[hist-analytic] The Dawn of Analysis

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Feb 14 22:07:40 EST 2009

Q: What's your  opinion on the future of analytic philosophy?
           A: You  mean _me_ qua analytic philosopher?
-- in Aristotle's Prior Analytics!
"hêi" (Pr.Anal. 49a11-b2, Met. Z 1003a21)
   -- No, reader, this is not a boring stretch on  philology!
   It's about the DAWN of Analysis in Aristotle!
   Isn't Byrne (cited below) _right_ when he goes to the core of  what 
Aristotle means by 'analyse' an argument in terms of 'muddled',  'enthymemic' 
premisses. And would it surprise you if an Aristotelian scholar  like Anscombe 
mis-read him, too?
'hei', qua, and "sub specie"
S. R. B. In a message dated 2/14/2009 in "qua". 
>There is some good stuff here. I am going to focus on 'qua'. In  particular,
>Aristotle Pr. Anal. 49a11-b2. in connection with what I said  earlier
>about Anscombe (Collected Papers vol. III. p. 208.) along with  some of
>your remarks.
>There is a sort of logical "forcing" of the  modifier ('qua') to
>the major premise 
> very particular syntactic facts. 
So here is Aristotle's text with my comments (by courtesy of R. B. Jones --  
online available). My, it may be good stuff, but a bit dry for a Saturday 
night!  (Just joking).
I'm pleased Aristotle uses 'qua'. I enjoyed his example
"man is perishable qua an object of sense"
which I'd take to be equivalent to
"man, qua an object of sense, is perishable"
----- so there _seems_ to be some 'syntactic freedom' of the qua, but as  you 
say, Aristotle is clear that he wants the 'qualification' or expansion to be  
'included' in the subject-term. 
I found this link below: an online book by Byrne on Analysis in Aristotle,  
that quotes the passage (found it googling for 'qua an object of sense' -- for  
surely that's an Aristotelian hapax legomenon, almost!):
Analysis and Science in Aristotle - Google Books Result  by Patrick  Hugh 
Byrne - 1997 - Philosophy - 303 pages
... or goat-stag an object of  knowledge qua not existing, or man perishable 
qua an object of sense: in every  case in which an addition \qua .  ...
Of course I'm trying to trace the Greek for 'qua', for surely the ablative  
feminine (of Latin qua) _beats_ me! (I also notice that Anscombe Coll. Pap. 2,  
p. 208 is on the 'double effect', right? Found some online discussion of 
that,  but it's _so_ catholic! :)). 
Byrne is right in finding this all Gricean!

Aristotle, like Grice,  is into 'enthymeme', 'implicit reasoning' made 
explicit! -- for what can be more  explicit than adding 'qua this' and 'qua that'? 
If people were ever so  careful!
---- Although the man being perishable qua an object of sense beats  me!
It's like reading one of the Mitfords (qua duchess of Devonshire), "I was  
annoyed by the review to the film -- 'sport' 'qua enjoyable activity'. For what  
other 'qua' can we think of? I cannot see how 'man' can NOT be perishable, -- 
 'object of sense' confuses me in that I wouldn't think the Greeks had a  
developed epistemology like _that_!
"a term which is repeated in the premisses ought to be 
joined to the first extreme, not to the middle. I mean for example 
that if a syllogism should be made proving that 
        There is knowledge of  justice,
        that it is good.
the expression 
        'that it is good' 
'qua good' 
should be joined to the first term. Let 
stand for 
      knowledge that it is good
B for 
C for 
It is true to predicate A of B. 
For of the good there is knowledge that it is good. 
Also it is true to predicate B of C. 
For justice is identical with a good. 
In this way an analysis of the argument can be made. 
But if the expression 
         'that it is good' 
were added to B, the conclusion will not follow: 
for A will be true of B, but B will not be true of C. 
For to predicate of justice the term 
        'good that it is good' 
         false and 
        not intelligible. 
************Byrne 'modernises' the syllogism as:
1. Of all good there is knowledge that it is good
2. All justice is good
3. Therefore, of all justice there is knowledge that it is good.
     (Byrne, op. cit., p. 63). 
Byrne goes on to say that this is perhaps 'trickier in English' than Greek,  
and uses symbolism:
B1, "good that it is good"

B2 "good"
Byrne quotes from the other illustrations of this type of 'ambiguity' given  
by Aristotle. The illustrations concern
   -- 'healthy'
   -- goat-stag
and my 'favourite'
   -- 'man' 'an object of sense', 'perishable'. 
"Similarly if it should be proved that 
       the healthy is an 
       object of knowledge qua good, 
      of goat-stag an
object of knowledge qua non-existing
         man perishable 
        qua an object of sense: 
in every case in which an addition is made to the predicate, the addition  
must be joined to the extreme. 

Apparently, Prof. Baeck has written on these 'qua propositions', "in  which 
Aristotelianism abounds" he notes!
the 'qua' is in Greek, apparently, 'hei', and this leads me to whom Grice  
calls 'the greatest living philosopher' in "Logic and Conversation, i": Martin  

On Heidegger and Language - Google Books Result  by Joseph J.  Kockelmans - 
1980 - Philosophy - 380 pages
... expression commonly used in  referring to beings as the subject matter of 
metaphysics : to on hei on. The  expression is ambiguous in more than one 
sense.  ...
This above in connection with 
theorei to on hei on (Met, Z, 1003a 21). metaphysics as 'the theory of  being 
qua being'. 
The position of the terms is not the same when something 
is established without qualification and when it is 
qualified by some attribute or condition, e g. when 
      the good is proved to be 
       an object of knowledge and when it is  proved to be an object of 
knowledge that it is good. If it has been proved to be 
       an object of knowledge without  qualification, 
      we must put as middle term 'that which is',  but if we add the 
qualification 'that it is good', the middle term must be 'that  which is something'. 
Let A stand for 'knowledge that it is something', B stand  for 'something', and 
C stand for 'good'. It is true to predicate A of B: for ex  hypothesi there 
is a science of that which is something, that it is something. B  too is true 
of C: for that which C represents is something. Consequently A is  true of C: 
there will then be knowledge of the good, that it is good: for ex  hypothesi 
the term 'something' indicates the thing's special nature. But if  'being' were 
taken as middle and 'being' simply were joined to the extreme, not  'being 
something', we should not have had a syllogism proving that there is  knowledge 
of the good, that it is good, but that it is; e.g. let A stand for  knowledge 
that it is, B for being, C for good. Clearly then in syllogisms which  are thus 
limited we must take the terms in the way stated. 
--- Well, one problem with Aristotle -- I've been told -- is that he tends  
to _murder_ the Greek (my intuitions are hardly native there, so how could  I 
tell?). I wouldn't be surprised if this 'hei' is idiolectal. Although it is  
better, and more polite, as S. R. Bayne says, to see Aristotle as "forcing"  
things here and there! It has also been said that perhaps not so much  
'idiolectal' but plain 'dialectal', as he is using a sort of Northern Greek  dialect. 
Must say I _like_ the 'qua', though.
Bayne is right that this may connect with Davidson -- D. Frederick has been  
defending Davidson's 'action-sentences'. If we follow a Davidsonian approach,  
then it seems to be _all_ about 'qua' if not 'intentions'? (I'm speaking  
Another phrase with the proper 'scholastic' tones is 'sub specie...'. If we  
treat primary substances, then it's things like _me_ or _you_ than can get  
qualified qua this or qua that:
         Steve, the stage manager,  fired the employee, JL.
But Anscombe seems to be wanting to apply the 'qua' to 'descriptions' not  of 
this and that (primary substances, Aristotle, 'tode') but notably other  
categories (actions qua qualifications of primary substances). 
I must say that the goat-stage example puzzles me. Surely 'non-existent',  
but necessarily so? Don't think so. Look at modern genetics!
It's odd, but understandable, that Aristotle was obsessed with 'qua' as it  
applied to especially _two_ words: the "good" (cfr. above Byrne for B1 and B2 
--  and the alleged 'ambiguity' of 'good') and "is" -- for the latter, I am 
with  Code and Grice in using, instead izzing and hazzing for whatever it was 
that  Aristotle found ambiguous in Greek!

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