Aristotle, Prior Analytics, Book I
by William C. Michael
© William C. Michael, 2022. We are happy to host the only online edition of Thomas Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics. The text below is an adaptation of Thomas Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics (1805) and is intended for use by students of the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. This text may not be copied or used in any way without written permission from Mr. William C. Michael. Table of contentsChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11Chapter 12Chapter 13Chapter 14Chapter 15Chapter 16Chapter 17Chapter 18Chapter 19Chapter 20Chapter 21Chapter 22Chapter 23Chapter 24Chapter 25Chapter 26Chapter 27Chapter 28Chapter 29Chapter 30Chapter 31Chapter 32Chapter 33Chapter 34Chapter 35Chapter 36 Chapter 37Chapter 38Chapter 39Chapter 40Chapter 41Chapter 42Chapter 43Chapter 44Chapter 45Chapter 46 Chapter 1 In the first place it is requisite to say what the subject is of the present treatise, and for the sake of what it is undertaken; viz. that it is concerning demonstration, and for the sake of demonstrative science. Afterwards, it is requisite to define what a proposition is, what a term, and what a syllogism; and also what kind of a syllogism is perfect, and what kind is imperfect. In the next place it must be shown, what it is for a thing to be or not to be in a certain whole, and what we say it is to be predicated of every thing or of nothing, of a certain multitude. A proposition, therefore, is a sentence affirming or denying something of something. And this is universal, in a part, or indefinite. But I denominate universal the being present with every thing or with nothing; in a part, the being present with something, or not with something, or not with every thing; and the indefinite, the being present, or not being present without the universal or particular; such, for instance, as that there is the same science of contraries, or that pleasure is not good. But a demonstrative differs from a dialectic proposition in this; that the demonstrative proposition is an assumption of one part of contradiction; (for he who demonstrates does not interrogate, but assumes) but the dialectic is an interrogation of contradiction. So far, however, as pertains to the framing a syllogism from either proposition, the one in no respect differs from the other. For he who demonstrates, and he who interrogates syllogize, assuming that something is present with, or is not present with something. Hence, a syllogistic proposition, indeed, will be simply an affirmation or negation of something concerning something, after the manner above-mentioned. But a proposition is demonstrative, if it is true, and is assumed through hypotheses from the beginning. And a dialectic proposition, with respect to him who enquires, is an interrogation of contradiction; but with respect to him who syllogizes, is an assumption of that which is seen and probA Ble, as we have observed in the Topics. What, therefore, a proposition is, and in what the syllogistic, demonstrative, and dialectic proposition differ from each other, will be accurately shown in the following treatises; but for the present purpose, what has been now determined by us may suffice. But I call that a term into which a proposition is dissolved; as, for instance, that which is predicated, and that of which it is predicated, whether to be or not to be is added or separated. And a syllogism is a discourse, in which certain things being admitted, something else different from the things admitted necessarily happens, in consequence of the existence of these admitted propositions. I say, that in consequence of these admitted propositions, something else happens. And when I say that something else happens through these, I mean that there is no need of any external term, in order to the existence of the necessary consequence. Hence I call that a perfect syllogism, which requires nothing else besides the things assumed in order that the necessary consequence may be apparent. But I denominate that an imperfect syllogism, which requires one or more things, which through the supposed terms are necessary, and yet are not assumed through propositions. And it is the same thing, for one thing to be in the whole of another, and for one thing to be predicated of the whole of another, when nothing can be assumed of the subject, of which the other may not be asserted: and to be predicated of nothing is assumed after a similar manner. Chapter 2 Since, however, every proposition is either of that which is simply present, or of that which is present from necessity, or of that which may happen to be present; and of these, some are affirmative but others negative, according to each appellation, and again, since of affirmative and negative propositions, some are universal, others partial, and others indefinite; this being the case, it is necessary that the universal privative proposition of that which is present should be converted in its terms. Thus, for instance, if no pleasure is good, neither will any good be pleasure. But it is necessary that a categoric proposition should be converted indeed, yet not universally, but in a part. For instance, if all pleasure is good, it is also necessary that a certain good should be pleasure. And of particular propositions it is necessary that the affirmative should be converted in apart; for if a certain pleasure is good, a certain good will also be pleasure. But it is not necessary that a privative proposition should be converted. For it does not follow that if man is not present with a certain animal, that animal also is not present with a certain man. Let the proposition A B, therefore, be the first privative universal. Hence, if A is present with no B, neither will B be present with any A. For if it should be present with some A, as, for instance, with C, it will not be true that A is present with no B; since C is something of B. But,if A is present with every B, B will be present with some A. For if with no A, neither will A be present with any B; but it was supposed to be present with every B. Conversion also is in a similar manner produced, if the proposition is according to a part. For if A is present with some B, it is also necessary that B should be present with some A. For if it is present with no A, neither will A be present with any B. But if A is not present with some B, it is not necessary that B also should not be present with A. For instance, if B is animal, but A man; man, indeed, is not present with every animal, (i.e. is not participated by every animal), but animal is present with every man. Chapter 3 The like also will take place in necessary propositions; for a universal privative is universally converted. But each of affirmative propositions is converted according to a part. For if it is necessary that A should be present with no B, it is also necessary that B should be present with no A; for if it should happen to be present with some A, it would also happen that A would be present with some B. But if A is necessarily present with every, or with some B, B also will necessarily be present with some A; for if it is not necessarily present, neither will A be necessarily present with some B. That, however, which is privative in a part, is not converted, for the reason which has been before assigned. But with respect to contingent propositions (since that which is contingent is multifariously predicated; for we say that the necessary, the not necessary, and the possible may happen) in all those that are affirmative, there will be a similar mode of conversion. For if A may happen to every, or to some B, B also may happen to some A; for if to no A, neither will A happen to any B. For this has been already demonstrated. In negative propositions, however, the like does not take place; but such things as are said to be contingent, either because they are necessarily not present, or because they are not necessarily present, are converted similarly with the former. For instance, if some one should say it may happen that a man may not be a horse, or that whiteness may be present with no garment. For of these assertions, the one is necessarily not present, and the other is not necessarily present. And the proposition is similarly converted. For if it happens to no man to be a horse, it also happens to no horse to be a man; and if whiteness happens to no garment, a garment also will not happen to any whiteness. For if a garment, necessarily happens to a certain whiteness, whiteness also will necessarily happen to a certain garment; since this was demonstrated before. The like also will take place in a particular negative proposition. But such things as are said to be contingent, because they happen for the most part, and because they are naturally so adapted (after the manner according to which we define the contingent) will not subsist similarly in privative conversions; for a universal privative proposition is not converted, but that which is particular is converted. This, however, will be evident, when we speak of the contingent. But now let thus much be manifest in addition to what has been said, that to happen not to be present with anything, or with something, has an affirmative figure. For “it may happen”, is similarly arranged with “it is”; but “it is” always and entirely produces affirmation in those things to which it is attributed. For instance, “it is” not good, or “it is” not white, or, in short, “it is” not this thing. This, however, will be shown in what follows. But with respect to conversions these will subsist similarly with others. Chapter 4 These things being determined, let us now show through what things, when, and how every syllogism is produced; and afterwards let us speak concerning demonstration. For it is requisite to speak of syllogism prior to demonstration, because syllogism is more universal. For demonstration, indeed, is a certain syllogism, but not every syllogism is demonstration. When, therefore, three terms so subsist with reference to each other, as that the last is in the whole of the middle, and the middle cither is or is not in the whole of the first; then it is necessary that there should be a perfect syllogism of the extremes. But I call the middle that which is itself in another, another also being in it; and which likewise becomes the middle in position. And I call the extremes that which is itself in another, and that in which another also is. For if A is predicated of every B, and B of every C, it is necessary that A should be predicated of every C, for it has been before shown how we predicate of every individual of a given multitude. In like manner also, if A is predicated of no B, but B is predicated of every C, neither will A be predicated of any C. But if the first follows every middle, and the middle is present with no extreme, there will not be a syllogism of the extremes; for nothing necessary will happen in consequence of the existence of these; since it will happen that the first will be present with every and with no extreme. Hence, neither a particular, nor a universal conclusion will be necessarily produced. But nothing necessary being collected, there will not through these be a syllogism. Let, however, the terms of being present with every individual of a certain multitude be animal, man, horse; and let the terms of being present with no one be animal, man, stone. Every man is an animal:No horse is a man: Every horse is an animal. Every man is an animal:No stone is a man:No stone is an animal. Neither then will there be a syllogism, since neither is the first term present with any middle, nor the middle with any extreme. Let the terms of being present be science, line, physician; but let the terms of not being present be science, line, unity. No line is science:No medicine is a line:Every medicine is science. No line is science:No unity is a line:No unity is science The terms, therefore, being universal it is manifest in this figure, when there will, and when there will not be a syllogism; and also that when there is a syllogism, it is necessary that the terms should subsist as we have said. For it is evident, that if they thus subsist there will be a syllogism. But if one of the terms is universal, and the other particular with reference to the other, when the universal is joined to the greater extreme, whether categoric or privative, but the particular term is categoric with respect to the less extreme, it is necessary that the syllogism should be perfect. But when the universal term is joined to the less extreme, or the terms subsist in some other way, it is impossible there should be a syllogism. I call, however, the greater extreme, that is which the middle is; and the less extreme, that which is under the middle. For let A be present with every B, but B with some C, If, therefore, to be predicated of every individual of a multitude is that which we asserted it to be from the first, A is necessarily present with some C. And if A is present with no B, but B is present with some C, it is necessary that A should not be present with some C. For the manner in which we speak of being predicated of no one of a multitude has been defined by us. Hence there will be a perfect syllogism. A similar conclusion also must be adopted, if the proposition B C is indefinite, being categoric; for there will be the same syllogism of the indefinite, and of that which is assumed in a part. But if to the less extreme, universal either categoric or privative, is added, there will not be a syllogism; whether an indefinite or a particular proposition affirms or denies. For instance, if A is present, or is not present, with some B; but B is present with some C. Let then the terms of being present be, good, habit, prudence; and let the terms of not being present be, good, habit, ignorance. Some habit is/is not good:All prudence is a habit:All prudence is good. Some habit is/is not good:All ignorance is a habit:No ignorance is good. Again, if B is present with no C, but A is present with some B, or is not present, or is not present with every B; neither thus will there be a syllogism. Let the terms of being present with every individual be white, horse, swan; but the terms of being present with no one be white, horse, crow. Some horse is/is not white:No swan is a horse:Every swan is white. Some horse is/is not white:No crow is a horse:No crow is white. The same terms also may be assumed if A B should be indefinite. Neither then will there be a syllogism, when universal either categoric or privative is added to the greater extreme; but to the less extreme a privative according to a part of the indefinite, and in a part is assumed; for instance, if A is present with every B, but B is not present with some, or not with every C. For that with which the middle is not present, to this, to every, and to none, the first will be consequent. Thus, let the terms animal, man, white, be supposed; and afterwards, from among those white things of which man is not predicated, let swan and snow be assumed. Hence animal will be predicated of every individual of the one; but of no individual of the other; so that there will not be a syllogism. Every man is an animal:Something white (a swan) is not a man:Every swan is an animal. Every man is an animal:Something white (snow) is not a man:No snow is an animal. Again, let A be present with no B, but let B not be present with some C; and let the terms be, inanimate, man, white. Afterwards, let white things be assumed, viz. swan and snow, of which man is not predicated. For inanimate is predicated of every individual of the one, but of no individual of the other. No man is inanimate:Something white (snow) is not a man:All snow is inanimate. No man is inanimate:Something white (a swan) is not a man:No swan is inanimate. Farther still, this is indefinite, namely, that B is not present with some C; (for it is truly asserted that it is not present with some C, whether it is present with none, or whether it is not present with every C) but terms of this kind being assumed, so as to be present with none, a syllogism will not be produced; for this has been asserted before. It is evident, therefore, that when the terms thus subsist, there will not be a syllogism; since if there could, there would also be a syllogism in these terms. The like also may be demonstrated, if universal privative is posited. Neither will there by any means be a syllogism, if both intervals according to apart are predicated either categorically or privatively; or the one categorically, but the other privatively; or if the one is indefinite, but the other definite; or both are indefinite. But let the common terms of all be, animal, white, man, animal, white, stone. Something white is/is not an animal: Some man is/is not white: Every man is an animal. Something while is/is not an animal: Some stone is/is not white: No stone is an animal. From what has been said, therefore, it is evident, that if there is a particular syllogism in this figure, it is necessary that the terms should subsist as we have said; that if the terms thus subsist a syllogism is necessarily produced; but by no means, if they subsist in a different manner. It is also manifest, that all the syllogisms in this figure are perfect; for all are perfected through those things which were assumed from the first. Likewise, that all problems are demonstrated through this figure; for in this a thing is shown to be present with every, with none, with some one, and not with some one. But I call a figure of this kind, the first figure. Chapter 5 But when the same thing (i.e. the middle term) is partly present with every individual, and partly with none; or is present to every or to none of each extreme; I call a figure of this kind the second figure. And I call the middle term in it, that which is predicated of both extremes. But I denominate the extremes those things of which this middle is predicated, the greater extreme being that which is situated near the middle; but the less extreme being that which is situated farther from the middle. But the middle is posited external to the extremes, and is first in position. By no means, therefore, will there be a perfect syllogism in this figure. But there may be a syllogism both when the terms are universal, and when they are not universal. And if the terms, indeed, are universal, there will be a syllogism when the middle is partly present with every, and partly with none; to whichever extreme the privative is added. But a syllogism will by no means be produced in any other way. For let M be predicated of no N, but of every O. Since, therefore, a privative proposition is converted, N will be present with no M. But M was supposed to be present with every O; so that N will, be present with no O. For this was demonstrated before. Again, if M is present with every N, but with no O, neither will O be present with any N. For if M is present with no O, neither, will O be present with any M. But M was present with every N; and hence O will be present with no N. For again, the first figure is produced. But since a privative proposition is converted, neither will N be present with any O. Hence there will be the same syllogism. These things also may be demonstrated by a deduction to the impossible. It is evident, therefore, that a syllogism, though not a perfect syllogism, may be produced, when the terms thus subsist; for the necessary not only receives its completion from those things which were assumed from the first, but also from other things. But if M is predicated of every N, and of every O, there will not be a syllogism. Let the terms then of being present with be essence, animal, man; but of not being present with be essence, animal, stone. And let the middle term be essence.