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Aristotle - The Organon ANALYTICA PRIORIA Book 1 Part 9

Syllogisms with some necessary premisses

1. It happens sometimes also that when one premiss is necessary the conclusion is necessary, not however when either premiss is necessary, but only when the major is, e.g. if A is taken as necessarily belonging or not belonging to B, but B is taken as simply belonging to C: for if the premisses are taken in this way, A will necessarily belong or not belong to C. For since necessarily belongs, or does not belong, to every B, and since C is one of the Bs, it is clear that for C also the positive or the negative relation to A will hold necessarily. But if the major premiss is not necessary, but the minor is necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary. For if it were, it would result both through the first figure and through the third that A belongs necessarily to some B. But this is false; for B may be such that it is possible that A should belong to none of it. Further, an example also makes it clear that the conclusion not be necessary, e.g. if A were movement, B animal, C man: man is an animal necessarily, but an animal does not move necessarily, nor does man. Similarly also if the major premiss is negative; for the proof is the same.

2. In particular syllogisms, if the universal premiss is necessary, then the conclusion will be necessary; but if the particular, the conclusion will not be necessary, whether the universal premiss is negative or affirmative. First let the universal be necessary, and let A belong to all B necessarily, but let B simply belong to some C: it is necessary then that A belongs to some C necessarily: for C falls under B, and A was assumed to belong necessarily to all B. Similarly also if the syllogism should be negative: for the proof will be the same. But if the particular premiss is necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary: for from the denial of such a conclusion nothing impossible results, just as it does not in the universal syllogisms. The same is true of negative syllogisms. Try the terms movement, animal, white.


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