusion will be neither necessary nor assert bel onging; but
when the privative one is necessary, there will be a syllogism for not
belonging, just as in the previous cases. In these syllogisms too the
possibility in the conclusion must be taken in the same sense.
First, then, let the premisses be possible, and let both A and B pos
sibly belong to every C. Now since the affirmative premiss converts
to the particular and B possibly belongs to every C , C should also
possibly belong to some B. Thus, if A may belong to every C and C
to some B , it is necessary for A also possibly to belong to some B ,
for the first figure comes about. And i f A may belong to n o C and B
may belong to every C, it is necessary that A may not belong t o s ome
B, for there will be the first figure again through conversion. And
when both premisses are posited as privative, the necessity will not
33

10

15

20

39

PRIOR A N A LYTICS

come from the assumptions themselves, but when the premisses are
converted, there will be a syllogism, just as in the earlier cases. For
if both A and B possibly do not belong to C and possibly belongi ng
is substituted for possibly not belonging, there will agai n be the first
figure through conversion.
Now if one of the terms is universal, the other particular, there will
30 or will not be a syllogism when the terms are related in the same way
as in the case of belonging. For let A possibly belong to every C and
B to some C. Then there will again be the first figure if the particular
premiss is converted; for if A may belong to every C and C to some
35 B , then A may belong to some B . And if the universal premiss is
posited as BC, the situation is the same. Similarly also if AC were
privative and BC affirmative, for again there will be the first figure
through conversion. When both premisses are posited as privative,
one of them being universal, the other particular, there will be no
syllogism through the assumptions themselves, but there will be one
39 b when they are converted, just as in the earlier cases. But when both
premisses are taken as indeterminate or particular, there will not be
a syllogism, for A necessarily belongs to every B as well as to none.
Terms for belonging: animal, man, white; for not belonging: horse,
5
man, white; middle term white.
25

C H APTER 2 1

ro

15

20

If one of the premisses signifies belonging, the other possible belong


ing, the conclusion will be that it possibly belongs, not that it belongs,
and there will be a syllogism when the terms are related in the
same way a s before. For first let the premisses b e positive, and let
A belong to every C and B possibly belong to every C. Then when
BC is converted there will be the first figure, and the conclusion will
be that A may belong to some B ; for when one of the premisses
signified possible belonging i n the first figure, the conclusion was
also possible. Similarly also if BC signifies belonging, AC possible
belonging, and if AC is privative, BC positive-whichever premiss
signifies belonging, in both cases the conclusion will be possible. For
the first figure comes about again, and we have proved that when one
of the premisses signifies the possible in this figure, the conclusion
will also be possible. But if the privative possible* premiss is the
34

TRANSLATION

one

with the minor extreme, and also i f both premisses are taken
as privative, there will be no syllogism through the assumptions
themselves, but there will be one when they are converted, just as
in the pre vio us cases.
If one of the premisses is universal , the other particular, and both
are po sitiv e, or if the universal one is privative and the particular one
a ffir mative , syllogisms will come about in the same way, for all of
th em are brought to conclusion through the first figure . Thus it is
evid ent that the conclusion will be for possible belonging and not for
bel ong ing.
If th e affirmative premiss is universal and the privative one par
ti cular, the demonstration will be through the impossible. For let B
belo ng to every C and let A possibly not belong to s ome C : then it
i s nece ssar y that A possibly does not belong to some B. For if A
bel ongs to every B of necessity and B is assumed to belong to every
c , A will belong to every C of necessity, as was proved earlier. But
the assumption was that A possibly did not belong to some C.
When both premisses are taken as indeterminate or as particular,
there will not be a syllogism. The demonstration is the same as i n the
earlier cases, and through the same terms .

25

30

35

403

CHAPTER 2 2

If one of the premisses i s necessary, the other possible, then if


both terms are positive, the syllogism will always be for possible 5
belonging. When one premiss is positive, the other privative and the
affirmative one is necessary, the conclusion will be for possibly not
belonging, but if the negative premiss is necessary, the conclusion
will be both for possibly not belonging and for not belonging. There
will be no syllogism for necessarily not belonging, just as in the other I O
figures.
First, then, let the terms be positive; let A belong to every C
of necessity and let B possibly belong to every C. Now since A
necessarily belongs to every C and C possibly belongs to some B ,
A will also possibly belong t o some B , but not actually, fo r this 1 5
was what happened in the first figure. The proof would be similar
also if BC were posited as necessary and AC as possible. Again,
Jet one premiss be positive, the other privative, and let the positive
35

P R I O R A N A L Y TI C S

one be necessary: let A possibly bel ong to no C and B belong to


every C of necessity. Then there will be the first figure again, for
the privative premiss also signifies possible belonging. It is evident,
then, that the conclusion will be possible, for when the premisses
were so related in the first figure, the conclusion was also possible.
25 But when the privative premiss is necessary, the conclusion wilt be
both that it possibly does not belong to some and that it does not
belong. For let it be supposed that A necessarily does not belong to C
and B possibly belongs to all . Now when the affirmative premiss BC
is converted, there will be the first figure with a necessary privative
30 premiss, and when the premisses were so related, it followed that A
possibly does not belong to some C and also that it does not belong
to some C; hence it is also necessary that A does not belong to
some B . But when the privative premiss is taken to be the one with
the minor extreme and as a possibility-proposition, there will be a
syllogism when a premiss is substituted, as in the earlier cases ; but if
35 the privative premiss is necessary, there will not be a syllogism, for
< the predicate> belongs necessarily to all and also possibly to none.
Terms for belonging to all : sleep, sleeping horse, man ; for belonging
to none: sleep, waking horse, man .
4o b
The situation will be similar also if one of the terms is universal,
the other particular in relation to the middle. For when both are
positive, there will be a syllogism for possible belonging but not for
belonging, and so also when one is privative, the other affirmative,
and the affirmative prem iss is necessary. But when the privative
premiss is necessary, the conclusion will be for not belonging, for
the proof will work in the same way whether both terms are un iversal
5
or not. For the syllogisms must necessarily be perfected through the
first figure, and so it is necessary that the results will be the same here
as there.
When the universal privative premiss is posited with the minor
extreme, then if the premiss is possible, there will be a syllogism
r o through conversion, while i f i t i s necessary, there will not b e one. Thi s
will b e proved in the same way a s in the case o f universal premisses,
and through the same terms.
It is now evident fo r this figure too when and how there will be
a syllogism, in which cases it will be for possible belonging and
in which cases for actual belonging. It is also clear that all these
1 5 syllogisms are imperfect and that they are perfected through the first
figure.
20

T R A N S L AT I O N

C H A PT E R 2 3

I t i s cl ear from what has been said that the syllogisms i n these figures

through the universal syllogisms in the first figure and


so for any syllogism without
when w e have proved that
e v e ry s yllo gism comes about in one of those figures.
It is nec essary that every demonstration as well as every syllo
g i s m sh ould prove that something belongs or does not belong, either
u n i ve rsally or particularly, and further either in the ostensive way
or from a hypothesis. (Arguments through the impossible are a part
of th e syllo gisms from a hypothesis.) First, then, let us speak about
ostensive syllogisms, for once the proof has been given for these,
it will be evident also what holds for arguments that lead to the
i m p os s ib l e and in general for syllogisms from a hypothesis.
I f one has to form a syllogism to show that A does or does not
be l ong to B , it is necessary to assume that something is said of
s o m e thing Now if one assumes that A is said of B, one will have
postulated the initial thesis; and if one assumes that A is said of C
and C of nothing else nor anything else of C, nor that some other
thing is said of A, there will be no syllogism, for when one thing
is taken to hold of one thing, nothing follows of necessity. So one
w ill have t o add another premiss. Now if one assumes that A i s said
of something else or something else of A, or some other thing of C,
nothing prevents there being a syllogism, but not with respect to B ,
given those assumptions. Nor if C belongs to some other thing and
that again to something else, and that to another, but no connection is
made to B-there will again not be a syllogism with respect to B . For
let us say* quite generally that there will never ever be a syllogism
for one thing being said of another unless some middle term has been
taken that is related in some way by predications to each of the two.
For any syllogism at all is from premisses ; a syllogism in relation
to this from premisses relating to this, and a syllogism for this with
respect to that from premisses about this in relation to that. But it is
impossible to find a premiss relating to B if one neither predicates
nor denies anything of B , or again for A in relation to B without
taking some common term, but just predicating or denying something
peculiar to each. So one must take a m iddle term between the two that
will connect the predications, given that there is to be a syllogism for
this in relation to that.
are per fe c ted

these. But that this will be


are re d uce d to
q u al i fi cation will become evident now,

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Now i f i t i s necessary to assume something that i s common in


relation to both, and this is possible in three ways (for either one
1 5 predicates A of C and C of B , or C of both, or both of C), and those
form the three figures we have mentioned, it is evident that every
syl logism will necessarily come about in one of those figures. For the
argument is the same if the connection to B is made through more
20 than one term, for there will be the same figure also in the case of
many terms . It is evident, then, that the ostensive syllogisms come to
their conclusion in the aforementioned figures .
That this is so also for the arguments that lead to the impossible
will be clear from the following. All those who reach a conclusion
through the impossible deduce the falsehood by a syllogism, but
25 prove the initial thesis from a hypothesis, when something impossible
results from the assumption of the contradictory. For example, one
proves that the diagonal is incommensurable because odd numbers
turn out to be equal to even ones if one assumes that it is commen
surable. Now that odd numbers turn out to be equal to even ones
is deduced by syllogism, but that the diagonal is incommensurable
is proved from a hypothesis, since a falsehood results because of
30 its contradictory. For this is what was meant by 'deducing through
the impossible' , namely showing that something impossible follows
because of the initial hypothesis. Thus, since there is an ostensive
syllogism for the falsehood in arguments that lead to the impossible
while the initial thesis is proved from a hypothesis, and since we said
35 before that ostensive syllogisms come to a conclusion through those
figures, it is evident that syllogisms through the impossible will also
be in those figures. And the same holds for all other arguments from
a hypothesis, for in all of them the syllogism is for the substituted
40 proposition, while the initial thesis is reached through an agreement
41 b or some other kind of hypothesis. And if this is true, it is necessary
that every demonstration and every syllogism come about through
the three aforementioned figures. B ut once this has been proved, it is
clear that every syllogism is perfected through the first figure and is
reduced to the universal syllogisms in this figure.
5
C H APTER 24

Furthermore, in every syllogism one of the terms must be positive,


and there must be a universal, for without the universal either there

T R A N S L ATION

wi ll be no s yllogism, or there will not b e one with respect t o the


propos ed subject, or one will be postulating the initial thesis. For let
sed that pleasure in music is worthy. Now if someone were
i t b e pro po
pleasure is worthy without adding 'every ' , there would
that
ert
to ass
I f he says that some pleasure i s worthy, then i f it
ogism.
syll
a
be
t
o
n
thesis, while if
i s a differen t one, this is not relevant to the proposed
he sa ys it is that very pleasure, he is assuming the initial thesis.
Thi s i s more evident in geometrical diagrams such as the one that
is us ed to pr ove that the angles at the base of an isosceles triangle are
equa l . Let the lines A, B be drawn to the center. Now if someone
assumed that the angles AB and CD are equal without asserting
generally that the angles in a semicircle are equal, and again that
c and D are equal without adding that this holds for every angle of
a segment, and further that the remaining angles E and F are equal,
si nce equal parts have been subtracted from the whole angles that are
the msel ves equal-he would be postulating the initial thesis unless
he assumed that when equals are taken from equals, the remainders
are equ al .
It is evident, then, that the universal must be present in every
syllogism; and also that the universal proposition is proved only if
all the terms are universal, while the particular may be proved in this
way, but also in the other, so that if the conclusion is universal, it is
necessary for the terms als o to be universal, while when the terms
are universal, the conclusion may not be universal. It is also clear
that in every syllogism either both premis ses or one of them must
be like the conclusion. I mean thi s not only in the sense of being
affirmative or privative, but also in the sense of being necessary,
asserting belonging, or being possible. One should also examine the
other kinds of predication.
It is also evident quite generally in which cases there will or will
not be a syllogism, and when a syllogism is possible and w hen
perfect, and that if there is a syllogism, it is necessary for the terms
to be related in one of the ways we have mentioned.

C HAPTER 2 5

It i s clear now too that every proof will proceed through three terms
and no more, unless the same conclusion comes about through dif
ferent premisses-for instance, E through AB and also through CD,
39

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PRIOR ANALYT!CS

o r through A B and through ACD . * For nothing prevents there being


more than one middle term between the same terms, but if this is so,
there is not one syllogism but several . Again, when each of A and B
428 has been obtained by syllogism (for example, A through DE and B
through FG), or one by induction, the other by syllogism-but in this
case also there will be more than one syllogism, for there are several
conclusions, say, A, B , and C .
5
Now i f this counts a s one syllogism, not several, then one and the
same conclusion may come about through more than three terms in
the way described, but it is impossible that it should come about in
the way that C results from AB . For let E be the conclusion reached
from ABCD. Then necessarily one of these was chosen so as to be
J O related to some other a s whole t o part (this was shown before, that
is, that if there is a syllogism, some terms must be so related) . Now
let A be so related to B-then a conclusion will follow from them,
and that will be either E or one of CD or some other proposition
besides these. If the conclusion is E, the syllogism should be from
I 5 AB only. If CD are so related that one is a whole, the other a part,
there will be a conclusion from them as well, and that will be either
E or one of AB or something else besides these. If it is E or one of AB ,
then either there will be more than one syllogism or the conclusion
will follow in the way that the same conclusion could be reached
20 through several terms; but if the conclusion is some other proposition
besides these, there will be several unconnected syllogisms. And if C
is not related to D so as to produce a syllogism, they will have been
assumed to no purpose, except perhaps for the sake of induction, or
concealment, or some other thing of this kind. If the conclusion from
25 AB is not E but something else and the conclusion from CD is one
or the other of AB or some other proposition besides these, there
will be several syllogisms but not for the proposed conclusion, for
it was supposed that the syllogi sm should conclude to E. But if no
conclusion follows from CD, the result is that they are assumed to
3 0 no purpose and the syllogism does not lead to the initial thesis. It
is evident, therefore, that every demonstration and every syllogism
will proceed through no more than three terms. Now that this is
evident, it is clear also that proofs and syllogisms will be from
two premisses and no more (for three terms make two premisses)
unless something is added, as we said at the beginning, to perfect the
35 syllogisms . Evidently, then , if in a deductive argument the number of
premisses from which the main conclusion (for some of the earlier
40

TRAN S LATION

co ncl usions will have t o b e premisses ) derives i s not even, then


e ith er the argument is not a syllogism or the person who presents
th e argument has asked for more premisses than were necessary to
p ro ve th e thesis. So taken with reg ard to their main premisses, every
syl logi sm will consist of an even number of premisses and an odd
nu mber of terms, for the number of terms exceeds the number of
pre m is ses by one ; and there will be half as many conclusions as
p re m iss es .
Whe n the conclusion is reached either by prel i min ary sylloo is ms or through several continuous middle terms-for example, AB
hrou gh terms C and D-the number of terms will similarly exceed
the num ber of premisses by one, for the extra term will be added
either from outside or in the middle, and in both cases the result is
th at the intervals are fewer by one than the terms, and the number of
premi sses will be equal to that of the intervals. However, the number
of pre mi sses is not always even, nor the number of terms always
odd-rather, they alternate, so that when the number of premisses is
even and the number of terms is odd, and when the number of terms is
even, the number of premisses is odd. For with one term one premiss
i s added, wherever the term is placed, so given that the number of
the premisses was even, the number of terms odd, they will have to
switch with the s ame addition. But the conclusions will no longer be
in the same position either in relation to the terms or in relation to the
premisses , for when one term is added, the number of conclusions
added will be one fewer than that of the terms already given. For
the new term will produce a c onclu sion with respect to all the other
terms except for the last one. For example , i f D has been added to
ABC, two conclusions are added straight away, one with respect to
A and one with respect to B, and similarly for the oth er s . And if
the new term falls in the middle, the situation will be the same
on l y with respect to a single term will there not be a conclusion.
Hence there will be many more conclusions than either terms or
premisses .

C H A PTER 2 6

Since we have seen what syllogisms are about, which kind of thesis
can be proved in each figure and in how many ways, it is also evident
to us which kind is difficult and which is easy to handle, for what
41

42 b

1o

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P R I O R A N A L Y T I CS

can be a conclusion in several figures and through several modes is


easier, while what can be proved in fewer figures and fewer modes is
more difficult to handle.
Now the universal affirmative is proved only through the first
figure and in one way only; the privative is proved through both the
35 first and the middle figure-in one way through the first, in two ways
through the middle. The particular affirmative is proved through the
first and the last, in one way through the first, in three ways through
the last. And the particular privative is proved in all figures, except
that it is proved in the first in one way only, in the middle and in the
433 last in two and three ways, respectively.
It is evident, then, that the universal positive is the most difficult
to establish and the easiest to demolish; and in general the universal
theses are easier to refute than the particular ones, for they are refuted
both when the predicate belongs to none and when it does not belong
to some, and of these the particular negative is proved in all the
figures, the universal negative in two. The situation is the same in
5
the case of the privatives as well, for the initial thesis will be refuted
both when the predicate belongs to all and when it belongs to some,
and this was proved in two figures . But for the particular theses there
is only one way, namely proving that the predicate belongs either to
all or to none. However, the particular ones are easier to establish,
r o fo r they can be proved i n several figures and i n several modes . *
And i n general one should not overlook the fact that the theses
can be mutually demolished-that is, the universal ones through the
particular ones and those through the universal ones-but one cannot
establish the universal ones through the particular ones, though the
reverse is possible. It is evident at the same time that demolishing is
15 easier than establ ishing.
It is clear now from what has been said how every syllogism
comes about and through how many terms and premisses, and also
how those are related to one another; further, which kind of thesis i s
proved in each figure, which kind in more figures, and which kind in
fewer.
30

C HA P TER 2 7

20

It is time now to say how we ourselves will be well supplied with


syllogisms on any given subject and by what method we will find the
42

T RA N S L AT I O N

43"

starting-points about each thing. For no doubt one ought not only to
investigate how syllogisms come about, but also to have the ability to
produce them.
N ow of all the things there are, some are such that they cannot
b e predicated truly and universally of anything else (for instance,
Cleon or Callias, that is, what is individual and perceptible), but other
things may be predicated of them (for each of these is both a man
and an animal ) . Some things are themselves predicated of others , but
nothing else is prior and predicated of them. And some things are
both predicated themselves o f others and others o f them , as man is
predicated of Callias and animal of man .
That some things are by nature such as to be said of nothing else
is clear, for j ust about every perceptible thing is such as not to be
predicated of anything except accidentally-for we do sometimes say
that the white thing there is Socrates, or that what is approaching
i s Callias . But that one also comes to a halt if one goes upwards,
we will explain later; for the moment let this be assumed. Now with
r espect to those things one cannot demonstrate that something else
i s predicated of them (except perhaps as a matter of mere opinion),
but only that they themselves are predicated of other things ; nor can
one demonstrate that individuals are said of other things, but only
that other things are said of them. But clearly the intermediate things
admit of both, for they themselves will be said of others and others
of them. And by and large arguments and investigations are mostly
concerned with these.
So one must select the premisses about each thing in the following
way : first, set down the thing itself, its definitions, and whatever
properties are peculiar to it; after that, whatever follows this thing,
what is followed by it, and whatever cannot belong to the thing. (One
need not select the terms to which the thing itself cannot belong, since
the privative premiss converts.) Among the terms that follow one
must also distinguish those that are predicated in the definition, those
that are pecul iar properties, and those that are predicated as accidents ;
and among those, which sort is predicated only as a matter of opinion
and which according to the truth. For the more such terms one has
available, the faster one will hit upon a conclusion, and the more
these belong in truth, the more one will hit upon a demonstration.
One should not select the terms that follow only some of the thing,
but what follows the whole thing; for instance, not what follows some
man , but what follows every man, for the syllogism works through
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10

PRIOR ANALYTICS

15

20

25

30

35

the universal premisses. Now when the premiss i s indeterminate, i t


is unclear whether it is universal, but when it has a determination,
this is evident. And similarly one should also select the terms that
are followed by the thing as wholes , for the reason given. But the
thing that follows must not be taken to follow as a whole-I mean,
for example, every animal following man, or every science following
music; rather, it must be taken simply to follow, just as we propose it
in a premiss. For the other option is useless and indeed impossibl e,
such as for every man to be every animal, or for justice to be every
good. Rather, 'every ' is said of that which is followed by somethin g.
If the subject for which one has to find what follows it is contain ed
in something, one should not select the terms that follow or do not
follow the universal on the list, for they are included in the list for
those. For what follows animal also follows man, and the same hold s
for what does not belong to animal. Rather, one should select what is
peculiar to each thing. For there are indeed terms that are peculiar to
the species apart from the genus, since it is necessary that differen t
species should have some peculiar properties. And neither should one
select for the universal what is followed by the thing contained in it,
for instance, for animal what is followed by man. For necessarily, if
animal follows man, it must also follow all of these, but they belong
more properly in the selection for man.
One should also take the terms that follow the thing for the most
part, and those that are followed by it. For the syllogisms for propo
sitions that hold for the most part must also be from premisses that
hold for the most part, either all or some of them, for the conclu
sion of each syllogism is similar to its starting-points. Further, one
must not select terms that follow everything, for there will not be a
syllogism from those. The reason for thi s will become clear in what
follows.
CHAPTER 2 8

40

If one wants to establish something as belonging to a whole, then


for the term to be established as holding one must look at the sub
jects of which it happens to be said, and for the thing of which the
predicate is to hold, at the terms that follow it. For if the same term
occurs on both lists, then it is necessary that the one belong to the
other.

44

TRANSLATION

wants to show that the predicate belongs to some, not to all ,


ok at the terms that are followed by each of the terms, for
on e must lo
term occurs on both lists, it is necessary that it belong to
e
sam
e
i f th
e.
om
s
I f one has to show that a predicate belongs to none, then for the
th ing to which the predicate must not belong one should look at what
follows it, and for the term that is not to belong, at what cannot be
pres ent to it. Or the other way around: one looks at the terms that
cannot be present to it for the thing to which the predicate must not
be long, and for the term that is not to belong, at those that follow it.
In either case, if the same term occurs on both lists, the one cannot
belong to any of the other. For in the first case the syllogism comes
abo ut in the first figure, in the second in the middle figure.
And if one has to show that a predicate does not belong to some,
fo r the thing to which it must not belong one should look at the terms
that it follows, and for what must not belong, at the terms that cannot
belong to it; for if the same term occurs on both lists, it i s necessary
that it will not belong to some.
Each of these points will perhaps become clearer in the following
way : let the terms that follow A be designated by B, those that are
foll owed by A as C, and those that cannot belong to it as D. And
again let the terms that belong to E be designated as F, those that are
followed by E as G, and those that cannot belong to it as H. Now if
one of the Cs is the same as one of the Fs, it is necessary for A to
belong to every E, for F belongs to every E and A to every C, so that
A belongs to every E. And if C and G are the same, it is necessary for
A to belong to some of the Es, for A follows every C and G follows
every E. If F and D are the same, A will belong to none of the Es, by
a preliminary syllogism. For since the privative premiss converts and
F and D are the same, A will belong to none of the Fs and F to every
E. Again, if B and H are the same, A will belong to none of the Es,
for B will belong to every A but to none of the things designated by
E, for B was the same as H, and H belonged to none of the Es. If D
and G are the same, A will not belong to some of the Es, for it will
not belong to G, because it will not belong to D either; but G is under
E, so that A will not belong to some of the Es. If G and B are the
same, there will be a converted syllogism. For E will belong to every
A (for B belongs to A and E to B , since it was the same as G); and
now, while it is not necessary for A to belong to every E, it must still
necessarily belong to some E, since the universal predication converts
I f one

45

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PRIOR ANALYTICS

35

t o the particular. I t i s evident, then, that one must look at the kinds of
terms just described for each of the two terms in every thesis, for all
the syllogi sms come about through these.
Among the terms that follow and among those that are followed by
each thing one should look especially at the first and most universal
ones, for instance, with respect to E at KF rather than just F, and with
44 b respect to A at KC rather than just C . For if A belongs to KF, it als o
belongs to F and to E, while if it does not follow KF, it may still
follow F. One should also look at the terms followed by the thing in
the same way, for if it follows the first, it also follows those under
5
this, while if it does not belong to the first, it may still belong to those
below.
It is also clear that the search goes through the three terms and the
two premisses, and that all the syllogisms are through the aforemen
tioned figures. For one shows that A belongs to every E if one has
found the same term among the Cs as well as among the Fs. This
10 will be the middle term, and the extremes are A and E, so the first
figure comes about. One shows that A belongs to some E when C
and G are found to be the same. This will be the last figure, for G
becomes the middle term. A belongs to no E when D and F are the
same. In this way both the first and the middle figure come about: the
first because A belongs to no F (since the privative premiss converts),
1 5 and F belongs to every E ; the middle figure because D belongs to no
A and to every E. One shows that A does not belong to some E when
D and G are the same. This is the l ast figure, for A will belong to no
G and E to every G.
So it is evident that all the syllogisms come about through the three
20 figures described before, and that one should not select the terms that
follow everything, because no syllogism comes about through these.
For one could not establish an affirmative thesis at all through the
terms that follow, and it is not possible to prove a privative conclusion
through a term that follows everything, since it would have to belong
to the one and not to the other.
25
It is also evident that the other ways of searching in the selections
of terms are of no use for the production of a syllogism, such as
looking whether what follows each of the two terms is the same,
or whether terms that are followed by A are the same as those that
cannot belong to E, or again those that cannot belong to either term;
for no syllogism comes about through those. For if the terms that
30 follow are the same, that is, B and F, the second figure comes about
46

TRANSLATION

w i th positive premisses ; i f those followed b y A and those that cannot


belong to E, that is, C and H, the first figure comes about with a
privative premiss related to the minor extreme . If it is those that
cannot belong to either term, that is, D and H, both pre m i sses are
pri vative, eith er in th first or in the middle figure. But in this way
th e re is never a syllogism.
I t is als o clear that when looking through the terms one must take
th ose that are the same, not those that are different or contrary. This is
50 first of all because one is looking for the middle term, and one has
LO take a mi ddle term that is the same, not different. Furthermore,
eve n those cases in which a syllogism comes about by means of
fi nding contraries or things that cannot belong to one and the same
th i ng will all be reduced to the methods just described. For example,
if B and F are contraries or cannot belong to the same thing: if those
are ch osen, there will be a syllogism to the effect that A belongs
to non e of the Es , but this will not come about from the premisses
themselves, but by the method just described. For B will belong to
every A and to no E, so that it is necessary that B is the s ame as one
o f the Hs.
[Again, if B and G cannot be present in the same thing, there will
be a syllogism to the effect that A will not belong to some E. For in
thi s way too there will be the middle figure, for B will belong to every
A and to no E, so that it is necessary for B to be the same as one of the
H s. For there is no difference between the fact that B and G cannot
belong to the same thing and the fact that B is the same as one of the
H s, for all the terms that cannot belong to E have been selected.]
It is evident, then, that from those ways of searching themselves
no syllogism comes about, and that it is necessary that if B and F are
contraries, B must be the same as one of the Hs, and the syllogism
comes about through these. Thus the result for those who search in
this way is that they look at a different method in addition to the
necessary one because they have overlooked the identity of the Bs
and the Hs .

35

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C HAPTER 2 9

Syllogisms that lead to the impossible work in the same way as the
ostensive ones, for they also come about through the terms that follow
or are followed by each of the two terms. And the search is also the 2 5
47

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PRIOR ANALYTICS

same i n both cases, for what can b e proved i n the ostensive way can
also be deduced through the impossible with the same terms, and
what can be proved through the impossible can also be proved in the
ostensive way ; for example, that A belongs to none of the Es . For
let it be supposed that it belongs to some. Now since B belongs to
30 every A and A to one of the Es , B will belong to one of the Es; but it
belonged to none. Again, that A belongs to some E: for if A belongs
to none of the Es and E belongs to every G, A will belong to none of
the Gs ; but it belonged to all. Similarly for the other kinds of theses,
for always and in all cases the proof through the impossible will be
35 from the terms that follow and those that are followed by each of the
two terms. And with respect to every thesis the search will be the
same, whether one wants to produce an ostensive syllogism or lead
to the impossible, for both demonstrations start from the same terms.
For example, if it has been proved that A belongs to no E, because it
40 follows that B also belongs to some of the Es, which i s impossible. If
one has assumed that B belongs to no E but to every A, it is evident
45 b that A will belong to no E. Again, if one has deduced in the ostensive
way that A belongs to no E, then if one adds the hypothesis that it
belongs to some, one will have proved through the impossible that it
belongs to none. Similarly for the others, for in every case one must
find a common term (different from the two that are the subject of the
5
debate) to which the syllogism for the falsehood will be related. Thus,
when this premiss is converted while the other one remains the same,
there will be an ostensive syllogism through the same terms. For the
difference between the ostensive syllogism and the one that leads to
the impossible consists in this, that in the ostensive syllogism both
1 o premisses are posited in accordance with the truth, while in the syllo
gism that leads to the impossible one of the premisses posited is false.
These things will become more evident later on, when we discuss
proof through the impossible. For the moment this much should be
clear, namely that one has to look for the same terms whether one
1 5 wants to produce an ostensive syllogism or one that leads to the
impossible.
However, in the other kinds of syllogisms from a hypothesis, such
as those that involve substitution or a quality, the search will relate
to the terms in question-not the initial ones, but the substituted
ones-but the procedure is the same. (We ought to investigate the
20 syllogisms from a hypothesis and determine in how many ways they
come about.)

TRANSLATION

Though each kind o f thesis can b e proved in this way, there is also
different way in which some of them may be deduced , for e x ample ,
the univer sal ones through the search for a particular conclusion,
from a hypothesis. For if C and G were the same and one assumed
that E belongs only to the Gs, A should belong to every E . And again,
if D and G were the same and E was predicated only of the G s , it
wo u ld fo llow that A belongs to none of the Es. It is evident, then,
th at on e must look for terms in this way too.
The situ ation is the same also in the case of necessary and possible
propositions, for the search will be the same, and the syllogism for
possible and actual belonging will be through the terms arranged in
t h e same way. (However, for possible propositions one must also
select terms that do not actually belong but may possibly belong,
for i t has been proved that the syllogism for a possible conclusion
com es abo ut through those as well.) Similarly for the other kinds of
predi cation .
From what has been said i t i s evident, then, not only that it is
possible for all the syllogisms to come about by this method, but also
that it is impossible with a different one. For we have proved that
every syllogism comes about in one of the aforementioned figures,
but those cannot be constructed through other terms than those that
follow and those that are followed by each term. For the premis ses
and the choice of a middle term come from these, so that there cannot
even be a syllogism through other terms.

25

30

35

468

C H A PTER 3 0

So the method is the same for all subjects, in philosophy as well as


in the technical or mathematical disciplines For one must discern for
both terms what belongs to them and what they belong to, and be 5
supplied with as many of those terms as possible. One must examine
them with respect to the three terms , in one way when refuting, in
another way when establishing something; and when it is a question
of truth, from the terms that are listed as belonging truly, for dialectical syllogisms from premisses according to opinion.
We have said in general what the starting-points for syllogisms are 1 0
like and how one must hunt for them, s o that we will not look at
everything that is said of a thing, nor at the same terms when estab
li shing and when refuting something, or when establishing something
.

49

P R I O R A NA L Y T ! C S

15

20

25

30

about all or about some, or refuting a claim about all or about some,
but at fewer terms and a limited number. [We must make selections
about each kind of thing, for instance, about the good or about
science.]
However, most of the starting-points are peculiar to each science.
This is why experience must provide us with the starting-points
about each subject-I mean, for instance, experience in astronomy
must provide the starting-points for astronomical science. For wh en
the phenomena had been sufficiently grasped, the demonstrations in
astronomy were found in this way. And the situation is the same in
every other craft or science; so once it has been grasped what belongs
to each thing, at that point we should be prepared to point out the
demonstrations. For if nothing that truly belongs to the things has
been left out in the collection of observations, we will be in a position
to find the demonstration and demonstrate anything that admits of
demonstration, and where there cannot be a demonstration, to make
this evident.
We have now more or less said in general how one must select
premisses; a detailed exposition has been given in the treatise on
dialectic.

C H APTER 3 1

It is easy to see that division by genera is only a small part of


the method just described. For division is something like a weak
syllogism: what is to be proved is postulated, while what is deduced
is always something higher up. First of all, then, this very point
3 5 was overlooked b y all those who used division, and they tried to
convince us that it was possible to produce a demonstration of
the essence and the what-it- is. Thus they did not understand what
can be deduced by dividing, nor that it is possible in the way we
mentioned.
Now in demonstrations, when one has to deduce that something
belongs to something, the middle term through which the syllogism
46h comes about must always be smaller than and not universally predi
cable of the first extreme. But division goes for the opposite, since it
takes the universal as middle term. For let animal be designated by A,
mortal by B, and immortal by C, and let man, whose definition one
50

T RA N SLATI ON

n ee ds to find, b e designated b y D. Clearly, one assumes that every


an im al i s either mortal or immortal, and that means that whatever is
A . is eith er B or C . Agai n, continuing the division, one posits that
ma n is an animal, so that one assumes that A belongs to D. Now
th ere is a syllogism to the effect that D is either B or C, so that it is
n ec ess ary for man to be either mortal or immortal, but for man to be a
mort al an imal i s not necessary, but postulated-yet this was what had
to be deduc ed. And again, if one takes A to be mortal animal, what is
designated by B , having feet, what is designated by C, without feet,
and man as D, one similarly assumes that A is included either in B
or in C (for every mortal animal either has feet or is without feet),
and that A belongs to D (for one had assumed that man is a mortal
animal). Thus it is necessary for man either to be an animal that has
feet or one that is without feet, but that he has feet is not necessary,
but assumed-yet this was again what had to be proved. And when
they go on dividing in this way, they end up taking the universal as
middle term and the thing about which something had to be proved
and the differentiae as extremes . In the end, then, they have nothing
definite to say as to why it should be necessary that man be such-and
such , or whatever else is being investigated. For they keep following
the other path and do not even suspect what possible resources are
available.
It is evident that one cannot refute anything by this method nor
deduce anything about accidental or peculiar properties, nor about
the genus, nor in cases where it is not known whether things are
this way or that, as, for example, whether the diagonal is incommen
surable or commensurable. For if one assumes that every length is
either incommensurable or commensurable and that the diagonal is a
length, one has deduced that the diagonal is either incommensurable
or commensurable. But if it is taken to be incommensurable, what
had to be proved will have been assumed. So it cannot be proved, for
this is the method, and by this method it is not possible. (Let what
is either incommensurable or commensurable be designated by A,
length by B, and the diagonal by C.) It is evident, then, that this way
of investigating does not fi t every inquiry, and that i t is o f no use even
in those cases where it is held to be most appropri ate.
It is evident from what has been said from what premisses the
proofs come about and in which way, and also what kinds of terms
one has to look for with respect to each kind of thesis.
51

TO

15

20

25

:w

35

40

47

PRIOR ANALYTICS

C H APTER 3 2

47 a After this w e should explai n how we will reduce syllogisms t o the


aforementioned figures, for this part of the investigation is still left.
For if we have considered how syllogisms come about, have the abil
ity to find them, and then also analyze existing syllogisms according
to the aforementioned figures, our initial project should have come
5
to an end. At the same time it will turn out that what we have said
before is confirmed through what we are about to say now, and it will
become even more evident that things are as we say. For all that is
true must agree with itself in every way.
rn
First, then, we must find out the two premisses of the syllogism,
for it is easier to divide into larger parts than into smaller ones, an d
what is composite is larger than what it consi sts of. Next we must
see which premiss applies to a whole and which to a part, and if
they are not both given, posit one of them ourselves. For sometimes
people propose the universal premisses but do not assume the one
15
that is contained in it, both in writing and in asking question s ; or
else they propose these, but omit those through which they lead to a
conclusion, asking instead for other things to no purpose. So we must
see whether something superfluous has been assumed and whether
one of the necessary premisses has been left out, and then posit the
20 one and omit the other until we arrive at the two premisses . For
without these it is impossible to reduce arguments that have been
stated in this way by questioning .
In some arguments it is easy to see what is missing, but others
escape our notice and appear to be proper syllogisms because some
thing necessary results from the assumptions. For example, if one had
assumed that a substance will not be destroyed when a non-substance
25 is destroyed, and that when the constituents of a thing are destroyed,
what consi sts of them is also destroyed-when these things have been
laid down, it is necessary indeed that the part of a substance should
be a substance, but this has not been deduced from the assumptions ;
some premisses are missing. Again, if what is a man is necessarily
an animal, and what is an animal, a substance, then what is a man
30 is necessarily a substance. But this has not yet been deduced, for the
premi sses are not related as we said.
We are deceived in these cases because something necessary
results from what is laid down, and the syllogism too is something
necessary. B ut necessity extends beyond the syllogism, for while
52

T R A NSLATI ON

47"

every sy llogi sm is necessary, not everything that is necessary is a 3 5


sy l l og ism . Thus, if something results from certain assumptions, one
s h ou ld not try to reduce it right away, but first find the two premisses,
th en divi de them into their terms , and take as middle term the one
t h at is said in both premisses ; for that the middle term occurs in both
prem iss es is necessary in all the figures .
Now when the middle term predicates and is predicated, or if it 47 h
predi cates and something else is denied of it, there will be the first
figu re ; wh en the middle term predicates and is denied of something,
the re will be the middle figure, and when other things are predicated
of it, or one thing is denied, the other predicated of it, there will be
the last figu re. For this was the position of the middle term in each 5
figure . The same holds also when the premisses are not universal, for
the determination of the middle term remains the same.
It is evident, then , that if the same term is not said several times in
an argument, no syllogism will come about, for no middle term has
been taken. Since we have seen which sort of thesis can be a conclusion in each figure, in which a universal and in which a particular, I O
i t is evident that we do not need to look fo r all the figures, but only
for the appropriate one for each thesis. And if it can be deduced in
several figures , we will recognize the fi gure by the position of the
middl e term.

C H A PTER 3 3

I t often

happens that we are deceived about syllogisms because of the 1 5


necessity, as we said before. But sometimes it is due to the similarity
in the position of terms. This must not escape our notice.
For example, if A is said of B and B of C-one might think that
when the terms are so related, there is a syllogism, but in fact nothing
necessary comes about, nor a syllogism. For let A designate always 20
being, B, thinkable Aristomenes, and C, Aristomenes . Clearly it is
true that A belongs to B , for Aristomenes is always thinkable. And
it is also true that B belongs to C, for Aristomenes i s a thinkable
Aristomenes . But A does not belong to C, since Aristomenes is 25
perishable. For no syllogism resulted from terms related in this way;
rather, the premiss AB should have been taken as universal. But this
is false-to claim that every thinkable Aristomenes always is, given
that Aristomenes is perishable.
53

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

30

35

Again, let C designate Miccalus, B educated Miccalus, and A , perishing tomorrow. Clearly it is true to predicate B of C, for Miccal us
is an educated Miccalus. And also A of B , for an educated Miccalus
might perish tomorrow. But to predicate A of C is false. Indeed,
this is the same mistake as before, for it is not universally true that
any educated M iccalus will perish tomorrow; but when this was not
assumed, there was no syllogism.
This kind of error comes about in the case of a small point, for we
accept the proposition as though there were no difference between
saying that th is belongs to that and saying that this belongs to every
that.

C H A PTER 3 4

48 a One will also often be misled when the terms in a premiss are not well
set out. For example, let A be health, what is designated by B , illness,
and what is designated by C, man. It is true to say that A cannot
belong to any B (for health belongs to no illness), and again that B
5
belongs to every C (for every man is susceptible of illness). Now
it would seem to follow that health cannot belong to any man. The
reason is that the terms are not well set out in their expression, since if
one substitutes the terms corresponding to the respective states, there
rn
will b e no syllogism (that i s , if one puts healthy instead o f health,
and instead of illness, being ill). For it is not true to say that being
healthy cannot belong to what is ill; but if this is not assumed, no
syllogism comes about, except perhaps for a possibility. But this is
not impossible, for it is possible that health should belong to no man.
15
Again, in the middle figure the error will arise in a similar wayfor health cannot belong to any illness, but may belong to every man,
so that illness cannot belong to any man.
In the third figure the error will result with respect to the possible,
for health and illness as well as knowledge and ignorance, and indeed
20 contraries in general, may belong to the same thing, but cannot
possibly belong to each other. But this does not agree with what we
said before, since < We said that> when it was possible for several
things to belong to the same subject, they could also belong to each
other.
It is evident, then, that in all these cases the error arises through
25 the setting-out of the terms, for when the things in those states are
54

TRANSLATION

s ubs tituted, n o falsehood results. So i t is clear that in such premisses


substitute the thing that is in a state for the state,
on e sh oul d always
a
term.
t
as
tha
use
d
an
C HAPTER 3 5

O n e mu st not
fo r th ey will

try to set out terms with a single word in all cases,


often be phrases for which there is no established 3 0
nam e . Th at i s why it is difficult to reduce syllogisms o f this sort.
Oc casi onally one may also be misled through this kind of attempt,
for instan ce, into thinking that there is a syllogism for immediate
propositions. (Let A be two right angles, what is designated by B,
tr iangle, and what is designated by C, isosceles . Now A belongs to
c because of B , but to B through no other term, for the triangle has 35
two right angles in itself. Thus there will not be a middle term for the
proposition AB , although it is demonstrable.)
For it is evident that one need not always take the middle term as
a this, but sometimes as a phrase, as also happens in the case j ust
me ntioned .
C H A PT E R 3 6

That the first belongs t o the middle, and this to the extreme, should
not be taken to mean that the terms will always be predicated of one 48b
another, or the first of the middle in the same way as the middle of
the extreme; and similarly for not belonging. Rather, one must think
that 'to belong' signifies in as many ways as 'to be' is said, or as ' it
is true to say ' the same thing. For example, of contraries there is a
single science. Let A be 'there being a single science' ; let the things 5
contrary to one another be designated by B . Now A belongs to B , not
in the sense that contraries are there being a single science of them, *
but that i t is true t o say o f them that there i s a single science of them.
It happens sometimes that the first is said of the middle, but the 10
middle is not said of the third. For example, if wisdom is a science,
and of the good wisdom is the science,* the conclusion is that of the
good there is a science. Now the good is not a science, but wisdom is
a science.
Sometimes the middle is said of the third, but the first is not said r 5
of the middle. For example, if of every quality or contrary there is a
55

PRIOR ANALYTICS

science, and the good i s both a quality and a contrary, the conclusion
is that of the good there is a science. But the good is not a science,
nor are qual ity or contrary, but the good is these.
20
Sometimes the first is not said of the middle, nor this of the third,
while the first is sometimes said of the third, and sometimes not. For
example, if of what there is a science, of that there is a genus, and of
the good there is a science, the conclusion is that of the good there
is a genus, but none of these is predicated of any of the others. If of
25 what there is a science, that is a genus, and of the good there is a
science, the conclusion is that the good is a genus. Now the first is
predicated of the extreme, but the terms are not said of one another.
Not-belonging must also be taken in the same way. For that this
does not belong to that does not always signify that this is not that;
30 sometimes it means that this is not of that, or for that. For example,
there is no motion of motion or coming-to-be of coming-to-be, but
there is <coming-to-be> of pleasure; therefore, pleasure is not a
comi ng-to-be. Or again, there is a sign of laughter, but there is no
sign of a sign; hence laughter is not a sign. Similarly in all other
cases where a thesis is refuted because the genus is said in a certain
35 way about the thing. Again, the right moment is not the requisite
time: since for a god there is a right moment, but not a requisite
time, because nothing is useful to a god . As terms one must posit
'right moment' and 'requisite time' and 'god' , but the premiss must
be taken in accordance with the inflection of the noun. For this we say
generally about all cases that the terms must always be set out with
the appellations of the nouns, such as 'man' or 'good' or 'contraries ' ,
49 8 not 'of man' or 'of the good' or 'of contraries' , but the premisses must
be taken in accordance with the inflections of each . For example,
those might be ' to this' , as the equal , or ' of this' , as the double, or
'this' , as what is hitting or seeing, or 'this ' as man is an animal, or
some other way in which the noun is inflected in the premiss .
5

CHAPTER 37

ro

That this belongs to that or that this is true of that must be taken
in as many ways as the predications have been divided, and these
either in some respect or without qualification, and furthermore either
simple or complex. The same holds for not-belonging as well. B ut
these things must b e better investigated and determined.
56

TRANSLAT I ON

49

CHAPTER 3 8

What i s reduplicated i n the premisses should be joined to the first


not the middle. I mean, for example, if there were a syllo
gis m to th e effect that there is knowledge of justice as being good,
th e phrase ' as being good' or 'insofar as it is good' should be j oined
to the fir st. For let A be knowledge as being good, what is designated
by B , good, and what is designated by C, justice. Now it is true to
pre dic ate A of B , for of he g ? od the! e is ow ledge as bein good.
_
B ut B is also true of C, smce JUStlce 1s precisely a good . In this way,
the n , an analysis comes about. But if 'as being good' were joined
to B , there will be none. For A will be true of B , but B will not be
tru e o f C: for to predicate 'good as being good' of justice is false
and unintelligible. S imilarly also if it were shown that the healthy is
knowable insofar as it is good, or the goat-stag insofar as it is nonex
isten t, or that man is perishable insofar as he is perceptible. For in all
cas es of added predication the reduplication should be joined to the
ex treme.
The terms will not be set in the same way when something is
deduced without qualification and when it is deduced as being of
a certain sort, or in some respect, or in some way-I mean, for
example, when the good is shown to be knowable and when it is
shown to be knowable as being good. Rather, if it has been shown
to be knowable without qualification, one must take what is as the
middle term; if knowable as being good, what is so qualified. For
Jet A be knowledge as being so qualified, what is designated by B ,
something that is so qualified, and what is designated by C, good.
Now it is true to predicate A of B, since it was knowledge of what
is so qualified as being so qualified; and also B of C, for what was
designated by C is so qualified . Thus it will also be true to predicate A
of C . Therefore, there will be knowledge of the good as being good,
fo r being s o qualified was indicative o f its proper essence.
B ut if what is was set as the middle term, and what was said at
the extreme was what <the subject> is without qualification and
not what < it> is so qualified, there would not be a syllogism to the
effect that there is knowledge of the good as being good, but only to
the effect that it is <knowable> ; for example, if what is designated
by A is knowledge that it is, by B , what is, and by C, good. It is
clear, then, that the terms must be taken in this way in the particular
syllogisms.
ex treme,

57

15

20

25

30

35

49b

PRIOR ANALYTICS

C H A PTER 3 9

One should also substitute what has the same force, words for words,
phrases for phrases, or a word and a phrase, and always take th e
word rather than the phrase, for then it will be easier to set ou t
the terms. For example, if there is no difference between sayin g
that assumption is not the genus of opinion and that opinion is not
preci sely an assumption-for what is signified is the same-one
should set 'assumption' and 'opinion ' as terms, rather than the phrase
mentioned.
C H APTER 40

IO

S ince pleasure being a good and pleasure being the good are not the
same, one should not set the terms in the same way. Rather, if the
syllogism is to the effect that pleasure is the good, one should take
'the good' , and if it is that pleasure is a good, 'good' . So also for the
other cases.
C H A PTER 4 1

15

20

25

30

It i s not the same, either in fact or i n words, to say that A belongs


to everything to which B belongs, and to say that A belongs to
everything to all of which B belongs, for nothing prevents B from
belonging to C, but not to every C. For example, let B be beautiful, C
white. Then if beautiful belongs to something white, it is true to say
that beautiful belongs to the white-but perhaps not to every white
thing. Now if A belongs to B , but not to everything of which B holds,
then whether B belongs to every C or whether it merely belongs to C,
it is not only not necessary for A to belong to every C, but not even
to belong to C at all . But if A belongs to everything of which B is
truly said, it will follow that A is said of everyth ing of all of which B
is said. However, if A is said of whatever B is said of all of, nothing
prevents B from belonging to C, while A does not belong to every C,
or does not belong to C at all . With the three terms, then, it is clear
that for A to be said of everything of which B is said means this: of
as many things as B is said, of all of these A is also said. And if B is
said of every one, so is A; but if B is not said of every one, it is not
necessary for A to be said of every one.
58

TRANSLATION

On e sh ould not think that an absurdity results from setting out. For
make no use of there being a thing of a certain sort; rather, j ust
eter says that the l ine here is a foot long, and straight and 3 5
15 th e geom
dth, when i t is not: * yet he does not u s e these things as
brea
ut
o
ith

s om eth ing from which to make a deduction. For generally, if there


is not something related as whole to part, and another thing related
to thi s as part to whole, the one who is going to prove something
d oes not prove from such things, and so no syllogism comes about
e ith er. We use setting out just as we use perception, speaking to the 503
tudent : * for we do not use it as though it were not possible to give
a p roof without these things, as it would be with the premisses of a
sy llogi sm .
we

CHAPTER 42

We must not overlook the fact that not all conclusions in the same 5
syllogism come through a si ngle figure, but one through this and one
through another. It is clear, then, that we must also analyze them in
this way. And since not every thesis occurs in every figure, but only
certain ones in each, it is evident from the conclusion in which figure I o
we should look.
C H A P T E R 43

In arguments concerning definitions which are directed at one of the


things in the definition, one should set as a term the thing at which the
argument is directed and not the whole phrase, for so one will be less
likely to be confused by the length. For example, if the other speaker
has shown that water is a drinkable liquid, one should set drinkable 1 5
and water as terms.
C H A PTER 44

Furthermore, one should not try to reduce the syllogisms from a


hypothesis, since they cannot be reduced from what has been laid
down . For they have not been proved by a syllogism, but are all
accepted on the basis of an agreement. For example, if one had
assumed the hypothesis that if there is not a single power of con59

50

PRIOR ANALYTICS

traries, there is also not a single knowledge, and then one went o n to
argue that not every power is a power of contraries : not, for exam pl e,
of the healthy and the unhealthy, for then the same thing would be
healthy and unhealthy at the same time. Now that there is not a single
power for all contraries has been proved, but that there is not a single
knowledge has not been shown. And yet it is necessary to agree to
25 this-though not on the basis of a syllogism, but on the basis of a
hypothesis. This part, then, cannot be reduced, but the argument that
there is not a single power can be, for this was perhaps a syllogism
after all, while that was a hypothesis .
Similarly also fo r the arguments that are brought t o conclusion
30 through the i mpossible. For these too cannot be analyzed; rather, the
part that leads to the impossible can be-since this is shown by a
syllogism-but the other part cannot, for the conclusion is reached
from a hypothesis. These arguments are different from the ones just
discussed in that in those cases one has to make an agreement in
advance if the other person is to consent-for example, if it were
shown that there is a single power for contraries, that the knowl3 5 edge o f them i s also one and the same. B u t here people concede
the point even without a prior agreement because the fal sehood is
evident-such as, for example, when it has been assumed that the
diagonal is commensurable, that odd numbers will be equal to even
numbers.
Many other arguments are brought to conclusion from a hypothoh
esis,
and these should be examined and clearly marked. Now what
5
the differences are between these and in how many ways syllogism
from a hypothesis comes about, we will say later. For the moment so
much should be evident, namely that syllogisms of this kind cannot
be reduced to the figures. And we have said what is the reason for
this.
20

CHAPTER 45

For those propositions that are proved in more than one figure, the
syllogism given in one of the figures can be reduced to another. For
example, the privative syllogism in the first figure can be reduced to
the second, and the syllogism in the middle figure to the first. This
does not hold for all cases, but only for some, as will become evident
in what follows .
60

TRANSLATION

For i f A belongs to no B and B t o every C , A belongs to n o C .


figure ; but i f the privative premiss is converted, one
Th i s is the first
middle
figure, since B belongs to no A and to every C.
the
ve
will ha
when
the
syllogism is not universal but particular, that
also
ly
ar
S i mi l
gs
to
no
B
and
B to some C. For if the privative premiss
belon
A
if
is,
the middle figure
i s co nverted, one will have
Of the syll ogisms in the second figure both the universal one s can
be reduce d to the first, but only one of the particular syllogisms. For
l e t A be l ong to no B and to every C; then, if the privative prem i ss is
c o nv er ted , one will have the first figure, since B will belong to no A
and A to every C . If the positive premiss goes with B and the privative
one with C, one must take C as the first term, for this belongs to no
A , and A to every B , so that C belongs to no B. Hence B also does
no t b elong to any C, since the privative premiss converts.
When the syllogis m is particular and the privative premiss goes
w i th th e major extreme, it will be reducible to the first figure. For
example, if A belongs to no B and to some C; for if the privative
prem iss is converted, one will have the first figure, for B will belong
t o no A and A to some C . However, when the positive premiss goes
wi th the major, there will be no analysis . For example, if A belongs
t o every B but not t o every C : the premiss A B does n o t admit of
conversion , nor will there be a syllogism if it is converted.
Again, while the syllogisms in the third figure cannot all be ana
l y zed into the first, those in the first figure can all be analyzed into the
third. For let A belong to every B and B to some C. Then, since the
po s itiv e particular premiss converts, C will belong to some B ; but A
be l onged to every B , so that the third figure comes about. So also if
the syllogism is privative, for the positive particular premiss converts,
so that A will belong to no B and C to some B .
Of the syllogisms i n the last figure only one cannot b e analyzed
into the first, namely the one where the priv a tive premiss is not taken
as universal ; all the others can be so analyzed. For let A and B be
predicated of every C . Now C will convert partially with respect to
each term, so it will belong to some B . Hence one will have the first
figure, if A belongs to every C and C to some B . The same argum ent
holds if A belongs to every C and B to some C, since C converts
w ith respect to B . But when B belongs to every C and A to s ome
C, one must take B as the first term, for B belongs to every C and
C to some A, so that B belongs to some A ; and since the particular
premiss converts, A will also belong to some B. And if the syllogism
.

61

IO

15

20

25

30

35

5 1a

ro

51

PRI OR ANALYTICS

is privative and the terms are universal, one has t o take them in a
similar way. For let B belong to every C and A to no C. Then C w ill
1 5 belong to some B and A to no C, so that C will be the middle term .
Similarly also if the privative premiss i s universal and the posi tive
is particular, for A will belong to no C and C to some of the B s.
.
However, if the privative premiss is taken as particular, there will be
no analysis. For example, if B belongs to every C and A does not
20 belong to some C: for when B C is converted, both premisses will be
particular.
It is also evident that in order to analyze the figures into one
another one must convert the premiss with the minor extreme in
both figures, since the transition came about when this premiss was
25 transformed .
Of the syllogisms in the middle figure one can be analyzed into
the third, the other not. For when the universal premiss is privative,
the syllogism can be analyzed, since if A belongs to no B and to
some C, both premisses convert similarly with respect to A, so that
30 B belongs to no A and C belongs to some A. So A is the middle
term. B ut if A belongs to every B and does not belong to some C,
there will be no analysis, since neither premiss will be universal after
conversion.
The syllogisms from the third figure will also be analyzable into
3 5 the middle figure i f the privative premiss is universal, that i s , i f A
belongs to no C and B belongs to some or to every C ; for then C will
also belong to no A and to some B. However, if the privative premiss
is particular, the syllogism will not be analyzable, since the negative
particular premiss does not admit of conversion.
It is evident, then, that the same syllogisms are not analyzable in
those figures that were not analyzable into the first, and that when the
51 b syllogisms are reduced to the first figure, only these are brought to a
conclusion through the impossible.
How one must reduce syllogisms, then, and that the figures can be
analyzed into one another, is evident from what has been said.

C H APTER 4 6

It makes a difference in establishing or refuting whether one believes


that 'not to be this' and ' to be not-this' signify the same or different
things. For example, ' to be white' and ' to be not-white' ; for these
62

T R A N S LATION

d o n ot sig nify the same, nor is ' to b e not-white' the denial o f 'to be
white' .
wh i te ' ; rath er, it is 'not to be
n
for
this
is
as
follows.
'Can walk' stands in a similar
reaso
The
notwalk'
as
'is
white'
to ' i s not-white' , or as ' knows
an
to
'c
n
ti
o
re la
'
knows
the
not-good'
.
For
there is no difference between
to
od
'
go
e
th
' kno ws the good' and 'is a knower of the good ' , nor between 'can
walk' and ' is able to walk' , so the same holds for their opposites,
cannot walk' and ' is not able to walk' . Now if ' i s not able to walk'
signifies the same as 'is able to not-walk' or 'not to walk' , then these
opposites will belong to the same thing at the same time, for the s ame
person can both walk and not walk, or is a knower both of the good
and of the not-good. But an affirmation and its opposite denial do not
belong to the same thing at the same time.
S o just as 'not to know the good' and 'to know the not-good' are
not the same, then neither are 'to be not-good' and 'not to be good'
the same. For when things are related analogously, then if one pair is
different, so is the other.
N or are 'to be not-equal ' and 'not to be equal ' the same. For the
one has a certain underlying subj ect, what is not-equal, and this is
the unequal; but the other has none . This is why not everything is
either equal or unequal, but everything is either equal or not equal .
Furthermore, ' i s a not-white log' and 'is not a white log' do not
belong to things at the same time, for if something is a not-white
log, it will be a log, but what is not a white log is not necessarily a
log .
S o it i s evident that ' i s not-good' is not the denial o f ' i s good' .
N ow if of every single thing either affirmation or denial is true, and
this is not a denial, it should obviously be a sort of affirmation. But
every affirmation has a denial ; hence, so does this-namely, 'is not
not-good' .
These are related to one another in the following order. Let 'to be
good' be designated by A, ' not to be good' by B, 'to be not-good ' by
C (under B ) , and 'not to be not-good' by D (under A). Then one or
the other of A and B will belong to everything and never both to the
same ; also one or the other of C and D, and never both to the same.
And B will necessarily belong to whatever C belongs to; for if
it is true to say that a thing is not-white, it will also be true that it
is not white, since it is impossible to be white and not-white at the
same time, or to be a not-white log and to be a white log. So if the
affirmation does not belong to a thing, the denial will. But C will not
63

ro

15

20

25

30

35

523

P R I O R A N A LY T I CS

always belong to B , for what is not a log at all will not be a not- w h i te
log either.
In reverse order, though, D belongs to everything to whi ch A
belongs. For it will be one or the other of C and D, and since it is n ot
possible to be not-white and white at the same time, D will be l on g .
For of what is white it is true to say that it is not not-white . B ut A
r o does not belong to every D, for o f what i s not a log at all i t i s not true
to say A (that it is a white log), so that D is true and A (that it is a
white log) is not true. It is also obvious that A and C canno t be long
to the same thing, while B and D can belong to the same thing.
IS
The privations too are similarly related to their predicati ons in
this arrangement: let 'equal' be designated by A, ' not equal ' b y B ,
'unequal' by C, 'not unequal ' by D.
And also in the case of many things, when the same term belongs
to some of them but not to others, the denial should be similarly true,
20 namely that they are not all white or that not every one is white, but
that every one is not-white or that all are not-white is false. Similarly
also, the denial of ' every animal is white' is not 'every animal i s
not- white' , for those are both false; rather, it is 'not every animal is
white ' .
S ince it is clear that ' i s not-white' and 'is not white' signify
25 different things and that one is an affirmation, the other a denial,
it is clear that the way of proving each of them is not the same
for example, that whatever is an animal is not white (or may not be
white), and that it is true to say that it is not-white , for this is to be
30 not-white. But for 'it is true to say that it is white' or ' that it is not
white' it is the same way, since both are proved by being established
through the first figure . For 'true' is placed in a similar way as 'is' ,
and the denial o f 'true to say that it i s white' is not 'true to say that it
is not-white ' , but ' not true to say that it is white' . So if it is* true to
35 say that whatever is a man is either musical or not-musical, one must
assume that whatever is an animal is either musical or not-musical,
and it has been proved. But that whatever is a man is not musical is
proved by refutation in one of the three ways mentioned.
Generally, whenever A and B are so related that they cannot both
belong to the same thing, but one or the other necessarily belongs to
52 b everything, and again if C and D are related in the same way and A
follows C but not the reverse, then D will follow B but not the reverse.
And A and D can belong to the same thing, but B and C cannot.
First, that D follows B is clear from the following. Since one or
5
5

64

T R A N S L A T I ON

., 1 11e r o f C and D necessarily belongs to everyth ing, but C cannot


.
t wh atever B belongs to because 1t brmgs along A, and A and
I
b on" o
e; can o t b elon g to the same thin ? , it is obvious that D will follow.
B
A g a i n , since C does convert with A, and one or the other of C and
b el o n g s to everything, A and D can belong to the same thing. But I O
D
no because A follows long with C, s o an i 1?possib lity
8 a n d C can
then, that B will also not convert with D, given
re s ul ts. It is evident,
can
belong
to a thing at the same time.
D
t h a t A and
is
also
deceived in the case of such an order of
es
one
etim
S om
one
does
not
take the opposites correctly, one or the 1 5
se
ecau
b
s
i e rm
oth er of whi ch necessarily belongs to everything . For example, if A
an d B can not belong to the same thing at the same time, but it is
ne c es sary that one belongs to whatever the other does not, and again
c a n d D are related in the same way, and A follows everything to
w h ich C belongs : for the result will be that B belongs to whatever D
20
bel on gs to, whic h is false .
For let the denial of A, B be designated by F, and the denial of C, D
i n turn by H. Then by necessity either A or F belongs to everything,
si nce either the affirmation or the denial must belong. And again, by
nec essity either C or H, since they are affirmation and denial. And
it was assumed that A belongs to whatever C belongs to. Hence H
25
belongs to whatever F belongs to.
Again, since one or the other of F and B belongs to everything and
the same holds for H and D, and H follows F, then B will also follow
D . for this we know. Therefore, if A follows C, then also B follows D.
But this i s false, for the order of following was the reverse for terms
related in this way. Indeed, it is perhaps not necessary that either A
or F belong to everything, nor either F or B , for F is not the denial of 30
A, since the denial of ' good' is 'not good' , and ' not good' is not the
same as 'neither good nor not good' . Similarly for C and D, for the
denials that were taken are two.
I

1 1c t

C O M M ENTARY
N O T E S ON TER M I N O L O G Y A N D FORMAL NOTATION

Th e fo llowing is a sketch of assertoric syllogistic as set out in the first


si x chapters of book A, in the form of a Natural Deduction system.
( fo r m ore detailed versions, see Ebbinghaus 1 964 and Corcoran
1 9 74 b.)

Th e pri mitive symbols are


(i) constants: a, e, i, o, standing for the expressions
'belongs to every . . .
'belongs to no . . .
'belongs to some . . .
'does not belong to some . . .
'

'

'

'

These vowels are taken from the Latin words affirmo (I affirm) and
11ego (I deny). They reappear in the medieval names of the valid
moods, indicati ng the quality (affirmative or negative) and quantity
(universal or particular) of premisses and conclusion .
(ii) variables : A, B, C, D etc, standing for terms
All sentences of the system have one of the four forms AaB, A eB,
AiB, AoB, where the first letter stands for the predicate, the last for
the subject term.
Since there is no special symbol for negation, contradictories are
defi n ed as pairs of sentences :
AaB and AoB are contradictories , and so are AeB and AiB

A syllogism in the narrow sense of a valid deductive argument in


the system consists of two premisses and a conclusion, containing
three different terms, one of which occurs in both premisses and is
called the middle term. Aristotle uses the word 'syllogism' both for
concrete arguments and for argument-schemata. I follow the tradi
tion in referring to concrete arguments as ' syllogisms ' , to argument
schemata as 'moods' . In a natural deduction system, the valid moods
are understood as deduction-rules, either primitive or derived.
Aristotle divides the possible premiss-pairs according to the posi
tion of their middle term into three .figures .
67

PRIOR ANALYTICS

First figure: AB , B C ; the middle term i s subject in one prem is s,


predicate in the other.
Second figure: BA, B C ; the middle term is the predicate in both
premisses.
Third figure: AB, CB ; the middle term is the subject in both
premisses .
In the initial exposition (chs. 4-6), the conclusion always has the
term-order AC. The predicate term of the conclusion is called the
major, its subject the minor term. Since the major term usually
appears in the first premiss of a mood, the minor in the second, these
premisses are also described as major and minor (sc. premiss).
In chapter 7 , Aristotle recognizes that in some cases a conclusion
with the reverse order of terms (CA) can al so be deduced. The
resulting moods were later grouped together as a fourth figure on
the assumption that the classification into figures was based on both
the premisses in a fixed order and the conclusion, so that a mood of
the form BC, AB/CA could not be counted as belonging to the first
figure.
RULES

( 1 ) Primitive moods :
Aristotle usually formulates his rules as conditionals. These can be
read as theorems to be proved as well as rules : one should remember
that Aristotle did not have a technical term for 'rule ' . Taking these
statements as deduction rules means reading them as licensing the
inference from their antecedents to their consequents .
In chapter 4, the four valid moods of the first figure are said
to be evidently valid, given the meaning of the constants a and e,
and therefore taken as primitive rules . They are, with their medieval
labels :
If A belongs to every B and B belongs to every C, then A belongs
to every C.
AaB , B aC I AaC (Barbara)
If A belongs to no B and B belongs to every C, then A belongs to
no C.
AeB , B aC I AeC (Celarent)
68

COMMENTARY

If A belongs to every B and B belongs to some C, then A belongs


to come C.
A aB , BiC I AiC (Darii)
If A belongs to no B and B belongs to some C, then A does not
belong to some C.
AeB , B iC I AoC (Ferio)
(2) Conversion
In chapter 2, Aristotle introduces and proves the validity of three
rules of conversion that allow the inference from a proposition with
a given order of terms to another with the reverse order of terms, as
follows:
Jf A belongs to no B, then B belongs to no A (e-conversion).
If A belongs to some B, then B belongs to some A (i-conversio n ) .
If A belongs to every B, then B belongs to some A (a-i-conversion
or subalternation).

The third rule is problematic, since a proposition of the form AaB


could be true while B iA is false, in case there are no B ' s (all unicorns
are animals, but there are no animals that are unicorns). Aristotle does
not comment on this point; he seems to assume that no empty terms
will be used.
(3) Ecthesis and reductio
The proofs for the conversion rules rely on two rules that are not
explicitly introduced or justified. These are
ecthesis

IfA belongs to some B, there is a C such that both B and A belong


to C; and
If A does not belong to some B, there is a C such that B belongs to
C, but A does not belong to C.
It is not clear from Aristotle's language whether C should be taken to
stand for an individual or a subclass of B . The phrase 'C is one of the
69

PRIOR ANALYTICS

B 's ' can b e understood i n both ways, but i t may b e more plausible to
assume that C stands for an individual B (see nn. to eh. 2)
reductio ad impossibile

Indirect proofs were well known from mathematics, and this may
explain why Aristotle never expl icitly formulates a correspondin g
rule. It might be stated as follows:
If an assumption used in a deduction leads to a contradiction, then
the assumption is false and its contradictory must be true.
The typical case of a reductio-proof in chapters 5 and 6 is very
simple: given the two premisses of a syllogistic mood, one adds the
contradictory of the expected conclusion as a hypothesis and then
derives the contradictory of one of the premisses from the hypothesis
together with the other premiss. Obviously, the two premisses are
supposed to be true, so that the contradiction can only be due to the
hypothesis .
In chapters 5 and 6 Aristotle proves the validity of moods in
the second and third figure by showing that the conclusion ca n
be derived from the premisses using only the accepted rules . His
preferred method is clearly conversion, usually the simplest way to
reach a premiss-pair in one of the four valid first-figure moods. There
are only two cases where conversion is not available and Aristotle
resorts to reductio ad impossibile . Ecthesis is mentioned only as an
alternative, though it could in principle be used throughout (see Smith
1 9 8 3 ).

The fourteen valid moods will be referred to by their medieval


names ; they are:
First figure: Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferio
Second figure: Cesare, Camestres, Festino, Baroco
Third figure : Darapti, Felapton, Disamis, Datisi, Bocardo, Ferison

Special notation for modal syllogisms


Aristotle describes the modalities-necessity and possibility-as
qualifications of the belonging-relation . In the chapters on modal syl
logistic, he considers not only moods with necessity- or possibility
premisses, but also 'mixed' moods that combine different modali
ties or modal and assertoric (non-modal) premi sses. At the begin
ning of his treatment of moods with possibility-premisses (A 1 3 ),
70

COMMENTA R Y

h e distinguishes two senses of 'possible' --contingency or two


sided possibility , which ex cludes necessity, and one - sided possibility,
which includes necessity . He opts for contingency as the primary
sense of possibility, but occasionally also mentions one-sided pos
si bi lity. In order to facilitate the reco gnition of the correspondin g
mo ods in the assertoric and modal versions, I have indicated the
mo dality of propositions by subscripts to the constants a, e, i, o ,
with N standing fo r necessity, Q fo r contingency, and P for one
sided possibility. Thus modal prem isses are represented, for example,
as AaN B , AiQ B , Aop B and so on. This notation is also intended to
be neutral with respect to the de re-de dicto distinction. Where the
distinction is discussed in the notes, I have used the convention of
p lacing the modal operator in front of a bracketed sentence for the de
dic ta-reading, in front of a term-letter to indicate the de re-reading .
Thus a formula like N(AaB ) should be read as 'it is necessary that
A belongs to all B ' ; NAaB or AaNB as ' all B ' s are such as to be
neces sarily A' or 'A belongs to everything that is necessarily B ' ,
respectively. The moods are referred to by their medieval names,
followed by letters indicating the modalities of premisses and con
clusion, with 'X' standing for non-modal (as sertoric) premisses. So
'BarbaraNXN' refers to the mood B arbara with a necessary m ajor
p re miss , assertoric minor, and necessary conclusion, 'CelarentQXQ'
to the mood Celarent with a contingent major, assertoric minor, and
c o ntingent conclusion, and so on.
C H A PTER 1

The subject of the investigation is demonstration and demonstrative


science. The most important technical terms are introduced: pre miss ,
term , syllo gi sm , perfect and imperfect syllogism, belon g ing to all or
to none.

248 10-1 1
'First, say about what . . . ' . The treatise beg ins without
an introduction; there is just a brief statement of the subject and a list
of technical terms . In fact, demonstration and demonstrative science
are treated only later, in the Posterior Analytics ; syllogistic-the
theory of valid deductive argument-is a necessary prerequisite for
their study (4, 25a27-3 1 ) . By contrast, the Posterior Analytics opens
w ith a general remark that leads on to the subject and underl ines its
71

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

importance (cf. the opening sentences o f Met. A, 98oa 20, and EN


1 094" 1-2). This is probably an indication of the fact that the overall
plan for the four books of the Analytics was imposed-no doubt by
Aristotle himself-on a collection of materials that had been written
before.
'about what and of what' . Commentators from ancient times on
have debated the question whether Aristotle is introducing one or two
questions here, and if two, what difference is indicated by the words
'about' and 'of what' (a Greek genitive). If the genitive is taken to
be objective, Aristotle is simply offering two versions of the same
question regarding the subject of the inquiry, and his answer tells us
that it deals with two closely connected subjects. However, if the gen
itive is taken to be subjective, we are presented with two questions.
The answer to the first-what is the subject of the investigation?
would be simply 'demonstration' , the second question would concern
the discipline to which the investigation belongs. The answer would
be that this inquiry belongs to demonstrative science-either in the
sense (a) that it is itself a demonstrative science, or in the sense
(b) that it belongs to demonstrative science in general, because any
scientist concerned with finding proofs must be familiar with syllo
gistic .
The first and simpler interpretation seems to be confirmed by
a remark near the end of the Posterior Analytics, where Aristotle
unequivocally states that he has dealt with demonstration and demon
strative science (99 b 1 5- 1 7 ; see Brunschwig 1 98 1 ). Yet this does not
entirely rule out the second interpretation, since the back reference
could be imprecise. In any case, the second interpretation raises an
important question that may merit a brief digression. It seems to
me that option (a) is hard to defend , while option (b) was probably
Aristotle's own view, whether he alluded to it here or not.
(a) It is natural for a modern reader to consider Ari stotle's system
of syllogisms as a paradigm of axiomatized theory. This view
has been the basis of many formal models since Lukasiewicz.
Still, one should hesitate to ascribe this view to Aristotle him
self. For while he evidently realized that the proofs of validity
for the syllogistic moods in chapters A 4-6 are indeed proofs or
even demonstrations, the very limited language of his syllogis
tic is clearly not sufficient to represent the theorems about the
validity of the moods he actually proves, simply because it does
72

COMMENTARY

not contain propositional connectives. I n other words, these


proofs are not themselves syllogistic arguments ; they are proofs
of theorems about such arguments . Taken as an axiomatized
system, syllogistic is in fact a counterexample to its inventor's
claim that every scientific demonstration must either be in syl
logistic form or contain at least one syllogistic step (A 23). (See,
however, Mendell r 998 for an attempt to explain why Aristotle
thought that syllogistic would be sufficient to represent Greek
geometrical proofs . )
(b) A t the beginning o f the Rhetoric ( r 3 54a3 ) , Aristotle declares
that dialectic, the art of constructing and using arguments, does
not belong to any single science, since it is used by all the
sciences and indeed in everyday life as well. In other places
(Met. I' 3, 1005 b 2-5 ; EE 1 .6, 1 2 1 7a7- 1 7) he claims that famil
iarity with the Analytics is part of the general education one
will have to have acquired before entering into a philosophical
or scientific discussion. Both the Topics and the Prior A na
lytics present general theories of argument, and it seems that
references to the earlier Topics, that is, dialectic, were replaced
by references to the Analytics in the Rhetoric once Aristotle
had worked out his syllogistic. Thus Aristotle says at Rhet. I -4,
1 359 b 9- 1 6 , that rhetoric is a combination of analytic and politi
cal science, shortly after he has described it as a kind of offshoot
of dialectic and political science ( 1 . 2 , I 356a 25-7). He goes on
to warn that one should not try to establish either dialectic or
rhetoric as sciences rather than technical skills because one
would then inadvertently obscure their real nature by crossing
over into sciences of 'underlying things ' rather than discourses
(that is, speeches and arguments). This passage seems to be the
closest Aristotle ever comes to stating the difference between
object- and meta-language. Now a dialectician, as well as an
orator, is also supposed to use collections of premisses about
the kinds of subjects that were discussed in dialectical debates
or speeches, and the Rhetoric contains a number of chapters
that list common views on the relevant subjects. This element
is notably absent from the Analytics, and so there would hardly
be any danger for the student of syllogistic to cross over into
any other science. However, it is not clear whether Aristotle
also took the further step of recognizing his formal theory of
73

PRIOR A NALYTICS

argument as a scientific discipline i n its own right with the same


logical structure as the first-order sciences. Hence the status
of syllogistic within the Aristotelian conception of scientific
knowledge remains unclear. It is not surprising that later an cien t
commentators were engaged in a dispute with the Stoics over
the question whether logic was to be considered as a part of
philosophy or only as a tool. The second view prevailed among
Aristotle's Peripatetic followers, as shown by the traditional
title Organon (literally, ' tool ' ) used to refer to all of Aristotle's
logical works (Categories, de Interpretatione, Prior Analytics,
Posterior Analytics, Topics, Sophistical Refutations). But the
metaphorical label 'tool' is h ardly sufficient to clarify the rela
tion between logic and science.
' demonstration ' . I use this word to translate the Greek a7T601:itis
(normally, 'proof' ) when it is used, as here, to refer to scientific
proof in the strict sense developed in the Posterior Analytics. The
phrase I have translated as ' demonstrative science' could also be
translated as 'knowledge based on demonstration' , since Aristotle
uses the same expression both for a properly constructed scientific
theory and for the knowledge of the scientist who understands the
theory.

248 1 6-b 15 This short passage s ummarizes more detailed exposi


tions from Topics, Aristotle's handbook for practitioners of dialec
tical debate (see Top. 1 . 1 , 1 00 3 27-b 2 3 ; i .4, 1 0 r b 1 1 -36). The com
pressed version is a little hard to follow because Aristotle combines
formal characterizations with remarks about the role of propositions
in argument and about their epistemological status. Premisses have
the form of simple subject-predicate sentences. Either such sentences
may be used to state assumptions from which further propositions
are deduced-that is, as premisses-or they may be presented to the
partner in a dialectical debate as one of a pair of contradictories from
which he has to choose, in which case they are called 'problems'
(7rp6A1),a) or theses. If a proposition is used as a premiss, it may
belong either to a scientific demonstration or to a dialectical argu
ment. In the first case, it has to be accepted as true and based on the
initial assumptions of a scientific theory ; in the second case, it only
needs to be plausible.
74

COMMENTARY

2 48 1 6-1 7
'premiss' : Greek 1Tporaais, l iterally, a proposition pre
sen ted to the opponent in a dialectical debate. The word does not
occur before Aristotle, but it belongs to the technical vocabulary of
th e Top ics and was probably first introduced in the Academy. The
definition given here is similar to the definition of 'declarative sen
tence' (a1TocpavnKos ,\6yos) at de lnt. 5 , and so one might think that
the word should be translated as ' proposition '-after all, propositio
was the medieval Latin translation of 1Tporaais. This would also
seem to fit best with the fact that the conversion rules obviously
a pply to propositions regardless of their role in an argument, and with
Aristotle's own remark at An. Pr. B 1 , 53 3 3- 1 4, that the conclusion of
a syllogism also affirms or denies one thing of another, and hence can
be converted as wel l . On the other hand, the word 1Tporaais is used
in the great maj ority of cases, both in the Topics and in the Analytics,
for propositions used as premisses, sometimes by contrast with the
b
con clusi on. In Top. 1 .4 ( r n 1 1 7-36) Aristotle tells us that 'every pre
miss (1Tp6raai<;) and every thesis set up for discussion (7rp6f3,\7Ja)
exhibits either a unique property or a genus or an accident' -so
both premisses and theses will be propositions. But a few lines
later he warns against the error of thinking that such propositions
taken by themselves are either premisses or theses. R ather, both
premisses and theses 'come from' propositions, and whether they are
one or the other depends on their role in the discussion. It seems
best to me, then, to retain the traditional translation of 1Tporaais as
'premi ss' .
248 1 8
'belonging ' : Greek V1Tapxew. Aristotle uses this verb as a
general technical term for the relation between predicate and subject
in a subject-predicate sentence. It would not be natural, either in
Greek or in English, to say 'white belongs to every swan' or ' runs
belongs to some man' , and Aristotle usually formulates such exam
ples as 'all swans are white' or 'a man runs ' . The advantage of this
artificial terminology for syllogistic appears perhaps most clearly in
chapter 36 (48 8 40-49 3 5): the form 'A belongs to (all or some) B'
is intended to cover a range of cases even wider than predication.
It includes cases in which the 'predicate' cannot strictly speaking
be predicated or ' said of' the subject, as in the example in line 2 1 ,
'of contraries there i s a single science' . A s Aristotle explains in
chapter 36, ' a single science' cannot be predicated of the subject

75

P R I O R A N A L Y TI C S

'contraries ' , but i t i s true o f contraries that there is a single science


of them. Furthermore, the grammatical form of sentences formulated
with ' to belong' , which takes a dative complement in Greek, makes
it unequivocally clear which term is to be the subject and whic h the
predicate, while a sentence like 'the middle is the first' (cf. 48a 40 )
would be ambiguous in Greek.

243 1 9 'belonging to some, or not to some' . Aristotle's list does not


include singular propositions such as ' Socrates is a man ' , although
he clearly thinks they can occur in syllogisms and occasionally gives
examples of arguments with singular premisses (see 33, 47 b 24-5 , 323; B 27, 7oa 1 6-20; An. Post. A 1 3 , 78 b 4 ; B 8, 93830-b 7) .
Commentators from Philoponus (68 . 1 4- 1 6) to Ross have
explained the absence of singular premisses from the general theory
of syllogistic by appeal to Aristotle's view that sciences contain only
general propositions, and syllogistic is presented as a preliminary
to the study of scientific demonstration. This can hardly have been
Aristotle's reason, for according to his own statement (4, 2 5 h 28-3 1 ),
syllogistic has a wider scope than demonstration; it covers dialecti
cal and rhetorical arguments as well. But rhetorical arguments will
inevitably contain singular premisses . Furthermore, even in the case
of the sciences, the restriction to general propositions holds only for
scientific theories. The knowledge of an expert scientist will extend
to individual cases as well . For example, a mathematician will know,
and know on the basis of demonstration , that the angles of the triangle
he is looking at have a sum of 1 80 (see B 2 1 , 678 1 6-26).
The simplest explanation for the omission of singular propositions
in the systematic chapters A 2-7 lies no doubt in the fact that such
propositions are not convertible because proper names cannot be used
as predicates (see Scheibe l 96T 457) . In his general exposition of
syllogistic Aristotle assumes that for any premiss of the form 'AxB '
there will be a converse proposition of the form ' B xA' , either implied
by 'AxB ' or not. He may have thought that the extension of syllogistic
to include si ngular propositions is obvious or trivial (cf. notes on eh.
8 , 3086- 1 4 , and 27 , 43 a 42). Of course the extension i s possible, but it
requires a few additional syntactical rules-for example, that proper
names may occur only in subject position, and that singular propo
sitions should be treated as special cases of universal propositions
(see Thom 1 98 1 : 1 74-6 and app. 3). So Aristotle's confidence is
76

COM M E N TA R Y

un dersta ndab le, even though the extension is not quite as trivial as
he may have assumed.
24 20

' without universality or particularity ' : literally, ' without the


l
or the particular' . Aristotle is referring to the absence of
sa
ver
uni
expressions like ' every' or ' some' . Indeterminate propo
ying
ntif
qua
siti ons are mostly ignored in chapters 4-6, but chapter 4 (26a 27-30)
shows that they may be treated as particular. However, the examples
Aristotle gives here would more naturally be understood as universal
propositions . (For the first example, see eh. 36, 48"9-1 1 , and note on
2 4 a 1 8 above.)
b
24 30- 3

'demonstrative . . . dialectical . . . ' . For the differences

betw een demonstrative and dialectical premisses, see Top . I . I ,


1 oo a 27-b 23 and 1 .4, I O i b I I-36. The premisses of a scientific

demonstration must be either axioms of the relevant theory that can


be recognized as true without a deductive proof, or derived from
such axioms (An. Post. A 2-3) . The phrase ' accepted on the basis
of the initial assumptions' seems to refer only to the second c ase,
but n o doubt the axioms themselves are meant to be included. A
dialectical premiss need not be true, as is obvious from the fact that
the questioner in a dialectical debate has to offer his opponent a
choice between a pair of contradictories . But after this opening move
the questioner will try to advance only premisses that the answerer
will find it difficult to reject. Hence those premisses must be at least
acceptable, and this will be the case if they either state an obvious or
apparent fact (the Greek word </>aivoEvov may mean either of these)
or present a plausible opinion .
'plausible' . I use this word to translate the Greek v8otov, literally,
' what enjoys a certain fame or reputation ' . Alternative translations
would be 'reputable' (B arnes I 996) or ' accepted' (Smith). According
to Top. I . I , those propositions count as plausible that 'seem true to
everyone, or to most people, or to the experts ; and among those either
to all or to the most or to the most famous and esteemed' .
24h 1 4

' in what follows ' . It is not quite clear which passages


Aristotle is referring to. The Posterior Analytics deals extensively
with the premisses of demonstrations , but hardly with the distinctions
77

P R I O R A NA L Y T I CS

between different kinds of premisses. Alexander of Aphrodisias


( 1 4. 1 8-2 1 ) takes this remark as evidence that the Topics, which
devotes two chapters to the discussion of dialectical premisses, was
intended to be studied after the Analytics .
:z4b 1 6
'term' : Greek opos, literally, 'limit' or 'limiting point' , a
word taken over by Aristotle from the Greek mathematicians, who
were using it for the elements of a geometrical , arithmetical, or
musical ratio. A number of other technical terms-such as ' extreme'
and 'interval' , occasionally used as a synonym of ' premiss '-also
derive from mathematics. (For Aristotle's borrowings from the math
ematicians, see Einarson 1 93 6 and Smith 1 978 . )
Alexander notes that Aristotle switches here from the first-person
plural to the singular, indicati ng perhaps that he is introducing a new
and hitherto unusual terminology. One significant change from the
Topics is that he uses this word there in the sense of 'definition' . In the
Analytics, Aristotle uses 'term' as a neutral label for any expression
that can occur in either the subject- or the predicate-position of a pre
miss. His subsequent expl anations of the phrases ' to be in something
as in a whole' and 'to be predicated of all/none' suggest that he takes
terms to refer to classes of individual objects of which the respective
expressions (man, runs, etc .) are true. One should note, however, that
classes like those of white things, running things, etc . , as opposed to
genera and species, on the one hand, substances and attributes, on
the other, do not seem to have a place in Aristotle's official ontology.
By contrast to the Topics, then, Aristotle's syllogistic appears to be
largely independent of his metaphysics .
:z4h 1 8-20 'A syllogism is an argument . . . ' . With some hesitation,
I have decided to keep the word ' syllogism' as a transliteration
of the Greek instead of 'deduction' , preferrred by both Smith and
B arnes ( 1 996 : 82-3n) in their translations . It is, of course, true that
the Greek word does not mean what it tends to mean in current
English-namely an argument in one of the specific forms Aristotle
goes on to discuss . The claim that all syllogisms will be in one of
the figures (A 2 3 ) is not trivial: Aristotle is claiming that all valid
deductive arguments can be represented as syllogisms in the narrow
sense, or as chains of such syllogisms. One might also point to the
frequent contrast between 'syllogism' and induction, which is clearly
78

COMMENTARY

con trast between deductive and inductive arguments. However,


translation 'deduction' includes too much: not every deduction is
or can be used as an argument, and the conditions Aristotle spel ls out
in hi s definition make sense only if one keeps in mind that what he
se ts ou t to define is the notion of valid deductive argument. This is
obs cured in modern translations because they render the word ,\6yoS'
here as 'di scourse' or 'account' instead of 'argument' . I think thi s is
unnecessarily vague: it is well known that Aristotle often uses this
word in the sense of ' argument' (cf. , e.g., Top. 1 .4, and the passages
collected in Benitz, 43582 I -45), and the definition itself shows that
he was thinking of arguments here.
This definition of syllogism has already appeared almost verbatim
i n the Topics (see also SE I , 1 64a 27-b 2 , and Rhet. 1 . 2, 1 356b 1 6- 1 8),
where Aristotle often appeals to it to show that an argument is not
valid. The w ord ' syllogism' as a technical term was not Aristotle's
invention. It is derived from the verb avAAoy{,rn8ai, which in
ordinary Greek means ' to add up' or 'to compute' . But Plato had
already used the verb in the sense of 'to infer' or 'to conclude' , and
the noun in the sense of 'reasoning' . The contrast between deductive
( 'syllogistic' ) and inductive arguments also appears in the Topics and
so probably goes back to the Academy. Thus the previous history
of the word shows that Aristotle intended his syllogistic to serve as
a general theory of valid deductive argument, rather than a formal
system designed for a limited class of simple propositions.
The definition itself sets out three conditions:
t he
the

( 1) 'certain things being posited' : the plural here has to be taken


seriously ; Aristotle thought that a valid argument must have at
least two premisses. The ancient commentators explain this by
reference to the meaning of the verb avl.>i.oy{,ea8ai, which
implies that several things must be ' added up' (see, e.g., Philop.
64. 1 3- 1 5). Aristotle himself never mentions this; instead, he
often maintains that nothing follows by necessity from a single
premi ss (e.g., 1 5 , 34a 1 7- 1 8 ; 2 3 , 4ob 3 5 ; B 2, 53 b 1 8-20). Taken
literally, this is obviously wrong, as can be seen from Aristotle's
own proofs for the validity of the conversion-rules in the next
chapter. A more precise formulation of what he presumably had
in mind appears at An. Post. A 3, 73a7-9 : ' If a single thing is laid
down, it has been proved that it is never necessary that anything
else be the case . . . ' (it is unclear where Aristotle takes this to
79

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

be proved) . This suggests that the requirement for more th an


one premiss was supposed to be i mplied by the next condi tion,
(2) 'something other than what was laid down'-the conclu sio n
must be different from the premisses. This obviously exclude s
inferences of the form ' p ; therefore p ' or 'p and q ; therefore q' .
Any argument i n one of these forms would be a petitio principii,
that is, an argument that assumes as a premiss what was to be
shown. It is less clear whether inferences in accordance with
one of the conversion rules, for example, from AiB to BiA,
are also excluded. Aristotle's own remarks about the identity
or non-identity of logically equivalent propositions are not con
sistent. At B 5, 5 8a27-9 , he claims that BeA and AeB are 'the
same premiss ' , but at B I , 53a r 2 , and B 8, 5oa 1 0- 1 2 , he insists
that a premiss that results from conversion is not the same as the
original premiss, and his list of moods also treats AeB and BeA,
AiB and BiA, as different. Now one m ight say that although
these propositions do not have the same linguistic form, they
express the same relation between terms-both 'e' and ' i ' stand
for symmetrical relations . This is not the case for AaB and B iA,
but one might think that AiB , which is equivalent to B iA, states
something that is already given by AaB (see Top. 8 . 1 3 , r 63a45) . Similar considerations might exclude i nferences from AaB
to not-(AeB ) . Obviously, this introduces a problematic con
ception of propositional identity, but Aristotle's discussion of
petitio principii in Top . 8 . 1 3 suggests that such a conception
might well have i nfluenced the wording of his definition . The
same idea seems to lie behind the remark at SE 5 , 1 67a38-9,
that a petitio-argument may appear to be conclusive ' because
one does not recognize what is the same and what is different' .
Presumably the error is due to the fact that the same thing may
be expressed in different ways . Thus the first two conditions
arise from the presupposition that syllogisms are meant to be
arguments.
(3) 'results by necessity because these thi ngs are so ' : this clause
states the condition that the conclusion must logically follow
from the premisses . It is a clear formulation of the concept of
logical consequence as it is still understood today : a proposition
q follows from propositions P 1 . . . P n if and only if it is impossi
ble for p 1 . . . P n to be true while q is false. Aristotle refers back
80

COMMENTARY

to this condition at I O, 3ob 33ff., where h e distinguishes the


necessity of the conclusion relative to the premisses from the
abs olute necessity of a proposition that expresses a necessary
fact.
'because these things are so' . These words should not
be understo od to mean that the premisses have to be true, since it is
pos sibl e to produce a valid syllogism with false premisses or with a
hypothesis introduced only for the sake of argument, as in indirect
proofs. The defi nition as given in the Topics is clearer in this respect:
i t has the clause 'through the things laid down ' instead of 'because
these things are so' . In this passage, Aristotle adds the remark that
t h is clause should also be understood to mean that all premisses
needed to derive the conclusion have been explicitly stated. This
i s strictly speaking required anyway in order for the conclusion to
follow by necessity, but Aristotle occasionally claims that something
necessarily results from given assumptions even though one or more
premisses have been left out (32, 42 3 22-8)-no doubt because they
would seem obvious or trivial, so that the validity of the argument
can be seen without making all the assumptions explicit.
Aristotle probably speaks of terms rather than premisses being
added ' from outside' in order to indicate that he is thinking of
assumptions that are logically independent of the premisses given.
This is what distinguishes an incomplete syllogism from an imperfect
one, which contains all the premisses required for the conclusion
to follow, but may need a few lines between the premisses and the
conclusion to make the necessity evident (see 5, 2 8 3 5-7n . ) .
I n a fe w other passages Aristotle offers a n even stricter interpre
tation of this clause in his definition. At 32, 473 2 2-5, he discusses
two arguments in which the conclusion, as he puts it, follows 'from'
(eK) the premisses, but not ' through' (S La) them . In the first example,
some premisses are missing; in the second, however, the argument
is complete, but not stated in the canonical language of syllogi stic.
This can hardly have been intended when Aristotle first formulated
his definition for the Topics.
In Top. 8 . r r , 1 6 1 b 28-30, Aristotle says that a conclusion does
not follow 'because these things are so' if the argument contains
superfluous premisses. This counts as a defect because it remains
unclear which assumptions actually lead to the conclusion, but, of
course, it would not make the argument invalid.
24h zo-z

81

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

Taki ng a l l of Aristotle ' s comments together, then, we can say that


he defines a syllogism as a valid deductive argument with at least two
prem i sses that are different from the conclusion, all of them bein g
used to derive the conclusion.

24h 22-6
' I call a syllogism perfect . . . '. Syllogisms are called
perfect if the necessity of the inference is evident once the premisses
are given, while in an imperfect syllogism one needs to fill in a few
lines-that is, deductive steps-to make the necessity obvious . Patz ig
(eh. 3) has shown that this difference appears clearly only when one
follows Aristotle's own way of stating the premisses in the thre e
figures. In Aristotle's version the predicate-term comes first, while
the Latin tradition has tended to use forms of 'to be' instead of some
Latin equivalent of 'to belong' or 'to be predicated' , thus rendering
Barbara, for example, as ' all Bs are A, all Cs are B; therefore, all
Cs are A' . Aristotle uses his standard formulation for the first time at
A 4 , 25 h 37-26a2 . Patzig points out that Aristotle's version highlights
the transitivity of the a-relation. Aristotle was obviously aware of
this, since he tends to change the order of the premisses when he
uses concrete examples in the usual subject-predicate form. Corco
ran ( 1 974b), followed by Smith, tries to find a formal rather than
an epistemological difference between perfect and imperfect syllo
gisms. Starting from the observation that the Greek word TEAELOS
may be translated as either 'perfect' or 'complete' , he suggests that
'complete' should be preferred in this case: a 'complete' deduction
presents a derivation of the conclusion using only elementary steps,
while an ' incomplete' syllogism presents a valid inference, but does
not show exactly how the conclusion is derived. This interpretation
might seem plausible in view of the fact that Aristotle proves the
validity of the imperfect moods by producing deductions to show
that the conclusion follows given the primitive (first-figure) moods
and the rules of conversion or reductio, and that he refers to these
proofs as cases of 'perfecting' or indeed 'completing' . It does not
follow, however, that Aristotle considered those longer deductions
themselves as complete or perfect syllogisms. According to the
explanation given here, a syllogism is perfect only if the necessity
of the inference can be recognized on the basis of the two premisses
alone (cf. A 4, 2 6h 30; A 5 , 27 " 1 6-1 8). One might see Patzig's
and Corcoran's interpretation as complementing one another: Patzig
82

COMMEN TARY

explains why the val idity of the perfect syllogisms is evident, Corco
ran explains why those evidently valid inferences are called perfect.
But it is mi sleading to transl ate the Greek word as 'complete' . In fact,
this understanding of the word probably lies behind the erroneous
view, w idely accepted in later antiquity, that the i mperfect moods are
not valid as they stand and need the ' support' of the first-figure moods
to bec o me full-fledged syllogisms . (For the ancient debate, see Lee
1 984: 1 2off. ; Striker 1 996.).
As Aristotle describes the procedure here, the necessity of i mper
fect syllogisms is made evident by adding propositions that ' are
necessary because of the terms laid down ' , but have not been stated
among the premisses. What Aristotle has in mind appears most obvi
ously in the proofs by conversion: a step from BeA to AeB adds a line
to the deduction, but it does not introduce a new assumption, since
BeA is equivalent to AeB . The description might also cover proofs
by ecthesis (see 8, 3o a 6 - 1 4 n . ) , but it is not quite clear how it should
apply to indirect proofs, where the contradictory of the conclusion is
introduced as a hypothesis. However, even in those cases there will
be no new term added 'from outside' .
Aristotle himself supports his claim that certain moods are perfect
by appealing to the definition of the expressions 'to be predicated of
all ' or 'of none' (4, 25 b 39-40; 26a24-5 ; cf. also the references to the
definition of 'possibly belonging to all' at 14, 3 2 b 39-3 3a 1 , 33a4-5,
2 1 -4). So he seems to have thought that the val idity of the perfect
moods can be recognized simply by reminding oneself of the truth
conditions of their premisses . That may be plausible, but it is doubtful
whether one could still find a difference in degree of obviousness
between, say, Celarent (first figure) and Cesare or Camestres (second
figure) in this way.
24 h 2 6 -8
'is the same ' . It is strange that Aristotle introduces two
different expressions to describe universal propositions, especially
since the first seems more confusing than illuminating. That B is in
A ' as in a whole' means that A is predicated of all Bs or that it is
said of the whole of B (this would be a literal translation of the Greek
word translated as ' universal ' or 'un iversally' ) ; that B is not in A
'as in a whole' means that A is predicated of no B (4, 25 b 33-4) , or
that the whole of B is not in A. It is unclear how this terminology
could be used for particular propositions, either positive or negative.

P R I O R A N A LYTICS

the Prior Analytics and could easily


it allogether. However, the phrase 'as in a whole'
is used as a technical term in An. Post. A 1 5 (79 3 33-b 22), where
Ari stotle d i s c u s se s the relations between series of terms included in
ano ther ' as in a whole' --examples might be genera and species . He
also uses it in his first statement of the perfect moods Barbara and
Celarent (cf. also B 1 , 53a 1 7-25). This suggests that the terminology
might go back to an earlier stage in the development of syllogistic
(see Smith 1 98 2a). So this remark may indicate the transition to a
new, more general terminology.
I n fact Ari stotle uses i t rarely i n

have dispensed with

24b 28-30
'We speak of "being predicated of all . . . " ' . Aristotle
appeals to this explanation of the expressions 'to be pred icated of
all' or 'of none' in chapter 4 to justify his claim that the universal
moods in the first figure are perfect (see note on 24b 22-6 above).
This may be the reason why it was later seen as a formulation of the
so-called dictum de omni et nullo, considered as the highest pri n c ipl e
of syllogistic by some medieval logicians and some of their modern
followers (see Lukasiewicz, pp. 46-7). But it is clear that Aristotl e
does not think of the perfect moods as being in any sense deduced
from such a principle . One might compare his references to the mean
i ng of his logical constants with the use of Euler-diagrams, which
illustrate the relations between terms by representing their extensions
as circles . Such diagrams will indeed show that the conclusion is
necessary, but they do not constitute a deductive proof. Still, they
might be called proofs in a loose sense-see 9, 3o b 2 and n.

24 b 30
'the same account' . Aristotle evidently means that a propo
sition of the form 'A belongs to no B' will be true if no B can be
found of which A is predicated.

CHAPTER 2

Conversion of assertoric premisses : AeB converts to BeA, AaB to


BiA, and AiB to BiA. AoB is not convertible. The validity of e
conversion is proved by ecthesis; the other rules by e-conversion .
84

COMMENTARY

'that something belongs or that it belongs of necessity' .


z5 8 1 -2
The rules for assertoric ( ' of belonging' or 'mere belonging ' ) and
modal premisses are proved in chapters 2-3 ; syllogisms with modal
premisses are treated in chapters 8-2 2 .
'for each added expression' . The Greek word 1Tpoap7JaL<;
z5 83
normally means ' designation ' or 'form of address' (for a person),
but Aristotle seems to be taking it here in a literal sense ( ' added
speech ' ) . He uses it to indicate the expressions for the different modes
of belonging such as ' necessarily' or 'possibly' , of which he says
both here (above, 24b 1 7 ) and in de lnterpretatione (5 , 1 73 1 2 ; I 2,
2 1 b6, 27) that they are 'added' or 'predicated in addition' (3 , 2 5 b 2 2)
to the terms.
'privative . . . positive' . Aristotle uses two pairs of expres
sions for affirmative and negative propositions , apparently without
distinction . I have translated the pair KaTa</>anKor;/a1To</>anKor;
by ' affirmative' and ' negative' , the pair Kan 1yoptKos!an=pYJTLKOS
(literally, predicating/depriving) by 'positive' and 'privative' . The
differences in meaning are important in other contexts, but do not
seem to be relevant in syllogistic.
25 83-7

25 3 6

' to convert with respect to its terms' . Aristotle uses the verb
'to convert' and its corresponding noun in a number of different
contexts to indicate a reversal of order, of direction, or of truth value.
The relevant sense is either explicitly given (e.g. 1 3 , 3 2 3 29-3 5 ; B
8, 59 b 1 -3) or illustrated by examples (for the different senses, see
Bonitz, s.v. avTtaTpE</>Etv, and Ross's note ad J oe.). In this and the
following chapter a proposition is said to convert if it is equivalent
to another proposition in which its terms appear in reverse order
(AeB to BeA; AiB to BiA) or if it implies such a proposition (AaB
to BiA) .
25 3 1 4-2 6

In the following proofs, for the first time, Aristotle


makes use of letters to indicate the terms of a premiss. He never
offers any comment on this practice, which constitutes an impor
tant innovation by comparison with the Topics ; apparently he did
not think he needed to explain it. The ancient commentators point
85

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

out that Aristotle uses the letters to show that the validity of an
inference depends not on the ' matter' , that is, the concrete terms ,
but on the form of the premisses (Al. Aphr. 5 3 . 2 8-54 ; cf. Philop .
46 .29-47 .3).
The fact that Aristotle did not see the need for an explanation
suggests that the use of letters was not completely new and unusual.
Aristotle may have taken it from the Greek geometers, who would
use letters in their diagrams to mark, for example, the end points of
lines. Aristotle's intended audience, certainly not uneducated, wou ld
no doubt have been familiar with geometrical proofs .
The function of the letters has been understood in two differ
ent ways by modern scholars. If one conceives of syllogistic as an
axiomatized deductive system, it is natural to understand the letters
as variables that would appear bound by quantifiers in the axioms
and theses of the system. A mode like B arbara would be represented
as the (axiomatic) thesis : for all terms A, B , C: if A belongs to
every B and B belongs to every C, then A belongs to every C; as
a formula: (A, B , C) (AaB /\ BaC AaC). For this interpretation,
see Lukasiewicz (pp. 7- 1 7); Patzig (eh. l ) ; Thom ( 1 98 1 : 42-55).
However, if one takes syllogistic to be a rule-based natural deduc
tion system, a syllogism will be a valid argument with concrete
terms, and Aristotle's proofs are meant to demonstrate the validity
of arguments or inferences of a certain form. The letters do not
appear in actual syllogisms, but only in proofs, as placeholders for
concrete terms. Aristotle proves the validity of a form of argument
by showing for an arbitrary case how a conclusion can be derived
from premisses of a given form by elementary rules. The proofs are
based on the consideration that a deduction that can be constructed
for an arbitrary case must be valid in all cases of the same type. S mith
( 1 982b: 1 24-6) aptly cites a passage from the Topics (2.3, l I Oa37b 7) where Aristotle offers precisely this kind of consideration with
regard to the procedures of the geometers .
For this interpretation, which I have followed in this commen
tary, see, e.g., Ebbinghaus ( 1 9 64); S miley ( 1 97 3 , 1 982/3 ) ; Corcoran
( 1 973, 1 974b) .

25a 1 4- 17

Proof of e-conversion : this proof seems to have pro


voked controversy among Aristotle's successors, perhaps already
during his lifetime. According to Alexander, Aristotle's students
86

CO M M ENTARY

an d later colleagues Theophrastus and Eudemus offered a 'simpler'


arg umen t that highlights the symmetry of the e-relation: 'Let it be
as su med that A is said of no B . If so, A is disconnected and separate
fro m B ; but what is disconnected is disconnected from something
di sconnected ; therefore, B is disconnected from every A. But if this
is so, it is said of none of A' (Al. Aphr. 3 r . 6-9, cf. Philop. 48. 1 2- r 8 ) .
We d o not know why Aristotle 's colleagues came u p with this pro
posal, but they may have raised objections similar to those of some
later logicians who thought that Aristotle's proof uses i-conversion,
which is proved only a few lines further down and with the help
of e-conversion (Al. Aphr. 3 r . 27-3 2 .3). Thus Aristotle's procedure
would be circular, and replacing a proof by an image, as the above
argument does, might have been an attempt to avoid this . However,
as Alexa nder also points out, there is no reason to think that the proof
uses i-conversion. Aristotle would have had no need for an additional
letter if he had proceeded in this way. The introduction of the new
letter C seems to indicate, rather, that Aristotle is using the procedure
he calls ecthesis (literally, 'setting out' ) elsewhere (e.g. 6, 28a22-6;
28 b 1 4 , 20-1 ; 8, 309-1 4). B oth A and B will be said of C, the term
'set out' , and hence it follows that A is said of some B .
Aristotle's language leaves i t open whether C i s supposed t o be
a general or an individual term. The phrase 'one of the Bs' could
apply equally well to species or to individuals; both Socrates and
man (the species) could be said to be ' one of the animals' . But if one
assumes that C is a general term, the proof would contain a syllogi sm
in Darapti (third figure). It would look like thi s :
( r)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)

AeB
BiA
AaC
B aC
AiB
BeA

premiss
assumption; contradictory of BeA
(2), ecthesis : C is 'one of the As '
(2), ecthesis: C is also 'one of the B s '
(3), (4), Darapti
(5) contradicts ( 1 ) so (2) must be false
,

However, the validity of Darapti is proved only later (eh. 6), and
then through conversion (28" 1 7-22 ) . Furthermore, i n the later pas
sage Aristotle also mentions an ecthetic proof for Darapti, which
would simply collapse into Darapti itself if the term 'set out' were
general. So Aristotle's proofs would again seem to be circular. Hence
it seems preferable to assume that C stands for an individual term.
The crucial step would then be the transition from 'A belongs to C'
87

PRIOR ANALYTICS

and 'B belongs to C' to AiB-a logically valid case o f existential


generalization.
On ecthesis, see Lukasiewicz, pp. 59-67 ; Patzig, pp. I 56-68;
Thom ( 1 98 1 : 1 64-7 1 ; Smith ( 1 982b). See also note to 3oa6- 1 4 .
:25 8 1 7-19
The inference from AaB t o B i A is valid only i f the
letters cannot stand for empty terms. (If all centaurs are four-legged,
it does not follow that some four-legged creatures are centaurs. ) Some
modern commentators have argued that empty terms cannot occur in
any syllogistic premisses (see, e.g. , Kneale and Kneale 1 962: 54-67),
but chapter 46 shows that Aristotle did not require this for negative
propositions (see Wedin 1 990) .
:25 8 :2:2-6 Aristotle proves the invalidity of the inference from AoB
to BoA by offering a counterexample-that is, an interpretation such
that AoB is true, but BoA false. This shows, in accordance with the
definition of syllogism above (24h 1 9-20) , that it is not necessary for
the second proposition to be true when the first one is.
C H APTER 3

Conversion of modal premisses. Aristotle introduces the following


theses:
( 1 ) AeNB converts to BeNA (25a32-4)
(2) AaNB and AiNB convert to BiNA
(so necessary premisses convert in the same way as assertoric ones)
(3) affirmative premisses of the forms AapB, AaQ B and AipB,
AiQ B convert to BirA and BiQ A, respectively
(4) premisses of the form AeQ B do not convert
(5) AoQ B converts to B oQ A
No arguments are given for (4) and (5). Aristotle refers for proofs to
chapter 1 3 , and contents himself for the time being with the remark
that propositions of the forms AeQB and AoQ B are in fact affirmative
rather than negative.
88

COMMENTARY

The back reference a t 2 5 a35-6 shows that this chapter was


in tended to follow chapter 2. However, in his treatment of possibility
prop osi tions Aristotle refers forward to chapters 1 3 and 46, and it
seems likely that this part was either revised or inserted only after
Aris totl e had worked out the later chapters .
b
2582 7 - l 4

Aristotle's arguments in this passage are circular: the


assumes
the convertibility of AipB to B ipA ( 3 ) , which is
for
(
I
)
of
pro
i n turn proved with the help of ( I ). Becker (p. 90) therefore proposed
to delete lines 82 9 - 34 and b2 3 , leaving only a statement of the
theses without argument. However, since the conversion rules for
N- and P-propositions are the same as for assertoric ones, Aristotle
may have been somewhat perfunctory in his treatment here. The
arguments as they stand will at least illustrate the plausibility of his
the ses.
The proofs assume that the contradictory of a necessary proposi
tion can be stated as a possibility-proposition and vice versa, as is
usual in everyday language. Thus the contradictory of 'it is necessary
for A to belong to no B ' is given as 'A could belong to some B ' . This
shows that Aristotle is using 'possible' in the sense of ' not necessarily
not ' , that is, one-sided possibility. The various equivalences resulting
from the replacement of 'possibly' by ' not necessarily not' or ' nec
essarily' by ' not possibly not' are listed in de Int. 1 3 . Obviously, they
do not hold for two-sided possibility.
-

'If A belongs of necessity to all or to some B . . . ' .


258 32 - 4
Propositions of the forms AaNB and AiNB are treated together
because both convert to B iNA. As before, the proof is indirect: if it is
not necessary for B to belong to any A, then it is also not necessary
for A to belong to any B , which contradicts both AaNB and AiNB,
since the contradictories of AiNB and B iNA are equivalent to AepB
and BepA. The convertibility of these forms into one another is shown
at 25b 10 - 1 3 .
A counterexample to the inference from AaNB to BiNA had
already been suggested by Aristotle's colleague Theophrastus (see
Al. Aphr. 3 6 . 25-32 ) : it is necessary for all literate persons to be
human, but it is not necessary for any human being to be literate.
The older commentators down to Pacius defend Aristotle's claim by
maintaining that the first proposition holds only ' with a qualification'
89

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

or ' hypothetically' -that is, i t holds only i n the case that there exist
some literate people; but Aristotle-so the commentators claim-is
speaking here of absolute necessity. (They were no doubt thinking
of the distinction Aristotle introduces in 10, 3 ob 3 5 - 40 . ) However,
if Aristotle assumed that subalternation holds for necessary propo
sitions, his proof is correct. But the example still shows that the
transition from AiNB to B iNA is plausible only if the modality is
construed de dicto : if it is necessary that there are some literate
persons who are human , then it is also necessary that there are some
humans who are literate; but this does not imply that any human
person is necessarily literate.
258 3 5
' for the same reason as we mentioned before' : in the pre
ceding chapter. The same counterexample can be used to show the
inconvertibility both of AoB and of AoNB (253 1 2 1 3 ) : human
necessarily does not belong to some animals, but it is not true that
animal necessarily does not belong to some humans. That human
necessarily does not belong to some animals may be taken to mean
either that there must be some animals that are not human (de dicta)
or-more likely-that there are some animals that are necessarily not
human (de re) .
-

25 37

9
"being possible" . . . the possible' . Aristotle uses two
different expressions for possibility, a verb (v8exea8ai , here trans
lated as ' being possible ' ) and an adjective (8vvaT6v , here translated
as 'possible ' ) . He does not seem to observe any distinction in mean
ing between the two (pace Becker, pp. 88-9, who claims that 8vvaT6v
is used only for one-sided possibility). I have not attempted to use
two different English words, but tried to render Aristotle's Greek
in non-terminological English , sometimes using phrases like 'may
be' or 'cannot belong' . The lack of uniformity that results seems
to me to produce a more realistic impression of Aristotle's Greek
than a somewhat awkward though terminologically more precise
version.
' said in several ways' . Aristotle appears to distinguish three dif
ferent uses of 'is possible' or 'possibly belongs ' , but in the rest of
this chapter as well as in the chapters on modal logic ( 1 3-22) he dis
tinguishes only two senses of the phrase-one-sided and two-sided
possibility (that is, contingency: neither necessary nor impossible).
-

'

90

C O M M E N TA R Y

As

R oss points out, the three uses listed here should b e regarded
n ot as different senses of the phrase, but as three types of cases in
whi ch it is true to say that a predicate possibly belongs to a subj ect.
However, it is not clear what these cases are . Taken literally, the
sen ten ce makes little sense-if both what is necessary and what is
n ot necessary counts as possible, then everything should be possible;
but if ' what is not necessary' is taken to stand for 'what is neither
necessary nor impossible' , as Becker suggested, then the third option
remains mysterious .
The older commentators from Alexander to Waitz assume that the
words ' what is not necessary' refer to what actually belongs . But
there is no good reason to saddle Aristotle with the idea that, since
not everything that is actual is necessary, whatever is actual is not
necessary ; especially si nce he has just used the same example to
illustrate both assertoric and necessary premisses . Becker proposed
to delete the words 'and also of the possible' , insisting that Aristotle
must be speaking of the distinction between one-sided and two-sided
possibility. B ut these words were evidently read already by Alexan
der, and in the following paragraph Aristotle in fact goes on to discuss
three different cases in which negative possibility-premisses will be
true. He takes two of these together because they are covered by the
same conversion rules , and only then turns to what is possible in the
sense defined in chapter 1 3 . If he was already thinking of negative
premisses when he mentioned the three uses of 'being possible' ,
one could understand ' what is not necessary' as a loose expression
for ' what is not necessary and hence possibly not the case' . This
is illustrated by the example of white garments : white may belong
to no garment because it is not necessary for any garment to be
white .
If this is correct, Aristotle distinguishes three types of cases, but
only two senses of ' being possible' , characterized implicitly by the
fact that they require different rules of conversion. His explicit dis
cussion of the two senses comes only in chapter 1 3 .
25a40 _ h3

'behave in the same way ' : sc. as their assertoric counter


parts. Aristotle's proof works only for one-sided possibility, since he
treats 'B cannot belong to any A' (BeNA) as contradictory of 'B may
belong to some A' . However, a parallel argument can be constructed
at least for the case of particular contingent premisses taken de dicta :
91

P R I O R A N A LY TJCS

( 1 ) P(AiB)

/\

P(AeB) definition o f Q(AiB)

(2) N(BeA) v N(BiA) assumption ; contradictory of Q(BiA)


( 3 ) N(AeB ) v N(AiB) from (2) by conversion of N-premisses

(3) contradicts ( r ), but is compatible with Q(AaB). This is because


subalternation is acceptable only in the de re-version, since Q(AiB)
may be false though Q(AaB ) is true. For example, in a Cathol ic
school that also accepts non-Catholic students it will be contin gent
that all students are Catholics, but not that some students are. How
ever, if it is contingent for every student that she is a Catholic, then
this is also contingent for some students, and there cannot be a student
for whom it is necessary to be a Catholic.
25 b 4 -

8
'because it necessarily does not belong . . . '. My trans
lation follows the maj ority of the manuscripts against Ross and
Becker. With thi s reading, lines 4-5 correspond to lines 7-8 , which
refer to negative propositions. It seems plausible that Aristotle's first
reference to the three uses of 'being possible' was formulated with
the following examples in mind, since the case-distinction is needed
only for negative propositions . A negative possibility-proposition in
the sense of one-sided possibility will be true either if the state of
affairs it expresses is necessarily not the case ( 'because it necessar
ily does not belong' ) or if it is not necessary. The second point is
made explicitly in 1 5 , 33h 3 1 - 3 . Since Aristotle probably added this
passage only after he had worked out the system of syllogisms with
possibility-premisses, the anticipation of a later point would not be
surpri sing, especially given the following reference to the definition
of 'possible' from chapter 1 3 .
25 b 14 - 1 5

'the way w e define the possible' . Aristotle i s referring


to the definition of two-sided possibility at 32a 1 8 - 20. He writes as
though contingency applied only to what holds ' for the most part or
by nature' , but this is only one type of case covered by contingency,
which also includes merely random cases . The crucial difference
between the two notions of possibility lies in the fact that one of
them-contingency-excludes necessity, the other does not. Aristo
tle thought that contingency would be relevant to science only with
respect to what holds ' for the most part or by nature' (32b 1 8 - 22),
92

COMMENTA R Y

and this may explain why he mentions only this type of case
h ere.
2 5 b l6 -

18
' the universal privative does not convert' . The proof
for th e inconvertibility of AeQB to BeQA comes in 1 7 , 36b 35 ff.
The convertibility of AoQB to BoQA is not proved ; it follows from
the rul es of 'complementary conversion' for contingent premisses
( 1 3 . 32 a 2 9 - b l ) together with the convertibility of iQ-propositions:
according to Aristotle, AoQB is equivalent to AiQ B , which is in turn
equi valent to BiQA and hence to BoQA.
25 b 21 - 5

' "is possibly" has the same position as "is" . . . '. For
the analo gy between 'is' and 'is possibly' or 'may be' , see de Int.
J 2 . 21 b 23 - 32. There, Aristotle explains that the contradictories of
modal propositions must be formed by adding the negation to the
modal operator, while the contradictories of assertoric propositions
are formed by adding the negation to 'is' or to the verb that impl icitly
contains it. 'May be' and 'cannot be' , like 'is' and 'is not' , are
described as additions to the terms of a proposition, u sed to form
either an affirmation or a denial. Aristotle uses the contrast between
propositions of the forms 'X is not F' and 'X is not-F' to show that the
negation-sign must go with these additions : the contradictory of 'X is
F' is 'X is not F' rather than 'X is not-F' . Similarly, the contradictory
of 'X may be F' will be 'X cannot be F' rather than 'X may be
not-F' . In propositions of the form 'A possibly belongs to no B ' the
negation obviously does not go with the modal operator, and these
should therefore be considered as affirmations . Their contradictories
would have to be formed by putting the negation before the modal
operator.
The problem with Ari stotle's remark here, if it is meant to account
for the peculiarities of contingent propositions, is that the anal
ogy between 'is' and 'is possibly ' holds also for the other modal
operators, including necessity, as Aristotle recognizes in de Int.
1 2 , 22a 8 - 1 3 . As Alexander points out, this feature cannot explain
why the conversion rules are different for contingent premisses in
particular. Put anachronistically, the reason for the difference is that
contingent propositions would have to be understood either as con
junctions (de dicto) or as propositions with conjunctive predicates (de
re), which is, of course, not so for necessity or one-sided possibility.
93

PRIOR ANALYTICS

A proposition o f the form Ai Q B , fo r example, says that some B may


be A, but that it may also not be A, while AipB says simply that some
B may be A. However, Aristotle repeats his remark about the analogy
between 'is' and ' may be' in chapter 1 3 , precisely with reference to
contingent propositions. One difference he might have had in mind
is that in his treatment of contingent premisses he actual ly considers
only the forms that have a positive (non-negated) modal operator,
while in this chapter he also uses the proper contradictories of N
and P-propositions. But those can also be formulated as affirmati ve
propositions, using ' necessarily not' for ' not possibly' and 'possi
bly' for 'not necessarily not' , so that there is no need for a spe
cial treatment of such premisses. The contradictories of contingent
propositions, however, would have to take the form of disj unctions,
as Aristotle himself shows in chapter I 7 . Needless to say, disj unctive
propositions are considered neither as premisses nor as conclusions
in Aristotle's system . Hence it is true that all contingent propositions
covered by modal syllogistic are affirmative in the sense introduced
here.
Nonetheless, Aristotle himself has been describing the forms
AeN B , AoN B , and indeed Ae Q B and AoQB as negative, by analogy
to their assertoric counterparts . This leads to the peculiar result that
the special features of negative contingent propositions are explained
by the fact that they are in another sense affirmative.

25 b 24 - 5

'will also b e shown later' : i n 46, 5 1 b 8 - 3 5 .


C HAPTER 4

Syllogisms in the first figure. The moods B arbara, Celarent, Darii,


and Ferio are perfect. The remaining premiss-pairs are shown to be
inconclusive by counterexamples. For the pairs AaB , BoC and AeB ,
BoC the proof is based on the earlier cases AaB , BeC and AeB ,
Bee.

25b 27
'how every syllogism comes about' . In chapter 23 Aristotle
offers a proof to show that every syllogism, that is, every valid
deductive argument, must be in one of the three figures .
94

COMMENTARY

25 b 30

'a kind of syllogism' . For the special features of demonstra


gisms,
see I , 24 a30-3 1 , and An. Pos( A 2 .
yllo
s
e
tiv

25 h 32-S

' the last . . . the middle . . . the first' . The order last, middle,

fi rst derive s from the standard form introduced after the terminolog

i cal side-re mark. In this sentence Aristotle begins with the last term
bec aus e he is using the phrase ' is in something as in a whole' (cf.
1 , z4 b 26-8 n . ) rather than the more usual 'is predicated of' . He also
c h anges the standard order of the premisses, no doubt to preserve the
i ntu iti ve appeal of the form that seems to exhibit most clearly the
trans itiv ity of the inclusion-relation. He may have used this version
for did actic reasons (cf. Al . Aphr. 59 . 1 9-25 ) .
2S b 3 5 -7

' I call "middle" . . ' . The preceding sentence actually


describes, not the first figure in general, but syllogisms in B arbara and
Celarent with true premisses. So, as Alexander points out (56.26-3 0),
Aristotle is offering examples instead of a general schema. In fact, the
explanations given here for the labels ' middle' and 'extreme' also
h ol d only for Barbara with true premisses, not even for Celarent. On
the other hand, the labels 'last' and 'first' for the extremes derive
fro m the standard formulation with the phrase 'is predicated of' .
A s a termi nological introduction this is a little confusing, and so
the ancient commentators simply replace Aristotle's explanations by
the later definitions that hold for all three figures : the middle term
is the one that occurs in both premisses, the extremes are the terms
of the conclusion, with the predicate term being the greater (maj or),
the subj ect term the smaller (minor) . Again, the labels 'major' and
'minor' are presumably taken from the example of B arbara (see
below, 26a21-3 ). One must admit that Aristotle's choice of labels is
unfortunate and possibly misleading, but it has served its purpose
well enough through the ages, and it obviously did not mislead
Aristotle himself.
25 b 39

' was said before' : 24b 28-30.

2684-5
'because these things are so' : a reference to the defini
tion of syllo g ism, 24 b 20. Here, as in many places , Aristotle says

95

PRIOR A NALYTICS

that noth i ng n eces sary comes about


that n othin g res ults of necessity. The
i n tended .

rather than, more accurately ,


context usually shows wh at is

'For the first may belong . . . ' . Aristotle introduces his


26a5-7
method of proving the inconclusiveness of premiss-pairs by coun
terexample with a brief explanation. He wants to show that premisses
of the forms AaB , BeC will not imply a conclusion of any of the
forms AaC, AeC , AiC, AoC. Instead of giving counterexamples for
each of the four options, he lists two triples of terms in the standard
order (major, middle, minor). If the letters A, B , C are replaced by
the concrete terms, the premisses will be true, but in the first case a
proposition of the form AaC will be true as well , in the second case,
a proposition of the form AeC. The first example rules out a negative
conclusion-if AaC is true, neither AoC nor AeC can be true-the
second an affirmative.
Since Aristotle is considering only possible conclusions with A in
the predicate position , he seems to have overlooked the point that a
conclusion of the form CoA can be deduced from AaB , B eC as well
as from the pair AiB , BeC, which he also treats as inconclusive in
this chapter (26a 3 6- 9 ) . The oversight is corrected in 7 , 2 9 a 2 1 -6 .
Aristotle has been criticized b y some modern authors (see, e.g.,
Ross , ad loc . ; Lukasiewicz, p. 7 2 ; Geach r 972b, p. 2 9 8) for using
concrete terms to prove inconclusiveness, thus apparently relying
on empirical knowledge rather than on the form of the premisses .
But, given Aristotle's definition of logical consequence, according to
which a conclusion follows if and only if there can be no interpreta
tion of the terms in which the premisses are true and the conclusion is
false, it is not clear how he could reject a claim of syllogistic validity
without referring to counterexamples. Even Euler diagrams, which
can be used to show the possibility of counterexamples, must rely
on the correct way of interpreting the logical constants a, e, i, o, to
which Aristotle appeals for his claims of perfection (on this point,
see Patzig, pp. r 68-8 3 ; Lear r 9 80: eh. 4). In chapter 14 (33a 3 0-b 3 )
Aristotle once uses a strategy that is reminiscent of Euler diagrams,
but he obviously prefers concrete counterexamples .
26a 1 3
' fi gure' . The Greek word axfJ,a can be translated as
'form' , ' shape' , or 'figure' . The translation 'figure' in the context

96

C O M M E N TA R Y

of logic goes back to the Latin tradition, but it i s also n o doubt due
10 the fact that Aristotle borrowed many of his technical terms from
th e Greek geometers: triangles, squares, etc . , were called axaTa.
It is not clear whether this expression also indicates that Aristotle
il lustrated the figures by diagrams, perhaps of the sort that can still
be foun d in medieval manuscripts (see Einarson 1 9 36: 1 69-70; Rose
r 968 : apps . IV and V) . Ancient and medieval commentators used to
ass ume that each figure was defined by the positions of the terms in
both premisses and conclusion, and by a fixed order of premisses.
However, Aristotle himself seems to consider only the position of
the middle term in the premisses-once as subject, once as predicate
in the first figure, predicate of both premisses in the second, and
subject of both prem isses in the third (23 , 4 l a l 4- 1 6) ; hence he has
only three instead of the traditional four figures ( on this point, see
Patzi g, eh. 4).
268 1 7 -2 1

'the universal' . For Aristotle' s use of this word, see note


to 24a20 . In this passage, one might also translate: 'if the universal
premiss is the one with the maj or extreme' , etc.

268 2 1-3

"maj or" . . . "minor" ' . The labels 'major' and 'minor'


presumably derive from a syllogism in Barbara with true premis ses,
though this time Aristotle says that the minor is ' under' the middle
because the second premiss is particular, so that the minor term need
not be included in the middle (for similar uses of 'under' , cf. 9, 3 0a 40;
I I , 3 P 3 0, b 1 7 ) . According to the tradition, the major and the minor
are the predicate and the subject term of the conclusion. However, this
holds only so long as one considers only conclusions with a specific
order of terms. S ince Aristotle defined the figures only by reference to
their premisses , he determines the major and the minor in the second
and third figure by their position in the standard formulation of the
premisses (see 5 , 26b 37-8 ; 6, 28a l 3 - 1 4) . Used in this way, the labels
have no longer anything to do with the extensions of the respective
terms.
'

26829

'the same syllogism will result' . A proposition with


out a quantifying expression may be used in everyday language
97

PRIOR ANALYTICS

either to make a universal statement o r to make a partic ular


statement. As a premiss, it will therefore be at least as strong as a
particular.
268 3 5-6

'Terms' . Aristotle's examples are obviously taken from


his school. Wisdom is a virtue and therefore a good; virtues and vices
or weaknesses like ignorance are dispositions to behave in the rig ht
or the wrong way.

26b 5-14
'For something to which the middle does not belong . . . ' .
Many modern translators construe this sentence differently and trans
late: 'for the term to which the middle partially does not belong' . This
is linguistically possible, but it does not fit Aristotle's procedure in
the following lines. Alexander seems to have understood the sentence
as translated here; see also Smith's translation.
Aristotle modifies his method of counterexamples i n order to
accommodate a case for which his usual set of term-triples will not
work. The difficulty arises because propositions of the form BoC are
normally used only in cases where not all, but at least some, of the Cs
are B . Hence Aristotle first offers an example in which not only B oC,
but also BiC holds. However, this means that AeC cannot be true,
since AaB , BiC implies AiC (Darii). Similarly, AaC cannot be true
since AeB , B iC implies AoC (Ferio). So Aristotle introduces swan
and snow as parts of C of which the middle term human is not true,
while the major (animal) is true of all of the one and none of the
other. This does exclude universal conclusions, since AiC holds in
the first case, AoC in the second; but Aristotle has not yet proved that
no particular conclusion can be derived. He evidently realized this
(see 6, 28 b 24-7 ) and hence replaced the procedure followed here in
the later chapters by the proof 'from indeterminacy' which he gives
in the next few lines .
26b 14-21

'Further . . . indeterminate . . . ' . The second proof is


based on the consideration that a particular proposition of the form
B oC will be true also if the universal BeC is true. Hence if the
premiss-pairs AaB , BeC and AeB , BeC are inconclusive, as Aristotle
has shown before (2682-1 3 ), then AaB , B oC and AeB , B oC will be
inconclusive as well. A describes the premiss B oC as ' i ndeterminate'
98

COMMENTARY

h ere be cause i t will hold both if n o C is B and i f only some, but


no t all, Cs are not B, thus leaving it open whether some or no Cs
are B . Given that BoC holds whenever BeC holds, Aristotle could
have used the same counterexamples for the particular as for the
un iversal conclusions. However, he seems to have thought that his
e arlie r counterexamples covered only the cases of negative universal
pre m iss es, and so he introduces special counterexamples even in the
follow ing chapters before resorting to the proof 'from indeterminacy '
b
b
(cf. 5 , 2 7 1 6-2 3 ; 6, 2 8 22-3 1 , 29a2-6) .
26 b 20-1

'The proof will be similar' : Alexander (67 .26-3 0) n otes


that the pair AaB , BoC is already covered by the preceding proof, and
suggests a change in the text. But it is more likely that this is simply
an oversight by Aristotle.

26 b 21

' intervals' : here used for the premisses ; cf. 2 4b 1 6n .

26 b 29

' no syllogism ever comes about . . . ' . See note to 268 5-6.

26 b 3 1

'all kinds of theses ' . The word translated as ' thesis' is the
Greek 1Tp6{3A.711w (cf. English 'problem' ) , Aristotle's technical term
for the statements that one of the partners in a dialectical debate
would have to defend, the other to refute. For the translation ' the
sis' , see Aristotle's own remark at Top. 1 . 1 1, 1 04 b 3 4 6: 'by now
all dialectical problems (1Tpo{3A.,aTa) are called 'thesis' (8ats);
it should make no difference which word is used.' The problem or
thesis was introduced at the beginning of a dialectical debate by
a question, for example, 'does A belong to B or not?' (see Top.
1 . 4 , 1 0 1 b l 5 -3 1 , with Brunschwig's note, 1 967 , pp. 1 2off.). Here,
Aristotle tacitly replaces the four proposition-types of the Topics
(genus, definition, proprium, accident) by the four premiss-types of
his syllogistic . The four predicables now find a modest place in
heuristics, where Aristotle suggests that one should distinguish the
predicates that belong to a given subject according to the type of
predication involved (27, 43 b 6-8 ) .
-

99

PRIOR ANALYTICS

C HAPTER 5

Syllogisms in the second figure. Cesare, Camestres , Festino, an d


B aroco are val id. Cesare and Camestres are reduced to Celare nt
by conversion; Festino, also by conversion, to Ferio. The proof for
B aroco has to be given by reductio ad impossibile. Counterexam
ples are given for the inconclusive premiss-pairs as far as possi
ble; in a few cases the proof has to be based on indeterminacy.
No mood in this figure is perfect, and there are no affirmative
conclusions.
26 b 3 4-9

'I call this sort of figure the second' . Aristotle' s initi al


examples follow the pattern of the standard formula (e.g. 27 35-6), in
which the terms appear in the order middle, major, minor. Obviously,
the label s ' maj or' , ' middle' , and 'minor' are no longer linked to the
extensions of the terms . This has the somewhat paradoxical result
that the middle is said to be 'placed outside the extremes ' .
2782

' a syllogism will b e possible' . Aristotle seems t o think that


the validity of the second-figure moods, unlike that of the first
figure ones, is not immediately evident given the definitions of the
quantifying expressions, and so he offers deductions of their con
clusions from their premisses using only conversion or first-figure
syllogisms to demonstrate their validity. This procedure is called
'perfecting ' , or 'reducing ' a mood to another mood. (For the dif
ference between perfecting and reducing see n. to 7 , 29b l .) Thus,
for example, both Cesare and Camestres are reduced to Celarent.
Some commentators (see, e.g., Patzig, pp. 1 34-6) have suggested
that Aristotle thought perfecting consisted in the transformation of
an imperfect into a perfect mood, but the idea of transforming one
mood into another can hardly be applied to indirect proofs, as in
the case of B aroco (reduced to B arbara) . In fact, when Aristotle
does discuss transformations of moods from all three figures into
one another in chapter 45-he calls this 'analysis ' , not 'reduction' he explicitly notes that B aroco and B ocardo cannot be so analyzed
(5 1 a 40-b 2). What is perfected, then, is strictly speaking the obvious
ness of the logical necessity, not the syllogism, which is valid as it
stands.
T OO

C O M M E N TA R Y

278 5ff.

M , N , X . I n chapters 4-6 Aristotle uses different triples


of le tters to designate the terms in the different figures, perhaps for
mn emotechnic reasons (the Greek word for middle also begins with
an M) . But there does not seem to be a similar reason in the third
figure. From chapter 7 on Aristotle uses the letters A, B, C for terms
in all figures, adding D, E, etc . if needed to stand for additional
terms .
2788

'before' : 4, 25 b 4-26a2 (Celarent) .

278 10

'X will belong to no N' . One would expect Aristotle to


begin his proof with a statement of the demonstrandum as he usually
doe s (e.g., 27 a 3 2- 3 , 3 8-9, 2 7 b l below) . Many editors have changed
the text here to read 'N will belong to no X' , but the other version
appears i n almost all manuscripts and had obviously already been
read by Alexander (78 . 2 8-79 . 14), so the easier variant is probably
due to a later emendation. It seems quite likely that Aristotle first
thought of the interim conclusion XeN, since it is reached by exactly
the same steps that he had used in the previous proof. He adds
another step, converting XeN to NeX, to arrive at the standard form
of the conclusion, showing that he did not regard XeN as the ' real'
conclusion of Camestres. Obviously, XeN can also be derived from
the premisses of Cesare, and if Aristotle had recognized both forms
as conclusions, it would be hard to see why he should treat Cesare
and Camestres as different moods . They would then differ only i n
the order of their premisses (negative/positive and positive/negative),
and Aristotle normally (and rightly) takes the order to be irrelevant.
The distinction can be understood independently of the premiss order
if one assumes that the maj or term was expected to be the predi
cate of the conclusion, as in the preceding chapter (see 26a4-5 and
27 b 4-5).
278 14
' the same syllogism' : that is, a syllogism with the same
conclusion. Here as in many other places Aristotle uses the word
'syllogism' both for an entire argument and for its conclusion. His
special term for conclusion, av,1dp aa,a, appears only from chap
ter 8 onwards.

IOI

ICS
PRIOR ANALYT

i mpossible' : one of Aristotle's stan


proof (reductio d ml!ossibile) , in
expected conclus ion is mtroduced as
made only for the sake of the
a hy pothe s i s , that i s as an assumption
one of the premisses implie s
with
together
esis
h
t
o
p
y
h
The
t
.
umen
arg
the contra dictory of the other premiss, showing that the hypothe sis
is i n co mp atible with the premisses, so that its contradictory mus t
fol l ow (cf. 23, 4 P22-6; B 1 4, 62b 2 9-3 1 ) . Aristotle knew that the
validity of all the imperfect moods could be established by reductio
ad impossibile, but he evidently preferred direct deductions through
conversion . For some reasons, see An. Post. A 26.
reducti on c o the
27" 1 4- 1 5
o ns for indirec t
i
s
s
pre
x
e
u a rd
wh ic h the c o ntradi ctory of t h e
,

27320
' substance, animal , number' . This example requires the
strange premiss ' all numbers are substances' . As the ancient com
mentators point out, this premiss (as well as the similar one at 27 b 7 )
probably comes from the Pythagoreans or a Pythagoreanizing mem
ber of the Academy, and Aristotle would not have taken it to be
true. That is no reason, though, to replace the example by a 'better'
one-rather, it shows that Aristotle realized that all he needed was a
possible counterexample, that is, an interpretation that shows that the
premi sses are compatible with a proposition of the form NeX (here:
'no number is an animal ' ). Aristotle's examples are usually chosen
in such a way that all three propositions are not only compatible, but
also true, but this is not necessary for the purpose of his proof.
27326-32
. . . a privative particular syllogism' : that is, a syllogism
with a privative particular conclusion; cf. above, 273 1 4 .
'

27a37_h3 'Again, if M belongs t o all N . . . ' . The validity o f B aroco


is proved by reductio ad impossibile, since a direct deduction through
conversion is not possible . Aristotle apparently expects separate
proofs to be given for the two different versions of the second premiss
(either 'M does not belong to some X' or 'M does not belong to all
X ' ) , although he clearly takes them to be equivalent. He has cited
both versions several times before (e. g . , I , 2 4a r 9 ; 4, 26b4-5), and
in a similar passage at B I I , 623 9 - 1 0, he explicitly mentions the
equivalence: 'For if not to belong to some and not to belong to all
are the same, the same proof holds for both .' Perhaps the equivalence
did not seem obvious to some of his readers.

1 02

C O M M E N TA R Y

'there will be no syllogism ' . One could, of course, derive


27b 5
a con clusi on of the form XoN from the pair MoN, MaX; the proof
would be the same as for B aroco. But then the minor term would be
the predicate of the conclusion, and since XoN cannot be converted
10 NoX, Aristotle does not recognize this as a separate mood.
' one cannot find terms . . . ' . For this difficulty, and the
z7 b 1 6-23
b
proof 'from indeterminacy ' , see above, 4, 26 5 2 1 and n otes.
-

Aristotle l ists the combinations of two particular pre


27 b 36-9
misses so concisely that it is difficult to follow even his Greek. The
cases are: MiN, MiX and MoN, MoX; MiN, MoX and MoN, MiX
( omitting the quantifiers); MoN, MoX again, but in the other version
of the a-premisses, and pairs of two 'indeterminate' premisses, which
should be treated as particular according to 4, 26a28-30.
28a5-7
'by adding some things . . . ': cf. I, 24b 2 5-6 . This passage
amplifies the earl ier statement, in which Aristotle may have been
thinking only of proofs by conversion. Consequences of only one
of the premisses are ' necessarily inherent in the terms' or 'necessary
because of the terms laid down ' , so these lines can be added to a
deduction without introducing any new assumptions. In an indirect
proof, the contradictory of the expected conclusion is introduced as
a hypothesis o nly. Still, there is no conflict with the condition for
validity that ' no term (be) required from outside for the necessity to
come about' (24b 2 1 -2), since the hypothesis will obviously contain
the major and minor terms from the premisses. The proof shows that
the hypothesis must be false if the premisses are true, and hence that
the conclusion follows 'because these thi ngs are so' .
C H A PT E R 6

Syllogisms in the third figure. Darapti, Felapton, Disamis, Datisi,


Bocardo, and Ferison are valid. Darapti, Disamis, and Datisi are
reduced to Darii by conversion. Aristotle offers an alternative proof
for Darapti by ecthesis to illustrate the fact that all the proofs could
also be given by reductio ad impossibile or by ecthesis. Felapton and
1 03

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

Ferison are reduced to Feria by conversion ; Bocardo i s proved by


reductio ad impossibile.
Counterexamples are offered for inconclusive premiss-pairs ; in a
few cases , Aristotle has to resort again to the indeterminacy of the o
premiss. No mood in this figure is perfect, and there are no univers al
conclusions.

288 1 3
' The maj or extreme is the one that is farther from the mid
dle' : sc. farther away in the standard formula, which appears below,
line 1 8 : 'If both P and R belong to every S .' In this chapter, Aristotle
tends to change the premiss order quite often, so that it is helpful to
remember that the alphabetical order P, R, S corresponds to the order
in the standard formula (maj or, minor, middle) .

288 23-6

'by setting out' . For the first time, Aristotle explicitly


introduces his method of ecthesis (setting out, sc. of terms) , though
he may have used it already in chapter 2 (see note to 25a r 4-1 7). As a
matter of fact, all of his syllogistic could be based on ecthesis alone
(see Smith 1 983), but Ari stotle mostly uses it only as an alternative
to conversion or reductio ad impossibile. As Alexander points out,
in the case of Darapti at least one should assume that the term 'set
out' in the ecthetic proof stands for the name of an individual, for
otherwise the proof would be identical with the demonstrandum.

'in the same way ' : sc. as the first proof given for Darapti (11 .
1 9-22 above).

28828

28b 4

'the reverse' : that is, if the maj or premiss is affirmative, the


minor negative. Aristotle does not consider the option of a conclusion
in the form RoP (see n. to 5, 27 b 4-5) .
28b5-1 5
Disamis and Datisi. For the distinction between these
two moods, see note to 5 , 27a 1 0 (Cesare and Camestres). The proofs
by ecthesis would be similar to the one given for Darapti : let N be an

1 04

COMMENTARY

to wh ich P belongs; then R will belong to N as well, s o PiR must


be tru e (D isamis).

:.z 8 b:.zo ' without the reduction to the impossible' . Aristotle's remark
seems to indicate that he might prefer a direct deduction; and indeed
at An. Pos t. A 26 (873 1 -30 ), he argues that a direct proof is better than
an indirect one for epistemological reasons. But there he is talking
about proofs for a specific thesis, not proofs of validity. Another
reason why Aristotle might have been interested in showing that
all syl logistic moods can be shown to be valid by direct deductions
appears in chapter 23, where he describes all arguments in the syl
logistic moods as ' ostensive' as opposed to 'hypothetical' , while
reductio-arguments are classified as 'hypothetical' . If the conclusions
of Baroco (second figure) and Bocardo could be deduced from their
premisses only by reduction ad impossibile, then arguments in these
moods would presumably have to be considered as 'hypothetical' .
On this point, see Striker ( 1 979: 44-7) .
:.z8 b 27 'but i t was assumed that i t belonged to none' . As Alexander
notes ( r n5 .8-1 5), Aristotle has not assumed before that P belongs
to no R. Rather, he has argued that the given premiss PaS together
with RiS implies PiR (by Datisi), which contradicts PeR. Thi s is,
of course, sufficient to show that one cannot find terms that will
make PaS , RoS , and RiS true together with PeR. However, this is
the only case in chapters 5 and 6 in which Aristotle proceeds in
this way. In the similar passages 5 , 27 b 1 6- 1 9 and 298 3-6 below, he
assumes the relevant universal premiss as a hypothesis and shows
that it together with the additional particular premiss implies the
contradictory of one of the given premisses . So in this case one might
have expected him to argue that PeR together with RiS implies PoS ,
which contradicts PaS . Aristotle may have associated this kind of
argument with his standard version of reductio ad impossibile, which
usually ends with the clause 'but it was assumed that . . ' . What he
should have said here would be, for example, 'therefore, PeR cannot
be true' .
.

'by adding some things ' . See notes to I , 24b 2 2-6 and 5,
2885-7 . The additional lines introduced in an ecthetic proof can be

298 16

1 05

ICS
P R I O R A N A LYT

f the terms laid down ' , since the new


seen a s ' nec essary becau se o
l member or a sub-class of one of
ndividua
i
n
a
for
tands
s
ways
al
letter
t h e given terms . For example , if both PaS and Ra are true, then any
g i ve n S will be such that both P and R are true of 1t. So the new letter

N do es

not add ' a term from outside' in the sense of introdu cing
independent assumption.

l o gi c al ly

C H APTER 7

Some of the premiss-pairs that had been declared inconclusive in the


preceding chapters ad mit of a conclusion in which the minor term
is predicated of the major. This holds only in those cases where a
universal negative premiss is combined with an affirmative premiss ;
pairs of two negative or two affirmative premisses remain inconclu
sive.
All imperfect moods can be perfected through the perfect moods
of the first figure: in direct proofs by conversion, one or more steps of
conversion will l ead to a first-figure syllogism ; in i ndirect proofs, the
additional assumption figures as a premiss in a first figure syllogism .
It is also possible to reduce all other moods to the two universal
ones of the first figure. This is proved in three steps :
-

( I ) all sec ond figure moods can be reduced to Barbara or Celarent;


(2) the first-figure moods with particular conclusions can be
reduced to second-figure moods, which are in turn reducible
to B arbara or Celarent;
( 3 ) third-figure moods with two universal premisses can be reduced
to Barbara or Celarent (by reductio ad impossibile); those with
one particular premiss can be reduced to the particular moods
of the first figure, which are in turn reducible to B arbara or
Celarent.
-

This concludes the discussion of assertoric syllogisms .


293 1 9-23
'It is also clear . . . ' . This sentence appears to continue
the summary of results from the last chapter. But the sequel is rather
unexpected and looks more like an appendix than a continuation of
the preceding discussion, as is also shown by the paradoxical state
ment 'in those cases where no syllogis m comes about . . . a syllogism
1 06

CO M M E N T A R Y

always comes about . . . ' (22-3 ). In chapters 4-6 Aristotle had con
si d ered only conclusions with the maj or term as predicate. If he
h ad also c onsidered the possibility of conclusions with the reverse
order of te rms, the list of moods would no doubt have looked dif
ferent (see n. to 5, 27" 1 0) . Another indication that this paragraph
presents reflections that cannot simply be read off from the preceding
chapters is the correct but unargued remark that pairs of two nega
tive or positive premisses that were found inconclusive before will
remain so.
' For if the premisses are converted . . .' . The two first
2932 3-6
figure examples Aristotle mentions here are the only ones that cannot
be regarded as instances of previously introduced moods with a
different premiss order. Alexander ( 70. I ff and 1 1 0. 1 2-22) reports
that Theophrastus added them to Aristotle's list, together with three
others that result from converting the conclusion (see B I , 53 a 3-I 2),
as ' i mperfect' moods of the first figure. In the later tradition they
appear either as moods of the ' indirect' first figure or as moods of the
fourth figure. (On these developments, see Rose 1 968 : eh. VII and
app . IV; Ebert 1 980). It is not clear whether Aristotle mentions these
cases precisely because they add new moods .
Alexander raises the question why Aristotle does not point out that
a conclusion of the form CoA can also be derived from the premiss
pairs B oA, B aC (second figure) and AaB , CoB (third figure)
Baroco and B ocardo with reversed order of premisses-which have
a positive universal premiss. The proofs in these cases would have
to be indirect, so perhaps this paragraph considers only proofs by
conversion . (See Ebert r 980.)
:z 9 3 30-9
' all imperfect syllogisms are perfected through the first
figure' . As the following explanation shows, this means that all syl
logistic steps in the proofs of chapters 5 and 6 are in one of the fi rst
figure moods. This result can indeed be gleaned from a reading of
the text, but Aristotle's example-an indirect proof for Darapti-had
not been given before. The deductions in chapters 5 and 6 obviou sly
include not only syllogistic inferences, but also applications of the
rules of conversion and reductio ad impossibile or ecthesis. So Aris
totle' s thesis cannot be taken to mean that all syllogistic conclusions
could be derived through the moods of the first figure alone. His point

1 07

PRIOR A NALYTICS

seems t o be, rather, that those four are the only syllogistic moods
that have to be accepted as valid in order to derive conclusions in al l
three figures . It follows that general discussions about the derivability
of arbitrarily chosen syllogistic theses could in principle be limited
to these or-as the next theorem shows-to the moods B arbara and
Celarent alone.
29 8 3 1
' ostensively ' : Greek bELKTLKWS, literally, 'showing (or
proving) something ' . Aristotle nowhere defi nes this expression . Here
and in a few other places (29, 45a 26, b 8 , b 1 4 ; B 1 4, 62 b 29, b 39) it is
used in contrast to 'through the impossible' and seems to indicate the
distinction between direct and indirect proofs . However, chapter 2 3
contrasts 'ostensive' arguments with arguments 'from a hypothesis ' ,
and this last group includes not only reductio ad impossibile, but al so
certain direct deductive arguments (see chapter 44) .
29 8 32
'brought to a conclusion' : Greek 7TEpa{vovTai, a verb that
is cognate with Aristotle's special term for 'conclusion ' . He uses it
as here-of arguments, but also of propositions that are deduced as
conclusions (e.g. 26, 42b 30; 32, 47 b rn, 1 3) . In this case he evidently
refers to the deductions in chapters 5 and 6 that lead to their conclu
sions using only previously accepted steps.
:z9 b 1-25
In this paragraph Aristotle goes beyond the results
reached so far and proves a theorem that would today be seen as
belonging to logical theory. Chapter 23 continues in the same vein
and begins with a reminder of the theorem proved here, which sug
gests that the chapters on modal syllogistic (8-22) were inserted at
a later time, though doubtlessly by Aristotle himself. For a modern
reader it is almost inevitable to see the reduction of all other syllogis
tic moods to Barbara and Celarent as an attempt at axiomatization,
and of course there are axiomatic models of syllogistic that use only
those moods among their axioms . Still, it is not likely that Aristotle,
who had no theory of propositional logic, would have considered
any syllogistic mood as an axiom-that is, a single proposition
in the sense of the theory of science he develops in the Posterior
Analytics. The close connection between thi s chapter and chapter
23 suggests, rather, that he discovered the theorems presented here
I 08

C O M YI E N T A R Y

in the c ontext o f the thesis h e tries to prove i n chapter 2 3, namely


that all valid deductive arguments can in principle be represented as
syllogisms or chains of syllogisms in the strict sense . Though the
argument given in chapter 23 can be read as a completeness proof for
(assertoric) syllogistic in the modern sense of completeness (showing
that all simple syllogistic propositions can be proved by deductions
in one o f the figures) , what Aristotle has in mind is a larger claim
th at he actually cannot establish (see nn. to eh. 23). The theorems he
proves or attempts to prove in both these chapters are used in some
proof-theoretical arguments in An. Post. I that seem to be primarily
concerned with epistemological questions (see Smith r 98 2b). So the
undeniable fact that Aristotle deals with problems of logical theory
will not suffice to show that he must have considered his syllogistic
as an axiomatized science.
'But one can also reduce all syllogisms . . .' . The word ' also'
29b 1
indicates that the statement that all imperfect moods can be perfected
through the first figure entails that all imperfect moods can also be
reduced to those of the first figure. Hence it is tempting to treat the
verb 'to reduce' (dvaye-iv, literally, 'to lead back' ) as a synonym of
'to perfect' , as was indeed done from the ancient commentators on.
Yet this assumption turns out to be unwarranted, as the following
paragraph shows: there are cases of reduction of a mood to another
mood that are not cases of perfection-as in the reduction of the first
figure moods Darii and Ferio, which are already perfect, to second
figure moods . And if ecthetic proofs of validity count as cases of
perfecting, then perfecting will also be possible without reduction to
the first figure.
Hence there is also no reason to think, with some ancient commen
tators, that the two universal moods B arbara and Celarent are in s ome
sense more perfect than Darii and Ferio (see, e.g . , Al. Aphr. I I 3 . 712). What Aristotle goes on to prove is that the two moods Barbara
and Celarent are sufficient to prove the validity of all other m oods,
not that they are the only ones that can be seen to be valid without the
need of filling in deductive steps between premisses and conclusion.
In this chapter, the verb ' to reduce' is used in the sense of 'to justify'
or 'to validate'-by showing that the validity of a given mood can
be ' led back' to the validity of another mood already known to be
valid. This sense of 'to reduce' should not be confused with the
! 09

PRIOR ANALYTICS

different sense that appears in chapters 32-45 , where the verb i s u se d


as a synonym of 'to analyze' (dvaAuEiv). A given argument is there
said to be ' analyzed' into a syllogistic mood if it can be formu late d
as a syllogism in the relevant mood . This is a matter of canon ic al
language, not of proving validity, and an indirect reduction i s clearly
not a reformulation of the mood that is proved valid.
For the relations between perfection and reduction, see Striker
( 1 996).
29 b 5
'through reduction to the impossible' . The phrase translated
here and elsewhere as ' reduction to the impossible' (or 'reducing to
the impossible ' ) actually contains a Greek verb that literally means
'leading away ' , not ' leading back' , and is different from the one used
for the reduction of one syllogistic mood to another. I have used
the same English verb for both cases to preserve the standard Latin
phrase reductio ad impossibile.
29b 20-4 'right away ' : that is, without prior reduction to particular
moods of the first and then to universal moods of the second figure.
The moods Darapti and Felapton had been proved by conversion in
chapter 6, leading to Darii and Ferio respectively; in indirect proofs
one would use syllogisms in Celarent and B arbara.
If the manuscript text of this passage is correct, Aristotle has been
negligent here: of the four remaining moods with one particular
premiss, B ocardo was in fact proved indirectly with a syllogism
in B arbara, and Disamis can be similarly reduced to Celarent, so
the only moods for which the detour via particular moods of the
first figure is needed are Datisi and Ferison (see Al. Aphr. I 1 6.361 1 7 . 2 5 ) . Weidemann (2004) suggests the i ngenious emendation of
inserting the word ' minor' (EAaTTovwv) before 'terms' , so that the
translation would be: ' when the <minor> terms are universal; and
when those are taken as particular . . . ' . This would make Aristotle's
statement correct. However, since Alexander had already read the text
as we now have it, the oversight may well be Aristotle's own. After
all , the main point of his proof is the reduction of the particular moods
in the first figure to the universal ones ; once this has been shown, it
is clear that any mood that was proved with the help of Darii or Ferio
could also be proved via Barbara or Cclarent.
I JO

CO M M E N T A R Y

' syllogisms that prove something to belong or not to


2 9b z 8
bel ong' : Aristotle's standard expression for syllogisms with non
mo dal premisses, that is, what are now called assertoric syllogisms .
C H APTER 8

Syllogisms with necessary premisses and conclusion . This case does


not need to be treated in detail, since the valid moods are the same
as in assertoric syllogistic. The validity of all moods except B aroco
(second) and B ocardo (third) can be proved by conversion; for the
exceptions Aristotle sketches a proof by ecthesis .

' S ince belonging is different from belonging of neces


2 9 b 29-35
sity . . . ' . These introductory remarks show that Aristotle regarded the
m odalities as qualifications of the way in which one thing belongs
to another. Different commentators have taken this as evidence that
modal premisses must be understood de dicta (Kneale and Kneale
1 962) or de re (Patterson 1 995)-but it seems clear not only that
Aristotle himself did not draw this distinction, but also that he does
not adopt either of these options consistently.
Since things may belong in one way but not in another, syllogisms
with modal conclusions will require premisses in which the kind
of belonging is specified. What Aristotle says here might suggest
that the premisses must have the same modality as the conclusion,
but in the following chapters he often considers cases of mixed
modalities in which at most one premiss has the same modality as
the conclusion . Furthermore, he presumably accepted the rule that
a proposition with a stronger modality entails the corresponding
weaker proposition: for example, if A belongs to B of necessity, then
A also actually belongs to B (see note to 30" 1 5-1 6).
29 b 36-30"3
'much the same' . Aristotle's claim that the s ame
moods will be valid with pure necessity-premisses as in assertoric
syllogistic is explicitly supported here by the theses
(i) that the conversion rules for N-premisses are the same as for
assertoric ones; and
lII

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

(ii) that the validity o f the first-figure syllogisms is just a s evident


when the premisses are necessary, once one has understood
the meaning of 'predicated of all' .
He obviously also assumes
(iii) that only the moods shown to be valid before will be valid for
necessary premisses also.
This last assumption is abandoned after chapter 1 3 , where Aristotle
introduces special conversion rules for contingent premisses.
For (i), Aristotle mentions only the conversion of ' the privative
premiss' , that is , the universal negative proposition . This may be
simple negligence, since he had also argued in chapter 3 (25a27-36)
that the affirmative premisses convert in the same way ; but it may
also indicate that he is referring to chapter 2, where the proofs for the
conversion of affirmative premisses were based on e-conversion.
(ii) is problematic because the definition of 'predicated of all/none'
(24b 26-30) is open to two different interpretations in the case of
modal propositions. That A is necessarily predicated of every B may
mean either
(a) that it is necessary that no B can be found of which A will not
be said (de dicta); or
(b) that no B can be found such that A is not necessarily said of it
(de re) .
For the de dicta-interpretation, no new definition would seem to
be needed, but chapter 9 seems to show that Aristotle is using a
de re-interpretation. However, if one assumes that anything that is
necessarily B will also be actually or simply B, it seems obvious
that a proposition of the form NAaB implies NAaNB , and hence the
moods B arbara and Celarent with necessary premisses could be seen
as perfect in the same sense as their assertoric counterparts (on this
point, see Becker, pp. 3 2-3 ; Patzig, pp. 6 1 -7) .
' the conclusion will b e shown to b e necessary ' . Again, the
3oa5
introduction of a modal expression leads to ambiguity. Aristotle may
mean either that the conclusion will follow necessarily from the
premisses, or that the conclusion will be shown to be a necessary
proposition . B oth are probably intended, and both are correct.
1 12

COMMENTARY

3086-14 B aroco (second) and Bocardo (third) cannot be proved by


conversio n, and in chapters 5 and 6 both were proved by reductio ad
b
impo ssibile (27a36ff. , 2 8 1 6ff.) . The proofs Aristotle outlines here,
ecthesis,
and he does not even consider indirect
er,
are
by
howev
proofs . The older commentators explain this by pointing out that
Aristotle avoids reductio because the contradictories of necessary
premisses would have to be possibility-propositions, so that he would
have to anticipate the results from later chapters. (According to
Alexander ( 1 23 . 1 8-24), Theophrastus simply postponed the proof in
his own treatise on modal syllogisms . ) However, this did not prevent
Aristotle from using indirect proofs in chapter 3 . Given that he also
uses ecthesis in chapter 2 to prove the validity of e-conversion, this
might be another indication that chapter 3 was inserted only after the
chapters on modal syllogisms had been completed.
Aristotle does not spell out the proofs for either B aroco or
Bocardo, and as before, his language does not indicate whether the
term to be ' set out' is singular or general . But his description will
fit much better if one assumes that ecthesis uses a singular term, and
that he sketches only the proof for B aroco, leaving the parallel proof
for Bocardo to the reader.
The proof for BarocoNNN would be as follows:
( 1 ) BaNA premiss
(2) BoNC premiss

(3) BeNc ecthesis : c is one of the Cs to which B does not belong


(4) AeNc ( 1 ), (3), Camestres
(5) AoNC (4) : c was one of the Cs
As Aristotle says, the term 'set out' is one to which neither of the
other terms belongs, the syllogistic mood used is in the second figure,
and the syllogi stic conclusion (4) contains c .
The proof fo r BocardoNNN would look like this :
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)

AoNB
CaNB
AeNb
AoN C

premiss
premiss
ecthesis: b is one of the Bs to which A does not belong
(2), (3), Felapton

Again the syllogistic step is in the third figure, but the conclusion
does not contain the term ' set out' , and only one of the other terms
does not belong to it. However, if one takes the term ' set out' to be
1 13

P R I O R A N ALY T I C S

general , the proofs would presumably contain two syllogisms each,


only one of which would be in the same figure as the mood to be
proved (see Patzig, pp . 1 66-7; Thom 1 993).

308 1 2

'precisely such a thing' : Greek oTrep EKE"ivo T L , a phrase


Aristotle uses to indicate that a thing is exactly or essentially what it
is said to be. What he is saying here is that if the conclusion holds for
c, it must also hold for some C, since c is one of the Cs.
CHAPTER 9

Syllogisms with one necessary and one assertoric premiss in the first
figure. The conclusion will be a necessary proposition only if the
maj or premiss is necessary. The syllogisms in the four valid moods
(BarbaraNXN, CelarentNXN, DariiNXN, FerioNXN) are perfect.
Aristotle then shows that no necessary conclusion can be derived in
the four remaining cases.
Aristotle's thesis in this chapter seems to have been controver
sial from the very beginning: Alexander reports that Aristotle's own
colleagues had already debated the question why Aristotle thought
that the four allegedly perfect moods have a necessary conclusion .
Unfortunately, Alexander's own treatise on this dispute (mentioned
at 1 25 . 30- 1 ; 1 27 . 1 5- 1 6) has been lost, but in his commentary to
this passage he informs us that Theophrastus and Eudemus rej ected
Aristotle's thesis and declared that the conclusion of a syllogism
could never have a modality stronger than the weaker premiss (where
N is ' stronger' than X, and X ' stronger' than P because Np implies p
and p implies Pp, but not vice versa).
As one might expect, Aristotle's commentators have tried to
defend their master against Theophrastus' and Eudemus' objections.
But so far, no proposed solution has succeeded in meeting the condi
tions
(i) of explaining why Aristotle thought that precisely the four
moods he declares val id in this chapter should be evidently
valid, and
(ii) of offering principles that would show the validity of all and
only the moods accepted as valid in the following chapters.
1 14

COMMENTARY

M cCall ' s model, for instance, aims t o meet condition (ii ) , but at the
p rice of introducing a number of intuitively implausible asssump
ti on s that cannot be found in Aristotle's text (see Hintikka 1 9 7 3 :
eh . vii) .
To m y mind, the most appealing explanation remains Becker's,
who was the first to suggest that Aristotle presupposes a de re
interpretation of N-propositions in this chapter. On this interpretation,
the moods accepted as valid turn into cases of first-figure syllo
gisms with modal ized major terms, while the rej ected moods remain
invalid. The drawback is, however, that the conversion rules Aris
totle employs in his proofs are dubious on the de re-interpretation.
But if one adopts a de dicta-interpretation (as Theophrastus prob
ably did), none of the moods Aristotle recognizes here will be
valid.
Given th is situation, one can hardly avoid the conclusion that
the system of modal syllogisms as it stands is logically incoherent.
Whether Aristotle accepts or rejects a given mood depends on the
methods he adopts, and those are taken over as far as possible from
assertoric syllogistic. B ut, as Alexander already realized, the results
should be different i f those methods had been applied consistently
throughout.
It has also been claimed that the theory of ' mixed' modal syl
logisms Aristotle presents here conflicts with chapters A 4 and A
6 of the Posterior Analytics, where Aristotle insists that both the
premisses and the conclusions of scientific demonstrations must be
necessary. Indeed, in two passages (A 4, 7 382 1 -4 ; A 6, 74b 1 3- 1 5)
he seems to i nfer the necessity of the premisses from the necessity of
the conclusion . However, An. Post. A 6 also contains other arguments
that can be taken to indicate that necessary premisses are required
only for scientific demonstrations, not for syllogisms with necessary
conclusions in general . Scientific demonstration has to meet condi
tions that are more demanding than those for mere modal syllogisms:
according to the theory of the Posterior Analytics, scientific knowl
edge can be achieved only if the premisses of demonstrations are
known. It follows that these premisses must be necessary ; it does
not follow, though, that necessary propositions can be derived only
from necessary premisses, since the conclusion of a syllogism might
be necessary but not known in the strict sense. In An. Post. A 1 3,
Aristotle shows that even if a formally val id argument has been given
I I5

PRIOR ANALYTICS

scie ntific truth, i t m ight not count a s a demons tration becau se


m iddle term does not state ' the cause' (that is, the premi sses do
not e x p l ain the conclusion). The fact that Aristotle recogni zes the
validity of syllogisms with modally mixed premisses and necessary
conclusion does not show that he would accept such syllogisms as
scientific demonstrations, so there need not be a conflict between the
two treatises on this point.

fo r

the

308 1 6

'that a syllogism leads to a necessary conclusion' . The ques


tion Aristotle investigates in this and the two following chapters is in
which cases a necessary proposition will follow from one necessary
and one assertoric premiss-not, as is sometimes assumed, whether
such premiss-pairs do or do not imply a conclusion. As before, Aris
totle considers only the moods that are valid in assertoric syllogistic.
This determines the kind of proposition that will be the conclusion in
each case; the question then is whether this conclusion is a necessary
proposition or not. Aristotle takes it for granted that an assertoric
conclus ion will follow in any case (cf. I O, 3 o b 3 1 -8), which is indeed
obvious given that a necessary premiss entails the corresponding
assertoric one. (Wieland 1 966 has argued that Aristotle does not
accept this rule, but his arguments are unconvincing; see Nortmann
1 990). This is why he refers to the conclusion even i n his arguments
against the validity of certain moods.
30 9 2 2

'it is evident . . . ' . BarbaraNXN and CelarentNXN are evi


dently valid and therefore perfect moods. This means that their valid
ity can be seen simply by reflecting on the meaning of ' said of
all/none of necessity ' , since Aristotle has just said that the defini
tion of thi s expression would be analogous to that of the assertoric
version.
Theophrastus and Eudemus offered a number of counterexamples
to show that B arbaraNXN cannot be valid (Al . Aphr. 1 24.2 1 - 1 2 5 .2).
The first of these uses precisely the terms that Aristotle introduces to
show the invalidity of B arbara XNN:
Animal necessarily belongs to all men [AaNB ] ;
let man belong to every moving thing [BaC] :
still, animal does not necessarily belong to all moving things .
1 16

C O M M E N TA R Y

Alexan der reports various attempts to invalidate the counterexample.


He him self seems to favor the solution of giving an indirect proof
for B arbara NXN using B ocardo PXP-a mood that he claims was
reco gnized as val id by Aristotle's colleagues ( 1 27.3- 1 4) . If this is
correct, the argument would work at least ad hominem, but apart
from that B ocardoPXP is open to the same kind of counterexamples
as B arbaraNXN. However, if one adopts the de re-interpretation
for N-propositions, the mood comes out valid, since the conclu
sion would say, not that it is necessary for all moving things to be
animals, but that all moving things are such as to be necessarily
animal s.
30 3 23-8

Rejection of B arbaraXNN. Aristotle first points out that


necessary conclusion did follow, this conclusion together with
the second premiss would imply that A necessarily belongs to some
B (by Darii or Darapti). This implication would go beyond the given
as sum ptions, since the original premisses are compatible with AerB,
the contradictory of AiN B .
if a

30 3 27

'But this is false' . AiNB need not be false if the premis ses
are true, but it does not follow from the premisses. What is false, then,
is only the assumption that a necessary conclusion follows. For the
use of 'this is false' in the sense of 'this does not follow ' , compare,
for example, 1 7 , 373 2 , and the use of 'fal se but not impossible' in 1 5 ,
34325ff.

30 3 28-32

'it is also clear from the terms . . .' . Aristotle gives only
one set of terms, because his point is not that the premiss-pair is
inconclusive, but only that the conclusion is not necessary. The terms
can be used to construct a counterexample to BarbaraXNN:
all men are necessarily animals [BaNC]
but not every animal is necessarily moving [i.e. AaB but not AaNB]
nor i s every man necessarily moving [ (AaNC) ]

Aristotle's way of stating the counterexample is a little confusing


because he uses the same form of words to say that the assertoric
premiss is not necessary and to state the contradictory of the (alleged)
necessary conclusion. What has to be shown is that AaB (motion
l l7

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

necessarily belongs t o all me n)


be l ongs t o a l l me n ) and B aNC (anima
.
does not necessari ly belo ng
(motion
)
C
(AaN
"'
h
t
i
w
le
compatib
are
to all m e n ) . Aristot le does not mark the distinction between say in g

not asserted (as in the case of AaB )


of a necessary proposition (as in the
case of the conclusion). Both are expressed by 'is not necessarily . . .
neces s ary proposition is
and assert i n g the contradictory

that a

' .

3oa40

'C is under B ' . For this expression, see note to 26a 2 1 -3 .

'the demonstration will be the same' . In this case, the


3o b 2
'demonstration ' seems to consist simply in pointing out that C is
'one of the B s ' (or ' under B ' ) , as above at 303 2 2 (cf. 1 4 , 33a27
and 1 5 , 35335). But to call this a demonstration certainly invites the
thought that some rule is being used to derive the conclusion from the
premisses. Passages like this make it understandable that the dictum
de omni et nullo (that is, the definition of ' to be predicated of all ' and
' to be predicated of none' in I , 24b 28-30) was later held to be the
fundamental principle of syllogistic.
3o b 4
'nothing impossible comes about . . . ' . This passage has
caused unnecessary difficulties among Aristotle's commentators (see
Ross, ad loc.). It is simply a reference back to 30328-32 , where
Aristotle proved the invalidity of Barbara XNN by showing that the
premisses are compatible with the contradictory of the necessary
version of the conclusion . This phrase shows that Aristotle saw his
method of counterexamples-quite correctly-as based on the prin
ciple of reductio ad impossibile : if a necessary proposition followed,
its contradictory would have to be incompatible with the premisses;
but, as the term-example shows , it is not: if motion belongs to
all animals (AaB) and animal necessarily belongs to some white
things (BiNC), it is still not necessary for some white things to be
moving-that is, it is possible for no white thing to be moving,
though, given the premisses, it will be true that some white things are
moving.
Alexander explains the necessity of the second premiss by refer
ence to swans as white things that are necessarily animal s . For this
example, which seems to be one of Aristotle's favorites, see also
notes to 1 0, 3ob 3 3-5 , and 1 6, 36b 8- 1 8 .
I I8

C O M M E N TA R Y

CHAPTER

10

Syllo gis ms with one necessary and one assertoric premiss i n the
second figure. Only the moods CesareNXN, CamestresXNN, and
fes tinoNXN admit of a necessary conclusion . They are reduced
to CelarentNXN and FerioNXN by ewconversion. The remaining
mo ods are shown not to have a necessary conclusion-first by
reducti on to the corresponding moods in the first figure, then by the
meth ods used in the preceding chapter. Aristotle points out the dif
ference between the simple necessity of necessary propositions and
the con ditional necessity of conclusions.
The proofs for the accepted moods in this chapter are modeled on
th ose given in 5, 27a5- 1 4 and 3 2-6 . They are open to the same kind
of counterexample as those in the first figure. Philoponus ( 1 3 3 . 2 830) even offers a recipe for finding counterexamples : choose two
terms that exclude one another and make one of them the major,
the other the middle term; the minor should be a term compatible
with both of the others. An example would be: healthy, ill, man . In
these cases it will not help to resort to the de re-interpretation, since
none of the accepted moods would be valid. (A counterexample to
Camestres XNN: all philosophers are males, it is not possible for any
woman to be male; therefore: it is not possible for any woman to
be a philosopher.) The reason is, of course, that the proofs use ew
conversion, which is not valid for de re-propositions.
Alexander ( 1 44.3 2-1 45 .4) points out that the rejected mood B aro
coXNN could be proved to be valid by the method of ecthesis used in
chapter 8 (3oa 9- 1 4) : given premisses of the form AaB , AoNC, one
could ' set out' a C such that A necessarily does not belong to it
(AeNc). Then BeNc follows (by CamestresXNN-Alexander's own
proof is more compl icated), which means that BoNC must be true.
Alexander is right-and in this way one could, for example, also
prove the validity of B arbaraXNN and DariiXNN. But it appears that
Aristotle si mply took over the proofs by conversion from chapter 5
without considering other methods.
3oh 7-9

' let the privative premiss be necessary . . . ' . Aristotle is


obviously thinking only of universal premisses, since B arocoXNN
is rejected (3 1 a 1 5 - 1 7).
1 19

PRIOR AKALYTICS

3o b 18-24
'When the positive premiss is necessary ' . Ari stotle
discusses only the case of CamestresNXN, but since Cesare and
Camestres differ only in their premiss order and both are reduced
to Celarent, his argument covers CesareXNN as wel l .
3o b 24-3 1 This argument corresponds to 30" 25-8 i n the preceding
chapter: if a necessary conclusion were implied, one could deduce a
further proposition whose contradictory is compatible with the pre
misses ; so no necessary conclusion can follow. The example is more
complicated than the previous one because the second conclusion is
derived by two steps of conversion ; the deduction runs as follows :
(I)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)

AaN B
AeC
B eN C
CeN B
BiNA
CoNA

premiss
premiss
hypothesis
(3), eN-conversion
( I ), a,v -conversion
(4), (5), FerioNNN

However, the premisses are compatible with CapA, the contradictory


of (6), so B eNC cannot follow.
Actually, line (4) is superfluous-Aristotle may have overlooked
the fact that (6) can be deduced from (3) and (5) by FestinoNNN.
3ob 31-3 'necessary only when these things are so ' . Aristotle intro
duces a distinction between the conditional necessity of a conclusion
once the premisses are given and the simple or unqualified neces
sity of a proposition that expresses a necessary truth. He may have
noticed that his own phrase ' the conclusion will not be necessary '
could easily be misunderstood to mean that no conclusion follows
(compare the similar phrase 'nothing necessary comes about' above,
29a2 1 ). Aristotle's distinction invites comparison with the medieval
one between necessitas conse q uentiae and necessitas conse q uentis
the necessity of the implication and the necessity of the implied
proposition . Assuming that this is intended, Patzig critici zes Aristotle
for his confusing way of stating it. Hi s language suggests that what is
necessary in both cases is the conclusion, but in different ways-once
because it expresses a necessary truth, once because it follows from
the premisses. But syllogistic necessity can be understood as the log
ical necessity of a conditional : premisses p 1 , p2 imply a conclusion q
1 20

CO M M E N TA R Y

'
if an d only if the proposition 'p1 & p2 ::::> q is logically true, and this
is not a 'conditional ' kind of necessity.
However, Aristotle nowhere recognizes propositionally complex
proposi tions as a kind distinct from categorical ones, and what he
has in mind in this passage is probably best understood i n the light of
what he says about 'hypothetical' necessity in Phys. 2.9 (200" 1 5 3 0 ).
There he compares the necessity of the conclusion once the premisses
have been given with the conditional or ' hypothetical ' necessity of
appropriate materials, given that a certain product comes to be. If
there is to be a house, there must be materials such as stones, wood,
or bricks . If the materials are not available, neither is the product; but
it is not the case that if the materials are present, so is the product.
Similarly, if the conclusion is not true, the premisses cannot both be
true, but the conclusion may be true even if the premisses are false (as
Aristotle shows at great length in B 2-4) . The analogy is unintuitive,
since one would probably see the conclusion as the 'product' of the
premisses (as Aristotle himself does at Phys. 2 . 3 , 1 95a 1 8- 1 9) rather
than the other way around, but the relations are indeed similar. In
both cases one might say that what is hypothetically necessary is a
necessary condition of something else-the materials for the house,
the conclusion for the premisses . But, of course, the relation between
premisses and conclusion is logical, while the relation between prod
ucts and materials is (at best) factual .
-

'For example' . The terms produce the premisses 'animal


3o h 33-5
necessarily belongs to all men' and ' animal belongs to no white
thing' . The ancient commentators complain that the second premiss
cannot be true-there are animals that are necessarily white (presum
ably swans). As if to anticipate this obj ection, Aristotle explicitly
states that it is, after all, possible for animal to belong to no white
thing. He may have been thinking of a de re-proposition in the first
case, of a de dicta-proposition in this one: the two propositions are
compatible if the first is taken to mean that some white things are
necessarily animals, but not that it is necessary for there to be white
things that are animals. If this is the point of Aristotle's remark,
it is somewhat surprising that he was not troubled by the apparent
compatibility of two propositions-AiNC and AepC-that should be
contradictories in his system. (But see his comment on the example
below. )
121

P R I O R A N A LYTICS

3o b 37-8 'though not a s long a s animal belongs to n o white thing' .


Aristotle is using the notion of conditional impossibility that cor
responds to the conditional necessity he has just introduced. If the
conclusion is necessary given the premisses, then its contradictory
is impossible given the premisses, but this does not mean that the
contradictory could not be possible taken by itself. In the example
the contradictory of BeC (man belongs to no white thing) is possible,
hence BirC is true (a man may come to be white), and also compat
ible with the premisses. This shows that the conclusion cannot be a
necessary proposition, even though BiC cannot be true at the same
time as the premisses .
31 3 1-5
'the particular syllogisms ' . Aristotle's list omits the mood
FestinoXNN, but it seems clear that he would consider it as invalid,
since he could argue as above (3ob 1 8-20) that its premisses are
equivalent to those of the rej ected mood FerioXNN.
31a4
' when the positive premiss is universal' . Aristotle obviously
means 'universal and necessary' ; see line 1 I below.
31 3 13
' it is clear that B will not belong to some C' . This is
clear because the corresponding assertoric mood is valid, so that an
assertoric conclusion follows in any case.
3 1 8 1 4-17 ' the same terms' . The claim that BarocoNXN and Baro
coXNN can be shown to be invalid by using the same terms (sc. as
for CamestresNXN above) creates some difficulties. We can hardly
assume that the terms would be used in the same order, for then
the same premisses would have to be necessary in one example,
assertoric in the other. Since the difference between necessary and
assertoric propositions is crucial here, the counterexamples would
not be acceptable. Alexander even claims ( 1 4 3 . I 8ff.) that, given these
terms, both the premisses and the conclusions would be necessary.
He thinks that even with a different order of terms one could not
construct a valid counterexample, and so (as before) he introduces a
different one. However, if one assumes again that Aristotle is some
times thinking of the de dicta-interpretation, both counterexamples
1 22

COMMENTARY

can be formulated with the given terms, and even i n the same order
for Baroc oNXN. One could argue (as before) that it is not necessary
fo r th ere to be white things to which animal cannot belong, and that
therefore-it is also not necessary that man should not belong to
some white things. For B arocoXNN one would have to change the
ord er of the terms, since the premiss ' animal belongs to every man '
would certainly have to be taken as necessary. Assuming the order
A man , B white, C animal, the premi sses would be ' man belongs
to every white thing' and 'man necessarily does not belong to some
animal' (cf. 25a35 above). The first premiss is not necessarily false,
and the same is true for the conclusion ( ' white does not belong to
some animal ' ) , though Aristotle might say, as above, that it cannot
be true as long as man belongs to every white thing. If the terms are
taken in this order, the first premiss of the second example picks up
the terms from the conclusion of the first, which might support the
suggestion that this was what Aristotle had in mind.

C H A PT E R

I I

Syllogisms with one necessary and one assertoric premiss in the


third figure. The moods DaraptiNXN and XNN, FelaptonNXN, Dis
amisXNN, DatisiNXN, FerisonNXN are valid. They are reduced by
conversion to DariiNXN and Ferio NXN.
The remaining moods are shown to be invalid by reduction to
invalid moods of the first figure and by counter-examples.
As in the preceding chapter, the proofs of validity tend to be mod
eled on those of the corresponding chapter from assertoric syllogistic
(eh. 6). In the case of Darapti, the premisses of DariiNXN can be
reached whichever premiss is converted, hence both possible modal
combinations are accepted as valid .
As in the case of B arocoXNN above (3 1 a 1 5- 1 7n.), one could con
struct a proof for the validity of BocardoXNN by using the ecthesis
method from chapter 8. It is perhaps surprising that Aristotle did
not consider this option, since he explicitly points out in chapter 6
that B ocardo could also be proved valid by ecthesis. Alexander, after
mentioning the possibility of an ecthetic proof, declares that the
counterexample is cogent-but it is easy to see that this would not
be so in the de re-interpretation .
1 23

PRIOR A N A LYT!CS

3 1 3 1 -3

' i t will also belong t o some A' . Aristotle forgets to men


tion that B iNA would still have to be converted to reach the standard
conclusion of Darapti .

3 1 37-b 4
' it was shown in the first figure . . . ' . This first proof for
the invalidity of FelaptonXNN (AeC, B aNC/AoNB) is itself invalid.
Aristotle first reaches the premisses of FerioXNN by converting the
second premiss to CiNB and then declares the mood invalid by refer
ring back to chapter 9 (3ob 5-6), where FerioXNN was proved to be
inval id. B ut the second premiss of FelaptonXNN is stronger than the
second premiss of FerioXNN (that is, BaNC implies BiNC but not
vice versa), so the invalidity of FerioXNN is not sufficient to rule out
the validity of FelaptonXNN (see B ecker, pp . 72-3) . Aristotle seems
to have overlooked the fact that proof by reduction and rejecti on
by reduction are not exactly analogous . A proof by reduction of a
syllogism S 2 to another syllogism S 1 shows that the premisses of S2
are either equivalent or stronger than those of S 1 , so that the same
conclusion must follow ; for a proof of invalidity, however, one would
have to show that the premisses of S2 are either equivalent or weaker
than those of S 1

3 1b 6-8

' good may belong to no horse' . Aristotle is introducing an


assertoric premiss by pointing out that, since i t is possible for good
to belong to no horse, the premiss ' good belongs to no horse' can
be used in a term-example. In line 8, however, ' all animals might be
good' seems to stand for a possibility-proposition (AapB, the contra
dictory of AoNB ) . Here as in other places (e.g. 3ob 3 5 ; 3 r b 30; 32 83),
Aristotle uses the same form of words to say that it is permissible
to use an assertoric proposition in a term-example (since it could be
true) and to assert a possibility-proposition .

3 1 b 8-10

'Or if this i s not possible' . Aristotle seems to have felt


some doubts about the possibility of all animals being good-perhaps
he remembered that some are poisonous, as Philoponus suggests
( 1 40 . 2 3 ) . So he points out that 'good ' could be repl aced by some
term that might clearly be true of all animals.
1 24

CO M M ENTARY

'with the same terms' . If the terms were in the same


3 1 b 3 1-3
orde r as before, the example would be extremely implausible. As the
ancient commentators note, Aristotle probably meant that the same
premisses could be used in reverse order, with A standing for biped
and B for waking. The example would then be: if some animals are
necessarily bipeds and all animals are awake, then some waking thing
will be a biped-but not of necessity, since it is not necessary that
some waking thing be a biped. However, the inference would be valid
in the de re-interpretation.
Aristotle does not spell out the proof for FerisonNXN,
3 1 b 35-7
but it is obvious that this mood could be reduced to FerioNXN by
co nverting the second premiss (cf. 28 b 34-5 ) .
'As far as proofs go' . Aristotle literally says ' as far as
3 1 b 39-40
other things go' , but he seems to be contrasting the formal proofs
by reduction to invalid moods with counterexamples, for which he
introduces new terms.
In fact, since Bocardo could not be proved valid by conversion,
the method of reduction to invalid moods of the first figure would not
work.
C H A PTER 1 2

General results from the preceding chapters: ( 1 ) an assertoric con


clusion can only be deduced from two assertoric premisses ; (2) in
some cases a necessary conclusion follows even if only one of the
premisses is necessary ; (3) in both kinds of cases at least one of the
premisses must have the same modality as the conclusion.
3286ff. ' assert belonging ' . This phrase translates the Greek expres
sions ev Ti!! v 1T apxeLv-literally, ' in belonging' -and v1Tapxovaa
77p 6 TaaLs-literally, 'belonging (premiss) ' . Expressions like ' nec
essary premiss ' , though strictly speaking incorrect, can be used in
English as well as in Greek, but ' belonging premiss' for a premiss
without indication of modality would hardly be intelligible. (This is
no doubt the reason for adopting the Latin ' assertoric ' .) The Greek
participle makes sense because the verb v1TapxELv (to belong) is
1 25

P R I O R A N A LY TICS

dative complement to mean 'to b e the case'


might therefore translate the Greek as 'factual' ,
s i nc e t h i s would eliminate the etymological connection between
two uses of v7rapxeiv, I have preferred the more awkward

a l s o used w i thout a
or ' to e x i s t ' . O n e

but
the

expres s i on .
Aristotle

sums up the results of chapters 9- l l in three theses, the


of which seem to be plainly false : (2), which states
the main thesis of all three chapters, appears to contradict ( 1 ), and (3)
conflicts with the results of later chapters ( 1 6, 1 9, 22) where Aristotle
claims that an assertoric conclusion can follow from the combination
of a necessary and a contingent premiss.
Commentators have proposed various solutions, some of them
rather desperate: for example, that ( 1 ) concerns only the mood Dara
pti (third figure), in which a necessary conclusion follows if either
one of the premisses is necessary; or that Aristotle is drawing a
contrast between affirmative (rather than assertoric) and necessary
conclusions . The most plausible suggestion is probably that Aristotle
is using ' asserts belongi ng' in a wide sense to cover both necessary
and assertoric propositions. This would make ( 1 ) and (2) compatible,
and Aristotle does seem to use the phrase v r(iJ V7Tapxeiv in this
way in 1 7 , 37839, where he says that any conclusion from a pair of
contingent prem isses would have to be contingent because neither
of the premisses asserts belonging, right after he has argued (eh . 1 6 )
that an assertoric conclusion may follow from one contingent and one
necessary premiss . But this still leaves an inconsistency between ( I )
and (3). ( 3 ) seems t o b e incorrect not only i n view o f chapters 1 6,
1 9 , and 22, but also because an assertoric conclusion should trivially
follow from two necessary premisses. Given Aristotle's explanation
of the word 'like' in this passage, it seems unlikely that assertoric and
necessary propositions should be taken together.
However, (3) might be correct at least with respect to chap
ters 9-I I if one assumes that Aristotle uses the phrase 'the con
clusion' to refer to the strongest proposition that can be inferred
in each case. This would correspond to the language of chapters
9-1 1 , since the claim that ' the conclusion will be necessary' does
not mean that the corresponding assertoric proposition does not
follow.
So if ( 1 ) is understood as speaking of 'belonging' in the wider
sense and if this chapter refers only to combinations of assertoric
and necessary premisses, both ( l ) and (3) are correct. The simplest
first and third

1 26

CO M M E N TA R Y

explanati on of the conflict with the results of the l ater chapters would
then be that Aristotle had not yet worked out the theory of syllogisms
with contingent premisses when he wrote chapter 1 2 .
C H A PT ER 1 3

Introduction to the treatment of syllogisms with possible premisses.


(a) definition of possibility in the primary sense (two-sided possi
bility or contingency) ;
(b) special conversion rules for contingent propositions (comple
mentary conversion) :
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

AaoB converts to AeoB and vice versa;


Ai0B converts to Ao0B and vice versa;
Aa0B also converts to Ao0B ;
Ae0B also converts to Ai0 B ;

(c) contingency covers two sorts o f cases : things that come about
for the most part or by nature, and things that happen by chance;
(d) note about the interpretation of conti ngent propositions: a
proposition of the form 'A possibly belongs to B ' may be taken
to mean either that A may belong to everything of which B
holds or that A may belong to everything of which B may
hold.
Definition of possibility. Aristotle's definition shows
32 3 1 8-20
that he intends to treat two-sided possibility (contingency-that is,
neither necessary nor impossible) as possibility in the primary sense.
Unlike modern logicians, however, he does not define the contingent
as what is neither necessary nor impossible (or not necessarily not the
case). Rather, the second clause of the defi nition corresponds closely
to a definition of the word 8vva-r6v in the sense of 'capable' used
at Met. J 3, r o47a24-6 : ' a thing is capable [8vva-r6v] if noth ing
impossible results from its having the actuality of that of which it
is said to have the potentiality.' This definition is then used in the
next chapter of the Metaphysics to cover possibility as well (see,
e.g., r o47 b 3ff. ) . So Aristotle seems to define the contingent here as
what is not necessary, but possible in the weaker (one-sided) sense.
The second part of the definition introduces a thesis that will play an
important role in the proofs of the following chapters .
1 27

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

a
32 20

' in a different sense ' . The Greek word is oovv,ws,


translated as 'equivocally' ; one of Aristotle's technical term s.
According to the definition in Cat. I , I a I-2, homonyms are 'things
that have only their name in common, while the definition corre
sponding to the name is different' . Aristotle often uses this term to
indicate that the other sense of a word is not its proper or primary
sense (see B onitz, 5 1 4a49-6 1 ).
often

'That this is indeed the possible' . These lines have been


32 3 2 1-9
bracketed as a later addition by most editors since Becker. The
passage appears to offer an argument in support of the proposed
definition, but then uses a number of equivalences that hold only
for one-sided possibility. It ends with the patently absurd concluding
remark that 'what is not necessary will be possible' -which would
imply that what is impossible must be possible. The equivalence
rel ati ons to which the argument appeals are discussed by Aristotle
in chapters I 2- I 3 of de lnt. , which suggests that our text may come
from the marginal notes of some ancient reader. The last line in
particular looks like a clumsy attempt to connect the argument with
the following text.
However, since this passage appears in all our MSS and in the
ancient commentaries as well, one should probably also consider the
possibility that our text contains a lacuna rather than a misleading
marginal note. The argument of lines 2 1 -8 is based on the thesis
that if certain terms are logically equivalent, then their contradic
tories must be equivalent as well. The expressions 'cannot belong' ,
'impossible to belong ' , etc., evidently stand for propositions of the
forms 'A c annot belong to B ' or 'it is impossible for A to belong
to B ' , etc. This thesis is justified by appeal to the Law of Excluded
Middle, treating the propositional forms as predications . Since for
every predicate F, either F itself or its contradictory must be true of
any given thing, then if F, G, H imply one another, anything that is
not-F must be not-G and not-H as well. For, given that G implies F,
anything that is not-F and G would be not-F and F, which is absurd.
(I am following the interpretation of Alexander, 1 5 7 . 1 6-3 2 . I do not
understand B ecker's interpretation. Hintikka's proposal ( 1 97 3 : ii. 37)
makes the argument invalid. For a recent ingenious attempt to defend
the text, see Nortmann ( 1 990: 1 62-7)-but it seems to me that his
solution requires more than one could expect of any reader.)
1 28

C O M M E N TA R Y

Understood i n this way, the passage offers a j ustification for


the view that 'possible' is equivalent to ' not necessarily not' -the
weaker notion of possibil ity. One might then think that these lines are
in te nded to explain the one-sided sense of ' possible' . If so, however,
on e would expect something like the consideration mentioned at de
/nt. 1 3 , 22h 1 l-1 4 or 29-33 : it would seem absurd to say that what is
nec essary is not possible (and hence impossible). But this does not
see m to have worried Ari stotle in the Analytics (cf. 33 h 1 7 ; 37a8-9 ;
3 8a35 ) .
Alternatively, one might suppose that the argument offers a clari
fication of the second half of the official definition by showing that
'possible' implies 'not i mpossible' . But then Aristotle would seem
to have overlooked the point that the reverse implication from 'not
impossible' to 'possible' does not hold for two-sided possibility.
Finally, the strange concluding sentence might have a lacuna: one
might add the Words /-'- VrrapXELV to get the Statement that 'what is
not necessarily <not the case> will be possible' .
None of these alternatives seems very plausible, and so I prefer to
consider the passage as an interpolation.
' It follows . . . ' . From the definition of 'possible' in the
32 a 30-5
primary sense, it follows that special conversion rules apply to
possibility-propositions. Since Ross (p. 298), these have been called
'complementary conversion' . Possible propositions, like necessary
ones, can be interpreted either de dicta or de re (see n . to 8, 29h 26).
So 'A possibly belongs to B ' may be understood either as
(i) 'it is neither necessary nor impossible that all Bs are A' (de
dicta); or as
(ii) 'for every B it is neither necessary nor impossible to be A' (de
re) .
A s Becker has shown, the rules o f complementary conversion hold
only in the de re-interpretation.
32 8 32 'those that are affirmative in form . . . ' . As was already stated
in chapter 3 (25 h 20- 1 ) all contingent propositions considered here
count as affirmative in the sense that the modal operator is never
negated . Hence in complementary conversion only the qual ity of the
phrase after the modal operator changes, while the quality of the
1 29

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

whole proposition remains the same. The word 'opposites ' i s used
to refer to both contradictories and contraries.
32 8 35
'the others' . Aristotle has mentioned that AliQB conve rts to
AeQB and to AoQB. and AiQB converts to AoQB . The others are pre
sumably AeQ B , which converts to AiQB , and AoQ B . which converts
to AiQB . So AaQB and AeQB are equivalent, as are Ai Q B and AoQ B,
and the universal propositions imply the respective particular ones.
32 8 36-41
' since what is possible is not necessary ' . Aristotle
argues, on the basis of the definition just given, that any predicate A
that possibly belongs to a subj ect B will also possibly not belong to
the same subject. For since what holds possibly in the primary sense
does not hold necessarily and what does not hold of necessity might
not belong, then if A possibly holds of B, it also possibly does not
hold of B . This actually shows only that it must be possible in the
weak sense for the predicate not to belong to the subject, given that
what is not necessary includes the impossible, but the second part of
the definition rules out that it should be impossible for A to belong
to B .
Aristotle states only the conversion rule fo r universal affirmative
propositions, since his argument relies only on the substitution of
'possibly not' for 'not necessarily' and hence holds regardless of the
quantity of the propositions involved. The step from AB to AoQ B
is presumably based on subalternation.
32 b 3 ' as was said before' . For the claim that all contingent propo
sitions are affirmative see note to 3, 2 5b 2 1 -5 . Aristotle tends to forget
this thesis in the later chapters, speaking of AeQ B and AoQB as
negative and even saying that, in the case of possible propositions,
affirmations convert to denials ( 1 7, 36 b 37-38). This terminologi
cal looseness is not entirely harmless, since he could hardly have
modeled his proofs on those of assertoric syllogistic if he had taken
his own thesis more seriously.
' "being possible" is said in two ways' . In the tradition
32b 4-22
from Alexander to Ross, this passage has been understood as
claiming that 'possible' in the primary sense has two distinct
1 30

COM MENTARY

meani ngs corresponding t o the expressions ' for the most part' (or
' naturally' ) and 'by chance' . Accordingly, propositions containing
one of these expressions should count as possibility-propositions
and be subj ect to the same conversion rules as explicit possibility
propositions . The following chapters should then be read as
presenting a theory of syllogisms of this kind, and in particular of the
syllogisms with 'for the most part' -premisses that are of scientific
interest. However, it is hard to believe that Aristotle should not have
noticed that complementary conversion does not work for premisses
of this kind-for example, the proposition ' humans mostly turn gray
in old age' clearly does not imply 'humans mostly do not turn gray in
old age' . According to Ammonius (45 .42-46.2), this consideration
led Theophrastus and Eudemus to reject complementary conversion.
Now Aristotle never uses the phrase 'for the most part' in the
subsequent chapters, but he does use complementary conversion
throughout. The passage makes better sense if one assumes that
Aristotle is distinguishing two kinds of cases in whi c h possibi lity
propositions are true. Complementary conversion holds in both sorts
of cases, though-as Aristotle points out a few lines down-not for
the same reasons (3 2 b r 5-1 8) . Thus if people mostly or naturally
turn gray in old age, it is still p ossible for every particular person
not to turn gray, since it is not necessary for any given person to turn
gray.
' when the necessity has gaps' . For this translation of
32 b 5-rn
the verb oiaA.dTTELV, see B onitz, r 83a l l-2 1 . The opposite is 'being
continuous' . It is not quite clear what Aristotle means by speaking
of gaps, and his explanation is hard to understand. The difficulty
seems to be due to the fact that he is inclined to say that natural
changes occur necessarily, but also that they do not occur in every
individual of a species (on this point see Sorabji 1 980: 1 90-1 ) . It is
not true that all humans necessarily turn gray, because some people
die at an early age; but then one might still say that they do age
or turn gray of necessity if they live long enough . So if there is
a necessity involved here, it does not extend to all cases and can
therefore be described as discontinuous . Up to this point Aristotle
seems to explain why things that happen 'for the most part and by
nature' are cases of discontinuous necessity. However, in the next
sentence he seems to draw a contrast between necessity and what
131

PRIOR A NALYTICS

happens ' for the most part' -perhaps because some people d o not
turn gray even in old age? (cf. 32 b 1 7) . In this case, then, there would
not even be a ' discontinuous' necessity. Aristotle's wavering may be
understandable, since natural processes seem to illustrate both kinds
of cases : it is presumably necessary for humans to grow and to show
signs of aging when they reach a certain age, but it is not neces sary,
though natural, for them to turn gray.
32 h 7
'or generally what belongs by nature' . Though Aristotle
seems to think that what appen s by nature-at least in the case of
organisms-happens ' for the most part' , the reverse is not true: for
instance, if people are mostly bad (Aristotle's own example, Top. 2.6,
1 12 b 1 1 - 12 ) , it does not follow that they are bad by nature.
32 b 9
'because a man does not exist forever' : literally, 'because
man is not always ' , which could also be taken to mean that there
might not always be human beings. But Aristotle's examples support
the view of the ancient commentators (see, e.g., Al. Aphr. 1 6 2 . 1324) that he is thinking about length of life, not about the existence of
humans in general.
32 b 10-13 'In another way' . Aristotle's examples of the 'indetermi
nate' in fact illustrate two different sorts of cases . Animals have the
ability to walk as well as not to walk, but whether they do one or the
other is usually not a matter of chance, but depends on their desires
or intentions (cf. Met. IX 5 , r o47 b 3 5-1 048a 1 5). By contrast, that an
earthquake happens while an animal is walking is a mere coincidence
that cannot be traced back to any general factor. Perhaps Aristotle
lumps these cases together because one might indeed say that both
options (walking or not walking, earthquake or no earthquake while
someone walks) are equally possible. It is not clear how the second
example could be understood as a case of some predicate possibly
belonging to a subject. For more convincing examples, see, e.g.,
Met. E 2 .
32b 1 9
' the middle term is irregular' . According t o Aristotle's the
ory of scientific demonstration, the middle term in a demonstrative
132

COMMENTARY

sy llogi sm indicates the cause o f the predicate's belonging to the


b
s ubject of the conclusion (see An. Post. A 1 3 , 78a22-3 r ; A 6, 74 263 9 ) . This will only be the case if the first premiss states a universal
c onnection between major and middle term (as in ' all humans are
m ort al, all Greeks are human; therefore, all Greeks are mortal ' : the
Greek s are mortal because they are human). Chance events, however,
are preci sely those that happen rarely and without regularity. Their
causes are accidental, as Aristotle puts it-that is to say, they are
caused by something that does not always or normally bring about
this kind of result. Thus a man may go to the market to meet a friend,
then come across another person who owes him some money, and
collect the money on the spot. Since he did not expect to find his
debtor in the market, his collecting the money happened by chance.
The lucky event was caused by his going to meet his friend, but
clearly there is no general connection between meeting a friend
and collecting a debt, and in fact the event could have come about
in any number of other ways-for example, while he was going
to court, or just watching things on the market (for the example,
see Phys. 2 .5 , r 97a 1 5- r 8). It follows that there can be no scien
tific explanation, and hence no demonstrative knowledge, of chance
events.
For Aristotle's theory of chance events, see Phys. 2-4-6, and Met,
b
E 2, r o26 27- 1 027" 2 8 ; for the point about scientific knowledge, see
An. Post. A 30, 87 b 1 9-27.
32 b 20-2 'there is knowledge of things that happen by nature' . The
claim that it is possible to find a scientific demonstration for natural
attributes or changes that happen ' for the most part' contradicts
Aristotle's official theory in the Posterior Analytics, according to
which scientific knowledge and demonstration are possible only of
necessary facts and on the basis of necessary premisses. Nonetheless,
Aristotle asserts this claim even once in the Posterior Analytics (A 30,
87 b 20-5) and in many other passages, and it is clearly presupposed
by his view that biology-the science of living things-is a science
in the full sense, even though many of its universal propositions hold
only ' for the most part ' .
Aristotle might have been able to resolve the apparent incon
sistency by appealing to the 'discontinuous' necessity of natural
processes he has mentioned above. For example, though it may or
133

P R I O R A N ALY TICS

may not b e the case that all sheep have four legs, i t i s not a contingent
fact that some-indeed most-of them do, and this seems to be
reflected in Aristotle's remarks. Instead of saying that sheep have four
legs ' for the most part and by nature' and that it is possible to know
this in the full sense although it is not necessary, he could have said
that all normal or healthy sheep have four legs of necessity. In other
words, what holds of necessity for the species need not be necessary
for each individual member. A particular sheep may or may not be
healthy and normal, but if it is normal, then it will necessarily have
four legs. However, it would probably have been difficult to represent
these complications with the limited formal means of Aristotelian
syllogistic (see Striker 1 985).
32 b 23
'later' . The topic is mentioned again in a few places (27,
43 b 3 2-6; An. Post. A 30, 87b 1 9-27 ; B 1 2 , 96a8- 1 9) , but there is no
detailed discussion either in the Analytics or in other works.
32 h 24-37 The traditional chapter division places this passage at
the end of chapter 1 3 , but it obviously marks the transition to the
treatment of syllogisms with contingent premisses. However, the dis
cussion is delayed by a digress ion on two different interpretations of
universal positive propositions that may have been added in response
to questi ons raised by Aristotle's colleagues. Lines 3 2-3 ( 'Let us first
say, then . . . ' ) might simply have followed lines 24-5 before these
remarks were inserted. Becau se there is no reference in that sentence
to the two interpretations introduced in the intervening digression , it
is followed by what appears to be a misguided attempt to indicate
which of the two interpretations is going to be used in the following
discussion. Becker proposed to excise the entire passage as a later
addition, but it is found in all the MSS, and the remarks on the
interpretation of universal a-premisses are indeed relevant to chapter
1 4, as Becker himself pointed out. Only lines 34-6 appear to be
hopelessly confused.
32 b 26-36
'in two ways' . Aristotle uses a formulation of the uni
versal a-premiss without explicit quantification, which may indicate
that the questions raised here had come up in discussions with
1 34

COMMENTARY

his colleagues . (For a similar problem concerning universal asser


toric a-premisses, see chapter 4 1 , where the ancient commentators
report that the interpretation rejected by Aristotle was accepted by
Theophrastus.) Aristotle's initial statement is highly elliptical and
barely intelligible, in Greek as in English . The subsequent explana
tion shows what is intended: a proposition of the form 'A possibly
belongs to what B belongs to' may be taken to say either that A
possibly belongs to what B is actually true of, or that A possibly
belongs to what B is possibly true of. Although Aristotle seems to
present the two interpretations as alternatives, he never explicitly opts
for one rather than the other. Hence it is more likely that, as in the case
of particular negative premisses in chapters 4-6 (where he points out
that a premiss of the form AoB is true both when A does not belong
to some Bs but does belong to others and also when A belongs to
no B ; cf. 26b 1 4-20; 27b 20-3 ; 28 h 24-3 1 ; 29a 2-5), he means that a
proposition of the form AaQB is true not only if it is possible for all
actual Bs to be A, but also if A is possibly true of everything that is
possibly B. Thus, for example, it will be true that all sleepers may be
dreaming even if nobody happens to be sleeping .
As Becker pointed out, the wider interpretation is needed for the
syllogisms with two contingent premisses in chapter 1 4 (see intro
ductory note below).
32 b 34-6 'For in thi s way . . . ' . This sentence seems to rest on a con
fusion, prompted perhaps by a remark by Alexander ( 1 66.5-8) that if
the major premiss of a syllogism in B arbara is taken in the narrower
way (that is, as 'A possibly belongs to what B actually belongs to'),
the minor premiss will be assertoric. But in the preceding sentence
Aristotle had simply used the unquantified expression with which he
began the digression without indicating a preference for the w ider
interpretation. Alexander's remark occurs in his commentary on the
statement that there is no difference between the quantifi ed and the
unquantified expressions for the universal a-premiss (II. 2 9-30) . In
his comments on lines 32-7 he does not mention the two interpre
tations, but merely refers back to lines 29-30 to confirm that 'B
possibly belongs to what C is said of' means the same as 'B possibly
belongs to every C' . I find it likely that he did not read thi s sentence
in his text, and have bracketed it as a marginal gloss.
1 35

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

CHAPTER 1 4

Syllogisms with two contingent premisses i n the first figure. All pairs
of two universal premisses imply both an !IQ- and an eQ-conclusion .
The moods BarbaraQQQ and CelarentQQQ are perfect; the validity
of the others results from complementary conversion.
All premiss-pairs with a universal major premi ss and a particulai
minor yield both an iQ- and an OQ-conclusion. DariiQQQ and Feri
oQQQ are perfect, the others need complementary conversion . All
moods with a particular first premiss are invalid. This is shown by
a general consideration of the possible extensions of the m ajor and
minor terms and through term-examples.
The syllogisms with two contingent premisses may look hope
lessly invalid at first sight (see, e.g., Kneale and Kneale 1 96 2 : 88).
Just as in the case of the mixed syllogisms in chapter I O , one cou ld
offer a recipe for the construction of counterexamples: as major and
minor terms, choose terms that exclude one another; as middle terms,
choose terms that are compatible with both of the others . Thus we
might get syllogisms like this one:
It is possible that all humans are healthy,
It is possible that all those who are ill are human,
Therefore: it is possible that all those who are ill are healthy.
(For the example see eh. 34.)
However, again as in chapter 10, this holds only for the de dicto
interpretation. The conclusion sounds absurd if it is taken to mean
that all humans could be both ill and healthy simultaneously, but
it makes perfect sense if understood as saying that all those who
are ill are capable of being healthy. Aristotle himself points out the
ambiguity at SE 1 .4, 1 66a23-3 I : 'it is possible for the man who is
sitting to be walking' will be absurd if taken to mean that a man
might be both sitting and walking, but true if taken to mean that the
man who is sitting is capable of walking.
If we adopt the de re-interpretation, the syllogisms accepted in
this chapter will come out valid provided that we also adopt the wider
interpretation of universal contingent premisses introduced at the end
of the last chapter. For instead of the form QAaB , QB aC/QAaC, in
which the subject term of the major premiss is different from the
1 36

C O M M E N TA R Y

predi cate term o f the minor, a syllogism i n B arbaraQQQ wi ll have the


form (QAaB & QAaQB ), (QBaC & QBaQC)/(QAaC & QAaQC) .
An example might help to illustrate the difference between the two
interpretations.
Given the premisses 'all members of government are possible
grandfathers' and ' all voters over the age of 21 are possible members
of government' , one might conclude that all voters over the age of
2 r are possible grandfathers. The conclusion is false, since some
voters of the requisite age are women; but this is due to the fact
that the first premiss can be accepted as true only if it is taken
to apply to all actual members of government. If the first premiss
were given the wider interpretation, the inference would be valid, but
the first premiss would be false, and so this would not constitute a
counterexample.
' there will be a perfect syllogism ' . In chapters 832 b 38-33 a 5
1 2 Aristotle had not explicitly mentioned the distinction between
perfect and imperfect syllogisms, but since he s tated in chapter 8
that syllogisms with two necessary premisses work just like asser
toric ones and can be proved to be valid in the same way (except
for Baroco and B ocardo), he presumably considered the first-figure
syllogisms as perfect. In chapter 9, the first-figure moods recogni zed
as admitting of a necessity-conclusion were declared to be evidently
valid by appeal to the meaning of 'belonging to all/none' , like the
perfect moods of chapter 4, and were also used to prove the validity
of the remaining moods.
Here, Aristotle appeals to a definition of 'possibly belonging to
all/none' , but it is not quite clear where he takes that defi nition to be
given . The phrase ' nothing that could possibly be under B being left
out' in lines 33 b 4-5 is reminiscent of the definition of 'belonging to
all/none' for assertoric propositions (24b 28-30), and one might have
expected to find a corresponding version for contingent premisses
after the remarks about the interpretation of universal contingent
premisses above. Whether or not such a statement has dropped out
there or Ari stotle just took it to be implied, the version he gives here
clearly commits him to the wider interpretation.
'that A may not belong' : The Greek text has TO A fk
JvUxca&m, which would normally be understood as ' that it is not

33 a 4

1 37

PRIOR ANALY TICS

possible fo r A' (sc. to belong), but i t i s clear from the context th at


Aristo tle means that it is possible for A not to belong to any B .
33 8 6 'no syllogism comes about' : a misleading way of say ing th at
with the premis ses as stated, it is not yet evident that a co nclusi on
follows-that is, the syllogism is imperfect. Aristotle uses the same
words again in lines 16 and I 9 below, but gives a more accu rate
statement in line 3 I .
33 3 1 0 'this was said earlier' : I 3 , 32 329-b I . Given complementary
conversion, all pairs of two universal premisses will be equivalent
to the premisses of B arbaraQQQ, so that both an aQ - and an eQ
conclusion follow in all cases. Only B arbaraQQQ and CelarentQQQ
are said to be perfect, because in all other cases complementary
conversion is needed to make the validity of the inference evident.
33 8 23-5
' a perfect syllogism' . Ross brackets the word 'perfect'
because Aristotle's statement is too general: if the minor prem iss is
B oQ C, the syllogism will not be perfect, as is clear from lines 27-34.
B ut it seems likely that Aristotle did write the word, thinking initially
only of the counterparts to Darii and Ferio, since his proof is simply
an appeal to the definition of 'possibly belonging ' .
The definition he has in mind here i s probably the same as the
one referred to above, that is, not the definition of 'being possible' in
the strict sense, but a definition of 'possibly belonging to all/none' .
Alexander, who points this out, notes that the reference would be
clearer if the word TTaVT{ ( 'to every ' ) were added and wonders
whether it may have dropped out; it is found as a correction in several
manuscripts.
338 2 7-34
' when the particular premiss is taken as privative . . . ' .
With complementary conversion any pair of a universal major and
a particular minor premiss will be equivalent to the premisses of
DariiQQQ or FerioQQQ, so that there will be both an i Q - and an OQ
conclusion in all cases . Aristotle mentions only the case of AaQB,
B oQ C/AiQ C ; a complete list would be superfluous, since the proof is
the same for all cases.

COM MENTARY

338 32

' an evident syllogism does not come about' : that is, there is
per fect syllogism; compare the similar use of 'evident' to indicate
a perfect syllogism in 9, 3oa 2 2 .
00

338 37

'indeterminate or particular' . Premisses without explicit


quantifi cation are treated as particular; cf. 4, 26 2 8 .
338 37-b 3

'for nothing prevents B from extending beyond A' . Aris


totle shows by a consideration of the possible extensions of A and B
that all of these premiss-pairs are inconclusive, since one can see even
without concrete terms that there could be a counterexample such that
both premisses are true, but all propositions that might be considered
as conclusions are false. One problem with his description of the
proof is that he seems to avoid repetitions of modal expressions.
Thus 'it is possible for B to belong to more things than A' ( b 3) may
mean either that there might be more actual Bs than As, or that it
is possible that B possibly applies to more things than A possibly
applies to. However, the argument seems to require that we take the
extension of the terms to be the range of things of which a term is
true or is possibly true, in accordance with the wider interpretation of
the subject term introduced at the end of chapter r 3 . If this is correct,
the argument is this : ( r ) Suppose that the extension of B is larger
than that of A, that is, there are things that are possibly B but not
possibly A. (2) Let C be the part of B that extends beyond A: then
the Cs cannot possibly be As (by hypothesis). (3) But this rules out
all possible conclusions, since none of the Cs can be contingently A,
nor can they be contingently not A, given that AaQC is equivalent to
AeQC (by complementary conversion).
b
33 3-1 7
' this is also evident from terms' . This is Aristotle's usual
method of rejection by counterexamples applied to modal syllogisms.
He offers two triples of terms such that both premisses are true, but
in the first case the major term A necessarily holds of all of the
minor term C, in the second A necessarily does not hold of any C .
This shows that the premisses AiQ B , BC are compatible with both
AaNB and AeNC, and hence conclusions of any modality are ruled
out, since AeNC excludes both AaNC and AaC, and AaNC rules out

1 39

P R I O R A N A L Y TI C S

a negative conclusion. A contingent conclusion i s ruled out a fortiori


by the possibility of a necessity-proposition.
As before, Aristotle avoids the awkwardness of repeated modal
expressions by saying simply that it is both not possible for the firs t
term to belong to any of the last and also necessary for it to b elong
to all of the last, but it is clear that he means that it is possible for the
first term either to hold or not to hold of all of the last of necessity.
The ancient commentators complain that the terms of the examp les
(animal , white, man/garment) are not well chosen and propo se to
replace them by the terms white, walking, swan/raven (see, e.g,.
Al. Aphr. 1 7 1 . 3off). Ammonius (49 .6-7) even doubts that Aristotle's
own terms could be used to form a pair of true possibility-premisses.
The commentators do not explain exactly what is wrong with Aris
totle's terms, but it is indeed easy to see that he has been incautious .
For one could try to use his terms to construct a counterexample to
FerioQQQ : Animal possibly belongs to no white thing (AeoB); white
possibly belongs to some man (Bi Q C), therefore: animal possibly
does not belong to some man (AoQ C). (For the first premises, cf. r o,
3ob 3 5 . ) The difficulty that is avoided by the suggested replacement
of terms is that Aristotle uses a substance-term as predicate of a
contingency-proposition. If one assumes a de re-interpretation , one
will presumably have to assume that terms like animal, man, horse
will be true of necessity of whatever they are true, since there are
no things that could, for example, be possibly either human or not
human. A corpse is not identical with the human being whose body
it used to be, and the suggestion that what is a man now might be a
frog later leads to the difficulty that it is hard to say what exactly it is
that is first a man, then a frog. In a de dicta-interpretation, however,
such propositions might seem to be harmless, for to say that it may
or may not be the case that some white thing is an animal need not
be understood to mean that there is a white thing such that it might
or might not be an animal . The problem with Aristotle's examples,
then, is probably that the first premiss cannot be true.
33 b 23
' according to the definition' . This time the reference is to
the definition of 'being possible' in the strict sense (32a 1 8-20). If
'being possible' is taken in the wider sense of 'not impossible' , the
rules of complementary conversion do not hold, and one might take
Aristotle's summary to be false.
1 40

C O M M E N TA R Y

C H A PT E R 1 5

Syllo gisms with one contingent and one assertoric premiss in the first
figure.
Of the moods with two universal premisses, B arbaraQXQ and
Cel are ntQXQ are perfect, while B arbaraXQP (?) and CelarentXQP
are imperfect and lead to a conclusion in the sense of one-sided
pos sibility.
In preparation for the proofs of the last two moods, Aristotle
establishes two theorems:
TI

If B

follows from A, then 'possibly B' follows from 'possibly

A' ;
TII If a proposition A is compatible with given premisses S 1
Sn,
then any proposition logically implied by A is also compatible
with S1 . . . S n .
. .

The proof for B arbaraXQP is followed b y a note explaining that the


moods with a universal assertoric first premiss are valid only if an
assertoric premiss without temporal limitation is chosen. After the
proof for CelarentXQP, Aristotle explains why the conclusion can
only be a possibility-proposition in the sense of one-sided possibility.
The premiss-pairs AaB , BeQC and AeB , BeQC can be shown to
yield a conclusion by complementary conversion ; AaQB , BaC and
AeQB, BeC are shown to be inconclusive by counterexamples.
Of the moods with one universal and one particular premiss,
DariiQXQ and FerioQXQ are perfect. DariiXQP and FerioXQP are
imperfect and can be proved by the same method as BarbaraXQP. The
pairs AaB , BoQC and AeB , B oQC also yield a conclusion by comple
mentary conversion . All premiss-pairs with a particular first premiss
or two particular premisses are summarily shown to be inconclusive
by counterexample from the same set of terms .
33 b 27
' all the syllogisms will be perfect' : that is, all four moods
recognized as valid in assertoric syllogistic . Moods with a particular
first premiss are of course invalid.
33 b 29-32 'the privative ones ' . The moods with an assertoric
first premiss are proved by an indirect argument in which a
141

PRIOR ANALYTICS

necessity-proposition i s treated a s the contradictory o f a possibility


proposition . Hence these proofs can only show that a conclusion in
the sense of one-sided possibility follows. Aristotle points this out in
the case of CelarentXQP, but it obviously holds also for the affirma
tive conclusions of BarbaraXQP and DariiXQP, and so it is puzzling
that he should limit his statement to syllogisms with negative conclu
sions. Becker and Mignucci propose to correct the text by more or
less extensive deletions . A less drastic change might be to transpose
the words 'and the privative ones' so as to read 'all the syllogisms will
be imperfect and will not conclude to the possible in the sense of the
explanation given, but, in the case of the negative ones, to belonging
to none or not to all of necessity' . But the text as translated appears
in all the MSS and had evidently already been read by the ancie nt
commentators beginning with Alexander. Aristotle's explanation of
the different modality of the conclusions appears only after the proof
for CelarentXQP, and (except for the presumably spurious passage in
1 3 , 3 2a2 r -8) he characterizes one-sided possibility only negatively
and then offers examples of negative propositions. He also never
considers possibility-propositions in the weaker sense as premisses.
It seems better, then, to leave the text as it stands.
33 h 30-1
'belonging to none or not to all of necessity ' . What
Aristotle means is that the predicate does not necessarily belong to
any or all of the subject, not that it necessarily belongs to none. He
may have tried to keep the phrases 'to none' and 'not to all ' instead
of 'not to any ' because he was thinking of the standard version of
negative conclusions that appears again when the proposition is put in
terms of possibility, but the phrase he uses is as misleading in Greek
as it is in English . Alexander ( 1 94. 1 3- 1 5) claims that Aristotle makes
a distinction in word order, using the phrase ' to none of necessity ' ,
as here, t o deny necessary belonging, and ' of necessity to none' for
necessarily not belonging, but this is not borne out by Aristotle's
actual usage (cf. , e.g., 1 6, 3 5b 35-6).
33 b 33
' let A possibly belong to every B ' . Aristotle initially con
siders only the moods with two universal premisses . To show that
BarbaraQXQ and CelarentQXQ are perfect, he appeals as usual to
the meaning of 'belonging to all ' . He does not mention that the
possibility-premisses in these moods should be taken in the narrower
1 42

COMMENTARY

the two interpretations mentioned at 3 2 b 25-3 2 , that i s , that the


extensions of B and C should be understood to include only the
actual Bs or Cs. With the wider interpretation the two moods would
be invalid-unless their assertoric premisses are given a different
interpretation. (For thi s point see note to 34b 7- 1 8 below. )
of

'first we must say . . . ' . Aristotle introduces two theses


3485-15
o f mod al propositional logic, the second derived from the first. His
statement of the first thesis and the subsequent explanatory note in
lines 1 6-24 show that the letters A and B are used here to stand for
states of affairs or propositions, and so I have occasionally translated
the bare word ' i s ' in the formula 'if A is, B is' as ' i s the case ' .
However, the remark that 'possible' and 'impossible' should be taken
to cover not only coming about, but also bei ng true and belonging (ll.
1 3-1 5) indicates that Aristotle is thinking of those propositions as
cases of predication-B corning to be A, A being true of B, etc .
Throughout the passage from line 5 to line 33 Aristotle uses the
Greek word 8vvaT6v for 'possible' rather than the forms of the
verb ev8exw8aL he USUally prefers in the Statement Of possibility
prernisseS . Ll vvaT6v is etymologically related to d.8vvaTov, the word
for 'impossible' , as 'possible' is related to ' impossible' in English.
This choice of expression may be deliberate, since Aristotle is using
'possible' as contradictory of ' i mpossible' and therefore working
with one-sided possibility.
TI 'If it is necessary that B is the case if A is, then if A is possible,
B will also be possible of necessity' [i.e. N(A:J B ) logically
implies N(PA:J PB)]

Aristotle offers an indirect argument that runs as follows:


( I ) N(A :J B): let B logically follow from A (premiss), and

(2) (PA/\"'PB) at to : assume that ' possibly B' does not follow from
' possibly A' , i.e. let A be possible and B impossible at the s ame
time (hypothesis).
Strictly speaking, the contradictory of N(PA::> PB) should be
P(PAN-- PB ), but Ari stotle tends to avoid double modal qualifiers ,
and he may be relying on his explication of possibility, according
to which what is possible is such that it ' will not lead to anything
impossible when it is assumed to belong' ; see 13, 32 3 1 9-20.
1 43

PRIOR ANALYTICS

Now when A is possible, i t might come about, while B , w hen it is


impossible, cannot come about. Therefore, (2) impl ies
(3) P(A /\"-'B): it must be possible that A be the case withou t B .

But (3) contradicts ( 1 ) , s o ' possibly B ' must follow from po ss i b l y


A' .
The temporal expressions Aristotle uses in the crucial step from ( 2 )
t o ( 3 ) have been interpreted in different ways. Some commen tators
assume that Aristotle is using temporally qualified modal operators ,
so that (2) should be read as P/toA & "-'P/toB, but then i t is u nclear
why he should think that if A were possible at some later ti me t 1 ,
B should be impossible at the same time also. It i s more likely
that Aristotle, who did not have technical terms for propositionally
complex expressions, was using the Greek word a , a (at the same
time) to say that PA and "-'PB are true together at some time-or, in
modern terms, that the conjunction of PA and "-'PB i s true (at some
time). His reasoning would then be that, since A is possible, there will
be a time at which A might come about, but there would be no time at
which B could come about. Hence any time at which A comes about
will be a time at which B is not the case, and so it must be possible
for A and not-B to be true together. (For further discussion of this
passage, see Nortmann 1 996: 23-3 3 ; for the relations between time
and modality in Aristotle, see Hintikka 1 97 3 : eh. ix; Waterlow 1 982:
20-5).
'

348 16
' i f some single thing A is' Aristotle repeatedly claims that
nothing follows from a single premiss, though this seems obviously
false. In the context of his syllogistic, his claim might be understood
in the sense that nothing different from the premiss follows, but even
this is problematic (see note to 24 h 1 8-20). Here he is mainly con
cerned to say that the theorem he has j ust proved applies to the case
of inferences from (several) premisses to conclusion. If he could have
described the premi sses as a single conj unctive proposition instead of
as a pair of propositions, he might not have had to worry about this.
348 2 1
'if each of the two is possible' . Aristotle seems to overlook
the fact that if each of two propositions is possible, it does not follow
that their conjunction is also possible (or, as he might have put it, that
they can be true at the same time). But since he is usually aware of
1 44

C O M M E N TA R Y

th is p oint, one should n o doubt assume that he means to say that i t i s


poss i ble for the two premisses to be true together.
' if a false though not impossible hypothesis is assumed' .
34 2 5-7
As the following proofs show (see 34 37-3 8 b r-2; 26-7), Aristotle
me an s a hypothesis that is neither implied nor excluded by the pre
misses . His way of describing this reflects the thought that, given the
premisses, the assumption can be neither shown to be true (hence
' false ' ) nor ruled out (hence ' not impossible' relative to the pre
misses). For this use of ' false' in the sense of ' not implied' , cf. 9 ,
3027n. above. A s Geach puts it, since the hypothesis need not i n
fact be false, Aristotle should have said that the hypothesis (as well
as any proposition implied by it) 'is at worst false, but cannot be
i mpos sible' .
The theorem T II introduced here says, then, that if a proposition
A is compatible with given premisses S1 . . . S,, , then any propo
sition logically implied by A must also be compatible with the
premisses. Aristotle has used expressions of possibility before to
describe the compatibility and incompatibility of propositions (e.g.
9 , 3 0" 2 7 ; 1 0 , 3 ob 3 7 ; 1 r , 3 I b 6-7). In chapter 1 0 he distinguishes
relative possibility (that is, compatibility) from simple possibility
by pointing out that the same proposition may be possible taken
by itself, but i mpossible relative to other propositions. The relative
possibility of A with respect to S1 . . . S,, can be represented as the
simple possibility of their conjunction; the relative impossibility c or
respondingly as the impossibility of the conj unction. T II is correct,
but-as Aristotle evidently realized-does not immediately follow
from T I.
3432-3
'the same thing will be possible and impossible at the
same time' . This is usually taken to say that B, which follows from
A, will be both possible (given TI) and impossible (by hypothesis).
But this would mean that Aristotle ignores the distinction between
simple and relative possibility he has just introduced by speaking
of an assumption that is ' false but not impossible' . The passage
from line 29 to line 33 can also be read as a proof for T II, as
follows:
(I) N(A:J B) premiss ; B follows from A
1 45

P R I O R A N A LY T J C S

( 2 ) P(A/\S) premiss; A i s possible relative to S


(3) N(S :::i "-'B) hypothesis ; B is impossible relative to S

(4) N(S :::i "' A) from ( 1 ) and (3)

Thus if B were impossible relative to S, A would be both po ssi bl e


(according to (2)) and impossible (according to (4)) relative to S.
343 34-h 2 ' With these explanations in place . . . '. Aristotle is go in g
to use T II in an indirect proof for BarbaraXQP (or XQQ) ; see no te
to 33 b 29). The proof has the following steps:
( 1 ) AaB
(2) Bao C
(3) AoNC
(4) B aC
(5) AoNB

premiss
premiss
hypothesis; contradictory of the expected conclusio n
hypothesis; 'false but not impossible'
from (3) and (4) by BocardoNXN

(5) contradicts ( 1 ), and Aristotle seems to infer that (3) is impossi


ble relative to the premisses, since (4)-which was assumed to be
possible-combined with (3) yields the impossible conclusion ( 5).
But since (5) was derived from (3) in combination with (4), which is
logically independent of, though compatible with , the premisses, all
that his proof can show so far is that (3) cannot be true if both the
premisses and (4) are true.

343 40-1
'a syllogism in the third figure' . Aristotle uses the mood
B ocardoNXN, which he had dismissed as invalid at 1 1 , 3 1 h 37-9 .
B ut it i s easy to see that it should be valid in a de re-interpretation,
and Aristotle would hardly have looked up his own lists of valid
moods. He then uses the proposition 'A may belong to every B '
(AarB)-the contradictory of (5)-instead o f the original assertoric
premiss ( 1 ) to state that a contradiction has been reached. Becker
proposed to delete the word voxw8m (translated as 'could ' ) here,
but, as the older commentators point out, Aristotle may have pre
ferred AapB, which is implied by AaB , to make the contradiction
explicit. Since he often uses the weaker sense of possibility in this
chapter without announcing it, it seems better to keep the text of the
MSS .
1 46

CO M M E N TA R Y

'One can also produce the impossible . . .' . This passage


3 4 h 2 -6
wa s bracketed by Becker (followed by most recent editors and trans
lators) as a confused attempt at an alternative proof, misleadingly
label ed as indirect. The older commentators construe the argument as
foll ow s: the (false but not impossible) hypothesis BaC ( 4 ) together
with Aap B impl ies AapC according to the-presumably perfect
mood B arbaraPXP. So AapC should be possible relative to the pre
miss es, but it is ruled out by the (second) hypothesis AoNC ( 3 )
Ap art from not being a reductio argument, this alleged proof would
sh ow no more than the preceding one. And since Aristotle never
explicitly discusses syllogistic moods with P-premisses, it seems
more likely that this note was added by a reader who may have been
inspired by the occurrence of AapB in line 4 1 .
Geach offers the ingenious suggestion that this might not be an
alternative proof, but a parenthetical note by Aristotle himself to
point out that the mood BocardoNXN could be proved by indirect
reduction to B arbaraPXP, but again this presupposes that Aristotle
was deliberately using moods with P-premisses.
=

' not with a limitation of time ' . As the following coun


34h 7-18
terexamples show, Aristotle seems to have realized that his proof
for BarbaraXQP does not work: the first example (man belongs to
every moving thing; moving may belong to all horses-but: man
cannot belong to any horse) shows that premisses of the form AaB,
BaQC are compatible with AoNC; the second shows that they are
compatible with AaN C , so that no conclusion can follow (see note
to 33h3- 1 7) . But instead of rejecting the relevant moods as invalid,
Aristotle introduces the new requirement that the universal assertoric
premiss must be one that holds without limitation of time . For in spite
of his claim that ' we construct the syllogisms' with premisses of this
sort, and though the propositions he uses as examples do not contain
temporal expressions such as 'now' , he has often used premisses that
clearly hold only at a certain time, even pointing this out explicitly
in chapter IO (3oh 37-8), and continues to do so in the following
chapters . So the requirement is probably meant to apply only to the
universal premisses of the moods discussed in this chapter. It has
the effect of ruling out examples like the first one cited here. S uch
examples can be found, as Alexander correctly observes ( 1 88 . 25ff. ),
whenever the possible extension of the middle term is larger than that
1 47

PRIOR A NALYTICS

o f the maj or, s o that there are Cs that are possibly Bs but cannot be
As (cf. Aristotle's own argument above, 33 8 37-b 3). If A is true of all
Bs at all times, one may presume that whatever is possibly B will also
be possibly A. But then Aristotle normally takes omnitemporal truth
to be tantamount to necessity, and if that were required, the moods
with an assertoric premiss should still be rejected.
34b 16
'but the conclusion will be necessary, not possible' : In fact
there will be no conclusion, as the counterexamples show; but Aris
totle somewhat misleadingly applies the word to the proposition that
expresses the actual relation between the major and minor terms in
his example. His remark seems to indicate that the expected conclu
sion should be a contingency-proposition , since one-sided possibility
would be implied by a necessity-proposition. But with respect to
contingency thi s example can also show that even a temporally unre
stricted premiss would not do : if the middle term were, for example,
'sleeping' rather than 'moving' , the maj or premiss would be 'animal
belongs to all sleeping things ' , and hence true at all times, but the
'conclusion ' would still be a necessity-proposition.
34b 1 9-26 'let the privative premiss AB be universal . . . ': the pro of
for CelarentXQP follows the pattern of the previous one. Aristotle
uses AiNC as contradictory of the expected conclusion, which leads
to a syllogism in DisamisNXN-a mood rejected at I I , 3 1 b 3 r -3 ,
but which should be valid in the de re-interpretation. 'Assuming a
falsehood' is used as shorthand for ' assuming a proposition that is
not implied by but compatible with the premisses' .
34b 27-3 1
'belonging to none of necessity' . For this way of formu
lating the conclusion AepC , see note to 33 b 30 above. This time Aris
totle explains why the conclusion can be only a P-proposition, and
then proceeds to show by examples that a contingency-proposition
does not follow. Obviously, the same should hold for the case of
B arbaraXQP, where AoNC was used as contradictory of the expected
conclusion.
34h 31-35 8 2
'will not be possible' : that is, not a possibility in
the sense of contingency. In the two examples that follow Aristotle
1 48

C O M M ENTARY

taci tly observes the requirement that the assertoric premiss must
h old without temporal limitation. In the first case, the 'conclusion'
is in fact necessarily true, which rules out contingency but not one
sided possibility ; the second example is apparently added to show
that the conclusion need not be necessary-as one might perhaps
have thought, given that the maj or premisses in both examples
are necessarily true, though not explicitly formulated as necessity
propositions.
'The terms must be better chosen' . According to the ancient
35 8 2
commentators, the two examples are flawed precisely because their
first premisses state necessary facts and should, therefore, not count
as 'merely ' assertoric. However, it might be difficult to find better
examples, given the requirement that these premisses must be true at
all times. Besides, Ari stotle often uses the same terms in examples
for necessary as for assertoric propositions-see, e.g., 3 53 20-4 in
this chapter and 36329-3 I in the next. It might be more plausible
to think (with Ross) that Aristotle's remark refers only to the second
example, where the second premiss-'knowledge possibly belongs to
every man'-can hardly be read as a predication, since 'knowledge'
cannot be predicated of men . As Aristotle points out in chapter 34,
the predicate in such cases should be the word that indicates the
relevant state, that is, 'knower' or 'knowing' in this example. But
if this were used in the first premiss as well, we would get at best
a temporally limited proposition ( ' moving belongs to no knower ' } ,
or else the premisses would lack a common middle term. Given
these difficulties , Aristotle probably postponed the search for better
terms-and did not get back to it.
35 8 3-20
'When the privative premiss . . . ' . Premiss-pairs of the
forms AaB , Be Q C and AeB , BeQC can be reduced to the pre
misses of BarbaraXQP and CelarentXQP by complementary conver
sion (cf. 1 4, 3335ff. ) . Aristotle had used the phrase 'from the pre
misses themselves' before (3434) to indicate the difference between
perfect and imperfect syllogisms, presumably because the valid
ity of the inference is evident from the premisses alone in perfect
syllogisms but not in imperfect ones. Here, however, the moods
to which the new forms are reduced are themselves imperfect,
and it is obviously incorrect to say that nothing follows from the
1 49

P R I O R A N A L Y T I CS

premisses as taken, since the reduction shows that a conclusion does


follow.
'The demonstration is the same as before' : sc. abov e,
35 a 35
3 3 b 3 3-40-not a deductive proof, but simply an appeal to the mean
ing of 'being under' or 'belonging to all' .
'though some of these . . . ' . DariiXQP and FerioXQP
35 a 40-b 8
would be proved by the same indirect method as B arbaraXQP; the
additional moods can then be reduced to these two by compleme ntary
conversion, as before.
'when the premiss . . . assumes not belonging ' : that is, if
35 b 8-1 1
the maj or premiss is universal as before, but contingent, and the
minor premiss is negative and assertoric, as in the premiss-pairs
AaQ B , BoC and Ae0B, BoC. The term-examples show, as one would
expect, that premisses of these two forms are compatible with propo
sitions of both the forms AaNC and AeNC-snow is necessarily
white, and it is impossible for pitch to be white; so 'belonging' and
'not belonging' should be taken to stand in for 'necessarily belong
ing' and ' necessarily not belonging ' respectively.
For the proof 'through indeterminacy ' see 4, 26b 1 4-2 1 and note
there. The examples are chosen in such a way that B eC (or rather,
BeNC) holds rather than BoC. Aristotle therefore reminds the reader
that B oC follows from BeC, so nothing can follow from BoC that
would not be implied by BeC also. Hence Aristotle can also use the
same terms introduced before for the premiss-pairs AaQ B , B eC and
AeQ B , BeC (35a 23-4) .
35 h 1 1-19
'When i t i s the premiss with the minor extreme . . . ' .
Premiss-pairs with a particular maj or and a universal minor, a s well
as with two particular or indeterminate propositions, are treated sum
marily and with the same set of terms, as in the previous chapter. For
the examples, see note to 33 b 3-1 7 . It is worth noting that Aristotle
is evidently prepared to use the same terms for assertoric as for
contingent premisses. This confirms the view that the restriction on
assertoric premisses introduced at 34b 7 holds only for moods with
1 50

COMMENTARY

two universal premisses : a proposition like ' white belongs to all


garments' could hardly be said to be true at all times.
'It is evident, then . . . ' . Aristotle's summary of results is
35 b 20-2
inexact, since he has j ust stated that the pairs AliQB , BoC and AeQ B ,
BoC are inconclusive (3 5 b 8- I I ) .

C H A PTER 1 6

Syllogisms with one necessary and one contingent premiss in the first
figure. Premiss-pairs of this sort will be conclusive and inconclusive
in th e same cases as those with one assertoric premiss, except that in
some cases an assertoric conclusion can be derived.
Barbara QNQ, CelarentQNQ, DariiQNQ, and FerioQNQ are per
fect. The validity of BarbaraNQ(P?) can be proved by the indirect
method introduced in chapter 1 5 . The validity of CelarentNQX and
FerioNQX is proved by reductio ad impossibile . B arbaraNQ(P?) and
DariiNQ(P?), unlike CelarentNQ and FerioNQ, do not have asser
toric conclusions.
The premiss-pairs AaN B , B eQ C and AeN B , BeQ C can be shown to
be conclusive by complementary conversion.
The remaining combinations are shown to be inconclusive by
term-examples.
35 b 24-5 'when the terms are related in the same way ' : sc. as in the
preceding chapter. Given that any necessary proposition implies the
corresponding assertoric one, this result could have been established
without further argument. But Aristotle does not mention this point,
perhaps because he is going to show that an assertoric conclusion
follows in the cases of CelarentNQ and FerioNQ.
' in the same way as in the previous cases' : that is, in the
35b 32-4
sense of one-sided possibility ; see 33 b 25-32 above.
It is not entirely clear which m oods are supposed to be covered
by this remark. Obviously, the perfect syllogisms are not included,
since their conclusions will be contingent, as were those of their
analogues in chapter 1 5 . As a matter of fact, all imperfect moods
in this chapter have a conclusion in the weaker sense of possibility,
151

PRIOR ANALYTICS

but i n the preceding chapter Aristotle had explicitly rec ogni zed th is
only for negative conclus ions. In this passage, the remark mi ght
reflect Aristotle's realization that the possibility-propositi on th at is
implied a fortiori by an assertoric conclusion can be taken on ly in
the weaker sense, since assertoric propositions are co mpatib le w i th
the corresponding necessary ones and hence cannot imply two-sided
possibility. B oth assertoric conclusions mentioned in this chapter are
negative, and so thi s passage might confirm the manuscript reading
at the beginning of chapter 1 5 (see 3 3 b 29-3 2n.).
35 b 34-6 'There will not be a syllogism for necessarily not be long
ing' . It might seem odd that Aristotle explicitly rules out a neces sary
conclusion, but the point he makes here probably refers bac k to h i s
explication of the weaker sense of possibility above ( 1 5 , 33 b 3 0- I )
as 'belonging to none or not to all of necessity ' . The differen ce in
meaning is clearer when the distinction is stated without quantifiers,
as here.
35 b 37-8
' that the conclusion will not be necessary ' . A necessary
conclusion would be ruled out only by a contingent conclusion, not
by a conclusion in the sense of one-sided possibility. So perhaps
Aristotle did think that the positive conclusions of BarbaraNQ and
DariiNQ were contingent propositions.
'in the same way as the previous ones ' . The reference is
36 a 1-2
presumably to the proof for B arbaraXQ(P?), 34834-b 2 . However, the
dubious method used there is not needed in this case, since a normal
reductio is available:
( I ) AaN B premiss
(2) BaQ C premiss
(3) AoNC hypothesi s ; contradictory of AapC
(4) B oN C ( 1 ), (3), Baroco NNN
QED : (4) contradicts (2).

363 6-7
'perfect' . For the sense in which these moods are called
perfect, see note to 1 5 , 3 3 b 3 3 ; 'through the initial premisses' means
1 52

COMMENTARY

t he

premisses a s initially stated; cf. the definition o f 'perfect syllo


'
at 1 , 24b 2 3-4.

gism

' a syllogism for possibly not belonging also comes


3 68 15-1 6
abou t' . This can only be one-sided possibility, as Aristotle may h ave
in d i cated before (35 b 3 2-4) .
' one cannot derive an i mpossibility ' . Aristotle considers
3 6322
combination
of the hypothesis AiC (the contradictory of
the
nly
o
what would be an assertoric conclusion) with the major premiss of
Ce larentQN, that is, AeoB. This leads to the premisses of FestinoQX,
which is rejected by counterexample in chapter 1 8 (37b40-3 8 3 2 ) .
However, a s Mignucci points out, A i C together with the second pre
miss (BaNC) implies B i N A by DatisiNXN, and thi s converts to AiNB,
which conflicts with AeQB . Mignucci proposes to bracket the remark
about the impossibility of a reductio because he thinks Aristotle
could not have overlooked this option. But this is not the only case
where Aristotle seems to have been somewhat negligent, and here
he seems to be guided mainly by the parallels with the preceding
chap ter.
' as in the previous cases ' : i.e. 1 5 , 3533-20. The combi
36325-3 1
nations AaNB, BeoC and AeNB, BeoC can be shown to be conclusive
by complementary conversion. The terms used to reject the other
combinations (AaoB, BeNC and AeQ B , BeNC) are also the same as
before. 'Belonging' and ' not belonging' are short for 'necessarily
belonging (not belonging)' (so also at 35 b 8-1 I, 36b 9- 1 I ).
363 32-b :z ' the same way' : sc. as with the moods with two universal
premisses, where an assertoric conclusion could be derived when the
negative major prem iss was necessary (Celarent NQX). Ari stotle first
considers only the moods with a universal major premiss. FerioNQX
is proved, like CelarentNQX, by reductio. FerioQNQ is presumably
perfect, but does not admit of an assertoric conclusion, and neither
does Darii NQ(P?). The demonstration referred to here is presumably
the argument from lines 1 9-25, used to show that CelarentQNQ
does not have an assertoric conclusion. Aristotle forgets to mention
153

PRIOR ANALYTJCS

DariiQNQ, which should also b e perfect; h e also omits the combi


nations AaNB, B oQC and AeNB, BoQC. which could be val idate d by
complementary conversion.

36h 3-1 2 Premiss-pairs with particular major and universal mi nor


premiss. Aristotle considers first combinations of AiNB or AoN B wi th
AaQB or Ae Q B , then (II. 7- 1 2 ) combinations of AiQB or AoQ B wi th
AaNB or AeN B .

'Common terms' . Aristotle seems pleased to note that


36b 1 2-18
the same terms can be used for all cases, but at least one of the
necessity-premisses would be decidedly odd.
The necessity-premisses are
( 1 ) animal necessarily belongs (does not belong) to some white

thing;
(2) white necessarily belongs (does not belong) to some man;
(3) white necessarily belongs (does not belong) to some inanimate
thing.
( 1 ) and (3) are presumably thought to be true in view of swans
and snow, but Aristotle usually takes it that white is contingent
for all men, and so it is not quite clear how either version of (2)
could be true. (But see Thom 1 996: 1 09- 1 0, who assumes that,
given iwconversion, ' white necessarily belongs to some man' must
be equivalent to 'man necessarily belongs to some white' , which
is true in virtue of the fact that whatever is a man, is so neces
sarily. He admits, however, that it is unclear under what circum
stances 'white necessarily does not belong to some man ' could
be true. )

36h 24-5
Ross brackets the last sentence because i t is obviously
false. Aristotle had explicitly stated that some moods are perfect.
Ross points out that the sentence is identical with the final sentence
of chapter 1 9 (3 9a 1 -3 ), from where it may have been taken by 'some
unintelligent scribe' .
1 54

COMMENTARY

C H APTER 1 7

Combinations o f two contingent premisses i n the second figure. Aris


wtle initially summarizes the results of chapters 1 7- 1 9 : there are no
val id moods with two contingent premisses in this figure (eh. 1 7) ;
but s ome combinations o f a contingent premiss with an assertoric or
necessary universal negative premiss lead to a conclusion in the sense
of one-s ided possibility (chs . l 8- l 9).
Chap ter 17 presents three arguments to show that a negative uni
versal contingent proposition does not convert with respect to its
terms, so that proofs by conversion are not available. Aristotle then
sh ows, perhaps against a putative objector, that a proof by reduction
for CesareQQQ cannot be given . Since any conclusion in these cases
would have to be a contingent proposition, a single set of terms is
given to show that no pair of contingent premisses is conclusive.
'in the same way' : sc. in the sense of one-sided possibility ;
36b 33
cf. 1 5 , 33 b 29-3 2 , and I 6, 35 b 32-4.
'First . . . we must prove' . Most of the proofs for the asser
36b 35
toric moods in the second figure were by conversion of the universal
negative premiss, so Aristotle has to show that this method will not
work for contingent e-premisses. Throughout this passage he omits
the qualification 'universal ' (sc. premiss), but his examples show
what he has in mind.
'For let this be supposed . . . ' : that is, let it be sup
36b 37-373 3
posed that AeQB converts to Be QA. Then, given complementary
conversion, we could derive both AaQ B and BaQA; but AaQ B does
not convert to BaQ A, so the first step must be incorrect. Aristotle
probably takes it to be evident that aQ-premisses do not convert, given
that assertoric a-premi sses do not convert.
36 b 38-40
'the affirmations convert to the denials' . Strictly speak
ing, of course, this is incorrect, since no proposition converts to
its own den ial. Hence Aristotle had explained in chapter 1 3 (32 b 1 3) that all the contingent premisses he uses are affirmations. B ut
throughout these chapters he refers to eQ - and OQ- propositions as
155

PRIOR ANALYTICS

privative o r negative, o n the analogy with their assert ori c co un tcr.


parts. So AaQB and AeQB are ere described as contr!1"ies, A i o B an u
.
AoQB perhaps as contrad1ctones of these. In B 8, 59 8- 1 1 Ari st o t l .
explains that 'belonging to all' and 'not to all ' , ' belo nging to s o m e
and 'to none ' , are opposed as contradictories, while 'belong ing to al l '
and 'to none' a s well a s ' belonging t o some' and 'not to some' an:
opposed as contraries . But in B 1 5 , 63 b 27 he adds that 'to so me ' an d
'not to some' are opposites ' only verbally ' .
'But this i s false' . For the use o f this phrase in the sens e o f
378 :2
' this does not follow' , cf. 9, 3oa2 7, and below, 37a22, and al so the
phrase ' false but not impossible' in r 5, 34a 25ff.
378 4-9
'Furthermore . . . ' : second argument against the convert
ibility of the universal negative premiss. Aristotle shows by example
that AeQB is compatible with B oNA (white may not belong to any
man, but man necessarily does not belong to many white things).
But BoNA is incompatible with BeQA, since contingency excludes
necessity, and so BeQA cannot follow from AeQB .
'if someone were to maintain . . . ' . According to Alexan
378 9-31
der (223 .4), this argument was used by Aristotle's 'companions'
presumably Theophrastus and Eudemus. The argument appears to go
as follows:
( I ) AeQB
premiss
(2) not (BeQA) hypothesis
(alleged) equivalent of (2)
(3) BiNA
by iwconversion from (3)
(4) AiNB
QED: (4) contradicts ( 1 ).
But the argument in fact relies on one-sided possibility, for which
Aristotle himself accepts e-conversion (3, 25b3-14). Here he explains
that the step from (2) to (3) is illegitimate because the denial of BeQA
'is said in two ways' -that is, it is true if either BiNA or BoNA
holds. In modern parlance, the negation of BeQA is the disjunction
(BiNA v BoNA), from which one cannot infer BiNA, and hence also
not AiNB . Aristotle illustrates the point that BoN A excludes BeQA
by appealing to the parallel case of an aQ-proposition: from the
statement that it is not posssible for C to belong to all D-that is, not
1 56

COMMENTARY

D)-one cannot infer that C necessarily does not belong to some

C (oND), for it might be the case that C belongs to every D, but to

so me of th em necessarily, so that it does not contingently belong to

al l D .

,7 22

'that person might make a false assumption' . This passage

e ll illu strates why Aristotle uses the phrase 'this is false' in the

se ns e of 'thi s does not follow ' : if someone were to infer CoND from
the den ial of CaQD, his assumption would turn out to be false in the
c ase where C does belong to every D, but to some of them of neces
si ty. Aris totle probably uses the indicative 'belongs' to avoid con
fu si on with a possibility-statement, but his sentence also expresses
wh at an opponent in a dialectical debate would say to the person who
ma kes the faulty inference.

3 7830 ' no syllogism comes about' . As far as I can see, this remark
must refer to the fact that the inference from Ae Q B to BeQA is
incorrect. So, contrary to his own official view (see above, 343 1 7-1 9) ,
Aristotle seems to describe a one-premissed inference as a syllogism
here.
'that it is <not> possible for B <not> to belong' . I am
3 7835-6
following Ross and most recent editors in accepting the conjecture of
Maier (ii. 1 79 n . ) and inserting two negations. Aristotle is discussing
an attempt to prove the validity of CesareQQQ by reductio ad impos
sibile. Assuming that the putative conclusion would have the form
BeQ C, one would expect a reductio-argument to use its denial as a
hypothesis . However, this still leaves it unclear why Aristotle goes
on to say that A might belong to every C as well as to none where
one would expect him to say that either BiNC or BoNC might hold.
Maier supposes that this step is taken for granted, as well as the
point that BiNC combined with the first premiss could only yield
a conclusion of the form AoQ C, which does not contradict Aa0C,
since that is equivalent to Ae Q C. The manuscript reading seems to
suppose that Aristotle uses BaQC as contradictory or contrary of
BeQ C . Combined with Ae Q B , thi s would yield the conclusion AeQC,
which does not contradict Aa0C. Given complementary conversion,
it is indeed u nlikely that Aristotle himself would have treated Ba0C
1 57

P R I OR ANALYTICS

as 'opposite' o f Be0C; but one cannot rule out the possibi lity th at he
was ascribing this move to a putative opponent.
37 39 'neither premiss is taken in the sense of belonging' . Aristotle
seems to count necessary premisses as asserting belonging, as he
probably did at 1 2 , 32a6-7, and again at 1 9 , 3 8 b 3 2 .
'the other way around' : that i s , i f the negative prem iss i s t he
37b 1 1
second one, as in Camestres as distinct from Cesare.
C H APTER 1 8

Syllogisms with one assertoric and one contingent premiss in the


second figure. Only the moods with a negative universal premiss are
valid.
CesareXQP and CamestresQXP are reduced to Celaren tX QP
by e-conversion of their assertoric premiss ; the inconclus ivene ss
of CesareQX and CamestresXQ is shown by term-examples. The
pairs Ae0 B , AeC and AaQ B , AeC can be reduced to CelarentXQP
by complementary conversion; AaoB . AaC and AaB, Aa0B are
inconclusive.
Of the moods with one particular premiss, only FestinoXQP and
the mood AeB , Ao Q C/B opC are valid; the remaining combinations
can be shown to be inconclusive by the same terms as before.
Aristotle's discussion in this chapter is perfunctory and superfi
cial. Alexander wonders why Aristotle did not notice that his coun
terexamples would invalidate not only the moods he rejects, but
also those he accepts. Alexander considers the option of reintroduc
ing the postulate that assertoric premisses must be chosen 'without
temporal limitation' ( 1 5, 34b 7-9), but rej ects it with the remark
that this would be tantamount to introducing necessary premisses.
And besides, Aristotle's term-examples obviously contain temporally
limited assertoric premisses (see AL Aphr. , 2 3 2 . 1 0-36) . One might
indeed expect the postulate to hold for moods that are reduced to
CelarentXQP or FerioXQP, but then one would have to reject Aris
totle's term-examples and might be at a loss to find better ones. For
if one replaces the assertoric premisses with necessary ones, this will
also validate moods that Aristotle rejects (CamestresXQ, CesareQX,
B arocoXQ) .

CO MMENTARY

I find i t impossible to decide whether Aristotle would have chosen


ch
to an ge his examples or to accept more moods as valid.

b
'The proof is the same' . Ari stotle is presumably referring
3 7 :z:z
back to the term-examples introduced above, 37b 3-4 : white, man,
h o rse . If so, he may have overlooked the point that the conclusions
are su pp osed to be in one-sided possibility (36b33-4). However, the
tenn s he introduces below could be used as well.
b
'the privative one' . As usual, Aristotle is speaking only of
3 7 :z 4
tions
of two universal premisses; he explains later (38ag_ 1 0)
ina
comb
will
be no conclusion if the negative assertoric premiss is
re
the
at
th
part icular.

b
'For let A be taken . . . ' . CesareXQP and CamestresQXP
3 7 :z4-9
are red uced to CelarentXQP. In the case of Camestres, the first con
clu sion CepB will have to be converted to BepC, which is correct for
one-sided possibility (3, 25 b 3- 1 3 ) .
Aristotle does not seem to notice that the term-examples he intro
duces a few lines further down could be used as counterexamples
to the moods he accepts here, for example, CesareXQP: if health
belongs to no animal (AeB) and may belong to every man (AaQ C).
sti l l animal necessarily belongs to every man (BaNC); and if health
belongs to no horse and may belong to every man, still horse neces
sarily belongs to n o man (BeNC).
b
'through the assumptions themselves' : for this phrase, cf.
37 31
1 5 , 35a3-2on . Given complementary conversion, these premiss-pairs
are equivalent to the premisses of CesareXQP and CamestresXQP.
b
37 35-8
'When both premisses are . . . positive' . The first premiss
i n each of these examples-' health belongs to every animal (horse)'
is obviously one that can hold only at some specific time. ' Belonging'
and 'not belonging' are short for 'necessarily belonging (not belong
ing)' , as before (35b8-1 1 , 36a25-3 1 , etc.).
3833
'when it is the privative one' . Again, Aristotle seems to be
thinking only of a universal negative premiss, as shown by lines
1 59

P R IOR A N A L Y T I CS

8- 1 0 below. It is not clear whether the combinations Ai Q B . AeC and


AoQ B , AeC are supposed to be conclusive or not. From these one
could derive a conclusion of the form CorB (by e-conversion and
FerioXQP), but Aristotle is probably considering only conclusions
with B as predicate term, as in chapter 5 .
C H APTER 1 9

Syllogisms with one necessary and one contingent premiss i n the sec
ond figure. All and only those moods are valid that have a necessary
universal negative premiss. In these cases, an assertoric conclusion
can be derived in addition to a possibility-conclusion.
CesareNQP and CamestresQNP can be reduced to CelarentNQP
by conversion of the necessary premiss ; Aristotle adds an indirect
proof for CesareNQX. CesareQN and CamestresNQ are shown to be
inconclusive by term-examples. Moods with two universal negative
premisses can be reduced to CelarentNQP and NQX respectively by
complementary conversion of the contingent premiss; combinations
of two universal affirmative premisses are inconclusive.
Among the moods with one particular premiss, FestinoNQP and
NQX are valid, as well as the moods that result from replacing a
premiss of the form AiQ C by AoQ C. This can be proved as before by
reduction to FerioNQP and NQX. All the valid moods listed in this
chapter are imperfect and are perfected by means of moods of the
earlier figures.
In this chapter Aristotle seems to be guided mainly by the expec
tation that the case of premiss-pairs with a necessary premiss instead
of an assertoric one will be similar to the case of combinations of
an assertoric and a contingent premiss . His counterexample seems to
confirm the view that pairs in which the affirmative premiss is the
necessary one are inconclusive. In fact, it is easy to show by Aristo
tle's own methods that these combinations also lead to a possibility
as well as an assertoric conclusion. Hence it would seem that only
combinations of two particular premisses and (assuming the standard
form of the conclusion) those with a particular first premiss are
inconclusive.
388 16-25
'For let it be supposed . . . ' : proofs for the validity of
Cesare and CamestresNQP and NQX. CesareNQP is reduced to
1 60

COMMENTARY

Cel arentNQP b y conversion o f the major premiss. Since Celarent


NQX w as accepted as valid, this would be sufficient to show the
vali dity of CesareNQX as well, but Aristotle adds an indirect proof:
B i C and AeNB imply AoNC (by FerioNXN), which contradicts the
minor prem iss .
'let the positive premiss be necessary . . . ' : proof of
38 8 26-b 5
the inconclusiveness of premiss-pairs with an affirmative necessary
premiss . As usual, Aristotle presents terms to show that the pre
misses are compatible with a positive or negative necessary propo
sition, so that neither a possibility-conclusion nor an assertoric
conclusion can follow. Apparently convinced by his example, he
overlooks the fact that the conclusiveness of these premiss-pairs
could easily be proved by reductia ad impassibile ; for example, for
CesareNQX:
(1 )
(2)
(3)
(4)

AeQB
AaNC
BiC
AoQ C

premiss
premiss
hypothesis ; contradictory of BeC
from ( r ) and (3) by FerioQXQ.

(4) contradicts (2), so BeC must follow.


Alexander points out (23 8 . 22-3 8 ) that a possibility-conclusion
can be derived; he does not seem to have considered an asser
toric conclusion. For the term-example he refers again to his lost
treatise.
It seems clear that the fl aw in Aristotle's second example lies in
the fact that its second premiss-'motion necessarily belongs to all
waking things'-could at best be accepted as true de dicta, if one
were willing to assume that waking is a form of motion . Alexander
seems to have understood the premiss in this way : he suggests that
' waking' should be replaced by 'walking' to bring out the connection
with motion (237 . 1 0- 1 5 ) . In a de re-interpretation, however, the
premiss should be false, since there are animals that are awake but
not necessarily moving-a point that seems to be underlined by the
first premiss itself, 'motion possibly does not belong to any animal'
(Philop. 2 2 . 2 1 -32). It is not surprising that a mood that would be
valid in a de re-interpretation turns out to be invalid de dicta (cf. nn .
to eh. 14). The first term-example is correct, but does not rule out
conclusions of the forms BepC or BeC .
161

PRIOR ANALYTICS

for the necessary followed' . Aristotle seem s to be re fer


388 36-7
ring to the results of chapter I O, according to which a nec essary co n
clusion can be derived in the second figure only if either the uni vers al
negative or both premisses are necessary. He tacitly assume s th at
a contingent proposition is weaker or at least not stronger than an
assertoric one.
'

that B belongs to C' . Aristotle presumably mean s th at


38 8 38
B necessarily belongs to C, as he explicitly says below, 3 8 b 3 . He
frequently omits the modal qualifiers in these chapters (e.g. 3 8a 1 9 ,
b 1 1 ) , and when introducing term-examples ( 1 5 , 3 5 b 8-1 1 ; 1 6 , 36a 2 53 1 ) . However even an assertoric proposition of the form BaC should
be ruled out by the premisses, since AaNC together with BaC implies
AiNB by DaraptiNXN, which conflicts with the first premiss. How
ever, the de dicta propositions Q(AeB) and N(AiB) should be com
patible (see n . to 3 , 25a40-b 3 ).
'

38 8 40
'A possibly belongs to every B ' . Aristotle is using an affir
mative contingent premiss instead of the negative one would expect
for Cesare. This is, of course, legitimate since the two forms are
equivalent.
,

38b 4-5
'the opposite affirmations : that is, the contradictories
of the negative conclusions considered so far. Those had actually
already been ruled out by the first counterexample. 'The other way
around' refers to the premisses of Camestres as before, 3 7b u ; th e
proof is the same, except that the first conclusion (CepB) will have to
be converted to reach the standard form.
'

38h 6-13
'If the premisses have the same form' : proofs for the
validity of the premiss-pairs AeN B , AeQC and AeQC, AeNC. By con
version of both premisses that is, term-conversion for the necessary,
complementary conversion for the contingent one-the premisses are
shown to be equivalent to those of CelarentNQP or NQX. By 'priv
ative premiss' Aristotle obviously refers to the necessary privative
premiss.
-

COMMENTARY

isses are positive . . . ' . It is not clear how


3 sb 14- 1 7 . ' i f the pre
ved
at
the
view
that a necessary or assertoric negative
arn
tle
sto
Ari
i
res
at
least
one
negative premiss. In chapter 1 2 he
n
re
q
u
io
u
s
n
cl
o
c
had said th at an assertoric conclusion require s at least one premiss
of the same modality, but n ot that it also requires the same quality
( affirmative or negative). For the claim that there can be no necessary
negative conclusion Aristotle might appeal to chapter I O . With regard
to th e assertoric concl usion he might have been t hi n king of chapter
r 6 , which seemed to show that a negative assertoric conclusion in the
first fig ure follows from a combinati on of a negative and a c o n tinge n t
premiss only if there is a necessary negative premiss (35a 30-2 ) . A
n egati ve assertoric premiss combined with a necessary or assertoric
affirmative will lead to an assertoric conclusion, so that one might
th ink th at at least one negative premiss was needed in any case. The
gen erali z at i o n is wrong, however, since the premiss-pairs considered
here are equivalent to those of CesareQN and CamestresNQ and
should have the same conclusions (cf. 38a 26-b 5 above).
3 8 b 17-23 ' for possibly not belonging' . Aristotle's counterexample
rules out only a contingent (affirmative or negative) conclusion. To
exclude conclusions of the forms B epC and BeC he would h ave
to add an example in which the premisses are true together with a
proposition of the form BaNC. He probably assumed that he could
use the same ( m i sl ead ing ) terms as before, at line 4 1 (A motion , B
animal, C waking).
'particular syllogisms' . FestinoNQP and NQX can be
38 b 24-37
reduced to FerioNQP or NQX by term-conversion of the first pre mi s s .
The combinations o f AiQ B o r Ao Q B with AeNC are also covered
by this statement, but Aristotle may have been thinking only of t he
modalized versions of Festino and Baroco.
39 8 39
'the aforementioned figures' . Thi s is the reading of all
o ur M S S , but commentators from antiquity on have wondered wh y
Aristotle speaks of figures in the plural, given that syllogistic moods
could be perfected only by reduction to th e (evidently valid) moods
of the first figure. Alexander thinks that Aristotle m igh t ju s t be using
the plural for the singular, or else refer to the various moods of the
1 63

PRIOR ANALYTICS

modalized first figure. Maier (ii. 1 76n2) proposes to c hange t h e te xt


so as to read the singular. Ross defends the plural by pointi ng o u t th at
this summary covers all of chapters 1 7- 1 9 , and several of the m oods
treated there were reduced to CelarentXQP or FerioX QP, th at is , 1 0
imperfect moods of the first figure that were in turn proved thro u g h
moods of the third figure in chapter 1 5, so that several figures wo uld
i ndeed be used . I find it just as likely that Aristotle is using the w ord
'perfecting' here in a somewhat looser sense than before, forge tt in g
that the modalized moods of the first figure were not all perfect, so
that a reduction to these moods could not count as 'perfecting' in the
strict sense of using only evidently valid steps. So I would be inclined
to follow Alexander's suggestion that Aristotle is speaking of moods
rather than figures here.
C H A PTER 20

Syllogisms with contingent premisses in the third figure. Aristotle


begins with a summary of results that covers chapters 20-2 (cf. 1 7,
36b 25-34) .
There are valid moods in all three kinds of cases, that is, when
both premisses are contingent (eh. 20), when one is contingent, the
other assertoric (eh. 2 1 ), and when one premiss is necessary, the other
contingent (eh. 22). If both premisses are contingent or if one is
contingent, the other assertoric, the conclusion will be a possibility
proposition. The same holds for combinations of a contingent pre
miss with a necessary affirmative one; only if the necessary premiss
is negative does an assertoric-conclusion follow as well as a possible
one. As in the other figures, the possible conclusions must be under
stood in the sense of one-sided possibility.
Chapter 20: DaraptiQQQ and FelaptonQQQ can be reduced to
DariiQQQ and FerioQQQ respectively by term-conversion; the mood
Ae Q C, BeQ C/AiQ C is also valid, since its premisses are equivalent to
those of DariiQQQ, given complementary conversion.
When one premiss is universal, the other particular, the same com
binations are conclusive as in assertoric syllogistic . DatisiQQQ and
Di samisQQQ as well as BocardoQQQ can be reduced to DariiQQ Q
by term-conversion . The premiss-pairs AeQC, BoQ C and AoQC,
Be Q C can be shown to be equivalent to the premisses of DatisiQQQ
by complementary conversion .

C O M M E N TA R Y

Com binations o f two indetermin ate or two particular premisses are


o
sh wn to be inconclusive by term-examples .
In th is chapter Aristotle mentions only thirteen of sixteen possible
pre mis -pairs.' four of which are rejected as inc nclusive. The three
rem aim ng pairs (AaQ C, B eoC ; AaQ C, Bo Q C ; A1 Q C , BeQC) have no
e xact co unterpart in assertoric syllogistic and may have been left out
fo r th at reason. It is easy to show that they should count as valid
gi ven com plementary conversion. Some proofs are not explicitly
giv en and indicated merely by ' similarly ' , which is not quite correct,
for ex ample, in the case of B ocardoQQQ (see n. to 39a36). It should
be no surprise that Aristotle does not always try to find the shortest
possib le proof; so the fact that he does not use term-conversion for
particul ar negative propositions should not be taken to mean that he
rej ected this rule here, in contrast to chapter 3 (see Becker, pp. 62-3 ,
con tra Ma ier) .
' as in the previous cases' : see 1 6, 35 b 29-34 ; 1 8 , 3 7 b 1 9 39 8 I I-I3
24; 1 9 , 38a 1 3- 1 6 . The remark that the conclusions must be taken
in the sense of one-sided possibility presumably applies only to the
' mixed' moods in chapters 2 1 and 2 2 , since the purely contingent
moods are reduced to the perfect first-figure moods, for which Aris
totle explicitly points out that they have a contingent conclusion
( 33 b 2 2-24).
'when the premisses are converted' . Aristotle seems to
39824-5
be thinking of complementary conversion for both premisses, which
leads to the premisses of DaraptiQQQ again. To reach the first figure,
he could have proceeded as in the case of FelaptonQQQ above, which
is reduced to FerioQQQ (11 . 20-23).
39929-30
' in the same way as in the case of belonging' . Surpris
ingly, Aristotle seems to overlook the additional moods provable by
complementary conclusion, though he mentions them a few lines
further down (11. 39-40 ).
39 a 36
' Similarly also' . In the case of B ocardoQQQ one would
have to use complementary conversion of the first premiss (AoQ C to
Ai Q C) to reach the premisses of DisamisQQQ, and if the conclusion
1 65

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

is expected to have the usual form AoQB . one would also have
convert the preliminary conclusion Ai Q B to AoQ B .

to

39b 4-6 For the term-examples, see note t o 1 4, 3 3 b 3-1 7. Aristotle 's
examples look convincing at first because one would au tom atic ally
understand the premisses as de dicta-propositions : it is conting ent
that some white things are animals or humans or hors es, but al l
men are necessarily animals, and no man can possibly be a horse.
However, in a de re-interpretation the premisses are dubious at best,
since nothing could be either an animal or a horse contingently.
C H A PTER 2 1

Syllogisms with one contingent and one assertoric premiss in the


third figure. The conclusion will be possible, not assertoric, in a l l
cases ; the valid moods are the same as before (i.e. in eh. 20).
DaraptiXQ and QX are reduced by conversion to DariiXQ and QX
respectively; FelaptonXQ and QX are similarly reduced to FerioXQ
and QX. If the second premiss is negative and possible or if both
premisses are negative, a conclusion follows after complementary
conversion.
Moods with one universal and one particular premiss can be
reduced to the corresponding valid moods of the first figure in the
same way if both premisses are affirmative or the negative one is
universal. B ocardoQXP is proved by reductio ad impossibile. Pairs
of two indeterminate or particular premisses are inconclusive.
Aristotle's treatment in this chapter is summary and rather super
ficial . For example, his sweeping generalization is incorrect-it is
not true that the same combinations as before are valid regardless of
the distribution of modalities. It is likely that he did not bother to go
through all the proofs in detail.
39 b 7-8
'that it possibly belongs, not that it belongs' . As before,
Aristotle does not specify in which cases there will be a contingent
conclusion and in which merely a possible one. It is not likely that
he would have maintained, for example, that DaraptiXQ, which is
reduced to DariiXQP, has a weaker conclusion than DaraptiQX,
which is reduced to DariiQXQ. As Philoponus suggests (230.20-4),
1 66

C O M M E N TA R Y

A r is tot le seems to leave i t to the reader to figure out which moods do


or do not have a contingent conclusion.
'Thus it is evident . . . ' . Aristotle seems to have based his
3 9 h 30-1
fact that all the valid moods in this chapter were reduced
the
on
aim
cl
to moods of the fi rst figure that did not have an assertoric conclusion.
How ever, such conclusions were not even considered in chapter r 5 ,
an d in fact they could easily b e derived b y the (faulty) indirect method
i ntroduce d there .
' If the affirmative premiss is universal ' . The proof that
3 9 h 31-2
follo ws obviously holds only for BocardoQXP, though Aristotle's
description covers more cases, at least two of which (AoC, BaQC and
AaQ C BoC) should be rejected as invalid. Aristotle does n ot mention
the case of two negative premisses here.
,

CHAPTER 2 2

Syllogisms with one contingent and one necessary premiss i n the


third figure.
When both premisses are affirmative, the conclusion will always
be possible; if one premiss is affirmative, the other negative, and the
affirmative premiss is necessary, the conclusion will also be possible,
but if the negative premiss is necessary, both a possible and an
assertoric conclusion follow. As in the other figures, there will be
no necessary conclusions.
DaraptiNQ and QN are reduced by conversion to DariiNQ and
QN respectively, and similarly FelaptonQN to FerioQN. FelaptonNQ
can be reduced to FerioNQX/P and hence admits of an assertoric
as well as a possible conclusion . The premiss-pair AaN C, B eo C
can be shown to be conclusive by substituting B aQ C for B eQC;
the pair AaoC, BeNC is inconclusive, as can be shown by term
examples.
The case of one universal and one particular premiss is similar:
if both premisses are affirmative or if the affirmative premiss is
necessary, there will only be a possibility-conclusion, while if the
necessary premiss is privative, there will be an assertoric conclusion
as well, since the proofs for these moods are the same as for the
1 67

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

universal ones. I f the minor premiss is negative and universal, there


will be a syllogism after complementary conversion if the premiss is
possible, but not if it is necessary. This can be shown by the same
terms as before.
This completes the treatment of the third fi gure. All syll ogis ms in
this figure are imperfect and are perfected through the first figu re.
As in the preceding chapters, Aristotle does not indicate which
conclusions are supposed to be possible in the weaker (one-sided)
sense and which ones should be contingent. The passage at 20,
39a 1 I - l 3 suggests that at least the moods that have an assertoric
conclusion should have possibility-conclusions in the weaker sense.
The proofs are mostly not given in full, and it is not always clear
how Aristotle intended to proceed. A few cases are omitted, as well
as the usual final remark that pairs of two indeterminate or particular
premisses are inconclusive. It seems that Aristotle eventually lost
patience with the l arge number of similar cases .
4o a 8-9 ' both for possibly not belonging and for not belonging' . As
before ( 1 6, 3 5 h 3 0-4 ; 19, 38a 1 4- 1 6) Aristotle maintains that an asser
toric conclusion can be derived only if there is a necessary negative
premiss. In fact, the derivations should work for affirmative necessary
premisses as well, as, for example, in the case of DaraptiNQ:
(l) AaNC
(2) B ao C

(3) AeB
(4) AepC

premiss
premiss
hypothesis; contradictory of AiB
from 3) and 2) by CelarentXQP

(4) contradicts ( 1 ) , so AiB must follow.


408 1 0
'no syllogism for necessarily not belonging' . Aristotle does
not offer a proof for this claim. A necessary conclusion would of
course be ruled out by a contingent conclusion, but if the conclusion
were assertoric or possible in the weaker sense, a separate argument
would be needed. (Cf. 35 b 37-8n. above.)
408 2 1
' for the privative premiss also' . Most translators follow the
ancient commentators' suggestion that the word yap ( 'for' ) refers
1 68

C O M M ENTA R Y

the follow ing clause. The tran slation would then have to be ' and
si nce the privative premiss . . . ' (so Smith). While this is syntactically
p o ssi ble, I find it easier to take the word in its usual sense and under
stan d this clause as saying that the negative contingent premiss also
sig nifies possible belonging (i.e. AeQC and AaQ C are equivalent),
"
so that we get the premisses of DaraptiQN again . Cf. 40 34 below,
where Aristotle describes this step as substituting one premiss for
an other.
10

Terms. This set of terms is probably the clearest example


40 8 36-8
of de dicta-propositions. ' S leep necessarily belongs to all sleeping
horses ' and ' Sleep cannot belong to any waking horse' are obviously
false in a de re-interpretation, since anything that can be sleeping can
also be waking. However, in this case the premisses are inconclusive
in both interpretations. For a de re-counterexample one might use the
terms white, swan/raven, man as above, 36b 7ff.
Aristotle forgets to mention the combinations of two negative
premisses, where-by analogy to the cases mentioned here-the pair
AeNC, B eQC should be conclusive after complementary conversion,
while AC. BeNC should be inconclusive.
4ob 3-4
' B ut when the privative premiss . . . ' . Lines b 8 - 1 r below
show that Aristotle is here thinking only of a negative first premiss,
as in the correspondi ng assertoric mood (Felapton).
4ob 5
' the proof will work in the same way' : the moods with two
universal premisses were reduced by conversion of an affirmative
premiss to the corresponding versions of Darii and Ferio. Obviously,
the moods with a particular affirmative premiss can be reduced to the
same moods by conversion of that premiss. Only the two versions
of Bocardo require a different method. The premisses of B ocardoQN
can be reduced to the premisses of DisamisNQ by complementary
conversion of the first premiss, followed by reduction to DariiNQQ.
The expected version of the conclusion, AoQ B , can then be reached
by conversion of the preliminary conclusion AiQ B . BocardoNQX
would h ave to be proved by reductio ad impossibile. It is not likely
that Aristotle went through all the proofs in detail.
1 69

PRIOR ANALYTICS

'the universal privative premiss' . I t is strange that Ar is t otl e


4oh 9
seem s to consider only the case of a universal premiss , thus o mi t
ting the combinations AaQ C. BoNC and AaNC, B oQC. If t he w ords
Ka86>.ov A'YJ<f>8v ( ' posited as universal ' ) were omitted, these cases
would be covered as well. But the words were already read by th e
ancient commentators and appear in all our MS S .
A s before (403 38), Aristotle does not consider the case o f t wo
negative premisses.
C H APTER 23

Aristotle sets out to prove a generalization of the theorem established


in chapter 7 b y showing that not only the valid syllogistic moods,
but any proof and any valid deductive argument will be in one of the
figures, so that all forms of deductive argument can be reduced to the
universal moods of the first figure.
His proof has two parts : he begins with the case of 'ostensive'
syllogisms, that is, deductive arguments with premisses and con
clusion from one of the four types of proposition recognized in his
syllogistic . He then argues that the theorem also holds for reductio ad
impossibile and other kinds of argument ' from a hypothesis' by argu
ing that those arguments must contain at least one purely syllogistic
deduction.
' from what has been said' : in chapter 7. It is not clear
4oh 1 7-19
whether the theorem to be proved in this chapter is also supposed to
hold for the modal syllogisms treated in chapters 8-22. Aristotle does
indeed reduce the imperfect modal syllogisms to the perfect moods
of the modal first figure, but he has not offered a proof parallel to the
one given in chapter 7 to show that the modal versions of Darii and
Ferio can also be reduced to the corresponding versions of B arbara
and Celarent. Given the obvious connection between chapters 7 and
23, it seems likely that the section on modal syllogisms had not yet
been written when Aristotle wrote this chapter.
'perfected through the universal syllogisms in the first figure' .
Strictly speaking, not all other assertoric moods were perfected
through the two universal moods of the first figure, since Darii and
Ferio were recognized as perfect by themselves, though they could
also be reduced to Barbara and Celarent (see n. to 29 b 1 ) . Alexander
1 70

C O M M E N TA R Y

i
( 255 .Sft), who di scusses the prob le m offers two p o ss b l e sol uti o n s :
reduction
of
a
s
y
ll
og
i
st
ic
mood
any
to
anoth
er one counts
at
th
er
e it h
i
f
perfecting,
o
r
that
Ari
stotle
was
'univer
u
s
n
g
the
word
e
o
cas
a
as
o v) here in the sense of ' without qualification' (a7T/.. w s").
s al ' ( Ka 86/..
Th e first ans wer seems to me to be mistaken, the second unlikely.
Pre sum ably Ar i s totl e was simply n eg l i g e n t here; the rep e t i t i o n of
b
h i s cl ai m at the end of the chapter (4 1 3-S ) i s correct and more
e
re
c
i
s
p
,

'It is necessary . . . ' . Ari stotle explicitly states here that


4o h 23-6
bo th premis s es and conclusion of any valid argument will have one
of th e forms he uses in his syllogistic . The questi on of canonical
fo rmu latio n is treated in chapters 3 2-44. Aristotle seems to have
considered his claim as rather uncontroversial. This may be due in
part to the fact that he was willing to treat an astoni shi n g ly large
number of exp res si on s as repres ent ati o ns of the four predi c ati on
relations (see eh. 36). Furthermore, it seems clear that he did n ot
view propositionally complex expressions such as 'if p, then q' or 'p
and q' as different types of propositions, but simply as plu ra l ities of
propos i t ion s . As far as we can tel l from our fragmentary evidence, the
Stoic log i c ia ns were the first to deal e xpl i cit ly with propositionally
c omp lex forms of statements and hence discovered propositional
l o gi c

4o b 25

' i n the ostensive way or from a hypothesis' . For the label


' ostensive' , see 7, 29a3 1 n.
Si nce Aristotle intends to prove his thesi s for all valid deductive
arguments, we must assume that he takes the division into o s te ns i v e
arguments and argu ments from a hypothesis as exhaustive. The class
of ostensive arguments evi de ntly comprises all those that have two
or more categorical premisses and do not contain any non-syllogi stic

inferences.

Chapters 2 3 and 44 (5oa29ff. ) are the only passages in which


reductio-arguments are expli citly classified as 'from a hypothesis ' .
Aristotle may have singled out the reductio-arguments for treat
ment in this chapter b ecause indirect proofs were common in Greek
mathematics, so that he needed to show that they were also cov
ered by his theory. It is not clear exactly which formal property of
these argu ments led h i m to include them in this group (see n. to
171

PR IOR ANALYTICS

4 1 a 2 1 -4 r below). For the other forms o f arguments ' from a hypoth


esis' see chapter 44.

'What holds for arguments . . . ' . One could also transl ate
4ob 27
the Greek as ' that the same is true for arguments . . . ' . This migh t i n
fact be the more natural way of taking the sentence; my trans lati on
is the more charitable version , since Aristotle does not in fact pro ve
that 'hypothetical ' arguments are also syllogistic in form, but at best
that they will contain at least one syllogistic step.
'the initial thesis' : Greek To lt ap xf"J s, the proposition th at
4ob 32
is stated at the beginning of an argument as the demonstrandum.
'Postulating the initial thesis' is Aristotle' s standard expression for
the form of argument still called petitio principii, or ' begging the
question' (cf. eh. B 1 6).
4ob 35-6
'nothing follows of necessity ' . Aristotle repeatedly
asserts that nothing follows from a single premiss (e.g. above, 34" 1 71 9). Strictly speaking this is obviously false, as shown not only by the
conversion rules, but even by the preceding remark that one cannot
produce a syllogism for a proposition by assuming that very prop o
sition as a premiss. He seems to recognize here that 'p' follows from
'p' , but this would of course be question-begging, not an acceptable
argument. Aristotle probably means that nothing different from the
premiss follows, but even this is problematic. (See n . to 24b 1 8-20.)
4ob 37
'that A is said of something else' . As the sequel shows,
'something else' must be a term different from A, B, and C. Aristotle
considers two cases ; (a) assuming a second premis s in which either
A or C occur, but not B ; and (b) assuming several new premisses that
contain C and some other terms, but not B . In both cases one may
have a premiss-pair in one of the valid moods, but not a conclusion
that contains B .
41 4
'predications' . This word translates the Greek Kan1yop {a,
in other contexts often transl ated or rather transliterated as 'category ' .
1 72

CO M M E N TA R Y

pre di cation ' i s the literal meaning o f the Greek word, and here Aris
t otl e is o bviously speaking of the four predication-relations 'being
sai d of all (of none, of some, not of some) ' .
By stating that a conclusion with respect to a given term
4 1 a 2-1 3
educed
only from premisses that contain this term at least
d
be
n
ca
once, Ari stotle postulates that the content of the premisses must be
rel ated to the content of the conclusion, and hence that the premisses
mus t be relevant to the conclusion. This is a plausible stipulation
gi ven that syllogisms are to function as arguments . It excludes, for
ex am ple, the notorious theorem that any proposition can be deduced
fro m a contradiction. Aristotle does deal with inferences from contra
dictory prem isses in B 1 5 , but he considers only the option of deduc
ing an i nternally inconsistent proposition by one of the syllogistic
moods, for example, BeB from AeB , AaB by Cesare (64a 1 -4) . This
kind of proposition might turn up at the end of a dialectical debate
in which the two premisses have each been introduced or derived
independently.
The next sentence goes further in postulating that the premisses for
a conclusion containing a given pair of terms must be connected by a
common term; and since Aristotle considers only two-premiss cases
here, this term must then function as the middle term.

41 a 1 4
' this is possible i n three ways' . Commentators tend to note
at this point that Aristotle overlooked the possibility of the fourth
figure that was added in the later ancient tradition. He mentions only
the case of A being predicated of C and C of B , not the fourth-figure
case of C being predicated of A and B of C. However, if one assumes
that premiss-order is irrelevant, Aristotle's list of three figures is
complete. (See n. to 29a23-6 .)
41 8 1 8 ' the argument is the same' . Aristotle generalizes his theorem
to deductions with more than two premisses. What he is claiming is
that, given any deduction with more than two premisses, premis ses
and preliminary conclusions can be arranged to form a series of
premiss-pairs that share a middle term. Obviously, these pairs will
fall into one of the figures. Hence the preceding argument can be
repeated for any number of premisses, and any deduction with an
1 73

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

arbitrarily high number o f premisses can b e transformed into a seri c ,


of syllogisms in the n arrow sense. Aristotle assumes that there w i l l
b e no redundant premisses (see 2 5 , 42a2 2-24).

41 8 1 9

'the same figure' . The singular is puzzling, sin ce Aris tot le


can hardly mean that each chain of syllogisms would con sist of
arguments in only one of the figures. Maier (ii. 2 20) sugges ted th at
the word 'figure' should be taken in a loose sense, presumably as
equivalent to the plural . Since the Greek word axfJ.a simply me ans
'shape' or 'form' , Aristotle might also be saying that argumen ts w ith
more than two premi sses will have the same form-namely premis s
pair and conclusion-as the simple syllogisms .
What Aristotle has said in thi s section amounts to the sketch of
a proof. For a formal version, see Thom ( 1 98 1 : 2 1 6- 1 9) and Smiley
( 1 994).

41 8 22-b I

' also for the arguments that lead to the impossible' . The
second half of this chapter is devoted almost exclusively to reductio
ad impossibile, although the opening statement (4ob 2 5-6) prom ised
that it would deal with arguments 'from a hypothesis' i n general . This
may be due to the fact that Aristotle' s readers were already familiar
with the label ' argument from a hypothesis '-e.g. from Plato's Meno,
86Eff.-but would not expect to find reductio-arguments classified in
this way. Aristotle tries to show both that reductio-arguments reach
their conclusion from a hypothesis and that all the arguments of this
type, just like the ostensive ones, must be in one of the figures. His
treatment of the other types of argument 'from a hypothesis' comes
only in chapter 44.

41 8 23-4

'deduce the falsehood by a syllogism ' . Aristotle is using


the expression 'deducing by a syllogism' ( av>.>.oyt,ea8ai) as dis
tinct from 'proving' or 'reaching a conclusion ' (7repatvea8ai) to
mark the difference between the syllogistic and the non-syllogistic
parts of the argument. This is a somewhat unfortunate choice, since
both parts together are also described as a syllogism in the wider
sense of valid deductive argument.
The examples show what Aristotle has in mind : he i s point
ing out that arguments from a hypothesis have two parts. First an
1 74

COMMENTARY

obviously false conclusion i s deduced from the con


i m p o ssi ble or
.
of the demonstrandum and one or more premisses that
are ac cepted as true-this is the syllogistic part. Then one moves
onstrandum-this step i s based on a hypothesis, since the
to th e dem
y of the demonstrandum has led to a false or impossible
ctor
di
co n tra
n
.
This
part is no longer syllogistic in form.
usio
co ncl
(fadic t ory

'that the diagonal is incommensurable' . Aristotle refers


4 1 a z6
10 an obvi ously well-known proof for the incommensurability of
the diagonal with the side of a square. Full versions of the proof
can be found in Euclid' s Elements (X. 1 I 7 , App. 27 Heiberg) and
Alexander's commentary (260.9-26 r .28). From the assumption that
the proportion of the length of the side and the diagonal can be
expressed by two integers it is deduced first that one of these numbers
mus t be odd, then that it must be even. This is what Aristotle calls
the syllogistic deduction . From the (logically) impossible result that
one and the same number is both odd and even one then infers
the falsehood of the initial assumption and hence the truth of the
demonstrandum.
It seems unlikely that Aristotle himself attempted to present this
or other mathematical proofs in syllogistic form . If he had tried,
he would no doubt have realized that the formalism of his syllo
gistic is not rich enough to represent the forms of mathematical
proofs (see Mueller 1 974) . But it might be worth pointing out that
the contradiction that appears in the proof-'n is odd and n is
even' -is stated as a single proposition : 'even numbers are equal
to odd numbers ' . What Aristotle describes as impossible, then, is
not the conj unction of two contradictory propositions, but a single
internally inconsistent proposition allegedly derived by syllogism .
His description of indirect arguments in general seems to derive
from the simple model of indirect syllogisms (B r 1 - 1 4) or the
indirect proofs given in chapters 5-6 . In those cases, the contra
dictory of the expected conclusion is combined with one of the
premisses to deduce a proposition that is impossible (in this context)
because it confl icts with the other premiss. It is presumably also
this model that underlies Aristotle's claim in chapter 29 that every
indirect deduction can be replaced by a direct one with the same
terms.
1 75

PRIOR ANALYTICS

'what was meant' . The past tense seems to indic ate th at


41 8 30-1
Aristotle is referring back to an explanation of his termin olo gy, bu t
none was given before, nor does he supply one later. Presu mably he
is simply appealing to the memory of his readers or liste ners w h o
would have heard the expression either in their mathematics less on s
or in the Academy.

Arguments 'from a hypothesis ' . S ince Aristotle doe s


41 8 32-40
not provide a full description of the form these arguments are sup
posed to have, commentators disagree as to which proposition is the
hypothesis that explains the classification of indirect arguments as
'from a hypothesis' . Three candidates have been proposed:
(a) According to Alexander (256 . 1 8-25) and many later scholars,

the hypothesis is the contradictory of the demonstrandum. Aris


totle frequently refers to this explicitly as a hypothesis (e.g.
5 , 2887; B 1 1 -14, B 1 7 passim, and here, 4 1 3 32), since it is
an assumption made only for the sake of argument, not an
accepted premiss. The indirect argument relies on this assump
tion because it serves, together with one of the regular pre
misses, to deduce the falsehood that justifies the inference to
the truth of the demonstrandum.
Now according to this interpretation, the hypothesis clearly
belongs to the syllogistic part of the argument, which makes it
hard to see what similarity might have led Aristotle to group
reductio ad impossibile together with the rest of the so-called
arguments from a hypothesis . It is probably significant that he
refers to this assumption as 'the initial hypothesis ' in 1. 3 2 , thus
distinguishing it from the hypothesis that underlies the non
syllogistic part.
(b) According to Mignucci and others, the relevant hypothesis is

the denial of the impossible conclusion . From the statement


that the conclusion is false one can infer that its contradic
tory must be true, and Aristotle himself asserts elsewhere (B
1 4 , 62b 35-37) that the falsity of the impossible conclusion
must be presupposed. However, just as with the previous pro
posal, it remains unclear what is supposed to be the com
mon feature shared by reductio and other arguments 'from a
hypothesis ' .
1 76

COMMENTARY

( c ) According t o the third interpretation, suggested earlier by


Pacius and defended more recently by Maier, Ross, and Patzig,
the hypothesis through which the conclusion is reached is the
logical rule that is used in the step from the impossibility of the
first conclusion to the assertion of the demon strandum. Aristo
tle states several times that the initial thesis is proved from a
hypothesis 'when' or 'since' the assumption of its contradic
tory has led to an impossible conclusion ( 4 1a25 , " 30,a 32). This
suggests a rule that could be stated as 'If something impossible
follows from a given proposition, then that proposition is false
and hence its contradictory can be asserted as true' . This rule
seems to have exactly the role that Aristotle ascribes to the
agreement in other arguments ' from a hypothesis' (44, 5oa 2 56), and so this interpretation explains why he classifies reductio
arguments as 'from a hypothesis' . The common feature consists
in the fact that both types of argument consist of a syllogistic
deduction and a non-syllogistic inference that is justified by the
hypothesis. In the case of reductio ad impossibile, the hypoth
esis is a logical law that is evidently valid; in the case of the
other arguments 'from a hypothesis' , it is a proposition that
is accepted as true by an explicit agreement (sc. between the
parties in a dialectical debate).

For a more detailed discussion see Striker ( 1 979).


41 a36

'that syllogisms through the impossible will also be in


those figures' . This statement is surprising, since Aristotle had j ust
explained that the syllogism is only a part of the complete argument
that reaches its conclusion from the hypothesis. If his claim is to be
taken literally, one might suspect that he saw the final step in an
indirect argument not as an inference, but perhaps as an admission
one is forced to make, given that one could hardly deny that a
proposition from which something impossible follows must be false
(cf. 44, 5oa 24-6) . (See Barnes 1 997 . )
4 1 a 38

'the same holds ' . Aristotle seems to find it obvious that the
analysis he has j ust given for reductio-arguments will fit other argu
ments from a hypothesis as well. He does not explain the terminology
he uses, which probably shows that he expected it to be familiar.
1 77

PRIOR A NA LYTICS

For modern readers, chapter 44 helps t o clarify what he means: the


'substituted proposition' is a proposition that takes the place of the
demonstrandum in the syllogistic part of the argument. The deb ater s
agree at the beginning that the demonstrandum will be accepted
as true if the substituted proposition has been proved. Thus in the
classical passage of the Meno, Socrates and Meno agree that if v irtue
is a kind of knowledge, then it can be taught. Socrates then pro cee ds
to give an argument for the thesis that virtue is a kind of kn owle dge,
substituting it for the thesis under investigation, namely that vir tue
can be taught (89C). The transition from the proof of the su bstitu ted
proposition to the demonstrandum is not a syllogi stic inference, an d
hence Aristotle's description of the reductio-arguments as having two
parts-a syllogistic deduction and a step based on the hypothesis
can be applied to the other type of argument 'from a hypo t he si s
too.
'

41 8 40
' some other kind of hypothesis' . The Greek can also be
translated as 'some other hypothesis' , and some commentators have
suggested that Aristotle is thi nking of several assumptions instead of
only one. But since he mentions agreement here, it seems more plau
sible that he means something that is not an agreement. For example,
a hypothesis could also be introduced as one among several possible
theoretical assumptions to see whether its consequences would be
plausible or not. In such a case, the partners in the discussion need
not agree to the truth of the hypothesis, but may simply accept it for
the sake of the argument (see Plato, Phaedo I O I D).
41 h 1-5
'if this is true' . Aristotle's thesis can be considered as
proved only if one assumes that the hypothesis and the final step
to the demonstrandum are not part of the complete argument. In
chapter 44, Aristotle concedes that arguments ' from a hypothesis'
cannot be analyzed as syllogisms in one of the figures (see 5o a 253 2 ; b 2-3). It is not clear whether he realized this when he wrote this
chapter. If one assumes that agreements of the sort he mentions in
chapter 44 would not occur in a scientific demonstration, and also
that all indirect arguments can be replaced by direct ones (as he
argues in eh. 29), the claim that all deductive proofs must be in
one of the figures might still hold for demonstrations in the strict
sense.

COMMENTARY

C H A PT E R 24

A i l s yllo gisms must have at least one affirmative premiss and contain
un iversal. The second point is illustrated by two examples.
Un i versal propositions can be derived only from two universal
premi sses, while particular ones may follow also from one universal
an d one particular premiss . In each syllogism at least one of the
premi sses must be like the conclusion, not only with respect to being
affirmative or negative, but also with respect to modality.

'Furthermore, in every syllogism . . . ' . Though the chapter


41b6
begins with a connective 'furthermore' , it does not in fact continue
in th e vein of chapters 7 and 2 3 . It contains some general notes that
may go back to an earlier stage of syllogistic. The first clause states
a general observation that could easily be gleaned from a list of valid
mo ods.
'there must be a universal' . After the first remark, one
4 1 b 7-13
would be inclined to take these words as the equally trivial obser
vation that every valid syll ogism must contain a universal premiss.
However, the examples that follow indicate that this was not what
Aristotle was thinking of. He seems to argue for the claim that
the premisses of each syllogism must contain a term that applies
universally to the subject of the conclusion (see Al. Aphr. 266.20267 .27 and Pacius , 1 54b 3 1 ff. ) . As S mith points out, this is simply
false, as shown by moods such as Darii, Ferio, etc. Aristotle seems
to consider only the case of trying to prove a universal affirmative
conclusion, that is, finding the premisses for a syllogism in Barbara.
This is, at any rate, what seems to be illustrated by the examples. In
the first example, Aristotle imagines a dialectical exercise in which
someone is asked to produce an argument for the thesis that pleasure
in music is worthy. In such a case the debater will have to introduce
a general term that holds universally for pleasure in music. For if he
just says 'pleasure is worthy' rather than ' every pleasure is worthy ' ,
he will not be able to produce a deduction-presumably because the
unquantified proposition is understood as particular, that is, 'some
pleasure is worthy ' . And if he assumes a proposition about some
other kind of pleasure, for example, pleasure in riding, nothing can
be deduced with respect to pleasure in music. (That the words 'some
1 79

PRIOR A NALYTICS

pleasure i s worthy' i n line I 1 must b e taken t o stand fo r a proposition


about some specific pleasure is clear from the next clause; the case
of the premiss ' some pleasure is worthy ' was dealt with before.)
Finally, if he simply assumes that pleasure in music is worthy, he
will obviously be begging the question.
This interpretation is in line with Aristotle's advice about finding
premisses (27, 43 b 1 1 - 1 5) , but it is not quite clear why he should take
up this point here.
4 1 b 13-22
' in geometrical diagrams' . Aristotle's description is a
little difficult to follow in the absence of the diagram. The ancient
commentators give a more detailed description: the isosceles triangle
is constructed by drawing two straight lines through the center point
of a circle and connecting the points at which the lines intersect with
the circumference. AC and BD, as well as C and D, are 'mixed'
angles formed by a straight line and the curve of the circle; E and
F are the angles at the base of the triangle. (The diagram reproduced
here comes from Ross's note on this passage.)

Figure 2 . r .

Aristotle sketches the argument of the geometry teacher, which


might run as follows :
( I ) the angles AC and BD [i.e. the angles formed by the lines A
and B with the circumference of the circle] are equal, being
angles in a semicircle ;
(2) C is equal to D, since these are angles of a segment;
(3) E and F are equal, since they are what remains when C and D
have been subtracted from AC and BD. (QED)
1 80

C O M M E N TA R Y

If someone simply asserted that AC and B D are equal , C and D are


equal , and hence E and F are also equal, one might think that these are
unargued statements about the particular diagram unless one realized
that each of them is based on a general theorem concerning angles
in a semicircle, angles of a segment, and subtracting equal quantities
from equal quantities. This is, of course, why the diagram counts as a
proof of the general theorem about angles at the base of an isosceles
triangle. But it is not entirely clear why Aristotle should think that
the error one would commit by leaving out the general theorems
would count as begging the question . He might be suggesting that the
general propositions are needed to justify each step in the argument,
so that a geometer who simply asserted ( r ) to (3) without their second
halves would be seen as helping himself to assertions that could
only count as mere postulates, and that might be similar to a petitio
principii.
'also in the other [sc. way] ' : that is, a particular conclusion
41 b 24
can follow from two universal premisses (for example, in Darapti),
but also from one universal and one particular premiss.
. . . must be like the conclusion' . As Alexander points
41 b 27-3 1
out (270.6-8), this conflicts with the results of the chapters on modal
syllogisms, since there were several cases of an assertoric conclusion
following from one necessary and one possible premiss (see chs . 1 6,
1 9 , 20).
'

41 b 31
' One should also examine the other kinds of predication' .
In chapter 23 the word 'predication' (Gk KUTYJyop fo) was used to
refer to the four syllogistic relations a , e, i , o. In chapter 8 (29 b 2 935) the modalities were described as different ways of belonging
(sc. of a predicate to a subj ect). S ince this chapter comes after the
modal syllogistic, it seems that Aristotle has already dealt with all
the kinds of predication mentioned in the Prior Analytics; and so
the commentators offer speculations about further kinds. It is more
likely that Aristotle is referring to the modal relations he has j ust
mentioned, and that this chapter was written before he had worked
out the system of modal syllogisms. The erroneous generalization
in the previous sentence could then also be seen as a hypothesis that
181

PRIOR A N A LYTICS

Aristotle expected t o fi n d confirmed later. For a similar case, compare


chapter 1 2 . There are also similar promissory remarks later on, for
example, 37, 49 3 9- 1 0 and 44, 50 3 40.
' It is also evident quite generally . . . ' . This paragraph
41 b 32-5
sounds like the conclusion of the section on valid moods, but in fact
the next chapter contains what may well have been a preliminary
study for the theorem proved in chapter 2 3 , and chapter 26 offers
general remarks about which types of proposition are difficult or easy
to prove or to refute. There is another concluding summary at the end
of chapter 26, where Aristotle does in fact go on to the different topic
of heuristics.
4 1 h 33 ' when a syllogism is possible' : that is, when it is not perfect;
cf. 5 , 2 7a2 and 6, 28a1 6 above.
C H APTER 2 5

Proof o f a theorem that had already been used i n chapter 23 (4 1 3 1 8),


namely that every deductive argument can be transformed into a
series of two-premissed syllogisms. Thus the final conclusion will
ultimately be derived from a single pair of premisses. The argument is
indirect: Aristotle shows that in all cases in which a conclusion seems
to be derived from more than two premisses, either the premisses
can be arranged into a series of two-premiss syllogisms, or some
premisses are redundant, or the argument is not valid.
In an extended deductive argument the number of terms will
always be greater by one than the number of premisses. If the number
of the premisses is even, the n umber of the terms will be odd, and
vice versa. When a new term is added, the number of conclusions
becomes considerably larger than either the number of terms or the
number of premisses .
4 1 h 36
'every proof' . The Greek word here is d7T68ELgLS, also
often used terminologically for scientific proofs, that is, demonstra
tions in the strict sense defined in the Posterior Analytics. S ince the
theorem he sets out to prove evidently applies to all valid deduc
tive arguments-including, but not limited to, scientific proofs-it
1 82

CO M M E N TA R Y

i s rather unusual fo r Aristotle t o use the word 'proof' where one


would expect ' syllogism' instead . He is more careful in chapter 23
(4ob 20-5) . For most of this chapter the letters A, B, C, etc . , stand for
propositions, not terms .
' induction' . This translation o f the Greek word ETTaywy,
423 2-3
literally, ' leading up' (to something), is perhaps misleading for mod
ern readers, but so well entrenched in the tradition that a different
translation would only create more confusion. Here as in many other
passages Aristotle treats inductive and deductive arguments (syllo
gisms) as mutually exclusive and exhaustive alternatives . A general
proposition is said to be based on induction if it is a generalization
from a number of examples, either of kinds or of individual cases
(see, e.g., Top. r . 1 2, i o5a 1 3- 1 6; 1 8 , 1 08 b r o-1 1 ) . Aristotle deals with
inductive arguments within the framework of syllogistic in B 2 3 , but
his treatment there does not correspond to his normal use of the term.
4234-5
'for there are several conclusions ' . Aristotle must mean
potential or preliminary conclusions, since otherwise one might
object that in his own example the conclusion E could be said to
be derived from DEFG rather than from A and B . He replies to this
objection in the following paragraph.
4236
' if this counts as one syllogism . . . ' . Literally translated, this
would be 'If these are not several syllogisms but one
' . I follow
the ancient commentators in understanding this as the reply to an
objector who says that arguments should be individuated by their
final conclusion, not by inferential steps. Obviously, the wider (and
more usual) sense of the word syllogismos confl icts here with the nar
rower technical sense. Aristotle accepts the point about terminology,
but then insists that such extended arguments must still reach their
eventual conclusion in one of the ways he has outlined.
.

42310-12
'related to some other as whole to part' . Aristotle does
not explain what he means by saying that a premiss-not a term
should be related to some other premiss as whole to part; and it
is difficult to see why this should be a necessary condition for the
validity of syllogisms. The ancient commentators simply declare that
1 83

PRIOR A NALYTICS

Aristotle is referring t o the premisses o f a first-figure syllogism in


which the first premiss introduces a whole, the second a part of this
whole (see, e.g., Al. Aphr. 277 . 8- I I ). Ross explains that the first
premiss must state a general rule, the second a case that falls u nder
the rule-but then he admits that this is 'most clearly true' of the first
figure. It is also not quite clear to which passage Aristotle refers with
the words ' this was shown before' . The most plausible place would
seem to be the preceding chapter, which illustrates a thesis ostensibly
about all syllogisms by examples that can only be understood as
syllogisms in B arbara. At least in the geometry example one might
agree that at each step a proposition about a ' whole' (i.e., the class of
angles in a semicircle, etc.) is used to support a claim about a 'part'
(i.e., the angles in this semicircle). If Aristotle is indeed referring
back to that passage, one might see chapters 24 and 25 as an early
draft that would have been replaced by the proof in chapter 2 3 . In that
chapter, the (erroneous) thesis about wholes and parts is replaced by
a correct statement (4 1 a 2- 1 3) .
42 a 8-3 1
Aristotle's procedure in this proof seems t o have led to
confusion among the ancient commentators, because he tacitly omits
the cases in which the premiss-pair CD has the same role as AB
before, and vice versa. Thus the case of AB being inconclusive and
CD implying a conclusion different from E is not mentioned, because
it coincides with the case of CD being inconclusive and AB implying
something other than E, and similarly for the case that E is implied
directly by CD. The case of both premisses being inconclusive does
not need to be considered, since Aristotle presupposes that there is at
least one conclusive premiss-pair.
42 a 24
' for the sake of induction, or concealment' . What Aristo
tle is thinking of can be illustrated from Top. 8 . I , 1 55 b 20-4: 'The
premisses through which the syllogism comes about are called nec
essary ; those obtained besides these are of four kinds . They are either
for the sake of induction and being granted the universal , or to give
bulk to the argument, or for the concealment of the conclusion, or to
make the argument clearer' (trans. S mith 1 997, with modifications).
42 a 34
'as we said at the beginning' : I, 24b 24-6 . The method of
rf
pe ecting a syllogism by introducing further lines between premisses
1 84

COMMENTARY

and conclusion does not conflict with Aristotle's thesis, since the
propositions derived by conversion or the hypothesis (i . e . , Lhe con
tradictory of the expected conclusion) in a proof by reductio ad
impossibile are not introduced as new assumptions on which the
conclusion depends . Aristotle does not distinguish terminologically
between a premiss in the sense of an assumption accepted as true and
in the sense of a proposition from which something is inferred , but
here as in chapter 1 he avoids calling the additional lines premisses.
42 a 35-b 4

'deductive argument' . This phrase translates the Greek

,\6yos- avAAoytanK6s-, an expression that Aristotle uses here prob


ably because he has been using the word ' syllogism' in the narrow
sense before. The 'main conclusion' is no doubt the proposition that
is supposed to be proved by the argument and that is therefore not
used as a premiss (it is called ' the thesis' in I. 42b r ) . Accordingly,
the 'mai n premisses ' mentioned in 42 b r are presumably the last pair
from which the main conclusion is inferred . Hence the statement that
'with regard to the main premisses ' every syllogism contains an even
number of premisses and an odd number of terms is trivially true.
(If one tries-with S mith-to take the ' main premisses ' to be the
underived assumptions, this leads to a blatant contradiction with lines
42 b r o- r 6 below ; see Smith, p. 1 46 . )
Still, the claim that a n argument with a n odd number of premisses
is either invalid or contains one or more redundant premisses is puz
zling . Why should not an argument of the form AaB , BaC, CaD/AaD
be valid ? One should presumably assume that Aristotle is treating this
as an abbreviated version of an argument that can also be presented
in the form of two syllogisms in B arbara: AaB , BaC imply AaC;
AaC and CaD imply AaD. If Aristotle considered this as a kind of
canonical form, he could indeed maintain that any valid argument
would have precisely two premisses from which the main conclusion
is inferred, and that if there are any further premisses that are not
used to derive one or the other of the ' main premisses ' , they will be
redundant or added for strategic reasons.
42 h 5-6
' by preliminary syllogisms or through several contin
uous middle terms' . 'Preliminary syllogism' translates the Greek
TTpo avAAoyw6s-, apparently a technical term rarely used by
Aristotle himself. He evidently means syllogisms used to derive
r 85

PRIOR ANALYTICS

propositions that will later b e used a s premisses. 'Continuou s mid


dle terms' are a series of terms each of which is predicabl e of i ts
successor. Aristotle lumps arguments with prosyllogisms togeth er
with extended deductions in which only one conclusion is eventually
stated . But though those extended deductions can be trans formed
into a series of two-premiss syllogisms with explicit preliminary
conclusions , Aristotle's subsequent theses apply only to exte nded
deductions, not to concrete arguments in which some preliminary
conclusions may be explicitly stated, others omitted. In this section
only non-derivative assumptions are counted as premisses, while all
derivable propositions are counted as conclusions. According to the
calculations given here, the simplest extended deduction of the form
AaB , B aC, CaD/AaD would have three premisses, four terms, and at
least three conclusions; if transformed into two syllogisms, it would
have four premisses (in the wider sense) and two conclusions .
42 h 8-1 0
' either from outside or in the middle' . Aristotle seems
to be thinking of a row of letters in which each pair of adj acent
letters represents a premiss, and which is ordered in such a way that
two consecutive premisses share a term . Hence new terms can be
added either at the begi nning or end ( ' from outside' ) or somewhere
between the other terms ( 'in the middle ' ) . Thus there will be as many
premisses as spaces or ' intervals' between the letters. The expression
translated as ' extra term' (7rapE,7T{7TTWV opos) probably Comes
from Greek mathematics (Einarson i 936 : 1 5 8). This passage shows
why Aristotle occasionally refers to premisses as intervals. The final
conclusion connects the first term with the last.
42 h 16-26
'But the conclusions will no longer be in the same
position' . Aristotle had said before (42 b 4) that there will be half as
many conclusions as premisses ; in an extended deduction , however,
each added term will lead to new conclusions regarding the already
existing terms except for the one adjacent to the last one. Thus if CaD
is added to AaB and BaC, the conclusions will be not only AaC, but
also AaD and BaD, and so on (with no further conclusion for C).
Waitz notes that the number of conclusions will be lf2n{n-I ), where
n is the number of premisses. There will be 'many more conclusions
than premisses ' when n is greater than 5 .
I 86

COMMENTARY

2
!;.

)
y
1

/ 61

..

8
0 Termini.

i 61

Propolitiones.

Conclufianes.

15
-25

Figure 2 . 2 .

Pacius' diagram ( 1 597b: 242) offers a good overview and may


serve as an illustration of what a representation of premisses as
intervals may have looked like.
CHAPTER 26

Given the complete list of valid moods, one can see which theses are
difficult or easy to prove or to refute: universal theses are easier to
refute, particular ones are easier to prove.
Aristotle's vocabulary in this chapter shows that he is thinking of
the dialectical debates described in the Topics. Thus the theses that
are to be proved or refuted are called 7rpo{3>.aTa (see 4, 26h3 1 n . ) ;
the verb 7TLXEL p Eiv (translated as 'handle ' ) is a technical term i n
dialectic, used t o describe both the proving and the refuting o f theses,
and so are 'establishing' and ' demoli shing' , sc. a thesis.

' what syllogisms are about' . Aristotle has not explicitly


4:z b :z7
raised this question, and of course syllogistic does not have a specific
subject matter in the way the sciences do. The rest of the chapter
shows that the answer Aristotle has in mind here is 'problems' or
'theses' -what is to be proved or refuted . This is one of several
passages in the corpus that indicate that syllogistic was supposed to
replace the theory of argument developed in the Topics. However,
the Topics are not thereby made superfluous, for only syllogistic
is truly topic-neutral, while Topics are organized around the four
predication-relations of genus, definition, peculiar property, and acci
dental property that are especially relevant to the Academic debates
about definitions.

PRIOR AN ALYTICS

42 b 30
' modes ' . The Greek word is 7T'TWaELs, literally, 'case s' -a
word that is elsewhere used for inflected word forms, for examp le,
in chapter 36. Here it obviously means what came later to be called
moods . Aristotle does not have a technical term for these, but the
Greek commentators after Alexander use Tp67Tos, which was ren
dered as modus in Latin-hence ' mood' .
43 8 1-1 0
'the most difficult to establ ish' . It might seem triv ial to
point out that universal propositions are more difficult to establish
and easier to refute than particular ones, since a single counterex
ample will suffice to refute a generalization or to establish a par
ticular proposition. But Aristotle is obviously thinking of a formal
dialectical debate, where a refutation consists in the deduction of the
contradictory of the thesis from accepted premisses (see, e.g. , SE 5 ,
1 67 a22 - 27 ), and where one also has to establish any proposition by
a syllogism. Hence an a-proposition can only be established by a
syllogism in Barbara, whereas negative and particular propositions
can be derived in several moods , and particular propositions require
only one universal premiss.
438 1 3
'one cannot establish the universal ones through the partic
ular ones' . Aristotle is speaking only of deductive arguments here,
not induction, which is often described as a way of arriving at the
universal from the particulars. (See, e.g., An. Post. A 1 8, 8 P 37-b 9 .)
43 8 1 4
' It is evident at the same time' . Philoponus points out that
Aristotle must be speaking of universal theses only, since he has just
said that particular propositions are easier to prove than to refute.
43 8 1 6-19 The conclusion covers chapters 2 5 and 2 6 ; it is not clear
whether 24 is meant to be included as well.
C H A PTER 2 7

A method for finding suitable premisses fo r all kinds of theses.


Things that exist can be divided into three groups: those that cannot
be predicated of others but can have others predicated of them ; things
of which nothing prior can be predicated but which can be predicated
1 88

COMMENTARY

of others ; and finally things that can both b e predic ated o f oth ers and
have others predicated of them .
Aristotle's method is mainly intended for this last group . To fi n d
appro priate premisses, one should collect terms that are either univer
sally predicated of the thing in question, or of which the thing itself
is u niversally predicated, or that cannot be predicated of it.
'the ability to produce them' . The method of finding pre
43 9 20-4
misses, treated in chapters 27-3 1 , forms the second part of a tripartite
exposition in the first book of the Analytics, which is completed by
the section about the analysis of arguments in chapters 32-46 (cf. the
transitions from chapter 26 to 27 and from chapter 3 1 to 3 2). If one
does not count the section on modal syllogisms, the three parts are
roughly equal in length.
' starting-points ' : Greek a px a{, literally, 'beginnings' ; a word that
is often translated as ' principles ' in other contexts. Here Aristotle is
di scussing a general method for finding premisses that will lead to a
desired conclusion, and those need not be first principles or axioms
of a science.
'of all the things there are' . Here as elsewhere, Aristotle
43 9 25
speaks of things being predicated or said of one another, rather
than of words or terms . This may sound absurd to a modern reader
who has learned to distinguish strictly between talk about linguistic
expressions and talk about non-linguistic objects, and to indicate the
difference by the use of quotation marks. Aristotle's way of speaking
does not usually lead to confusion, though, and reflects his view that a
categorical sentence describes a relation between the things signified
by the terms. The reasons why certain expressions can serve only as
subject- or only as predicate-terms are ontological, not grammatical,
and so Aristotle's talk of things predicated is simply a way of speak
ing about things as signified by terms.
43 8 26 'cannot be predicated truly and universally' . The word 'uni
versally' (Ka86)10u) is puzzling, since Aristotle is speaking of indi
vidual objects that cannot be predicated at all, whether universally or
not. Some commentators follow Alexander' s suggestion and under
stand the word in the sense of ' si mply' or ' without qualification'
1 89

P R I O R A NA LY TI C S

(a1TAws') , but this does not really correspond to the Greek. Smith
translates 'truly universally' and takes this to mean 'genuinely as
a universal' , but again it is hard to see how the Greek could be so
understood. However, the text can be taken in its usual sense if one
supposes that Aristotle is already thinking of the lists of terms to
be collected, and which should indeed be predicable universal ly (se e
43 b u- 1 7 below). As he points out a few lines later, proper n am es
such as ' Socrates' or 'Callias' may occasionally occur as (app aren t)
predicates, but they cannot be used as predicates in universal propo
sitions and hence do not figure in the lists .
43 8 30
'prior and predicated of them ' . Aristotle presumably m eans
terms that are more general than the subj ect term and are predicated
universally (cf. An. Post. A 1 9 , 8 1 b 35 , 82a u - 1 4; A 22, 83 b 28-3 1 ).
S uch terms are said to be 'prior' to the predicate of the eventual con
clusion in the sense of being 'higher up' in a hierarchy of terms that
goes from the most general down to the most specific. The ancient
commentators explain that Aristotle is speaking of the categories or
'genera of predications' such as substance, quantity, quality, etc.,
since, according to Aristotle, these are not species of a universal
genus ' thing' or 'being' . However, since ' thing' is obviously more
general than, for example, 'substance' and can be predicated of
everything, Aristotle may also be thinking of the ' terms that follow
everything' mentioned later in this chapter (43 b 36-7) and in the next
one (44b 20-4).
43 8 33 'just about every' . Alexander tries in vain to find an explana
tion for this apparent qualification of Aristotle's statement, but Aris
totle probably chose to put his claim in a tentative form because
understandably-he did not intend to argue for it in this place.
43 8 35
'accidentally ' : Gk KaT d. av, {3{377Ko<;. Aristotle uses this
phrase in a variety of contexts to mark a contrast between what is so
by the nature of a thing, essentially (Ka8' avT6) or without qualifica
tions (a1TAW<;), and what is so only contingently or by coincidence
see B onitz, s . v. av ,{3alvLv 4b, 7 1 4b 5-43 . Aristotle explains what he
means by accidental predication at An. Post. A 22, 8 3 a 1 - 1 8 (cf. also
A 1 9, 8 1 b 25-9) with the example of a white log: in the sentence 'The
1 90

COMMENTARY

Jog i s white' , the predicate term signifies a quality o f the underlying


su bj ect , but in the sentence 'The white (thing) is a log' , the term ' log'
does not signify a quality of the underlying thing. Aristotle stipu lates
that one should speak of genuine predication only in the first sort of
case, in the second at most of accidental predication.
This distinction is usually neglected in general syllogistic, where
th e co nversi on-rules presuppose that accidental predications are
equivalent to genuine ones-thus if some log is white, it follows
(by i-co nversion) that some white thing is a Jog. (For the ontological
relati ons, see, e.g., Cat. , eh. 2).
'later' . The proof that the series of predications is lim
43 8 37
ited both in the 'upward' direction towards predicates of greater
generality and 'downwards' in the direction of greater specificity
comes in An. Post. A 1 9-22 . It presupposes that all predications are
genui ne.
' those things ' . Here Aristotle is probably thinking of the
43 8 38
most general items in each category-substance, quality, quantity,
etc . (see An. Post. A 22, 8 3 b 1 2- 1 7) . Though one can truly say that
these exist or are beings, it is not possible to produce a demonstration
that certain predicates hold of them, since this would require a 'prior'
middle term between (for example) ' substance' and 'being ' .
' as a matter o f mere opinion ' . The parallel passage at An.
43 8 39
Post. A 1 9 , 8 r b r 8-23 , shows that Aristotle is speaking of ' merely
dialectical' arguments that use plausible but not necessarily true
premisses, so that the ontological relations between the terms may
be ignored. In this way one might be able to produce a formally valid
argument for a conclusion that would not be acceptable as a theorem
in a scientific demonstration since it might, for example, contain an
accidental predication.
43 8 43
' mostly concerned with these' . The ontological digres
sion was probably introduced here to explain why Aristotle offers
a heuristic method that applies primarily to terms of i ntermediate
generality (cf. Patzig, pp. 4-8) . The dialectical arguments of the
191

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

Topics a s well a s scientific demonstrations usually contain only such


terms . B ut terms that can occur only as predicates or only as sub
jects can be included as marginal cases, as Alexander rightly points
out (29 3 . 30-3). In those cases, only two of the three kinds of lists
Aristotle proposes would be available, but this should be sufficient to
prove, for example, that living things are substances, or that the man
Alcibiades is a criminal.

43 b 2-5
' set down the thing itself' : that is, the terms of the proposi
tion for which one is trying to find premisses . The plural 'definitions'
can be explained either by the fact that one will have to consider
two terms for each proposition, or by reference to dialectical debates
in which several definitions of one and the same term might be
considered.
'properties . . . peculiar to it' : Greek io ia, Latin propria. This is
one of the types of predicables discussed in the Top ics. Since they
are listed here alongside definitions, Aristotle is probably thinking of
the narrower sense of this term as defined at Top. 1 . 5, 1 02a 1 8-1 9 :
'what does not exhibit what it is t o be fo r some subj ect, but belongs
only to it and counterpredicates with it' (trans . Smith)-that is, a
predicate that holds of all and only the members of a given class, but
is different from its definition. For the different uses of the technical
term proprium in the Topics, see B arnes ( 1 970).
'after that' . The two steps described here consist, first in collecting
propositions that contain the relevant term or terms, then in dividing
those into three groups according to whether (a) something is univer
sally predicated of the subject, or (b) the subject itself is universally
predicated of something else, or (c) a given term cannot be predicated
of the subject. Definitions and peculiar properties would belong to
the first group-terms that 'follow' the subject in the sense that
if anything falls under the subject term, it will also fall under the
terms that follow. Thus ' animal ' follows 'man' because anything
that is a man is an animal, and so on. Aristotle speaks of terms
(or things) 'following' one another in the same way in Top. 1 . 8,
I I 3 b I 6- I I 4a 25 .
H e evidently assumes that the reader (or listener) i s familiar with
the terminology and the argumentative strategies of the Topic s. Such
a reader would probably already know a number of relevant proposi
tions from which he could select the terms for the three groups . Once
1 92

C O M M E N TA R Y

on e has listed the terms in each group, i t should be easy to fi nd middle


term s for syllogisms.
'Among the terms that follow' . The three groups dis
43 b 6-1 1
tin guished here are again taken from the Topics. S ince accidents
are listed as a separate group, Aristotle is probably using this word
in the narrow sense of his official definition at Top. r .5 , 1 02 b 5-T
'an accident is something which is none of these-not a definition,
a unique property, or a genus-but yet belongs to the subject; or,
what can possibly belong and not belong to one and the same thing,
whatever it may be' (trans. Smith 1 997) . However, the same word is
used also, even in the Topics, in a wider sense in which it applies to
all attributes that can belong to a given thing, whether essentially or
contingently (cf. , e.g., Top . 7 . 5 , I 553 I I - I 6 , with Brunschwig 1 96? :
pp . lxxvi-lxxxiii).
These distinctions are not necessary for finding middle terms, but
they are relevant to the status of an argument as either scientific or
merely dialectical.
'hit upon a demonstration' . With Mignucci I have trans
43 b 10-1 1
lated the word a:rr o oE{gEL as a noun ('demonstration' ) , parallel to
the preceding 'conclusion ' . Most translators take it as a verb and
translate (for example) 'the more one will demonstrate' . As S mith
rightly points out, it is not clear what might be meant by more (or
less) demonstrating, since a demonstration must in any case be from
true premisses. But it is easy to see that one has a better chance
of producing a demonstration the more one is supplied with true
propositions.
43 b 1 1-16
'the whole thing' . For the terminology of wholes and
parts, see note to line 24b 26-8 . That the syllogism 'works through
the universal premisses' probably means no more than that each
syllogism will have to contain at least one universal premiss; cf. 24,
4 1 b 6-26.
43 b 14-15
' when the premiss is indeterminate' . This remark might
seem surprising after Aristotle has adopted the rule that unquantified
propositions are to be treated as particular (see 4, 263 28-30). But it
1 93

P R I O R A N A L Y TI C S

makes sense with regard to the theses discussed i n the Topics, most
of which are expressed without explicit quantification, but must be
understood as being universal. On the other hand, the rule about inde
terminate premisses in the Analytics, where premisses are expected to
be quantified, may have been introduced for simplicity 's sake, for an
unquantified premiss will be at least as strong as the corresponding
particular one.
. . . rather, "every" is said of that which is followed by
43h 1 7-22
something ' . If one treats a quantifying expression as a qualification
of a term, as seems to be indicated by this remark, one might be
tempted to ask why such determinations can occur only with the
subject term . In the medieval notation that is still in use today, the
letters a, e, i , o include the quantifier as part of the predication
relation and are no doubt inspired by Aristotle's own way of speaking
of being predicated (or not predicated) universally or in part. Aristotle
does not explain the apparent asymmetry here, and the words ' useless
and indeed impossible' sound rather impatient, as though he were
dismissing an unnecessary objection.
'

43 h 27
'what is peculiar to each thing' . The word 'peculiar' is
here used in the wider sense Aristotle calls 'peculiar at a time or
in relation to something' , Top. I . 5, 1 02 a 24-30 namely a property
that distinguishes an object from others in a given situation, but that
need not belong to it uniquely, such as, for example, the differentia
specifica within a genus.
-

43 h 27
' terms that follow the thing for the most part' . Aristotle
briefly mentions premisses with such terms in chapter 1 3 (32 b 422). They are likely to occur, for example, in the biological sciences,
but also in rhetoric (cf. Rhet. 2 25, 1 402 h 1 2- 1 403a 2 ) . However, the
claim that the conclusion is similar to the premisses seems to point to
chapter 24 (4 1 h 27-3 1 ) rather than to chapter 1 3 .
.

43b 36-8
' terms that follow everything ' . The reason is given in
the next chapter, 44 h 20-4 : terms like 'being' or ' one' that hold of
everything are of no use for finding middle terms , since one would
1 94

C O M M E N TA R Y

then have two universal affirmative premisses in the second figure,


that is, an inconclusive pair.
CHAPTER 2 8

How to find terms fo r the premisses that lead to a desired conclusion.


Ari stotle shows that premisses for all four types of categorical propo
siti ons can be found by looking for a term that appears in certain lists
for each of the two terms in the conclusion.
All syllogisms that can be constructed in this way will be in one
of the figures. Other methods of using the lists are either useless
or unnecessary, since all alternative methods can be shown to be
reducible to the one proposed here.
As in chapters 4-7, Aristotle first states the rules,
43 h 39-44 a 1 1
then shows their correctness by using schematic letters.
' in the first figure' . In the first case the premisses would be
44 8 7
MaE, MeA (using 'M' for the term that occurs on both lists, ' E ' and
'A' for the subject- and predicate-term, respectively, as Aristotle does
in the next paragraph), so that one would expect a syllogism in Cesare
(second figure) . But Aristotle presupposes the equivalence of MeA
and AeM (as before: 27, 43 h 5-6) and seems to be thinking of the
premisses of Celarent (AeM, MaE) . In the second case (MeA, MaA)
the syllogism will be in Camestres.
44 8 1 1-35 From late antiquity to the Middle Ages, the rules shown
to be valid here used to be illustrated by a diagram called the pons
asinorum ( ' asses ' bridge' ) in Latin. Alexander already describes
it; the MSS of Philoponus actually contain it in an expanded ver
sion. The design reproduced below is from Pacius ' edition ( r 59 7 b :
250).
Actually, instead of building a helpful bridge, the diagram seems
to make Aristotle's rules look much more complicated than they
are, because it also shows the cases in which no syllogisms can be
found.
Aristotle first introduces the letters B , C, D and F, G, H to stand
for sets of terms, while A and E stand for the predicate- and subj ect
terms of the desired conclusion. For both A and E there will be lists of
1 95

PRIOR A NALYTICS

terms that either ' follow' them ( B and F ) o r are followed b y the m (C
and G), or that cannot be predicated of them (D and H). Evidently, the
terms that are said to follow a given term are universally predic able
of it. The middle term in each case will be one that occurs in one of
the lists for A as well as one of the lists for E. In the first example,
Aristotle makes this explicit by speaking of 'one of the Cs' or 'one
of the Fs' ; later on he simply uses the letters to stand for an item on
the respective list.

Donum.

Volu pt12.

Vlile.
EligendU
&c.

tendum &c.

Atlio natu
ralis. Expe

Mufica vo

lutas. Ve

Felicitas.
Retta a
xUo, &c.

nus, &c.

FuglEdu,
Turpe,

&c.

Figure 2 . 3 .

448 23
'by a preliminary syllogism' . Aristotle seems to think that
the conclusion AeE can be reached from the premisses FaE, DeA
only by two syllogistic steps . If this is indeed what he has in mind,
the first syllogism would presumably be DeA, DaF (representing the
assumption that D is the same as F), therefore AeF (by Cesare); AeF
1 96

C O M M E N TA R Y

th en c ombines with FaE to yield AeE by Celarent ( see A l . Aphr.


3 05 . I 5-2 2). However, the text suggests, rather, that he is thinking
of going from DeA to AeD by e-conversion and then substituting F
for D (since they are supposed to be the same). If so, the 'prelim
inary syllogism' would consist simply in the conversion of DeA to
AeD .

'a converted syllogism ' . Aristotle means a syllogism that


448 30
co ncludes to EaA from B aA and EaB (substituting B for G); this
conclusion will then be converted to AiB to produce the usual order
of terms . It is not clear whether the phrase 'converted syllogism'
refers to the first conclusion (EaA), in which the order of terms
is reversed, or (as Ross thinks) to the final conclusion AiE, which
results from conversion . This case had not been mentioned in the
first section of the chapter (43 b 3 9-44a 1 1 ) ; the corresponding mood
BaA, EaB/AiE would count as a fourth-figure one (Bamalip) in the
medieval terminology.

' all the syllogisms' . Since Aristotle's lists contain only


44 8 37
terms for universal propositions, the premisses for valid moods with
one particular premiss cannot be directly read off from the lists (see
n. to 45a9- 1 6 below).

'the first and most universal ' . In this passage Aristotle uses
448 39
the combinations KF and KC to stand for the most general terms
in the sets F and C. K obviously stands for the Greek Ka06/wv
(universal) .
It is not entirely clear why Aristotle recommends that one should
look for the most general middle term. What he says suggests a
dialectical setting in which it might be an advantage to have a large
number of possible middle terms available as alternatives in case an
opponent refuses to accept a proposed premiss. As Ross suggests,
Aristotle might also be thinking of scientific demonstrations, which
will be correct only if one has proved a theorem in its most gen
eral version (An. Post. A 4-5 , 73 b 32ff.). Only then will the middle
term state the proper cause or explanation of the demonstrandum
1 97

PRI O R AN ALYTICS

(An. Post. A 24, 85 b 23-7). (On this point, see McKirahan


264-6 .)

1992 :

'terms followed by the thing' : literally, 'what it itsel f fo l


44b 3
lows' . It is not clear whether Aristotle is speaking of the subject- or
the predicate-term of the thesis. Alexander first asserts that it is E , the
subject-term (308 . 1 2- 1 3), but later he claims that Aristotle is usi ng
the singular in lieu of the plural, so that both terms are meant (3 1 0.71 2) . Ross maintains that Aristotle must be speaking of the predicate
term, since he had first dealt with the case of KF (the most general
among the terms that follow E) and is now going on to KC (the most
general among the terms that are followed by A). Alexander's second
solution may be the simplest.
The ancient commentators point out that Aristotle ' s advice in this
passage does not fit well with the instructions given in the preceding
chapter, according to which one should select only the terms 'pecu
liar to each thing' (43 b 22-3 2 ; see Al. Aphr. 308 .27-309 . 2 1 ; Philop.
289 .5-37). If Aristotle has not simply forgotten this point, he might
mean, as Philoponus suggests, that one should not limit one's search
for the middle term to the terms explicitly listed, but also consider
those 'above' and those 'below' . However, this conflicts with the
remark aq5 1 5 that 'all the terms that cannot belong to E' have been
listed-a claim that is plausible in its context, whether it comes from
Aristotle himself or some later interpolator.
44 b 8
'all the syllogisms' : that is, all syllogisms constructed
according to the rules stated, not all valid arguments in general,
as some commentators have supposed. Only the limited thesis is
confirmed by the examples. The general theorem about deductive
arguments is taken up in chapter 23, and there is no reason to think
that Aristotle pretended to have given a completeness-proof here.
44b 20-4 'the terms that follow everything' . See 27, 43 b 36-8 . Aris
totle seems to use the word 'establish' (KaTaaKw&:{eiv) here in the
narrow sense of proving an affirmative conclusion, since he uses it in
contrast to 'deprive' (a1ToaTepeiv), which can only mean proving a
negative.
1 98

COMMENTARY

44h 25-36 Aristotle shows that the rules h e has stated are sufficient
to find all the conclusive premiss-pairs that can be gathered from the
li sts of terms : all other cases in which the same term appears in the
lis ts for both terms of a thesis will not lead to a val id syllogistic m ood.
He relies on his proofs from chapters r -7 ; see, e.g . , 5, 27a 1 8-20,
b 3 2 -4 (second figure with two affirmative premisses ) ; 4, 26a 2-9 (first
figure ) ; 7, 298 1 9-2 1 (two negative premisses). As he himself notes
in 7, 29a2 1 - r 6, premisses of the form AaC, CeE in the first figure
imply a conclusion of the form EoA, but since a-propositions are not
co nvertible, it remains true that one cannot derive a conclusion with
A as predicate and E as subj ect in this way.
Aristotle sets out to prove that his heuristic method
44 b 38-45 8 9
will make all other methods redundant. He assumes, of course, that
one is trying to construct a syllogism in one o f the three figures,
and that one is supplied with the lists of terms he has described.
He recommends in the Topics that one should make collections of
premisses about various subjects, and since opposites or contraries
play an important role in dialectic (cf. Top. r . r4) , one might try to
find such pairs on the term-lists. However, if one finds, for instance,
that A and E are followed by contrary terms , one still has only an
inconclusive premiss-pair (BaA, FaE) that lacks a middle term . Now
if two terms from the sets B and F exclude one another, one can assert
BeF, which together with FaE implies BeE (by Celarent), and this can
then be combined with BaA to derive AeE. But if BeE is true, B must
have been listed under H (terms that cannot be predicated of E), so
that one could have found the middle term B without the detour of
looking for pairs of contraries .
However, the next example-whether it is Aristotle's own or not
shows that his claim is too strong: not all other methods can be
reduced to his own.
45 8 9-1 6 This passage has been a problem for commentators from
antiquity on, and I have followed Ross in bracketing it. B ut I would
not rule out the possibility that some of it goes back to Aristotle
himself.
The difficulties are these. The passage begins with the unexcep
tionable claim that if two terms from the sets B and G are contraries,
a conclusion of the form AoE can be derived in the second figure.
1 99

PRIOR ANALYTICS

However, the subsequent argument seems t o b e hopelessly confused.


The author claims that B will belong to no E, which does not fol l ow
from the assumptions (BaA, EaG, BeG) and should lead to a conclu
sion of the form AeE ; the next statement, that B must be the same
as one of the Hs, can be inferred from BeE, but again not from the
initial assumptions.
In line 12 several of the MSS read 'Y} instead of e (i.e. G in stead
of E) . This may go back to a suggestion of Alexander (3 r 6.6). B ut
though this conjecture removes the first logical error, one would h ave
to change almost every one of the term-letters in the follow ing lin es
to arrive at a valid argument. It would run as follows : BeG and B aA
imply GeA (by Cesare), therefore, G must occur in the set D (term s
that cannot be predicated of A). From AeG (derived by e-conversion
from GeA) and EaG one concludes to AoE by Felapton. With the
necessary changes, the passage from line 1 2 on would read: ' for
B will belong to every A and to no G [not: E] , so that G [not: B ]
must b e the same a s one o f the D s [not: H s ] . . . ' . I t is very unlikely
that the text presented by our MSS could have come from this
original.
Waitz proposed a different solution, based on the statement that the
conclusion AoE is reached by a syllogism in the second figure. The
argument might take the following form: BeG and EaG imply B oE
(by Felapton) ; BaA and BoE imply AoE by Baroco (second figure).
S o Waitz proposes to read ' not to some E' in line 12 instead of 'to
no E' (i.e. ov nv{ instead of ovSev{), so that the premisses of the
second-figure syllogism appear in the text. But then the following
lines no longer make sense (Waitz, followed by some other commen
tators, erroneously assumes that B would appear on the list under H
because B oE holds .)
However, Waitz's proposal incidentally shows that the method
of looking for pairs of contraries may lead one to find a premiss
(BoE) that cannot be read off from the lists. So the syllogism in
B aroco is a counterexample to Aristotle's claim that all other methods
can be reduced to his. Since the lists of terms show only universal
propositions, it is not surprising that the premisses for a mood with
one particular premiss cannot be found there. So while it is true,
as Aristotle says, that conclusions of all four types of categorical
propositions can be derived by his method, it is not the case that
all possible premiss-pairs for a given thesis can be found in this
way.
200

C O M M E N TA R Y

I t s eems possible t o m e that Aristotle might indeed have thought of


the syll ogism in B aroco, but then noticed that this example does not
support his claim . Thus one might thi nk, for example, that Aristotle's
own te xt ended in line I I with the words ' there will be the middle
figure ' , and that the subsequent argument was added by a reader
wh o tried-unsuccessfully-to show that one could have found the
req uired premisses by Aristotle's method . (For a similar impasse one
might compare 4, 26b 3-2 r .)

45 8 1 7-22

The concluding summary mentions only the first exam


may
thus
confirm Ross' s view that the second one is a later
and
ple
addition.

C H APTER 2 9

The method introduced i n chapter 2 8 can also b e u sed t o find pre


misses for a reductio ad impossibile, since the same terms will be
used. In both cases one will have to find a term that occurs on the
lists for both the terms in the desired conclusion. This will be the
middle term in the ostensive syllogism; in the reductio arguments
it will appear in one of the premisses that lead to the impossible
conclusion.
In other kinds of arguments from a hypothesis one will have to
look for premisses that imply the proposition substituted for the
demonstrandum, but the method remains the same.
Premisses for a universal conclusion may also be found by looking
for the terms that would y ield a particular conclusion if one adds
the hypothesis that some term belongs to all and only the things that
fall under another term. The method can also be used for necessary
and possible premisses. Aristotle concludes that his method is the
only one that allows one to find premisses for all four types of
proposition s .

458 26-8
' in the ostensive way ' . For the label 'ostensive' , see
note to 7, 29 3 3 1 . In this chapter the contrast between ostensive
and reductio-arguments might seem to correspond to the modern
distinction between direct and indirect arguments, but later in the
20 1

P R I O R A N A LYTICS

chapter Aristotle refers t o 'other arguments from a hyp othes is' th at


would count as direct arguments .
It is not clear whether Aristotle wants to claim quite generally that
every indirect argument can be replaced by a direct one, or whether
his thesis is limited to arguments that can be constructed with the help
of his term-lists. The general claim would be fal se, and one wou ld
expect Aristotle to have noticed that, since the proofs for the moods
Baroco and Bocardo had to be given either by reductio ad impossibile
or by ecthesis. If the claim is limited to his heuristic method, however,
it is correct: if one assumes that all valid moods are known and
also that term-lists are available for both terms of any given thesis,
one can, for example, derive a universal affirmative conclusion by a
reductio argument using a syllogism in B aroco. Hence the question
whether one chooses to offer a direct or an indirect argument becomes
mainly a matter of strategy.
The more modest interpretation seems more plausible in view o f
the fact that Aristotle obviously still refers to the term-lists, and that
the difference between direct and indirect arguments is also treated
as mainly strategic in chapter B 14 (62 b 29-38) and An. Post. A
26 (87a 1 2- 1 8). So the argument of this chapter is probably only
meant to support the claim that Aristotle's heuristic method can also
be used to construct a certain kind of indirect argument-though
one has to admit that he appears to be speaking of all indirect
arguments.

45831
' but it belonged to none' : cf. 28, 44a25-7, where Aristotle
showed that one can construct a syllogism for a conclusion of the
form AeE if one finds the same term on l ists B (terms that follow A)
and H (terms that cannot be predicated of E). The direct syllogism
would be BaA, BeE/AeE (see below, 11. 40- 1 ) ; the indirect argument
would assume AiE as a hypothesis and then combine this with BaA
to conclude to B iE. So B iE is 'impossible' because BeE is known to
be true. Obviously, both arguments use the same terms.

45831-3
'but it belonged to all ' . Again, Aristotle refers back to his
example at 28, 44a r 9-20: if C and G are the s ame (i.e., if AaC and
EaC are true) , then A will belong to some E; if one assumes AaE, this
together with EaC will imply AeC, which is impossible given AaC .

202

C O M M E N TA R Y

' the terms that follow and those that are fol lowed' . In this
45 8 35
ch apt er Aristotle mentions only two of the three kinds of li sts used to
find premi sses, but it is clear that the third kind (terms that cannot be
predicated of a given subj ect) is also supposed to be available, since
the first example made use of it.

45 8 39

'if it has been proved' . Aristotle returns to his first example


how
how
one can go from an indirect argument to a direct one
s
to
and vice versa.

45b 2

'if one adds the hypothesis' . The hypothesis in this case is


the false assumption that leads to the impossible conclusion . For the
double use of the word 'hypothesis' in the so-called ' arguments from
a hypothesis' , see note to 2 3 , 4 1 a 2 0-40.

45 b 6

'when thi s premiss is converted' . ' Converted' here obviou sly


means that the premiss is, as it were, reversed by being turned into its
contradictory.

45b u

'one of the premisses posited is false' . Aristotle does not


mean that the hypothesis is known in advance to be false, but only that
it turns out to be false because it leads to an impossible conclusion.
What needs to be presupposed, according to B 1 4 (62 b 35-7) , is
that the impossible conclusion is false-in the simple cases Aristotle
considers here because it conflicts with a known truth.

45 b 13
' when we discuss proof through the impossible' : in chapter
B 1 4, 62 b 29-3 8 , which goes through all the moods in the three figures
to confirm the claim , already made here, that the same terms can be
used to construct indirect as well as direct proofs .

45 b 1 7-1 9

' such as those that invol ve substitution or a quality ' . The


labels (KaTd. eTaA'YJr/JLv, KaTd. 7To L6T'YJTa) were probably already
known to Aristotle's listeners from the dialectical exercises in the
Academy and did not need to be explained. The ancient commen
tators (Al . Aphr. 3 2 3 . 2 1-32 5 . 30; Philop. 300.33-3o r . 3 1 ) say that,
apart from reductio-arguments, all other argu ments from a hypothesis

203

PRIOR ANALYTICS

use a substitute fo r the thesis t o b e proved and contain a syllogistic


deduction for the substituted proposition . This agrees with Aristotle's
own statement in chapter 23 (4 1 8 37-40). So ' arguments involving
substitution' is a generic label, and arguments 'involving a quality'
are a species of the genus (Philop. 30I .6-8). The general pattern
of these arguments is described in 44, 508 r g--26: the partners in a
dialectical discussion agree at the start that the demonstrandum q will
be accepted if some other proposition p has been proved, because q
must be true if p is true . The person who has undertaken to prove
q will then produce a syllogistic proof for p, after which the other
person will have to accept q as true. This is described as substituting
p for q as demonstrandum.
According to Alexander and Philoponus, the arguments 'involv
ing a quality' are those 'from more or less or equally ' , which play
an important role in the Topics. Alexander (423 . 1 9-3 1 ) offers this
example: It is agreed that if what is more likely to be sufficient by
itself for happiness is not sufficient by itself, then what is less likely to
be so will not be sufficient by itself either. One then adds the premiss
that health is more likely than wealth to be by itself sufficient for
happiness, and continues with a syllogistic proof for the proposition
that health is not by itself sufficient for happiness. Given the init ial
agreement, this will count as a proof for the proposition that wealth
is not by itself sufficient for happiness-the original demonstrandum.
For a different example, see chapter 44.

45h 1 9-20

'We ought to investigate' . A similar remark comes at the


end of chapter 44, but Aristotle does not seem to have found the time
to fulfill his promise.

45h 22-8

'there is also a different way ' . In chapter 28 Aristotle


had shown that one can find the premisses for a particular conclusion
if the same term occurs in lists C and G or D and G (44a r 9-2 1 ;
28-30 ) . I f one then assumes that E belongs only to the Gs, one can
derive a universal conclusion. As Alexander points out (32 8 . 28-30),
this means that one of the Gs is a peculiar property crS wv) of E,
so that, apart from EaG (which is presupposed), GaE will hold as
well. Hence the relevant term from list G should also have been
listed under F, and one could simply start from the observation that

204

COM M E N TAR Y

the s ame term appears in lists F and C or F and D, as needed for


a universal conclusion . It is puzzling that Aristotle lists this as a
different way of finding premisses instead of pointing out, as before
(44b 3 8-45a2 2 ) , that the relevant premisses could have been found
without the additional hypothesis.
'The situation is the same . . . ' . Syllogisms with modal
45 b 28-3 1
premisses will at least be in one of the figures, even though there are
a few extra moods thanks to complementary conversion, and some
moods are not valid with only possible premisses (eh. 1 7 ) .

45b 32

' for possible propositions' . Since the lists contain terms


only for universal premisses, one would have to add further terms
that may not actually hold of all or none of a given subject, but that
might possibly hold of all or none. Aristotle omits to point out that
with those additions one could also find particular premisses for some
of the assertoric moods.

45 b 34

'for it has been proved' . It is not clear to which passage


Aristotle is referring. It m ight be 24, 4 1 b17-3 I , where he claimed
(though without argument) that at least one of the premisses of every
syllogism must have the same modality as the conclusion. This would
be another indication that these chapters were written before he had
worked out his modal syllogistic.
' S imilarly' : as Alexander rightly points out, this sentence refers
back beyond the immediately preceding one to the sentence before
that, and so I have treated the remark about additional terms for pos
sible premisses as a parenthesis . For the ' other kinds of predication ' ,
see note t o 24, 4 1 b 3 1 .
C H APTER 3 0

The method of finding premisses is the same i n all fields, in philoso


phy as well as in the crafts and the mathematical sciences .
However, one has to make separate lists of terms for each subj ect,
since most of the premisses are specific to their field. It is the task
of experience to provide the facts about each subject. Once one has
205

P R I O R ANALY T I C S

a complete collection o f these, it should b e easy to find proofs or t o


show why certain things cannot be proved.
' tech ical or mathematical i sciplines ' . Aristotle pro ba bly
46 a 4
.
means producttve crafts such as med1cme, on the one hand, sc ien c es
that work with mathematical models such as optics , harmonics, or
astrology, on the other. Most translators follow Philoponus' remark
that the Greek term ,&.8YJ,a (literally, 'thing to be learned ' ) is just
the most general in a series of three and translates (for example) ' in
any art or study' . But according to Bonitz (s.v. ,&.8wi,a), Aristotle
uses at least the plural of thi s noun always in the sense of mathe
matical sciences as distinct from geometry and arithmetic (that is,
mathematics proper) as sciences that are not based on experien ce
(see, e.g., Phys. 2 . 2 , r94a7- 1 2 ; Met. A 8, 989 b 30-4 ; A 8, r o73 b58).

468 8
' terms that are listed' . For th e u s e o f the verb 8iaypa<fmv in
the sense of ' writing down in a list' , see Rhet. 2 . r , r 378a28, and the
noun 8iaypacfoa{ in Top. r . 1 4, r o5 b 1 2- 1 5 .
468 1 0

' according t o opinion' . This phrase does not seem to have a


negative connotation here (contrast, e.g., 27, 43a39) . The premisses
used in dialectical arguments must be credible or plausible, but not
necessarily true.

468 1 6-17

'We must make selections . . . ' . This sentence is awk


ward in its context. Ross connects it with the preceding one, which
creates a grammatical anacoluthon; Smith includes it in the following
paragraph, which is more plausible. The connection would be clearer
if the next sentence contained the word yap ('for' ), but there is no
evidence of such a reading in the M S S . I suspect that the sentence
comes from a marginal gloss and have bracketed it accordingly.

468 1 7
'peculiar to each science' . See An. Post. A 3 2 , where
Aristotle argues that it is not possible to derive the theorems of all
sciences from a single set of premisses .
206

COMMENTARY

'This is why experience . . . ' . The application of his


468 1 7-27
meth od in the sciences that Aristotle outlines here can at best hold
for th e limited field of sciences in which it might be possible to start
from a fairly complete set of observed facts for which one then seeks
sci entific explanations and demonstrations. It is probably no accident
th at Aristotle chooses astronomy as his example, for in this field the
Greek astronomers of the fourth century possessed a large number of
fairly accurate and reliable data from their predecessors in Egypt and
Babylon . These collections could be used by mathematicians such as
Eudoxus to find mathematical models for the motions of the planets .
If the phenomena are collected by systematic observation, one may
assume that they form a consistent set. But even in this case it is
doubtful that one could discover all the truths that belong to a science
because, as Aristotle himself points out at An. Post. A 5, 74 3 41 2 , one may have to introduce new terms to accommodate all the
observations. And, of course, Aristotle's own example of astronomy
offers a counterexample to the claim that all the facts can be collected
in advance of scientific treatment, for the assumption that the planets
move in circles, as the astronomers of Aristotle' s time believed,
is indeed based on observations, but is not itself an observable
fact.
Furthermore, though a collection of facts could show which terms
might be suitable as middle terms to derive some conclusions, this
would not be enough to tell us which propositions come earlier and
which later in the order of explanation (cf. An. Post. A 1 3) . So the
sketch given here describes at most an initial stage in the development
of an empirical science. At this stage one might be able to find some
formally valid arguments that could later be integrated into a proper
scientific theory organized as an axiomatic system . (On this point,
see McKirahan 1 99 2 : 259-6 8 . )

4 6 320
'phenomena' . In this passage the word obviously means
observable facts . In other contexts (such as ethics or political the
ory) it often means what appears to be the case and is there
fore plausible, but need not be actually true. Finally, it may be
used in the sense of ' mere appearances' as opposed to reality
(see Bonitz, s.v. cpa{vHv, 8098 23ff.). For the role of the phe
nomena (in several of theses senses) in Aristotle's philosophy,
207

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

see, fo r example, the classic paper b y Owen ( 1 9 6 1 ), a n d Ir


win
( 1 987).
46826

' in the collection of observations ' . The Gre ek w ord i

laTop{a. Apart from its narrower use in the sense of h i s to ry th i


'

' .

word means an account of facts or events that need not o ffer a n


explanation.
It is not clear how one would establish that a collection of th i s son
i s complete. An incomplete collection may suffice to find premisse
for some propositions, but one could hardly be sure that a proposition
that cannot be deduced is therefore indemonstrable. Aristotle i s prob
ably thinking of the axioms or ' first principles' of sciences, for w h i c h
there cannot be a demonstration. These are obviously not discovered
simply by checking whether a given proposition is or is not derivable
within the collection.
For the (epistemological) conditions that apply to first principles.
see An. Post. A 2-4.
46330
'the treatise on dialectic' : that is, the Topics. Top. r . 1 4
contains more detailed information about the available sources for
dialectical premisses, but-unsurprisingly-does not have anyth i ng
to say about scientific premisses .
C H APTER 3 1

Division by genera and species is at best a minor part of the method


described. It is supposed to be u sed to prove a definition, but in fact
the definition is simply assumed, while what can be inferred i s a more
general proposition.
Division cannot be used to refute a thesis or to deduce a propo
sition that states an accidental or a peculiar property, or that says
anything about the genus . So division is useless even where it is
supposed to be most appropriate.
468 3 1
' division by genera' . Aristotle refers to the Platonic method
of 'dividing' a genus into species and subspecies. In some of Plato's
later dialogues (Phaedrus, Philebus, Sophist, Politicus) this is pre
sented as the most important method of philosophy. In the Sophist

208

CO M M E N TA R Y

and Politicus i t i s used to find definitions ; i n the Phaedrus and


th e P hilebus as a way of discerning the different 'parts ' or species
nf a ge nus in order to get an accurate overview and to avoid rash
l!e neralizations. B ut Plato never claims that divi sion is a method of
proof. Aristotle may be thinking of other members of the Academy
wh o clai med that they could prove the correctness of a definition by
div isi on. But it seems more likely that they only claimed to show
so m ething, or to have given an argument in favor of a proposed
defi nitio n. In A n. Post. B 5 , a chapter that refers back to this one,
Aris totle h imself admits as much when he compares the use of
di visi on to that of induction: 'it [sc. division] is nevertheless not a
syllogism , but it makes something known, if at all, in a different
w ay. A nd this is by no means absurd, for the person who argues
by induction also presumably does not present a demonstration, but
still he makes something clear' (9 1 b 3 3-5) . Aristotle was no doubt the
first to offer a precise definition of valid deductive inference, thereby
drawing a clear line between proofs or demonstrations in the strict
sense and other forms of argument that may support a thesis without
amounting to a proof. Aristotle's harsh criticism of divis i on in this
chapter may be understandable if there were people in the Academy
who thought that the method of division was all that they needed in
philosophy, and who therefore paid no attention to Aristotle's inno
vations. He seems to be alluding to such persons below in lines 46b2
and 3 3 .
'a small part o f the method j u s t described' . Alexander notes that i t
is unclear whether the method mentioned here is j u s t the procedure
for finding premisses presented in chapters 27-9 or syllogistic as a
whole. Most later commentators choose one of these options without
mentioning the other. In favor of the first view might be the position
of this chapter at the end of the section about finding premisses, and
perhaps also the fact that Aristotle recommends division in An. Post.
B 1 3 as a method for finding definitions. An argument for the second
view would be that Aristotle ' s main point in this chapter is clearly
that a division cannot constitute a proof.

46a33

'something like a weak syllogism' . This description is


explained by the next clause, which states that a division does allow
a deductive inference, but does not allow one to deduce the definition
at issue.
209

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

46 3 34
'something higher up' : that is, a proposition i n which the
predicate is more general than the one in the proposed definition.
In the schematic representation of a division the more general terms
would be higher up than the more specific ones. For the expression
see note to 43a30.
468 36
' a demonstration of the essence and the what-it-is' : a proof
for a proposed definition, that is, a proposition that states the essence
or the ' what-it-is' of a thing. I assume that the ' and' here adds an
explication, not an alternative. The question whether it is possible to
prove a definition is taken up in detail in An. Post. B 2-8 .
463 39-b :z

' In demonstrations . . . ' . What Aristotle says here is


strictly speaking incorrect, for a syllogism in Barbara will obviously
also be valid if the maj or and middle term are coextensive. This is
in fact the case in the examples he gives, since he uses a complex
term (BvC) that must have the same extension as the genus-term
A. Aristotle seems to have overlooked this, no doubt because the
terms B and C taken individually are less general than the genus
term. And indeed his first general statement of a first-figure mood
(4, 258 32-5) suggests that the middle term is included in the major.
Accordingly, 'universally predicable' should be taken to mean 'wider
and universally predicable' .

46b 2-19

'it takes the universal as middle term' . The examples


show that Aristotle means the term A, which is wider than B, C,
or D. He is considering the first step in a division that is meant to
lead to a definition. The genus A is first divided into two parts by
the dijferentiae B and C. It is then assumed that D, the definiendum,
falls under the genus. Thus one obtains the premisses (B vC)aA and
AaD, from which one can infer (B vC)aD . What does not follow is
BaD-the next step in the division. The second example is probably
meant to show that the same difficulty arises at every step of the
division.

46b 26

'It is evident . . . ' . In order to refute a thesis one would have


to produce a deductive proof for its contradictory ; but if one uses a
method that does not allow one to deduce any simple proposition, it
210

C O M M E N TA R Y

is trivially true that one cannot form such a syllogism. A division can
als o n ot be used to show-even in a weak sense-that something has
an accidental or peculiar property, since all the terms introduced at
each step are supposed to occur in the definition of the terms 'below'
them.
' it cannot be proved' . The example from geometry-one of
46 b 33
Aristotle's favorites, also used in chapter 2 3-shows especially w ell
that the crucial proposition is simply assumed rather than deduced .
'does not fit every inquiry ' . Aristotle is probably thinking of
46b 35
the typical questions discussed in the Topics-whether something is a
genus, an accidental property, or a peculiar property of some subj ect.
However, it is somewhat surprising for him to say that division is
us eless even in the field where it was thought to be appropriate-that
is, in the case of definitions . In An. Post. B 13 (96 b 25ff. ) Aristotle
actually recommends division as a method for fi nding definitions,
even though it cannot be used to prove their correctness . Perhaps this
chapter was written before Aristotle had reached the view that there
cannot be a deductive proof for a definition at all (B 8, 93 b 1 5-20) .
'from what premisses proofs come about' . 'Proofs' seems
46b 38
to stand here for syllogisms in general , as at 25, 4 1 b 36.
C H A PTER 3 2

The third and last part o f the investigation will show how one can
analyze existing arguments so as to assign them to one of the figures.
First one has to discern the two premisses and see which one
applies to the whole and which to a part. Occasionally one will have
to supply a mis sing premiss or omit superfluous ones. Sometimes
an argument will seem to be a complete syllogism because some
thing necessary follows from certain assumptions, but since necessity
extends beyond the syllogism, one may still have to add something
or to reformulate the premisses.
When one has found the premisses, one has to identify their terms
and use the one that occurs more than once as middle term. If no
term occurs more than once, there will be no syllogism. Since we
211

PRIOR A N A LYTICS

know which form o f proposition can b e derived in each figu re, i t w i l l


not be necessary to check for all three figures in every c ase.

46h 40

'reduce' : Greek d.vayiv, the word that was used in chapters


7 and 23 for the reduction of all other moods to the universal ones in
the first figure. Here it is used in a different sense as a synonym of
'analyze' (avaAviv). To analyze a given argument that has not been
stated in the standard form of a syllogistic mood is to complete or
reformulate it to show that it falls into one of the figures. For the
differences between the various uses of d.vayeiv, see S triker ( 1 99 6 ).

'our initial project' . The description given here of the


three parts of the investigation does not fit the introductory senten ce
of chapter r , in which Aristotle refers to scientific demonstr ation,
indicating the link between the Prior and the Posterior Analytics.
However, one might relate this passage to the beginning of chapter
4, where Aristotle explains that the treatment of valid deductive
argument in general must precede that of demonstration because
demonstrations are a special kind of deductive argument. The title
d.va.\v-riKa is used by Aristotle himself for all four books of our Ana
lytics. It seems to belong in particular to thi s part of the work, and that
might be taken as an indication that Aristotle discovered syllogistic
in an attempt to find a common pattern in all valid arguments. The
analysis of arguments in chapters 32-46 reflects in many ways the
practice of dialectical debates in the Topics. Syllogistic represents a
simplification and systematization of Aristotle's theory of argument,
so that it now covers not only dialectic, but also scientific proofs as
well as rhetorical arguments (see B 23). The sections on heuristic
and on analysis might seem to be especially relevant for dialectic,
where one tries to find arguments both for and against any given
thesis and to detect fallacies, but chapter 30 shows that Aristotle saw
his method of finding premisses as useful for the sciences as well, and
in chapter 24 one might see an attempt at analyzing a mathematical
proof. Perhaps the project described here was initially developed
independently of the theory of scientific demonstration, but it is clear
that Aristotle himself integrated it into the larger scheme.

47a5

47a 8

'For all that is true . . . ' . The rhetorical flourish of this


sentence is reminiscent of the famous concluding paragraph of the
212

COMMENTARY

Sop h istical Refutations, where Aristotle asks the reader t o recogni ze


his pi on eering achievement and to pardon any minor omi ssions.
From a modern point of view, rather than finding ample con
fi rm atio n of the claim that all valid deductive arguments must fall
into the three figures, one might actually see the section of analysis
as a collection of difficult cases and counterexamples . However, it
seems clear that Aristotle was convinced that it was only a matter of
ingenuity to detect the pattern of the three terms and two premisses
in every valid argument. Unlike some of his modern successors, he
obviously did not see it as his task to develop a formalism that could
adequately represent informal propositions and arguments so as to
make the logical connections evident. His optimism with regard to
syllogistic is likely to be mainly due to his metaphysical prejudice,
according to which all states of affairs consisted in the presence or
absence of attributes in the substances that are the fou ndation of
everything else.

47 8 10

' the two premisses' . Aristotle assumes that the conclusion


is known, so that the analysis of the argument consists in fi nding the
premisses and seeing whether and how the conclusion follows . The
' smaller' parts of the premisses are the terms-see 47a 37-8 below.

47 8 13-15

' to a whole . . . to a part . . . ' . The Greek expressions are,


literally translated, ' in (a) whole' and ' in (a) part' . In other contexts
one would translate them as 'universal' and 'particular' respectively,
but the following text shows that what one is supposed to find is
not a universal and a particul ar premiss, but rather the premiss with
the 'larger' and the 'smaller' extreme, that is, the maj or and the
minor term . Aristotle is using the terminology with which he first
introduced the universal moods of the first figure in chapter 4-see
especially 26a 2 1 -2 : 'I call "major" the extreme that contains the
middle, and "minor" the one that is under the middle.' The same
terminology appeared also in 25, 42a 1 0 1 2 , where Aristotle said that
the two premisses must be related 'as whole to part' -just as he says
in the next sentence here that one (the minor) premiss is contained
in the other. For the use of 'universal' in the sense of ' most gen
eral' , compare 24, 4 1 b 7-1 3, and 3 1 , 46a39-b 1 . In all these passages
Aristotle seems to be thinking of a syllogism in B arbara with true
premisses .
213

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

473 16 ' i n writing . . . in asking questions' . Asking questions i s the


role of one of the partners in a dialectical debate; he proposes
propositions that the opponent must either accept or reject. It is less
clear what Aristotle is referring to by ' i n writing' . Pacius thinks he
means mainly mathematical texts, and, given the geometry example
in chapter 24 (4 r b r 3-23), this is at least a plausible suggestion.
473 1 7
' those through which they lead to a conclusion' . See 2 4,
4 r b 6-2 3 , where Aristotle argued, in effect, that the minor premis s of
a syllogism in B arbara needs to be supplemented with a 'universal' ,
that is, a maj or premiss with a predicate-term that can be universally
predicated of the middle term.
'to no purpose' : cf. 25 , 42a22-4. Those extra premisses do
not contribute to the deduction of the conclusion, but may be added
for tactical reasons.

473 1 8

473 23-8

'because something necessary results from the assump


tions ' . Aristotle evidently thinks that a conclusion may follow though
the argument has not been completely stated. The necessity the n
results , as the ancient commentators put it, 'from the matter' rather
than from the form of the premisses as stated. In the substance
example, it is easy to see that one needs to add a premiss to the
effect that a substance will be destroyed if its constituent parts are
destroyed. As in the simpler examples of arguments that lack pre
cisely one categorical premiss, the missing premisses are more or
less obvious, so that a debater (or a reader) can supply them herself.

47328-31
'if what is a man is necessarily an animal . . . ' . I have
translated this sentence in the way in which it was apparently
understood by Alexander. Most translators translate differently, for
example, Ross : 'If a man exists, an animal exists, and if an animal
exists, a substance exists.' The example is difficult because Aristo
tle seems to state a complete valid argument that is not syllogistic
in form. Rather, it appears to have the form of a valid deduction
in the propositional calculus, with two conditionals as premisses
and a conditional as conclusion, that is, 'p :::> q, q :::> r /p :::> r' . The
ancient commentators call thi s a ' wholly hypothetical argument' .
2 14

CO M M E N TA R Y

Alexander reports (in commenting o n 2 8 , 45 b 1 9 ; 32 5 . 3 1 ff.) that


Theophrastus discussed arguments of this type in his own Prior
Analytics, and that he reduced them to the three figures ' in a dif
ferent way' (326 . 2 1 ) . Alexander gives the general schema of these
arg uments as 'if A, B; if B, C; therefore : if A, C' and then introduces
the present example. As B ochenski ( 1 94T I I 4) rightly noted , the
example indicates that the letters are supposed to stand for terms,
not propositions . This was evidently Alexander's view, since he
comments as follows: ' if of three [sc. terms] the second follows
the first and the third the second, then the third also follows the
first. But of the three terms man, animal , substance, animal fol
lows man and substance follows animal , therefore substance also
follows man' (347.29-33). He then goes on to explain that the correct
syllogi stic form of the premisses would have to be 'every man is
an animal' and 'every animal is a substance' . Given that Aristotle
never explicitly recognizes the existence of propositionally complex
propositions, I fi nd i t most likely that he understood the example
in the way Alexander did . On ' wholly hypothetical arguments' , see
Bobzien (2000).

47 8 33-4

' necessity extends beyond the syllogism' . This sentence


has sometimes been quoted as a recognition on Aristotle's part that
not every valid deductive argument is a syllogi sm in the technical
sense. This is unlikely, if only because Aristotle's definition of syllo
gism is in fact a definition of valid deductive argument. B esides, he
would hardly be in a position to claim, as he does a few lines further
down, that an argument must be inconclusive if no term appears
more than once (47 b 7-9) . So his remark here probably refers to the
examples he has just given to illustrate the point that one may see
that an argument is valid even though it is not stated in the canonical
form .

47 b 1

' the middle term predicates and is predicated ' . According to


Waitz, this is the only passage in which Aristotle uses the active form
of the verb 'predicate' with respect to a term-no doubt because this
allows for a concise way of describing the role of the middle term.
What he means is, of course, that the middle term is the (grammati
cal) predicate in one premiss, the (grammatical) subject in the other.
215

PRIOR A N ALYTICS

CH APTER 3 3

S ometimes one may be deceived into thinking that an argument


is valid because the terms appear in the same order as in a valid
mood. This is illustrated by two examples of taking an indeterminate
premiss to be universal.
Aristotle' s examples in this chapter seem to have produced more
confusion than clarity, no doubt in part because he is using proper
names in quantified propositions. It seems most plausible to assume
that the proper names 'Aristomenes' and 'Miccalus' function as sin
gular terms when used by themselves, while the composite expres
sions 'thinkable Aristomenes' and 'educated Miccalus' function as
general terms with the sense of 'thinkable man called Aristomenes'
and ' educated man called Miccalus' respectively. This m akes it pos
sible for them to occur in the predicate position of a quantified
premiss. I have used indefinite articles in the translation to mark the
distinction.
Even so, however, Aristotle's claim that both examples illustrate
the same mistake remains doubtful .

47 b 22-36

Aristomenes, Miccalus . The two names, which occur


only here in the Aristotelian corpus, may be taken from two of
Aristotle's acquaintances : an Aristomenes appears in Aristotle's last
will as one of the people-no doubt members of his school-who
are asked to look after his wife and children (Diogenes Laertius V.
1 2) ; a Miccalus is mentioned by Arrian (An. 7. 1 9 .5 ) as an envoy of
Alexander the Great in the year 323 BC.

47b :21-9 The first example. If one follows Aristotle's diagnosis of


the error underlying both paralogisms, the first argument should be
as follows:
( 1 ) (a) thinkable Aristomenes is [i.e. exists] alway s ;
(2) Aristomenes i s (a) thinkable Aristomenes; therefore
(3) Aristomenes exists always.
The alleged conclusion (3 ) is obviously false, given that Aris
tomemes may perish; it seems to follow, according to Aristotle,
because the first premiss is inadvertently taken as universal ( 'every
216

COMMENTARY

thinkable Aristomenes exists always' ) rather than a s indeterminate


and hence particular. However, it is difficult to see why anyone would
think that ( r ) is clearly true, whether taken as particular or not. The
paraphrase given by Alexander (350. 3off.) shows, however, that the
sentence used to express ( 1 ) would naturall y be understood to mean
that (the person) Aristomenes can always be thought of-hence I
have translated it as 'Aristomenes is always thinkable' . This does
seem to be unproblematically true ; but it also seems clear that the
predicate term should be ' always thinkable' rather than 'is always' .
And with this interpretation, the conclusion would be 'a thinkable
Aristomenes is always thinkable' , which, though odd, may be triv
ially true. So the error that leads to the alleged conclusion is due to
a faulty analysis of the first premiss, not to taking an indeterminate
premiss as universal .
Alexander evidently recognized this, but still tried to abide by
Aristotle ' s diagnosis . So he says: 'The proposition AB may be true
when taken as indeterminate and saying that Ari stomenes is always
thinkable; but when it is taken to be universal and becomes "every
thinkable Aristomenes is always", it is false. For he who says "every
thinkable Aristomenes is always" no longer assumes that every think
able Aristomenes is always thinkable, but rather that Aristomenes, of
whom it is true that he is thinkable, exists always. This is false, and
if the indeterminate proposition "Aristomenes is always thinkable"
signified the same, it would be false too, since it is also not possible
for a particular Aristomenes who happens to be thinkable to exist
always. As it is, the indeterminate proposition had one sense, but
with the addition of the word "every" the sense changed and became
another' (35 1 .8- 1 7 ) . Alexander leaves the reader with a dilemma:
either Aristotle's diagnosis is correct, but the first premiss is false, or
the first premiss is true, but the conclusion rests on a misinterpretation
of it, not on mistaking a particular premiss for a universal . I find it
most likely that whoever invented this paralogism was exploiting the
ambiguity of the first premiss, helped along by Greek syntax, which
permits the word order ' always is thinkable Aristomenes ' .

47 b 29-37

The second example. The second example does illus


trate the error that Aristotle wants to emphasize if one assumes that
the predicate-term 'educated Miccalus' is to be taken as a general
term. The argument looks like this:
217

P R I O R A N A LY T ! C S

( 1 ) Miccalus i s (an) educated Miccalus;


(2) (an) educated Miccalus will perish tomorrow; therefore
(3) Miccalus will perish tomorrow.
As in the previous example, the lack of an indefinite article in
Greek makes it easier to hide the fallacy. The conclusion does not
follow, because the educated person called Miccalus who is to die
the next day need not be identical with the Miccalus mentioned in
the first premiss. The second premiss might well be a parody of
the notoriously misleading Greek oracles : one thinks of the famous
case of Croesus, who had been told by the oracle at Delphi that he
'would destroy a great empire' as he went to war against the Persians .
Unfortunately for him, it turned out to be his own empire (Herodotus
I . 9 1 ). The conclusion would follow only if the second premiss held
universally for all educated men called Miccalus.
However, perhaps because Aristotle states that the alleged conclu
sion is false and also seems to introduce the second premiss as a mere
possibility, most commentators have accepted the first interpretation
offered by Alexander (35 1 .24-3 5 2 . 8), according to which the univer
sal form of the second premiss is false because it says that ' the whole
educated Miccalus will perish' (taking the Greek word 7Tiis- ' all' or
'every '-in the sense of 'the whole' , as in English ' all of Miccalus ' ) .
B u t Miccalus might perish merely in respect of being educated, s o i t
does not follow that h e will perish. However, this could at best show
only that the conclusion does not follow from the second premiss
by itself, and it evidently would not illustrate the error that Aristotle
points out (apart from the fact that such a sudden loss of education
would be quite extraordinary). And Alexander also offers what I take
to b e the correct interpretation (35 2 . I 9ft) : he explains that Aristotle
calls the conclusion false merely in the sense that it does not follow
from the premisses (for this use of 'false' see, e.g., 9, 30327, and 17,
3782). He also realizes that the second premiss is introduced, not as
an explicitly modal proposition, but as a legitimate assumption, given
that it is not necessarily false.
Incidentally, this example might also show why Aristotle-or
whoever came up with this paralogism-used the proper name 'Mic
calus' in the predicate of the second premiss: if he had chosen, for
example, 'educated person' , it would no doubt have been easier to
spot the fallacy.
218

COM M E NTA RY

' a small point' : cf. SE 1 69 b 9- 1 7, where Aristotle lists a


nu mber of similar 'oversights ' under this label.

47 b 38

C H A P T E R 34

Another source of fallacies is the use of the wrong expression for a


term. Instead of nouns such as 'health' and ' illness' , one should use
the corresponding participles, such as 'being healthy ' or ' being ill ' .

488 2-6

health, illness. It i s natural in Greek to use a noun when


formulating a premiss with the verb 'to belong' (v1Tapxi:tv), just as
it is more natural in English to say that health belongs to a person
rather than that ' being healthy ' belongs to her-and indeed Aristotle
himself returns to this way of speaking below in line 1 5 , after he h as
pointed out how fallacies can be avoided. What is meant, of course,
is that the person is healthy, not that she is health . However, if one
then goes on to use 'health' or 'illness' also as subject terms, the
result may be a proposition like 'health belongs to no illness' , which
seems to be necessarily true, but which, together with the assertoric
premiss 'illness belongs to every man' , seems to imply that no man
can be healthy.

48 3 6-8
'for every man is susceptible of illness' . Geach points
out that this will support only a possibility-premiss. He proposes to
change the text accordingly, and then to take the conclusion as asser
toric, with the word ' cannot' being used only to express the necessity
of the implication . It seems more plausible, however, to assume that
Aristotle intends to give an assertoric premiss, and that these words
are meant to say that this premiss can be used since it could be
true at some time-just as in the Miccalus example above (47 b 3 3 ) .
(For this use o f possibility-expressions see n . to r 1 , 3 1 b 6-8 . ) H e has
just used an unmodalized sentence to support what is obviously a
necessary first premiss, and the fallacious argument should lead to
a necessary conclusion (by B arbara NXN) to produce an apparent
counterexample to a mood recognized by Aristotle as valid.
483 13
'except perhaps for a possibility ' . A possibility-conclusion
can be derived if ' health' and 'illness ' are replaced by 'healthy ' and
219

PRI OR ANA LYTICS

' il l ' respective! , and th rs premiss i s ten t o b e 'healthy po ss ib ly


belongs to nothing that is ill . Together with the second pre m i ss ( ' al l
men are ill ' ), this yields the harmless conclusion 'healt hy pos sib l y
belongs t o no man' .
488 1 5-18
' in a similar way' . As in the first example, the necessary
conclusion follows only if the second premiss is taken to be asser
toric.
488 1 8
'with respect to the possible' . If both premisses are taken
as possible (health may belong to every man; illness may belong to
every man), the apparent conclusion would seem to be an i m pos
sibility, namely that health may belong to some illness. This could
be taken to constitute a counterexample to DaraptiQQQ, proved a t
20, 39a 1 4- 1 9 . The statement that contraries may belong to the same
thing but cannot possibly belong to each other sounds as though it
was taken straight out of Plato's Phaedo (see, e.g., 1 02B- 103A),
and indeed the examples in this chapter may well go back to a
discussion in the Academy. But once one replaces the nouns by the
corresponding participles, the premisses lead only to the conclusion
that something that is ill is possibly healthy.
C HAPTER 3 5

I t is not always possible to find a single word fo r a term, so that one


will sometimes have to use longer phrases. If one overlooks this, one
might be led into error, for example, erroneously thinking that there
is a demonstration for some immediate propositions.
483 3 0
'phrases' . The Greek word is A.Oyos-, but here it clearly
means any expression that consists of more than one word.

488 33-7

'immediate' : a technical term from Aristotle's theory of


scientific demonstration in the Posterior Analytics (see A 2, 7 1 b 1672a8), meaning a categorical proposition whose terms are such that
no middle term exists through which one could construct a demon
stration for it. This holds, for example, for the definitions that form
the first premisses of an Aristotelian deductive theory.
220

C O M M E N TA R Y

'that there i s a syllogism fo r immediate propositions' . The error


Aristotle mentions here seems to consist in thinking that an immed i
ate (and therefore indemon strable) proposition is demonstrable. But
the example that follows appears to illustrate a different mistake,
namely taking a demonstrable premiss to be immediate. Smith there
fore proposes to translate ' that there is a deduction from unmiddled
things ' . But I do not think that the Greek can be understood in this
way. However, the contrast between the different interpretations of
Alexander (35 8 . 7-35 9 . 1 4) and Philoponus (332 .9-3 3 3 4) shows that
Aristotle' s statement can be read in two ways-either de re (to think
of a propos ition that is actually immediate that it is demonstrable
so Alexander) or de dicta (to think that some immediate propositions
are demonstrable-so Philoponus) . In the first case, the error would
consist in not realizing that a proposition is immediate and hence
indemonstrable. This does not fit the example, as S mith rightly points
out. The second interpretation, however, does make sense of the
example: the error lies in maintaining, contrary to Aristotle's view,
that some propositions that are immediate are nevertheless demon
strable. In the example, the opponent takes the premiss ' every triangle
has the sum of its angles equal to two right angles ' to be immediate,
since it holds of triangles per se, that is, according to their nature.
But this need not be so, as Aristotle's discussion of the theorem in
An. Post. A 4-5 (73 b 2 5-748 3 shows, because it is not true that every
attribute that belongs to a subject 'in itself' belongs to it immediately.
(Indeed, the predicate 'has an angle sum equal to two right angles'
holds per se of the isosceles triangle too. )
This chapter, then, like the preceding one, deals with a n objection
that was probably brought against Aristotle's theory by his colleagues
in the Academy-namely a putative counterexample to the claim
that 'immediate' propositions are indemonstrable. I have included
the example in brackets to indicate that it represents the opponent's
reasoning.
Aristotle obviously assumes that the reader i s familiar with his
example-one of his favorites-and hence states it rather ellipticall y :
' two right angles ' stands fo r 'has the sum o f its angles equal t o two
right angles' , and 'isosceles' is short for ' isosceles triangle' . As Ross
points out, the middle term in the syllogism Aristotle is thinking of
would be something like ' figure which has its angles equal to the
angles about a point' (Met. f?J 9, 1 05 1 8 24-7 ) . Aristotle suggests that
his opponent did not realize the possibility of this kind of term and
221

PRIOR ANALYTICS

hence concluded that the premiss 'all triangles have an ang le s u m of


two right angles ' must be immediate .
Here as in other examples, the syllogism captures only the last
part of the geometer's reasoning, but this may still have convinced
Aristotle that his syllogi stic was adequate as a representation of
mathematical proofs. See Mendell ( 1 998).

488 38

' a this ' : Greek r6SE n , an expression that Aristotle u sua l l y


employs for independently existing individuals or substances (see
Bonitz, s . v. oSE, 495b37ff.). Here he obviously just means a single
word as opposed to a complex phrase.
C H AP TE R 36

Premisses of the form 'A belongs to B' or 'A does not belong to B
should not be taken to imply that the terms can always be predicated
of one another. In fact, ' belonging' and ' not belonging' can be used to
represent any sentence formulated with 'is' or ' it is true to say that' ,
including those in which a term appears in an inflected form or with
a preposition.
This claim is illustrated by examples of arguments in which a term
appears in an inflected form in one or both premisses .
When preparing to formulate a syllogism, one should list the terms
in the nominative, but then use inflected forms in the premisses as
required by the sense.
This chapter may indicate one of the reasons why Aristotle chose
to use 'to belong to' as his preferred expression for term-relations in
syllogisti c : he claims here that it covers a wider range of cases than
' to be predicated of' . However, in the systematic chapters (A 4-7)
'is predicated of' was used interchangeably with ' belongs to' , and
the system of the syllogistic moods is based on the definitions of 'is
predicated of all ' and 'is predicated of none' . It is hard to see how
Aristotle could think that those argument-forms would still be valid
if different interpretations of ' belongs to' were admitted. Aristotle's
examples are of the kind typically found in the Topics, including the
absence of quantifiers , and he no doubt expected that all argument
forms covered there could be ' analyzed' into syllogistic form. His
examples are valid, but syllogistic cannot explain why they are.
222

COMMENTARY

The m edieval logicians eventually developed a formalism to deal


with th ese cases under the label of ' termini obl iqui' (see Thom
1 977).

48 h z-4

'Rather, one must think that . . . ' . The claim that ' to belong'
sig nifies in as many ways as ' to be' or as 'it is true to say that
. . . ' is explained by the following examples: in sentences in which
the terms cannot be 'said' or predicated of each other, ' is ' occurs,
ostensibly in the same way as the copula, after an inflected noun
( e.g. in the genitive: 'of contraries ' , ' of the good' ) , but the phrase
th at follows 'is' cannot be treated as a predicate of the apparent
subject. (The syntactical similarity between the two uses of 'is' is
obscured in the translation, where one has to use ' there is' to produce
tolerable English. I have tried to bring out the parallelism by adopting
a somewhat unnatural word order.) Aristotle maintains that this use
of 'is' can also be represented by the 'A belongs to B ' -form, so
that these premisses can figure in syllogisms . Just as for ordinary
predications, this use of 'is' can be paraphrased with the expression
'it is true to say (of B) that . . . ', and so Aristotle probably thought
that these cases are sufficiently similar to predications to be treated
in the same way. (In chapter 38 he actually speaks of predication in
these cases too.) In fact, those sentences could be reformulated as
predications using terms of the form ' thing of which there is (e.g.)
a single science, a genus, etc .'-a form that Aristotle himself uses
in one of his examples (48 b 22-4), apparently without noticing that it
could be used in all cases.

48h 3

' the same thing' : sc. the same thing that the subject i s said to
be (if a is F, then it is true to say of a that it is F) .

48b 5

' of contraries there is a single science' . Aristotle has j ust


pointed out that a term may have to be formulated as a phrase rather
than a single word, and this is what seems to happen in the case of the
first example. He gives the term first as ' there being a single science' ,
then, more accurately, ' there being a single science of them ' , and
finally produces a version using ' it is true to say ' , contrasting it
223

PRIOR ANALYTICS

with a nonsensical version i n which the phrase i s used after 'is '
a predicate-term .

as

48b 10-49 8 5

' It happens sometimes . . . ' . As the labels 'first' , ' m id


dle' , 'extreme' (or 'third ' ) show, Ari stotle is thinking of syl log is ms
in Barbara. In the following examples, however, he seems to hav e
forgotten his cautions about the formulation of terms, and to consider
only the nouns as terms . So 'belongs to' would have to stand for
whatever relation is s aid to hold between the thi ngs designated by
the nouns. If Aristotle had followed the procedure he used for the
contraries-sentence, the 'middle term' in his first example would
have to be ' wisdom' in the first premiss, then (for example) ' thing
of which wisdom is the science' or ' object of wisdom' in the second:
what is true of the good is that wisdom is the science of it. In other
words, there would be no term common to the premisses, and no valid
syllogism.

48 b 2z-4

'if of what there is a science . . . ' : Philoponus (3 3 8 . 2 1 -30)


points out that if one considers this argument as a syllogism, it seems
to lack a middle term, since the subject term in the major premiss
is 'that of which there is a science' , while in the minor premiss the
predicate-term appears to be j ust ' science' . But fortunately the minor
premiss ( ' of the good there is a science' ) is obviously equivalent to
' the good is the object of a science' , and the phrase 'that of which
there is a science' can be replaced by the more familiar ' object of
a science' , so the problem can be solved (339 . 2 1 -33). He omits
to mention that this produces a regular syllogism without inflected
terms .

48b 3J-5

'Similarly in all other cases . . . ' . The commentators


explain that Aristotle is here using 'genus' simply to mean the middle
term in a second figure syllogism, because it is predicated of both the
other terms. Alexander remarks (364.33ff) that this would be a very
bad reason, since the middle term i s usually not the genus of the oth
ers ; he suspects that the text might be corrupt. B ut the two preceding
examples were both refutations of theses about the genus (of pleasure
and of laughter respectively), and it seems plausible that Aristotle is
thinking of an objection to such claims that he mentions at Top. 4.5,
2 24

COMMENTARY

r 26b 2 7-34. S peaking about the proposal o f defining astonishment as


'excess of bewilderment' or conviction as ' vehemence of belief' , he
says : 'If one states the genus in this way, one will have to speak of
vehement vehemence or excessive excess . For there is such a thing as
vehement conviction; so, if conviction is a kind of vehemence, there
would be vehement vehemence. S imilarly, there is such a thing as
excessive astonishment; so, if astonishment is a kind of excess, there
would be excessive excess. B ut neither of these is acceptable, just as
knowledge is not a thing that knows, nor motion a thing that moves.'
Here the alleged genus is 'said in a certain way' about the thing of
which it is supposed to be the genus, but nothing can be an attribute
of itself (Top. 2 . 6 , 1 1 2b 2 1-6), so thi s shows that the proposal must be
wrong .

48b 35

' about the thing' : l i terally, 'the thing itself' , that is, the very
thing of which it was alleged to be the genus.

48 b 37

' because nothing is useful to a god' . A god is not in need of


anything, and so nothing can be 'requisite' for a god.

48 b 40

' the terms must always be set out with the appellations
of the noun s ' : that is, in the nominative. Grammar was still in its
infancy when Aristotle wrote, and there was no fixed terminology.
Presumably the terms should be listed in the nominative because the
list serves to indicate the things about which an argument is to be
constructed, and the nominatives would be as it were their proper
names . It is not likely that Aristotle was here thinking about a rule
according to which a val id argument can be found only if the terms
can be put back into the nominative, as Thom ( 1 98 1 : 77) suggests.

49a :z

' those might be "to this" . . . '. Aristotle offers examples


of relational terms that take a complement in the dative, genitive,
accusative, etc . The last one is a non-relational term in the nomina
tive, added no doubt for the sake of completeness. The final clause
may allude to the possibility that a term appears in combination with
a preposition, or Aristotle may just want to anticipate obj ections in
case he might have forgotten a possible form .

225

P R I O R A N A LY T J C S

C H APTER 3 7

This short paragraph looks like a note that should eventu ally h av e
been replaced by the material in the surrounding chapters .

49 8 7

'in as many ways as the predications have been divided' :


cf. , e.g., Top . 1 .9 , 103 b o-39 . In a simple subject-predicate s entenc e
the predicate-term may indicate the essence of the subject, or a
quality, a quantity, etc . , of it. The form 'A belongs to B ' stands for
all these kinds of predication . Aristotle need not be taken to mean
that 'belongs to' has as many different senses as there are types
of predication ; all he may have in m i nd here is that its use is not
restricted, for example, to essential or accidental predication, so that
any given subject-predicate sentence can be represented by the fo rm
'A belongs to B ' .

49 8 8

' i n some respect or without qualification' : cf. Top. 2 . 1 ,


1 09a 1 0-26, where Aristotle poi nts out that only accidental attributes
can belong to a thing 'in some respect' . Hence if it has been shown
that an attribute belongs to a thing in some respect-for example, that
a person has whiteness with respect to her hair-it will not follow that
the predicate applies without qualification. It may be significant that
Aristotle also uses 'belongs to' in the examples in the Topics-one
might perhaps say that a person 'has ' whiteness when her hair is
white, but one would hardly say that she is white.

49 8 8-9

'either simple or complex' . Aristotle probably means pred


icates expressed by one or by several words, for example, ' animal' or
' white animal ' .
C H APTER 3 8

When there i s reduplication o f a term i n the premisses, the duplica


tion should be taken with the maj or, not the middle term . The choice
of terms will have to be different depending on whether one wants to
deduce a proposition with a qualified or with an unqualified predicate.
The point of these rules is explained by examples.
226

COMMENTARY

498 1 1

'What i s reduplicated' . Aristotle does not explain this


expre ssion, which seems to mean that a term appears twice, not
j ust that something is added to a predicate . The older commentators
suggest that he means a word that occurs in two different roles in a
sy llogis m : both as qualifier of a predicate-term and as a term ; but this
applies only to terms in a syllogism, not to single propositions, and
is clearly derived from Aristotle's examples. Perhaps the label was
originally applied to phrases like ' the good, insofar as it is good'
or the notorious ' what is, insofar as it is' (or 'being qua being ' ) ,
where the same word does occur twice. The syntactical role o f such
phrases may not be clear in statements like 'There is a science that
investigates what is, insofar as it is ' (Met. I' 1 , 1 003a20): ' inso
far as it is' might go either with 'investigates ' or with 'what is' .
Aristotle explains here that it should be taken with 'investigates'
a rule that has not always been observed by interpreters of the

Metaphysics.
49 8 16

' to predicate A of B ' . As Waitz notes, Aristotle now uses


' to predicate' in connection with an inflected term ( ' of the good ' ) , in
spite of his strictures in chapter 3 6 .

49 9 18

'precisely' : 077Ep, a word Aristotle often uses t o indicate


what a thing is essentially, for example, its genus. (See Waitz's n ote,
ad Joe . )
' goat-stag' : Aristotle's standard example o f a nonexistent
49 8 24
thing. S ince the word does make sense, one can actually know that
such creatures do not exist, but this is also all that one can know about
them.
Aristotle now offers a general account of how to find
49 8 27-b 1
middle terms for conclusions that have a qualified predicate term, and
contrasts this case with that of simple or unqualified predication . He
does not use quantifiers, but his examples show that he is thinking of
syllogisms in B arbara. Aristotle's exposition is compressed and not
very clear, but it can, I think, be unraveled as follows. In order to
derive a conclusion with a qualified predicate-term, one has to use a
middle term that is ' so qualified' in the sense that the qualifier applies
227

PRIOR A NALYTICS

to it. ( I translate the Greek TL ov a s ' what i s s o qualifi ed' , by co nt r ast


to ' what is simply' , sc . what it is said to be. For this con tras t, c f.
Met. Z r , r o28a30.) In the first set of examples, this could be don e
simply by using the qualifier as middle term : ' good ' in the cas e o f
j ustice, ' nonexistent thi ng' in the case of the goat-stag, 'perc ept ibl e '
i n the case o f man . However, this will not work when the q uali fier
is identical with the minor term, as in the case of the good knowable
as being good. But a term like 'beneficial ' will do, so that one could
construct the argument: the beneficial is knowable as being good, the
good is beneficial, therefore: the good is knowable as be ing go od .
Aristotle is using the phrase ' what is so qualified' as a placeho lder
for a term of the required type, that is, such that it is either identical
with the qualifier or the qualifier is true of it. S ince the minor in the
given example is identical with the qualifier, the phrase ' so qual ified'
turns up in the schematic form of both premi sses and conclusion. This
is presumably a case of ' being of a certain sort' , since the qualifit::r
indicates an essential attribute of the minor term.
In line 36 Aristotle returns to the case of simple predicati on, this
time using ' what is' to stand for a term that is true of its subject
without qualification. Since the maj or term does not contain a quali
fication, the middle does not have to meet the condition of being 'so
qualified' . Accordingly, the conclusion will only be that the good is
knowable, not that it is knowable as being good. It is a little confusing
that Aristotle states this in a way that suggests, not the absence of a
qualifier, but instead the presence of a different qualification ('being'
or ' existing thing ' ) . The phrase oTt ov can be translated ' as being
an existent thing' , but also 'that it is so' . I take it that this phrase is
meant here to indicate that the subject simply is what the predicate
says of it, for example, desirable, and have tried to bring this out in
the translation. So the syllogism that leads to the conclusion that the
good is knowable might be: there is knowledge of what is desirable,
the good is desirable, therefore: there is knowledge of the good.
If one treats on ov as a qualifying expression, one arrives at
the traditional interpretation (from Alexander to Smith) : the middle
term should be 'what is' in the sense of 'existing thing' , the major
'knowable as an existing thing' , so that we would have the argu
ment: existing things are knowable as existing things , the good is an
existing thing, therefore, the good is knowable as an existing thing.
This could hardly be intended as a recommendation for all cases of
simple predication-rather, as Pacius says , it would have to be seen

228

C O M M E N TA R Y

a third type of case. B ut the beginning of lhe sentence seemed to


show that Aristotle was indeed retu rn ing to the case of unqualified
predication that is, where he had said one should take ' what is
as middle term (1. 30). It seems better, then, to treat ' what i s ' as a
pl ac eholder in the same way as ' what is so q uali fi ed , and to take the
ph rase on ov in the sense suggested above .
as

'

'

' of a certain sort' : -r6Se n, usual ly translated as ' a this'


or ' a this something' -an expression Aristotle normally uses for an
in dividual thing But this can hardly be what he has in mind here,
where he lists ways in which a predicate can be qualified by phrases
like 'in some respect' . Perhaps -r6Se n is added with a view to the
subsequent example: it would be odd to say that to know the good as
being good is to know it only in some respect.

49 8 28

49 b 2

particular' The Greek expression is the same that Aristotle


uses for non-universal premisses or conclusions, but since the argu
ments just discussed were presumably all in Barbara, thi s cannot be
what he means in this case. A literal trans l ation of the Greek would
be 'in part' , and that may be intended here : as Alexander suggests
(37 2 . 1 0-27) , the qualification of a predicate limits its appl ication to
the part or respect indicated by the q u alifier as, for example, in the
case of the goat-stag, which can be known only as a nonexistent thing,
but not otherwise.
On redup l ication in general, see B ack ( 1 988).
'

CHAPTER 39

49 b 3-6 ' One should also substitute . . . '. When analy z ing an infor
mally stated argument, it may be easier to find the terms for a syl
logism if one reformulates the premisses by replaci n g some expres
sions by their synonyms, or phrases by single words . This might, for
example, help one to identify a middle term.
49b 6-9

' assumption . . . opi n ion : literally, 'what is assumed' and


' what is opi n ed The two Greek verbs are often used interchange
ably by Aristotle and 'assumpt i on ' (v'TT O AYJ</lLS) actually appears as
'

' .

229

P R I O R A N A LY TI C S

genus o f ' opinion ' (86ta) at DA 3 3 , 427 b 2 5 ; but Top. 4. 5 , 1 25 b 3 5 -g ,


presents an argument of the kind Aristotle may have had in m in d :
'conviction i s not assumption, for one may hold the same assumptio n
even when not convinced. But this is not possible if c onvic ti on i s
a species o f assumption, for a thing cannot remain the same if i t
changes its species altogether, just a s the same animal cann ot be a
man at one time, not a man at another.'
Aristotle's example is puzzling. All the MSS have the read ing
translated here, according to which the terms should be s imply
'assumption ' and ' opinion ' , presumably illustrating the substitution
of a word for a phrase. But the resulting proposition-'opinion is
not assumption' -can hardly be said to be equivalent to ' assumption
is not the genus of opinion ' . Alexander (373 . 1 2-1 5) evidently read
'precisely an assumption' (o7TEp V1TOA7]1TTov) in line 9, and says that
the example illustrates the substitution of a phrase for a phrase. Philo
ponus (347 . 2 5-34), who has the usual reading, notices the difficulty
and suggests that the terms should be ' set out' as ' assumption' and
' opinion' , but that the longer phrases should be used in the premisses.
But the point of the substitution might actually be to eliminate the
occurrence of the word 'genus' or its equivalent in the premisses. In
the Topics, the theses to be debated are usually stated explicitly in
terms of the predicables (genus, definition, proprium, accident; see,
e.g., Top. 1 .4, 1 0 1 b 30- 1 ) , but the premisses used to refute or establish
such claims do not contain those words that form, as it were, the
theoretical metalanguage of the Topics. One would refute the thesis
that assumption is the genus of opinion by showing (for example)
that some opinions are not assumptions. Thi s is incompatible with
the thesis, though it is not equivalent to its contradictory.
C H AP TE R 40

49 b 10-13
From a modern perspective, one would prefer to say
that 'pleasure is the good' and ' pleasure is a good' are different in
logical form: the first states an identity, the second is a predication .
Aristotle treats both as predications, but with different predicates.
Alexander (374.8-1 0) explains the difference in meaning by saying
that 'pleasure is the good' ascribes the highest position among goods
to pleasure, but this can hardly be generalized to all cases of the use
of the definite article with a predicate noun.
230

C O M M E N TARY

C H A PT E R 4 1

'A belongs to everything to which B belongs ' does not mean the same
as 'A belongs to everything to all of which B belongs' . This is shown
by considering the case of a C such that B holds of some but not of
all C. Universal affirmative propositions should be understood in the
sense of the first formula.
One should not think that ' setting out' an example leads to absur
dity. This procedure is used in the same way as diagrams are in
geometry-as a help to the student, not as the basis of deductions .
49 b 1 4-27

'It is not the same . . . ' . The distinction between the two

forms

( r ) 'A belongs to everything to which B belongs ' and


(2) 'A belongs to everything to all of which B belongs '
is important for the interpretation of universal affirmative proposi
tions. Aristotle first sets out the difference and then concludes his
argument by stating that ( 1 ) rather than (2) is the correct interpreta
tion for a-premisses . According to Alexander (379 . 9- 1 1 ), Theophras
tus in his treatise On Affirmation took the two forms 'Of what B is
said, A is said' and 'A is said of everything of all of which B is s aid'
to mean the same, and this or a similar misunderstanding may be
the reason why Aristotle found it necessary to explain the difference.
The double purpose of the argument-explaining the difference and
deciding about the interpretation of AaB-propositions-al ong with
the ambiguities of the Greek, seems to have led to a great deal of
confusion among ancient as well as modern commentators .
Now one might set aside the alleged distinction b y noting that
if XaX holds for all terms, ( 1 ) and (2) turn out to be equivalent.
But though Aristotle would consider a proposition of the form AoA
( ' some A is not N) as absurd (see B 1 5), it is not clear that he ever
considered whether propositions of the form XaX should be accepted
as trivially true in his system. In any case, the disti nction he draws in
this chapter seems to presuppose that any class C included in B is
distinct from B itself.
As I understand it, Aristotle's reasoning is as follows :
Thesis: ( 1 ) and (2) do not mean the same.
Argument:
23 1

PRI O R A N A L Y TI C S

(i) regardless o f the difference, both ( r ) and ( 2 ) are compatible


with there being a C such that B belongs to some but not to
all C . For example, if B stands for beautiful, C for white, and
some white thing i s beautiful, one could say that B belongs to
c.

(Comment: Aristotle omits to say at this point that in such a


case, that is, if BiC is true but not B aC , the combination of BiC
with ( r ) would imply the conclusion AiC by Darii, whereas the
combination of (2) with B iC leads to no conclusion with respect
to A and C . )

(ii) if A belongs t o B but not t o everything o f which B i s said, then


whether B belongs to every C or merely belongs to C, it is not
necessary for A to belong either to all or to any C.
(Comment: This step is dubious, since AoB is compatible with,
but not implied by, (2). Indeed, if (2) is understood as a condi
tional (BaC :::> AaC), then, given BaC, AaC should follow-by
modus ponens, a rule that Aristotle uses but never explicitly
recognizes. So if this was meant to show that, if (2) is accepted
as the interpretation of AaB , then, even given B aC, no conclu
sion would follow, it is too strong a claim.)
(iii) But if A belongs to everything of which B is truly said, it will
follow that A is said of everything of all of which B is said.
(Comment: that is, if AaB is interpreted in the sense of ( I ), then
it together with B aC will imply AaC.)
(iv) However, if A is said of whatever B is said of all of, nothing
prevents B from belonging to C, but for A not to belong to every
C, or not to belong to C at all.
(Comment: assuming that 'B belongs to C' is to be understood
as B iC-see (ii)-Aristotle now points out that if AaB is inter
preted in the sense of (2), no conclusion with respect to A and
C follows .)
This completes the argument for the distinctness of forms ( I )
and (2).

49h 27-32

'With the three terms, then, it is clear . . . '. The phrase


'it is clear' usually introduces a statement or summary of results. If
we understand it in this way, we may take Aristotle' s point to be that
with the help of the third term-which did not occur in either ( I ) or

232

COMMENTARY

(2 )-he has shown both that ( 1 ) and ( 2 ) d o not mean the same and
al so that ( I ) and not (2) should be seen as the correct interpretation
of the universal affirmative premis s .
' for A t o b e said o f everything of which B is said means this : of
as many things as B is said, of all of these A is also said' . Sm ith
translates the first half of thi s sentence as 'A is said of what B is said
of all of' , and indeed the Greek is ambiguou s . But, given the preced
ing sentence, it seems clear to me that the usual translation (above)
must be correct. In fact, with a comma after the B in line 28, the
ambiguity would be removed. Ross commends Waitz for removing
the comma that Bekker had printed in this place-apparently because
he thinks that Aristotle intended to highlight the ambiguity. But the
ambiguity would not be removed by insisting that (2) rather than ( I )
is correct-as far as the Greek phrase i s concerned, it could be taken
either way, and as far as the preceding argument goes, one should
accept ( I ) rather than (2). So I understand this concluding sentence as
asserting the claim that ( r ) rather than (2) is the correct interpretation
of the form AaB , because only with this interpretation both the moods
Barbara and Darii will be valid.

49 b 33-508 3

' setting out' . Aristotle does not say what he means by


' setting out' here. In the systematic chapters ( 1 -2 2) he had used the
verb and its cognate noun for the method of proof by ecthesis (chs.
6 and 8); in the section on analysis he has used it to refer to a list or
perhaps a diagram showing the terms of a concrete syllogism (chs .
34, 36). It is natural , then, to assume that he has this second sense
in mind here ; but it is hard to see why anyone should think that an
absurdity could result from the use of such lists or diagrams.
Two interpretations have traditionally been offered. According
to the first, advocated by Alexander and more recently by Ross,
Mignucci, and S mith, Aristotle is talking about the use of letters in
his formulations of syllogistic moods . By appealing to the practice
of geometers, he is warning the reader against the error of thinking
that his proofs are about those particular letters, rather than about
all arguments of a given form. To think that the proofs depend in
some way on the letters used would indeed be absurd, but I find it
difficult to believe that Aristotle suspected his audience of making
this elementary mistake. He is not writing for uneducated laymen
on the contrary, he compares himself to the geometer because he
233

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

can assume that his audience will b e familiar with geometry and
aware of the fact that a geometer's inaccurate diagrams serve only
to illustrate the assumptions on which the actual proof is based . Such
people would be unlikely, I think, to object that it is absurd to produce
arguments about letters of the alphabet. Besides, Aristotle has used
' setting out' only in connection with the introduction of concrete
terms in the preceding chapters.
The second interpretation (advocated, for example, by Pacius and
Waitz) looks more promising: Aristotle might be referring to his use
of term-examples, pointing out that even if the premisses constructed
from those terms are false and lead to false conclusions, this does
not affect his argument, since the validity of a syllogism depends on
the relations assumed to hold between the terms . False premisses are
similar, then, to the diagrams that need not correspond exactly to the
assumptions used in a geometer's proof. This might be a plausible
point to make for Aristotle, though it sits oddly in a context where
he has just been insisting on the correct way of setting out the terms
of a syllogism, precisely in order to avoid absurd conclusions (cf.
34, 4886- I I ) . But perhaps this passage offers a comment on the
immediately preceding argument. Aristotle has not used the word
' setting out' there, but he introduces a new term subordinate to one
of the given terms, accompanied by an example. Since he is arguing
against someone who claims that ( I ) and (2) above mean the same,
he might imagine that his opponent would try to object that the-to
him-absurd result, namely that (2) leaves open the possibility that
A does not belong to every B , or that it belongs to no C, is due to
the example introduced along with the third term. Ari stotle's reply
is that nothing in his proof depends on this, just as nothing in the
geometer's proof depends on the particular features of the drawing in
the sand. The proof is based on the relations assumed to hold between
the terms , and one can hardly deny that for many concrete terms
there would be things such that they belong to some but not all of
them.

49b 34

'a thing of a certain sort' : Greek -r6S e r t ; see 49328n. I pre


fer this translation to the usual ' a this ' , meaning a particular object,
because I presume that Aristotle's point is that he is not making any
use of the fact that he is talking about 'beautiful ' or ' white' -concrete
terms, but not particulars .
234

COMMENTARY

49b 37-8

' something related a s whole to part' . For this description


a
of the conditions that allow for a deduction , cf. 25, 42 9- 1 2 and n . .
C H A PT E R 4 2

5o a 5

'in the same syllogism' . Aristotle is evidently speaking of


extended deductive arguments that will contain several simple syl
logisms . He has argued in chapter 23 that all extended deducti o n s
must consist o f elementary syllogisms in o n e of the figures, with the
exception of arguments ' from a hypothesis ' (see eh. 44 below).

C H APTER 4 3

50 8 1 1

' arguments concerning definitions ' . Aristotle i s referring to


the kind of dialectical debate between two speakers for which he
provided the rules in the Topics. He naturally falls back on the ter
minology of the Top ics, using the verb S iaA.EywOai for the activity
of the speakers and referring to the other speaker whose participation
is presupposed. He also once uses the word opos in the sense of
'definition' , as in the Topics. Since this is his word for ' term' in the
Analytics, he normally uses opw,6s for ' definitio n ' instead.
C H APTER 44

One should not try to reduce syllogisms from a hypothesis to the


figures, since their conclusions are based on an agreement and not on
a categorical syllogism.
The difference between the two kinds of syllogism from a hypoth
esis lies in the fact that in a direct argument an explicit agreement is
needed, while in an indirect argument the other party will concede
the conclusion even without prior agreement because his thesis has
been shown to lead to an evident falsehood.
This chapter should be read together with chapter 2 3 , where
Aristotle had presented the two-part account of arguments from a
hypothesis that he uses here (see nn. to 4 1 a22-b 5). The present
chapter seems to be another attempt to come to grips with the typical

235

P R I OR ANALYTICS

argument-forms o f the Top ics in later terminology, modus ponens


and modus tolle ns in the framework of categorical syllogistic, but
this time Aristotle is m ore pessimistic, perhaps because he begins
with the discussion of direct arguments.
-

508 1 6

' one should not try to reduce . . . ' : that is, try to put these
arguments into syllogistic form; see 5ob 3 . 'To reduce' (dvayeiv) is
here used as a synonym of 'to analyze' (cf. 1 . 30 below).

503 1 7-19

'from what has been laid down' . The hypothesis would


have to count as one of the assumptions from which the conclusion
is derived, but Aristotle may be avoiding the word 'premiss' here
because he does not recognize conditionals as a special kind of propo
sition. Having just described the arguments from a hypothesis as
syllogisms, he now contrasts them with proper categorical syllogisms
and treats the hypothesis as an agreement between the debaters. The
status of this move in the argument remains unclear. The hypothesis
is first stated in the form ' if p then q' , but later as 'if it has been
shown that p, then q ' , and in chapter 23 (4 1 838-9) it is treated as an
agreement to substitute p for q and take a proof for p to establish q
as well, making it look more like an argumentative strategy than a
proper part of the deduction.

508 2 1

'the healthy and the unhealthy ' . Aristotle presumably means


what produces health and what produces illness. (The Greek word
translated as ' unhealthy ' literally means ' sick-making' or ' sickly ' .)
Aristotle informs us at Top. 2 . 2, 1 1 08 1 9-20, that in the language of
the vulgar the word vymv6v means ' what produces health' . This is
not quite correct, since the word can also be used to mean what has
health (see LSJ, s . v.), but taking it in this last sense, as many trans
lators do, makes the example extremely implausible: obviously, the
same person may be both healthy and ill, though not at the same time
(cf. , e.g., 34, 47b 40-48a5). There is, however, no special reason to
think that Aristotle would have endorsed the particular hypothesis he
mentions here, since he tends to agree with the claim that contraries
are objects of the same knowledge.
236

COMMENTARY

50 8 23-4

'has not been shown' . In chapter 23 Aristotle had said that


the sub stituted proposition will be deduced by a syllogism , while the
thes is to be proved is accepted on the basis of the initial agreement.
Here he seems to suggest that a di fferent kind of necessity is invol ved
in th e two parts of the argument. One possible way of understanding
this might be that the conclusion of the categorical syl logism is made
necessary by the term-relations assumed to hold in the premi s ses,
while this is not the case for the demonstrandum. But Aristotle can
hardly mean that the necessity to accept the final conclusion arises
from some kind of obligation created by the agreement, since he
goes on to say that no agreement is needed in the case of reductio
arguments .
50 3 27

' this was perhaps a syllogism after all' . The argument Aris
totle had sketched in lines 1 9-24 was not in fact a syllogism, but
presumably another ' argument from a hypothesis' , this time in modus
tollens: 'If the healthy and the unhealthy come from the s ame power,
then the same thing will be healthy and unhealthy at the same time;
(but nothing is healthy and unhealthy at the same time; therefore, the
healthy and the unhealthy do not come from the same power).' One
would then need to continue, for example, with : ' B ut the heal thy and
the unhealthy are contraries ; so, there is not a single power for all
contraries.' Aristotle is being careless here, but he probably thought
that a complete version of the argument would take the form of a
proper syllogism.
The ancient commentators supply a full version in two categorical
syllogisms :
Things that come from the same power produce the same results ;
the healthy and the unhealthy do not produce the same results;
therefore, the healthy and the unhealthy do not come from the same
power.
The healthy and the unhealthy are contraries;
the healthy and the unhealthy do not come from the same power;
therefore, not all contraries come from the same power.
(see Al. Aphr. , 386. 34-3 87 . 5 ; Philop. 358 . 24-3 1 ). The decisive point
for Aristotle was no doubt that the antecedent of the hypothe
sis is a categorical proposition and can therefore be proved by a
237

P R I O R A N A LY T I CS

syllogism, while the transition t o the consequent must b e based o n the


'agreement' . It is another question whether the writer of the Topics
might not have considered the (informal) argument outlined above as
perfectly satisfactory.
. .' . Aristotle's
' S imilarly also for the arguments
description is so compressed that o ne has to go back to h i s discussion
of the same example in chapter 2 3 to understand what he is sayi ng.
Philoponus, assuming that Aristotle is speaking of arg u me nts with
one conditional and one categorical premiss (modus tollens), t ake s
the argument to be this:
50229-38

If the diagonal is commensurable, then odd numbers will be equal to


even numbers;
but odd numbers are not equal to even numbers;
therefore, the diagonal is not commensurable.
He then explains that the conditional premiss is proved syllogisti
cally, while the second premiss is assumed without proof because the
falsity of its contradictory is evident (Philop. 359 . 2-27) .
This may have been a natural way of understanding our text, once
the existence of conditional premisses was taken for granted. B ut
the parallel passage 4 1 3 23-34 shows that Aristotle thought that the
impossible conclusion is derived by a categorical syllogism assuming
the contradictory of the thesis to be proved, and the thesis is then
accepted because its contradictory has been shown to lead to an
impossibility. No prior agreement is needed for this last step, but
Aristotle's explanation here is again rather cryptic : he simply says
that 'the falsehood is obvious ' . This reflects, however, his own prac
tice with indirect proofs. He usually ends his argument by pointing
out that a contradiction has been reached, leaving it to the reader
to draw the conclusion (cf. , e.g . , 5, 27"36-b r ; 6, 28 b r 7-20). In
these cases, the hypothesis does not need to be stated, because it
is the rule of inference underlying indirect proof: if an assumption
is shown to lead to an impossibility, then its contradictory must be
accepted as true. What Aristotle discusses, then, is not modus tollens,
but reductio ad impossibile, and his own reductio-arguments do not
have conditionals as premisses. By contrast, the 'hypothesis' in both
modus p one n s- and modus tollens-arguments will be a conditional
premiss that has to be explicitly stated.
238

COMME NTARY

'we will say later' . No further investig ati on by Ar istotl e


5oh 2
has come down to us, and it is doubtful that he ever wrote one.
Alex ander reports (390 . 2-3 ) that Theophrastus, Eudemus, and some
oth er colleagues of Aristotle dealt with the subject.

C H A PTER 45

Syllogisms in one of the figures can be transformed into syllogisms in


an other figure when the same conclusion is derivable in both figures.
This holds for all cases with the exception of Baroco (second figure)
and B ocardo (third figure), the two moods that had to be proved by
reductio ad impossibile in chapters 5-6.
The transformation of a given syllogistic argument into its equiva
lent in one of the other figures is not strictly speaking a case of analy
s is if one means by this the formalization of an argument expressed
in ordinary language. S i nce Aristotle uses the verb 'reduce' inter
changeably with ' analyze' , as before, and since many of his proofs
are the same as those used i n chapters 5-6, some commentators
have wondered whether this chapter is a relic from an earlier stage
of syllogistic. Patzig (p. 55) suggests that Aristotle was trying out
different axiomatizations; Smith thinks that the question Aristotle is
answering here is whether indirect proofs of validity are necessary.
Even though it is not likely that Aristotle thought of syllogistic as
an axiomatized system, one might see this chapter as a preliminary
study to the 'reduction' of all valid assertoric moods to B arbara and
Celarent that is presented in chapter 7 . However, one might wonder
why B arbara, the only mood with a universal affirmative conclusion,
is not mentioned at all .
S mith's suggestion i s perhaps more plausible, but the concluding
remark of chapter 45 does not sound as if Aristotle had only j ust
found out that two of the valid moods cannot be proved by conver
sion. In either case, the chapter would be oddly placed in the section
on analysis, which clearly continues in chapter 46 .
It seems more likely that Aristotle is treating the transformation of
a given mood into its equivalent in a different figure as a special case
of analysis. In the context of a dialectical debate, it may sometimes
be helpful to reformulate an argument, if only because a reformulated
premiss may sound more plausible than its equivalent. (Consider, for
239

PR I O R A N ALYTICS

example, the difference between ' n o politicians are liars ' and ' no
liars are politicians' . ) Now a formalization will be correct only if th e
formal version of an argument can be accepted as equivale nt to the
informal version: a formalization that turns an obviously v alid arg u
ment into an absurdity must be rejected (see chs. 33-8 ) . S i m i l arl y,
a reformulation of a given syllogistic argument will be acc ep tab le
only if the second version is equivalent to the first. Hence it see ms
natural that the term ' analysis' is also applied to the transfor mat i o n s
considered here : Aristotle considers only pairs of moods that have the
same form of conclusion, setting aside B arbara as the only mood with
an a-conclusion. The reason why he uses only premiss-conversion as
a means of analysis, then, is not that he is trying to get through all the
proofs without indirect arguments, but simply that an indirect proof
of validity will not lead to a syllogism equivalent to the one be i n g
proved.

5ob 31

'AB does not admit of conversion' . In fact AaB can be


partially converted to B iA, and so Aristotle corrects himself in the
next clause, saying that even if AB is converted, there will be no
syllogism (sc. because both premisses would be particular).
A different way of understanding this sentence, mentioned already
by Alexander (392 . 1 9ff), would be to translate the last clause as 'nor
would there be a syllogism if it did [sc. convert] ' , meaning that even
the premiss-pair B iA, AoC would be inconclusive. Since Aristotle
uses the indicative in Greek, I have chosen the first option.

5o b 34

' . . . can all be analyzed into the third' : that is, all those that
have a particular conclusion like the moods of the third figure.

51 8 1

'only one' . In the cases of Darapti/Darii and Felapton/Ferio,


the minor premiss is partially converted and hence weaker than the
original premiss, so the resulting version is not strictly speaking
equivalent to the original .

5 1822-5

' It is also evident . . . ' . This remark applies only t o the


transformation of first-figure syllogims into third-figure ones and vice
versa. S till, in the case of Disamis (5 1 a 8- 1 2) Aristotle had changed
240

C O M M E N TA R Y

the pre miss-order by making B the major term; s o his


q uite accurale.

summ ary

i s not

5 1 826

'one . . . the other' . Again, Aristotle con siders only the


mo ods that have a particular conclusion, that is, Festino and Baroco.

5 1b 1

' when the syllogisms are reduced to the first figure' : in chap
5-6
. Here Aristotle clearly recognizes the difference between
rs
te
analysis and reduction in the sense of proving validity.
For these distinctions, see also Striker ( 1 996).

C H AP T E R 46

Predicative phrases of the forms 'is not P' and ' is not-P' do not
mean the same, and premisses containing such expressions must be
analyzed differently. The difference between the two forms is shown
by analogy with phrases like 'is able to walk' , 'is able not to walk' ,
and 'is not able to walk' , where the second is implied by the first, but
the third is its contradictory. S tatements of the form 'S is not-P' are
affirmations; their denial has the form ' S is not not-P' .
The logical relations between propositions of the four different
types are set out, and an example is given to show how choosing
the wrong contradictory can lead to error.

51 b 5-10

The problems Aristotle considers here seem to arise at


least in part from the fact that he takes a pair of contradictories to
consist of two propositions , one of which affirms of a given subj ect
what the other denies of it (cf. de Int. 7, 1 7 b 39-40: 'for the denial
must deny what the affirmation affirmed, and of the same thing ' ).
Since the subject is assumed to be the same in both propositions,
Aristotle mentions only the predicative phrases 'is P' or 'is not P ' ,
etc. Now a statement o f the form ' S i s P' may b e false i n three
different types of cases: either (i) when S lacks the property P, but
could have it, or (ii) when S is not the sort of thing that could be
P, or (iii) when S does not exist. If all these cases were covered by
the same expression, it might seem that a person who asserts, for
example, that the soul is neither white nor not while is violating the
241

P R I O R A N A LY T I C S

Law o f Excluded Middle, according t o which either an affirm atio n


or the corresponding denial must be true of any given thing. In order
to mark the distinction between the three types of cases, Aristotle
engages in a bit of linguistic regimentation . He introduces a special
and slightly awkward phrase to indicate the first kind of case, by
placing the negation after the word 'is' i nstead of before it. I hav e
followed other modern translators in rendering these expressions as
'is not-P' by contrast with the standard 'is not P' . This terminol ogic al
move allows Aristotle to say that statements of the form ' S is not-P'
are affirmations, j ust like statements ascribing a lack or privation to a
subj ect.
Such affirmations imply the standard denial (as 'S is ill' implies
S is not healthy ' ), but not vice versa; and the standard form covers
cases of types (ii) and (iii). In order to illustrate types (ii) and (iii),
Aristotle switches to a complex predicate-phrase ( ' i s a white log )
where log' in effect plays the role of the subject term.
One noteworthy consequence of Aristotle's decision to treat cases
of type (i) differently is that the truth of ordinary negative statements,
whether universal, particular, or singular, does not pre s uppose the
existence of things falling under their subject term. (On this point,
see Wedin 1 990.)
Later logicians-presumably S toics-advocated the use of
sentence-negation, as in ' not: Kallias is walking' . However, this
produces ungrammatical Greek and may not even have occurred
to Ar i sto tle The argument for the proposal was that a statement
like ' Kallias is not walking' may be false at the same time as
' Kallias is walking' if Kallias does not exist, and hence should not
be treated as the contradictory of ' Kallias is walking' . However, as
Alexander rightly points out, according to Aristotle's theory 'Kallias
is not walking' will be true-together with ' Kallias is not not
walking ' -if Kallias does not exist. (For the dispute see Al. Aphr.
402 . 1 -405 . 1 6) .
This entire chapter should b e compared with d e Int. 1 0 .
'

'

'

51 h 1 0

'in a similar relation' . The analogy between ' i s not-white'


and 'can not-walk' or ' kn ows the not-good' is dubious . If 'can' is
replaced by 'is able' , 'knows' by 'is a knower' , then what corre
sponds to 'not-white' should be 'unable to walk' or ' ignorant of the
good ' . However, one might accept the claim of analogy for i s ' and
'

242

COMMENTARY

'can ' , since Aristotle repeatedly says that they h ave the same role
in propositions (see, e . g . , 3 , 2 5 b 2 r -2 ; r 3 , 3 2b 2). Aristotle may h ave
added the second example because he takes it that j ust as ' S is able to
walk' implies ' S is able not to walk' , 'S knows the good' implies 'S
knows the not-good' , on the principle that the knowledge of opposites
is one and the same.

51 h 18

' "is able to not-walk" or "not to walk" ' . I follow Smith 's
suggestion that Aristotle adds 'not to walk' as an alternative ver
sion of the s ame sentence because it is more natural Greek than
'to not-walk' . The translation renders a Greek infinitive with two
different forms of negation. The first is the one Aristotle has used
i n the immediately preceding phrase ' is not able to walk' ; the
second is the one he would normally use. Other commentators
(Colli 1 95 5 ; Mignucci) suggest a lacuna after ' or' and propose to
insert SVvarai (can), so that the translation would have to be ' can
not-walk' .
' these opposites' . The Greek text has only ' these' , which should
refer back to 'is not able to walk' and 'is able not to walk' . But if these
phrases did mean the same, it would be trivial to say that they must
belong to the same thing at the same time. The following sentence
shows that Aristotle i s thinking of 'is able to walk' and 'is able not
to walk' , which would be contradictories if ' is able not to walk' were
equivalent to 'is not able to walk' .

51 h 27

' and this i s the unequal ' : see below, 5 2a 1 5- 1 7 . 'Unequal '
signifies a lack or privation i n something that could be equal , and
hence can hold only if the subject exists. By contrast, ' i s not equal '
may be true even of nonexistent subjects or of subj ects that are such
as to be neither equal nor unequal . The same point is made more
clearly in the following example by the contrast between ' i s a not
white log' and ' i s not a white log' .

51 b 29

'do not belong to things at the same time' . Aristotle obvi


ously means that they do not necessarily hold at the same time, since
' i s a not-white log' and 'is not a white log' are compatible. For the
omission of the modal qualifier, see above, 5 1 b 1 8 .

243

PRIOR ANALYTICS

'now i f o f every single thing . . . ' . The commentators offer


5 1 b 32
two ways of understanding this sentence, which does not hav e a
noun with ' single' (Greek v6s). As I have translated it, Aris totle
appeals to the Law of Excluded Middle to argue that if ' is not-g ood'
is not the denial of 'is good' , it must be a member of some other
pair of contradictories, namely 'not-good' and ' not not-good ' . The
other option would be to translate ' of every single predicate either
"affirmation" or "denial" must be true . . . ' . This is mentioned by
Alexander, but I doubt that it would have occurred to an ordinary
Greek reader.
51 b 36
' These are related to one another . . . ' . Aristotle now sets
out the logical relations between the two pairs of contradictories he
has identified. He is using a m atrix arranged so that the expressions
linked by implication appear in the same column :
A (being good)
D (not being not-good)

B (not being good)


C (being not-good)

By the time he comes to the generalization of this argument (52a 3 9 b I 3), he seems to have forgotten the somewhat unusual arrangement
of the letters, making it difficult to compare the two versions.
Here he establishes two theorems by appeal to examples ; the sec
ond, general version shows that if the first theorem holds, the second
must hold also. The two theorems are
(i) B belongs to every C but not vice versa (5 1 b 4 1 -52a5)
(ii) D belongs to every A but not vice versa (52a6- 1 2 )
52 8 15-17
'The privations too . . . ' : see above, 5 1 b 2 5-8 , where
Aristotle has already used the example of the unequal . At de lnt. ro,
1 9h 22 4 , he says that predicate-phrases of the form 'is not-P' will
behave like privations. He is using 'predication' here as the opposite
of ' privation ' instead of the usual ' state' or 'possession' (lgis) .
-

52 8 1 8-24
' the denial should be similarly true' : sc. the denial of
'every S is P' . The similarity Aristotle points out consists in the fact
that, as in the preceding examples, the contradictory of an affirmation
has the negation before the word 'is' , while it is placed after 'is' and
just before the predicate-term in sentences of the form 'every S is
2 44

COMMENTARY

not-P ' . According t o de Int. r o 2oa9- 1 5 , the quantifier goes with the
verb and serves to indicate that the predication is universal .
,

52 8 24-9

' S ince it is clear . . . ' . Si nce sentences with the predicate


phrases ' is not-white' and 'is not white' produce affirmative and
negative statements respectively, they cannot be proved by the same
syllogisms. The following examples are clearly intended to illustrate
the contrast between a negative statement and an affirmative one
with a negative predicate-term . However, if the words ' or may n ot
be white' are taken to introduce a possibility-proposition, then that
should be an affirmation, according to Aristotle's own claim at r 3 ,
3 2 b 1 - 3 . Alexander (4 1 I . 1 4-27) tries to construe it as a necessary
universal negative ( ' no animal can be white' ), but this requires an
unnatural reading of the Greek, as he himself seems to recognize. B y
putting the words in brackets, I have tried t o suggest that they are an
aside: having j ust said (l. 2 2 ) that both ' every animal is white ' and
'every animal is not-white' are false, Aristotle may have felt qualms
about his example, and so added the remark that it is at least possible
that every animal not be white. For similar remarks compare 1 r ,
3 1 b 6- r o and notes, and the alternative formulations in this chapter,
5 1 b 1 8 , 5 2a20.

52 8 32

'For "true" is placed in a similar way as "is" . . . '. For the


analogy between 'is' and 'true' (i.e. ' it is true to say that . . . ' ) , see
36, 48b 2-4.

52 8 37-8

' by refutation' . This corresponds to the word translated as


' by being established' above, line 3 1 . These words are here used to
indicate the proof of a positive and a negative conclusion respectively.
'in one of the three ways mentioned' . Universal negatives can be
proved in Celarent (first figure), Cesare or Camestres (second) . It i s
not clear t o what passage Aristotle is referring here. Smith suggests
that thi s chapter may go back to a stage in the development of Aris
totle's l ogic at which h e worked only with the four modes Barbara,
Celarent, Cesare, and Camestres (see Smith 1 98 2a) .

52 8 39-b 1 3

'Generally, when A and B are so related . . . ' . Aristotle


now offers a general version of the argument from 5 1 b 4 r-5 2a 14. He

245

PRIOR ANALYTICS

takes over the first theorem and proves that the second must hold
if the first does. In lines 8- 1 4 he also gives a formal proof for the
two corollaries mentioned as obvious in 5 2a 1 2- 1 4 above. But he has
apparently forgotten the special arrangement of the letters in the first
passage, and states the first theorem as 'A follows C ' instead of 'B
follows C ' . So 'P.: and ' B ' should now be taken to stand for 'not p
and 'P' respectively, 'C' and ' D ' as before for ' not-P' and ' not not-P' .

52 b 14-34

' Sometimes one is also deceived . . . ' . In the follow ing


passage Aristotle shows that the argument he has just given can be
derailed if one makes the mistake of supposing that the denials of 'A
or B ' and 'C or D' are also the denials of each of A, B and C, D alone.
He starts from the same premisses as before, then adds the erroneous
assumption and deduces the conclusion that B follows D, which we
know to be incorrect from the preceding argument. He then points
out the error of assuming that the denial of 'A or B ' is the same as the
denial of 'A' alone.
What is puzzling about this argument is that it is difficult to
see why anyone should be inclined to make the mistake Aristotle
denounces, and that this error has nothing to do with the difference
between 'not-P' and ' not P' , the main topic of the chapter. The
commentators also point out that if A, B and C, D are contradictories,
then F and G, their denials, cannot hold of anything, given the Law
of Excluded Middle, and so can hardly count as denials of A, B, C, D
individually. But this is not the error Aristotle diagnoses, and indeed
there would seem to be nothing wrong with assuming an impossible
premiss in an indirect argument.
Could it be that Aristotle himself tried out thi s line of argument
before he came up with the preceding one?
' for this we know' : sc. from the earlier argument at 5 2 b 4-7 ,
which showed that if A, B and C, D are contradictories and A follows
C, then D follows B . The premisses are the same here except for the
use of different letters.

52 b 27

NOT E S ON T H E TE X T

24 b 1 7-18

Most of the MSS have the reading 1Tpo aTL8EEvov


"
'
1'
11 f.t11 ELvaL-to b e trans 1ated , l'1 or example, as 'with "to be" or "not to be" either added or divided' . This
does not make sense as it stands, and some variations in the MS S
may indicate early attempts to correct the text. I have followed Ross's
decision to delete the words ' or divided' . They look like a gloss
by a reader who was confusing two different points Aristotle makes
elsewhere: (a ) if the terms are two nouns, or a noun and an adjective,
a form of ' to be' must be added to produce a complete sentence (see
de Int. 5, 1 7 a r 1 - 1 2 ) ; and (b) 'is' indicates that the things signified by
the terms are joined together to form a unit, while 'is not' indicates
that the things are separated (see de lnt. 3, 1 6b 2 2-5 and Met. E 4,
1 027 b 20-7). The second point is not relevant here, and expressed so
concisely as to be barely intelligible. The first point may be relevant,
since Aristotle often uses sentences of the form ' (some) S is P' as
examples, but it is not strictly speaking necessary, for a sentence
like ' all birds sing' is complete without a form of 'to be' . Geach
offers the attractive suggestion that the text originally read ' "is" or
"is not" may or may not be added' (presumably, 1Tpo an8EEvov
< , 7TpoaTL8E,Evov > Tov Elvm Elvat), which may well
be right.
..
11" o LmpovEvov TOV- ELvm
I

24b 29

Ross brackets the words TOV V1TOKELf.tEvov ( 'of the subject' )


here because Alexander does not seem to have read them in his text.
But they are found in all the M S S , and the sentence is certainly clearer
with them.

25 a 1 4-26

Throughout this book Aristotle uses two slightly dif


ferent ways of formulating particular premiss-form s : either with an
article in the genitive plural, or with an article in the dative singular. I
have rendered these respectively as 'A belongs to some of the Bs' and
'A belongs to some B ' . Obviously, the two versions could easily be
confused by copyists, and so the MS S diverge in many places . Ross
247

NOTES ON THE TEXT

decided to print the dative singular i n all places where there i s v ari a
tion in the MSS (see his n. to 253 1 5-34). He explains that one should
expect Aristotle to have used one or the other version consistently:
also , Alexander has the dative almost everywhere, and furthermore
this ' i s more in accord with Aristotle's way of thinking of the terms o f
the syllogism; the subj ect he contemplates is A, the class, not the i n di
vidual As' . Apart from the fact that this decision begs the question as
to the consistency of Aristotle's terminological use, and that unifor
mity in the later commentators need not imply uniformity in Aristo
tle' s own text, the last reason seems to me to be questionable. While
the phrases Ka86>i.ov (translated as 'universal ' , literally, 'of a whole' )
and ev peL ( 'particular' , literally, 'in part' ) may suggest Ross's
view, the phrases 'to every ' or 'to some' might be taken to point in t he
opposite direction (see Philop . 2 1 . 1 2-14, who refers to Ammonius in
de lnt. 97 .8-1 6 and 269 . 1 2- 14). I suspect that Aristotle never tried to
decide this question. But each of the two versions will appear more
natural in some contexts, and so one should not try to introduce re gi
mentation where Aristotle himself has not done so. I follow Smith in
translating the genitive plural where it is supported by the maj ority of
the M S S , without indicating the divergence from Ross's text in every
case.

reading . rq> g dvayK17s imapxeLv rq> g


avayK1]S imapxELV, with the majority of the MSS. Ross reads: riiJ
Eg avayK1]S fmapXELV Tq> f-'- Eg avayK1]S f-'- fmapXELV.

25h 4-5

I have bracketed the words o ev imapxTJ o 8


tJ7TapxTJ ( ' or the one belongs, the other does not belong ' ) . They do

29 8 6-8

not occur in some of the best MSS and are an imprecise version
of what is more accurately expressed in the following clause. The
apparently similar repetition in 5, 27h 36-7, was probably introduced
to take account of the different linguistic versi ons of the particular
negative premiss; but both versions are here combined in the next
clause.

32b 14

Ross deletes the word Ka{ ( ' also' ) here. It appears in all
our MSS, but Alexander had already thought that it was superfluous,

N O T E S ON T H E T E X T

and Pacius does not have i t i n his text. It might be a remi nder that
the (positive) contingent premisses also convert in the usual sense of
term-conversio n (3, 258 39ff.)
'completed' : Greek 1TEpa{verai, the reading preferred by
Ross . Most MSS and editors read y {vETat ( ' comes about' ) . Both ver
sion s are strictly speaking incorrect, since what is either completed
or comes about is not the necessity, but its obviousness . But Aristotle
often expresses himself somewhat sloppily or even misleadingly in
this chapter, and so one should perhaps prefer the better attested
reading.

333 20

35 b 1

I have followed the reading of most manuscripts by omitting

Ka{ here. Ross inserts it because he thinks that the additional moods

resulting from complementary conversion of i Q - and oQ -propositions


would have to be proved by reductio as well as by complementary
conversion . But once the moods DariiXQP and FerioXQP have been
accepted as valid, complementary conversion of the second premiss
is sufficient, as the earlier cases show (see 3 58 3-20 above) .

35 b 2

I follow Ross (and Pacius) in bracketing the word Ka{ here:


Aristotle is not introducing additional moods, but simply listing the
cases in which complementary conversion will be required. However,
I have kept the words ' or not belonging' in line b 4, since they seem
to be taken up in the following clause.
36b 5

I follow Ross and most editors in bracketing the words

1TpD<; Tc{) f-tEl,OVL aKpqJ ( 'with the maj or extreme' ) . They are not
needed here, and it seems unlikely that Aristotle would have used
the same preposition first with the accusative, then with the dative,
in one and the same sentence, though both constructions are possible
(see Waitz, ad loc.) The parallels Smith cites from chapter 4 (26" 1 81 9, 26"39-b 1 ) are not exact: the first passage has two accusatives, the
second two datives.

37 3 28
' not only . . . but also' . With most editors and translators,
I have adopted the reading of the MSS Bdn and Philoponus,
249

N OTES ON THE TEXT

o v .6vov

d/\,\d Kai. Ross prefers the reading o v d/\ ,\d


( ' not . . . but' ) as the older one, supported by Alexander and the Syriac
translation. If thi s is correct, the whole sentence II. 2 6-9 returns
to the initi al argument about the denial of Be Q A, saying that, in
order to refute the argument, one would have to assume BoNA rather
than BiNA. BoNA does not convert, and so no contradiction can
be derived. But Aristotle has just pointed out that both versions of
the universal contingent proposition have two opposites, and in a
reductio-argument one would presumably have to consider both of
them. Alexander's commentary (226. 1 6-2 1 ) suggests that he may not
have read the words lv8ex6.evov Ka{ ( ' what is possible or' ) in I .
27, which would mean that the reference i s only t o the denial o f the
negative proposition Be Q A.
.

. . .

39 b 22

'possible' . The MSS have the word lv8ex6.evov ( 'pos


sible' ) here, but Ross omits it because the ancient commentators
Alexander and Philoponus did not read it in their texts, though both
suggest that it should be understood. But, though the commentators
are our oldest witnesses for the text, I see no reason to think that their
text was necessarily more accurate than that of our best MSS .

412
' let u s say' . M y translation follows the M S S A 1 and B ,
a s suggested b y Smiley ( 1 994), in reading efow.ev ( ' let u s say ' )
instead o f eiTro.ev ( ' we said' ) , pri nted b y most editors. Aristotle has
previously considered only pairs of premisses that share a middle
term, but he has not claimed that thi s is a necessary condition for a
conclusion that contains two given terms. The following sentences
offer an argument for thi s claim.

41 b 39

ACD . The MSS offer a bewildering variety of different


readings here: ay Ad2 , f3y Bd 1 , ay Kai f3y B 2 Cn (Williams, 1 984),
indicating that the text was probably corrupt early on and editors
proposed various emendations . My translation follows Ross's con
jecture. The difficulty arising in all M S S readings is that they make
it look as though Aristotle were describing a case where the same
conclusi on can be derived from two pairs of premisses that have
one premiss in common. But if this were correct, the terms would
250

NOTES ON THE TEXT

have to be the same i n both syllogisms, the only possible difference


being that they might be in different figures . This is what the ancient
commentators accept (see, e.g., Al. Aphr. 272 . 27ff. ) . However, this
would clearly not be an example of the same conclusion being
reached through different middle terms . Accordin g to Ross's version,
Aristotle refers to a case in which the conclusion E can be derived
either from AB or from ACD, and where B can be inferred from CD.
So the argument with the premisses ACD would have the form AaB
[A] , B aD [CJ , DaC [D] I AaC; the preli minary conclusion Bae [B]
follows from C and D . Thus both B and D function as middle terms.
This is no doubt the most elegant solution.
(For other options, see Maier (ii. 233n.) and Mignucci, ad loc .
Mignucci rejects Ross 's solution, because h e assumes that the letters
C and D must stand for the same propositions in both examples, but
this does not seem to me compelling.)

Ross reads Tp67Twv ( ' ways' or 'manners ' ) here instead


of 7T-rw aewv, but this must be an error, since Williams ( 1 984: 24)
reports that this word is not found in any of the M S S .

43 8 1 0

48 b 7

I follow the reading o f n and G, which have ws -ra evav-r{a


an -ro {av elvaL aihwv eTTLa-rriv. The other M S S have the
same reading minus the lan. Ross emends the text to bring it in line
with the later examples i n which only nouns are treated as terms ; but
Aristotle does seem to be more careful with this sentence .

48b 1 2 Ross and most other editors delete the word E7Tta'Tf-t'Y/ in
the second premiss, but it occurs i n virtually all the MS S , and, as
Philoponus points out (336. r 2-22 ), it makes the sense of the premiss
clearer than if Aristotle had simply written 'wisdom is of the good' .
S i nce Aristotle is evidently not very careful in the phrasing of his
examples, I see no reason to change the text here.
49 b 36

ovaas,

' when it is not' : reading ooaav with B 2 and d2 , rather than


with Ross and the other M SS.
25 1

NOTES ON THE TEXT

503 2

' speaking to the student' : reading Trpos Tov ,avBavovTa


with Pacius. I take it that the point here is that Aristotle uses
term-examples as an aid to teaching, just as the geometer uses per
ceptible diagrams as an aid to understanding.

52 3 34
S o if it is true to say . ' . I follow the reading of the MSS
here. Ross accepts Jenkinson's conjecture and prints aTaL (will be
true) instead of Ean (is), but the emendation seems unnecessary.
'

. .

252

S ELE C T B I B L I O G R A P H Y
I. E d i ti o n s , Tr a n s l atio n s , A n d C o m me n t ar i e s

OF APHROD!S!AS ( 1 883), Alexandri Aphrodisiensis in


Aristotelis Analyticorum Priorum librum I commentarius, Commentaria
in Aristotelem Graeca II. l , ed . M. Wallies ( G eorg Reimer, Berlin) . Thi s

ALEXANDER

commentary has been translated into English in 5 volumes of the series

Ancient Commentators on A ristotle, ed. Richard Sorabj i (Duckworth,

London 1 9 9 1 -2005) as follows :


BARNES, J . , et al. (eds . ) , Alexander of Aphrodisias: On A ristotle 's Prior
Analytics I. 1-7 ( 1 99 1 ) ;
MUELLER, I . , a nd GOULD, J. (eds.), Alexander ofAphrodisias: O n A ristotle 's
Prior Analytics l.8-13 ( 1999) ;
MUELLER, I . , and GO U LD J. (eds.), Alexander ofAphrodisias: O n Aristotle 's
Prior Analytics I. I 4-22 ( 1 999) ;
M U ELLER, I. (ed.), A lexander ofAphrodisias: On Aristotle 's Prior Analytics
I. 23-31 (2005);
Mu ELLER, I . (ed.), Alexander ofAphrodisias: On Aristotle 's Prior Analytics
1. 32-46 ( 2005).
AMMONIUS ( 1 890), Ammonii in Aristotelis Analyticorum Priorum Librum I
Commentarius, Commentaria in A ristotelem Graeca IV. 6, ed. M. Wallies
(Georg Reimer, Berlin).
BEKKER, I . ( 1 8 3 1 ) , A ristotelis Opera (Reimer, B erlin)
Cm.LI, G . ( 1 955), Organon. lntroduzione, traduzione, e note di G. Colli
(G. Einaudi , Turin) .
EBERT, TH . , and NoRTMANN, U. (2007), Aristoteles: A nalytica Priora Buch
I (Akademie Verl ag, Berlin). (This book, containing German translation,
commentary, detailed introduction, and bibliography, appeared too late for
me to take it into account here.)
GEACH, P. T. , Translation and notes on chapters r , 3 , 8- 1 6 , 34, 4r. Un p ub
lished typescript.
JENKINSON, ARTH UR J. J. ( 1 928), trans. of Prior Analytics in The Works of
A ristotle Translated into English (Clarendon Press, Oxford).
,

M1GNUCC1, MARIO

( 1 969), Gli analitici primi: Traduzione, introduzione e


commento di Mario Mignucci (Luigi Loffredo, Naples).
PACIUS, I. ( 1 597a) , Jn Porphyrii Jsagogen et A ristotelis Organum Commen
tarius Analyticus (repr. Hildeshei m, Frankfurt, 1 966).
( 1 597b), A ristotelis Stagiritae Principis Peripateticorum Organum,

--

2nd edn. (Frankfurt, 1 597).

253

S E L ECT B I B L I OGRAPH Y

( 1 905), loannis Philoponi In A ristotelis Analytica priora


commentaria, Commen.taria in A ristotelem Graeca II. l , ed. M. Walli es

PHILOPONUS, JoHN

(Georg Reimer, Berlin).

Ross, W. D . , ed. ( l 949), Aristotle 's Prior and Posterior Analytics (Clare ndon

Press , Oxford).
SMITH, Ro BIN ( 1 989), A ristotle 's Prior Analytics (Hackett, Indianapolis ) .
WAITZ , THEODOR ( 1 844), Aristotelis Organon graece ed. Theodonis Waitz
(Hahn, Leipzig) .

I I . B o o k s a n d Arti c l e s

A L B RE C H T ( 1 933), Die Aristotelische Theorie der Moglichkeitss


chtusse (Junker, Berlin).
BACK, A. ( 1 988), On Reduplication. Logical Theories of Qualification (Brill,
BECKER,

Leiden).
( 1 970), 'Property in Aristotle's Topics ', A rchiv fiir
Geschichte der Philosophie, 52: 1 3 6-55 .
-- ( 1 996), Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, 2nd edn. (Clarendon Press,
BARNES, JONATHAN

Oxford).
( 1 997), ' Proofs and the Syllogistic Figures' , in H . C. Gunther and
A. Rengatos (eds.), Beitrtige zur antiken Philosophie (Franz Steiner,
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--

--

2 54

S E L ECT

EBERT, TH .

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--

in Ancient Philosophy

--

--

' ,

257

G L OSSARY
E N G L I S H -G R E E K
accident

sumbebekos

accidentally

kata sumbebekos

affirmation

kataphasi s, phasis

affirmative

kataphatikos

analysis

analusis

to analyze

analuein

argument

logos

to belong

huparchein

clear

delon

collection of

hi storia

av{3E{31/KOS
Kara av{3E{31/Kos
Karacf>aais, cf>aais
Karac/>aTLKOS
dva.\vats
dvaltVELV
.\6yos
lmapxEiv
oij.\ov
larop{a

N19b 1 , N46b40
N14b 1 8-20
N14 1 8 , N46b40

facts
concealment

to bring to a

Kpvi/ns
1TEpa{vHv

krupsis
perainein

conclusion
conclusion

sumperasma

contrary

enantion

conversion

anti strophe

to convert

antistrephein

to deduce

sullogizesthai

definition

logos, horismos

av7Tlpaaa
EVUVT!OV
dvnarpocf>
dvnarplc/>Ew
av.\.\oy{swOai
>

N156
N14b 1 8-20,
N19 3 1

to demonstrate

apodeiknunai

demonstration

apodeixis

demon strative

apodeiktikos

denial

apophasis

dialectical

dialektikos

disposition

hexis

division

diairesis

essence

ousia

to establish

kataskeuazein

evident

phaneros

extreme

akron

falsehood

pseudos

figure

schema

to follow

akolouthein, hepesthai

hypothesi s

hupothesis

imperfect

ateles

259

.\6yos, opw6s
d7ToOHKvvvai
d7ToOELgts
d7TOOE!KTLKOS
d7T6cf>aats
OtaltEKT!KOS
gis
oia{pwis
oVa{a
KUTQUKEVaSELJJ
cf>avEpos
aKpOV
ijiEvOos
axa
dKoltoVOEiv, 7TEcr0at
lm60wis
dTEltS

N14 1 0- 1

G LOSSARY

impossible

adunaton

indefi nite

adioristos

induction

epagoge

in general

haplos, katholou

interval

diastema

knowledge

episteme

major

meizon

middle

meson

minor

elatton

mode

ptosis

necessity

ananke

necessary

anankaion

negation

apophasis

negative

apophatikos

opinion

doxa

ostensive

deiktikos

part

meros

particular

en merei

peculiar property

idion

perfect

teleios

to be perfected

teleiousthai

phenomena

phainomena

plausible

ndoxon

positive

kategorikos

possible

dunaton

to be possi b le

enchorein,
endechesthai

to be predicated

kategoreisthai

predication

kategoria

preliminary

syllo gism

premi ss

protasis

privative

steretikos

proof

apodeixis

to prove

deiknunai

&.SVva'TOV
&.8i6piaros
E?Taywy
a?TAws, Ka06Aov
8 iaar711i.a
ema'T:r1
.elwv
. aov
eAar'Twv
1T'TWGLS
&.vayK11
'
avayKawv
&.1T6rf>aais
d?Tor/>anK6s
06ga
8ELKTLK6S
.pos
EV J.LEPEL
rSiav
'TfAELOS
'TEAEtoiJaOai
rf>aiv6.eva
6-Sogov
KaT71yopiK6s
8vvaT6v
eyxwpeiv,
evMxeaOai
Kar71yopeiaOai
Kar71yopla
1TpoavAAoyia.6s

N42" 2-3
N4"35
N24b 1 6

N25"3-7
N49b6-9
N2913 1

N4"20
N 24" 30-b3
N25"3-7
N25"37-9
N2537---9

prosullogismos

to reduce

anagein

science

episteme

setting out

ekthesis

to set out

ektithesthai

species

eidos

starting-point

arche

state

hex i s

statement

phasis

1Tp6Taais
G'TEP1/TLK6S
a?T68eitis
8e{Kvvvai
&.vayELV
ma.71
,
EK0Eats
EK'Tl0ea0ai
el8os
&.px
lg is
rf>aais
260

N24" 1 6- 1 7
N25"3-7
N24 1 0- 1 1

GLOSSARY

substance

ousia

substitution

metalepsis

syllogism

sullogismos

ter m

horns

thesi s

thesis, problema

universal

katholou

whole

holon

without

haplos

q uali fi c at ion

avaw
.-raA.71t/its
avAAay ia.6s
.

opas
fNais, 1Tpof3A.71.a

N45h 1 7- 1 9
N24b 1 8-20.
N27 1 4
N24b 1 6
N24" r 6-b r 5 ,
N26b 3 1

Ka86A.av
oA.ov
aTTAws

G R E E K-EN G L I S H

d.Si6pia-ras
d.Svva-rov
aK0Aov81:'iv
a.Kpav
d.vayi:tv
d.vayKTJ
d.vayKaiov
d.vaAVLV
d.vaA.vats
d.vna-rpcf>ELv
d.vn a-r pocf>
aTTAws
a TTaSi:tKVUvaL
aTT6Si:tgLS
aTT6Si:tK'TLK6s
aTT6cf>aaLS
aTTac/>a TLK6S
&. px
d.-ri:A s
S{Kvvvai
Si:tKTtK6s
S7jA.ov
Sta(pi:ais
StaAKTtK6s
S iaa-r71.a
S6f a
S vva-r6v
y x wpi:iv
lSas

adioristos

indefinite

adunaton

impossible

akolouthein

to follow

akron

extreme

anagein

to reduce

ananke

necessity

anankaion

necessary

analuein

to an al yze

analusis

analysis

antis trep h ei n

to convert

antistrophe

conversion

haplos

in general, without qualification

N25"6

apodeiknunai to demonstrate
apodeixis

demonstration, proof

apodeiktikos

demonstrative

apophasis

denial, negation

apophatikos

negative

arc he

beginning, starting-point

ateles
deiknunai

de iktikos

i m perfec t

to prove, to show

ostensive

delon

clear

diairesis

division

di alektikos

dialectical

di astema

interval

dox a

opini on

dunaton

p o ss ibl e

enchorein
eidos

to be possible

species

26 1

N24h 1 6
N49 h 6-9
N25"37-9

GLOSSARY

ewrffJwBai
l1<8rn1s
e.\anwv
,
I
i:: v avTtov
ev15xw8at
lvl5ogov
,
I
V i:: pi:: t
l6s
braywy
lrri:: a 8ai
errtcrra u8at
,
I
1TLrJTT)JJ-TJ
8uis
rl5iov
.
I
taTop ia
1<a86>.ov
KaTarJKWclHV
1<aTa avf:3i::f:3 ri1<6s
1<a-r&.r:pauis
I
Ka Tar:paT!KOS
1<aTT)yopi::f o8a1
I
1<a-rriyop ta
1<aTTJYDpt1<6s
1<pvi/ns
>.6yos

to

ektithesthai

set out

setting out

ekthesis
elatton

minor

enantion

contrary

endechesthai

to be possible

N25 37-9

endoxon

pl ausible

N24"30-b 3

en merei

particular

hex is

disposition, state

epagoge

induction

hepesthai

to follow

epistasthai

to know

episteme

knowledge, science

N42" 2-3

thesis

thesis

N26b 3 1

idion

peculiar property

N43 b2-5
N46" 26

histori a

collection of facts

katholou

universal, in general

kataskeuazein

to establish
accidental

sumbebekos
kataphasis

affirmation

kataphatikos

affirmative

kategoreisthai

to be predicated

kategoria

predication

kategorikos

positive

krupsis

concealment

logos

argument, definition,

N433 3 5
N253-7

N253-7
N24b 1 8-20

phrase, reason,
sentence

i:: {wv
I
i::p os
I
P,rJOV
i:: rn>.af:3&.vi:: i v
JJ-TclAT)i{its
o/5 6s
o>.ov
.
I
opiuos
"
opos
I
,
OV(Jta
I
1TpatV!V

meizon

major

meros

part

meson

middle

metalambanein

to substitute

metalepsis

substitution

hodos

method, path

hoIon

whole

horismos

definition

horos

term

ousia

substance, essence

perainein

to bring to a

N45b 1 7- 1 9

N24b 1 6
N29 1 3 2

conclusion

rrp6f:3>.wm

problema

thesis, proposition

N241 1 6-b 1 5 ,

rrpo uv>.>.oyiu6s
I
rrpoTarJtS

prosullogismos

preliminary syllogism

N42b5-6

protasis

premiss

N241 1 6- 1 7

N26b 3 1

262

GLOSSARY

TTTwais
aKErpic,;
CJ1'Ep1)1'lK6c,;
avAAoy{w8ai

ptosi s

mode, inflection

skepsis

investigation, search

steretikos

privative

sullogizesthai

to deduce. to form

syllogism

avAAoytap.6c,;

sullogismos

syllogism

avp. (3 r; {371 K6<;


avp.mfpaap.a
ax'i'Jp.a
TEAELo>
1'EAEtova8ai
TT pxeiv
V1T08ECJlS
ef>aiv6p.r;va

sumbebekos

accident

sumperasma

conclusion

ef>avEp6s
ef>aCJL<;
rpr;v8o<;

schema
teleios

figure, form
perfect

teleiousthai

to be perfected

huparchein

to belong

hupothesis

hypothesis

phainomena

the phenomena, what

phaneros

evident

is apparent
phasis
pseudos

affirmation, statement

false, falseh o od

N 1 5 ' 3-7

N 1 4 1 8-20
N i 4 1 8-20.
Ni' 1 4

N 2 1' 1 4
N 1 6" 1 3
N 1 4h 2 2-6

IND E X OF PASS A G E S CIT E D

Aristotle
Categories
l,

1 a 1 -2

128

De Anima

3.3, 427b25

230

De lnterpretatione

3, 1 6b22-5
5, 1 7 a 1 1 -2
5, 1 7 a 1 2
7, 1 7b39-40
J O, l 9b2 2-4
J O, 20a9- 1 5
1 2 , 2 1 b6, b27
1 2, 2 r b23-32
1 2, 22a8-1 3
1 3, 2 2 b l l-4
1 3, 2 2b29-33

247
247
85
241
244
245
85
93
93
129
1 29

Eudemian Ethics

1 . 6, 1 2 1 7a7- 1 7

73

Metaphysics

A 1, 9 8 oa20
A 8, 9 8 9b30-4
r 1, 1 003a20
r 3, 1 005b2-5
E 2, l 02 6b27- 1 027a28
E 4, 1 0 27b20-27
Z I , 1 02 8a30
l) 3 , r n47 a24-6
e 4 , 1 047b3ff.
8 5 , 1 047b35- 1 048a 1 5
e 9, 1 05 1 a24-7
A 8 , 1 07 3b5-8

72
206
227
73
133
247
228
1 27
127
132
22 1
206

Nicomachean Ethics

1 . 1 , r n94a 1 -2
Physics
2.2, l 9 4a7- 1 2
2 .3 , 1 95a 1 8 --<)
2 .5 , r 97 a 1 5-8
2 . 9 , 2ooa1 5-30

72
206
121
133
121

Posterior Analytics

A 2, 7 1 b 1 6 -72a8
A 3 , 73a7 --<)
A 4-5, 73b2 5-74a3
A 4-5, 73b32ff.
A 4, 73a2 1 -4
A 5, 7434- 1 2
A 6, 74b 1 3-5

220
79
221
1 97
1 15
207
I l5

265

A 6, 74b26-39
A 1 3 , 78a2 2-3 1
A 1 3 , 78b4
A 1 5 , 79a3 3-b22
A 1 8 , 8 1 a37-b9
A 1 9 , 8 1 b 1 8-23
A 1 9 , 8 1 b25--<)
A 1 9 , 8 1 b35
A 1 9 , 8 2a 1 1 -4
A 2 2 , 83a 1 - 1 8
A 22, 8 3 b 1 2-7
A 22, 83b2 8-3 1
A 24, 85b2 3-7
A 26, 87a 1 -30
A 26, 8 7 a 1 2-8
A 3 0 , 87b 1 9-27
A 30, 87b20-5
B 5, 9 1 b33-5
B 8 , 93a30-b7
B 8, 93b 1 5-20
B 1 2, 96a8- 1 9
B 1 3 , 96b25ff.
B 1 9 , 99b 1 5-7

133
133
76
84
1 88
191
1 90
1 90
1 90
1 90
191
1 90
198
105
202
1 3 3 , 1 34
1 33
209
76
21 l
1 34
21 l
72

Prior Analytics B
I , 5 3 a3- 1 2
1 , 5 3a3- 1 4
r, 5 3a 1 2
l , 5 3a 1 7-25
2 , 5 3b 1 8-20
5 , 5 8 a27-9
8, 5oa1 0-2
8, 5 9 b 1 -3
8, 59b8-J 1
I I , 6 2a9- I O
14, 62b29
1 4 , 62b29-3 1
l 4, 62b29-3 8
1 4 , 62b35-7
l4, 62b39
1 5 , 63b27
l 5 , 64a 1 -4
2 1 , 67a1 6-26
27, 7oa1 6-20

1 07
75
So
84
79
So
80
85
1 56
1 02
I08
102
202, 203
203
I 08
156
173
76
76

Rhetoric
I.I,

1 354a3
1 . 2 , 1 35 6a25-7
I . 2 , 1 3 5 6b 1 6-8

73
73
79

INDEX OF PASSAGES CITED

1 .4, 1 359b9-1 6
2 . 1 , 1 37 8a28
2 . 2 5 , 1 402b 1 2- 1 403az
Top ics
1 . 1 , rooa27-b2 3
1 .4, r o r b u-36
1 .4, r o 1 b 1 5-3 1
1 . 4, 1 0 1 b 1 7-36
1 -4, r o 1 b30-1
1 . 5, I 02a l 84_j
1 . 5 , r o2a24-30
1 . 5, r o2b5-7
I . 6, r o2b27 - 1 03a5
1 . 8, u 3b 1 6- u 4az5
1 .9, 1 03b20-3 9
1 . 1 1 , 1 04b34-6
1 . 1 2 , 1 05 a r 3-6
I . 1 4, 1 05b 1 2-5
1 . 1 8 , 1 08 b 1 0- 1
2 . 1 , I 09a1 0-26
2 . 2 , I 1 0a ! 9-20
2 . 3 , 1 1 oa37-b7
2 . 6, I I 2b I I -2
2 . 6, I 1 2b2 1 -6
2 . 8 , u 3 b 1 6- u 4a25
4 . 5, 1 25b354)
4.5 , 1 26b27-34
7 . 5 , 1 5 5a 1 1 - 1 6
8 . I , I 5 5b20-4

8 . 1 1 , I 6 T b28-30
8 . 1 3 , 1 63 114-5
Sophistical Refutations
1 , r 64a27-b2
4, 1 66a23-3 1
5 , r 67a22-7
5, 1 67a38-9
7, 1 69b9- 1 7

73
206
1 94
74
74
99
75
230
192
1 94
193
xii
1 92
226
99
183
2o6
183
226
236
86
132
225
192
230
224
193
1 84

81
Bo
79
1 36
1 88
So
2 19

Arrian
Ana basis

7 . 1 9 .5

216

Euclid
Elements
X. I I 7

1 75

Herodotus
Histories
I. 91

218

Plato
Meno
8 6 e ff.
89c
Phaedo
IOld
1 02b- 1 03a

266

1 74
178
178
220

GENER A L INDEX
(Note : references to co mme n t aries frequenlly cited througho ut the commentary are

not listed)

Academy xi, 75, 79, 1 0 2 , 1 76 , 203,


2 09, 220, 2 2 1
Arrian 2 1 6
acciden t I 9 3
accidental
predication 1 90-1
see also predicable s
analysis xviii , 2 1 1 - 1 3 , 239-40
assertoric 1 1 1
syllogistic 67-70, 1 1 r -2
premisses 84-5, 1 22 , 1 24, 1 25-6,
1 47-9, 1 50 , 1 5 2 , 1 57-8 , 1 63
astronomy 207

B arnes, J. 77, 7 8 , 1 7 7 , 1 92
Becker, A. xiv, xvi, 89, 90, 9 1 , 92, I 1 2 ,
1 1 5 , 1 24, 1 2 8 , 1 29, 1 34, 1 3 5 . 142,
1 46, 1 47 , 1 65
belonging 222-3
Bobzien, S. xiv, 2 1 5
B ochenski, J . M . 2 1 5
Brunsch wig, J . 7 2 , 99, 1 93
Colli, G . 243
conversion xiii, xvi, 69, 84-5 , 8 8-9
complementary l 29
Corcoran, J. xv, 67 , 82, 8 3 , 86

Eudemus xv, 8 7 , 1 ! 4, 1 1 6 , 1 3 1 , 1 5 6 ,
239
excluded middle, law of 1 2 8 , 242-44
figures 67-8, 70, 82, 95, 9 6-7 , J OO ,
J O I , J 06-J 08, 1 63-4, 1 7 3 , 1 74,
1 7 7 , 239
see also moods
Frede, M. xvii
Geach, P. T. xiii, 96, 1 45 , 1 47 , 2 1 9 , 247
genus 2 24-5, 227 , 229-30
see also predi c ables
geometry xiii, 1 8 0- 1 , 1 84, 2 1 1 , 2 3 3 -4
see also mathematics
Hintikka, J. 1 1 5 , 1 2 8, 1 44
Huby, P. xvi
hypothesis 70, J02, 1 45-7 ,
arguments from 1 70-8 , 20 1 -2, 203,
23 5-8
indeterminate, indeterminacy 77, 9 8-9,
J 03 , 1 3 2, 1 5 0, 1 9 3-4, 2 1 6-7
induction 78, 1 8 3 , 209
Irwin, T. 208

Jenkinson, A. J. J. 2 5 2
deduction 78--9
natural xv, 86
definition 208- 1 1 , 2 3 5
demonstration 7 1 -4, 77, 1 1 5-6, r r 8 ,
1 32-3, 1 7 8 , 1 8 2-3 , 1 9 1 -2, 1 9 3 ,
1 9 7 , 207 , 208, 2 1 0, 2 1 2
dialectic 7 3 , 74, 7 7 , 99 , 1 7 9 . 1 87 , 1 99,
203-4, 2 1 2, 235 , 2 3 9
dictum de o m n i et n u llo 84, I 1 8
division 2 0 8 - 1 l

Ebbinghau s , K. xv, 67, 8 6


Ebert, T . 1 07
ecthesis 69, 87-8 8, 1 04, 1 1 3 ,
1 23
Einarson, B. xiii , 7 8 , 97, 1 8 6
Euclid 1 7 5

Kneale, M. and Kneale, W . 8 8 , I I r , l 3 6


knowledge 74, 76, 1 1 5 , 1 3 3
see also science
Lear, J. 96
Lee, T. S. 83
logic 7 4
formal xi, xiii -iv, 2 1 3
propositional xiii, 1 0 8 , 1 43, 1 45 , 1 7 1
Lukasiewicz, J . xiv, xv, xvi , 7 2 , 84, 8 6 ,
88, 96
Maier, H. 1 57 , 1 64, 1 65 , 1 74, 1 77 , 2 5 1
mathematics 7 8 , 1 7 1 , 1 75 , 1 8 6, 206-7
McCall, S. I I 5
McKirahan, R. 1 9 8 , 207

GENERAL IN DEX

Mendell, H . 7 3 , 2 2 2
modal, modality
syllogisms 70- 1 , r 1 3 , I I 5 , 1 3 9
syllogistic xv-xvii
premisses 8 8-.{), 93-4, I I r, 1 1 4,
1 2 5-6
modality and time 1 44
de re I de dicto 7 r , 90, 92-3, r r r -2 ,
I I 5 , l l 9, 1 29, 1 3 6, 1 40, 2 2 1
see also necessity, possibility
modus ponens, to llens 1 94, 1 9 8 , 1 99,
200
moods 67-8 , 70, 1 0 1 , 1 04, 1 05 , 1 07-8 ,
1 8 7-8 , 2 3 3
Mueller, I. 1 75

predicables xii-iii, 99, 1 9 2 , 230


to predicate, predication 75-6, 83-4,
99 , 1 1 2 , 1 43 , 1 49, 1 7 2-3 , 1 8 1 ,
1 8 8- 1 9 2 , 1 94, 2 1 5 , 222-2 26,
227--g, 24 1 -245
Pythagoreans 1 02
reduction to the impossible 70, 1 02,
r o5, 1 1 0, 1 7 1 , 1 74-8, 20 1-2,
237-8
reduction (of moods) I 08-.{} , 1 24-5,
239-4 1
rejection (of invalid moods) 96, I I 7,
1 24, 1 3 9
rhetoric 7 3 , 1 94, 2 1 2
Rose, L . 97, r o7

necessary, necessity
logical 80-3 , r oo, 1 20, 1 7 2 , 2 1 4-5,
237
modal 8 5 , 8 8 , 89-.{)o, I 1 2 , l 15, 1 r 8,
1 20, 1 3 1-3, 1 4 8 , 1 49 , 1 54
hypothetical 1 2 r
see also modality, possibility
negation 67, 9 3 , 1 56 . 24 1 - 1 44
Nortrnann , U. xvi, u 6 , 1 2 8 , 1 44

Scheibe, E. 76
science, scientific 7 1 -4, 76, 77, 1 1 5-6,
1 3 2-4, 1 97 , 206, 207-8, 2 27
singular terms or propositions 76, 87,
1 1 3 , 1 89-.{)o, 1 9 1 -2 , 2 1 6
Smiley, T. 86, 1 74, 247
Smith, R. 70, 7 8 , 84, 86, 88, 1 04, r o9 ,
1 84, 1 9 3 , 245
Sorabji, R . I 3 1
Stoics xiii, xiv, xvii, 74, 1 7 1 , 242
Strike G. 83, 1 1 0, 1 34, 1 77 , 2 1 2 , 241

ostensive (arguments) r o 8 , 1 7 0- I , 2 0 1
Patterson, R. 1 1 1
Patzig, G. xiv, xv, 8 2 , 8 3 , 86, 8 8 , 96,
97 , IOO, l l 2 , I I 4, 1 2 0, 177, 1 9 1 ,
239
perfect and imperfect moods 82-3, 1 07,
1 1 4, 1 37 , 1 3 8 , 1 4 1 -2 , 1 49 , 1 5 2
perfecting r oo, r o6, 1 09-1 o , 1 64,
1 7 0- 1 , 1 84
Plato xi, xiii, 79, 1 7 4. 1 7 8 , 208, 209,
220
possible, possibility 8 5 , 90
different senses of 7 1 , 89, 90-1 ,
1 30- 1 , 1 4 2 , 1 43 , 1 66-7, 1 6 8
definition o f 9 2 , 1 27--g, I 3 7 , 1 3 8 ,
1 40
premisses 93-4, 1 3 0, 1 3 4-5, 1 44-5,
220
s e e also necessity, modality

terms 7 8 , 8 1 , 8 8 , 95, 97, 1 0 1 , 1 39,


1 85--{i, 1 8 9-.{) I , 1 92 , 1 94, 1 97 ,
2 1 9-2 1 , 2 2 2-5 , 227--g
in examples 98, 103, I I 6, I 17, 1 2 1 ,
1 2 2-3 , 1 25 , 1 3 6, 1 40, 1 47-8 , 1 49 ,
1 5 4 , 1 69, 234
Theophrastus xv, 8 7 , 89, r o7 , u3, r 1 4,
I I 5 , I I 6, 1 3 1 , 1 3 5 , 1 5 6, 2 1 5 , 23 1 ,
239
Thom, P. xvi , 76, 86, 8 8 , 1 1 4, 1 54, 1 74,
223, 225
Waterlow, S . 1 44
Wedin, M. 8 8 , 242
Weidemann, H . r r o
Wieland, W. u 6
Williams, M . 250, 2 5 1

2 68