UP

Aristotle - The Organon ANALYTICA PRIORIA Book 2 Part 1

The reason common to all syllogisms

1. We have already explained the number of the figures, the character and number of the premisses, when and how a syllogism is formed; further what we must look for when refuting and establishing propositions, and how we should investigate a given problem in any branch of inquiry, also by what means we shall obtain principles appropriate to each subject. Since some syllogisms are universal, others particular, all the universal syllogisms give more than one result, and of particular syllogisms the affirmative yield more than one, the negative yield only the stated conclusion. For all propositions are convertible save only the particular negative: and the conclusion states one definite thing about another definite thing. Consequently all syllogisms save the particular negative yield more than one conclusion, e.g. if A has been proved to to all or to some B, then B must belong to some A: and if A has been proved to belong to no B, then B belongs to no A. This is a different conclusion from the former. But if A does not belong to some B, it is not necessary that B should not belong to some A: for it may possibly belong to all A.

2. This then is the reason common to all syllogisms whether universal or particular. But it is possible to give another reason concerning those which are universal. For all the things that are subordinate to the middle term or to the conclusion may be proved by the same syllogism, if the former are placed in the middle, the latter in the conclusion; e.g. if the conclusion AB is proved through C, whatever is subordinate to B or C must accept the predicate A: for if D is included in B as in a whole, and B is included in A, then D will be included in A. Again if E is included in C as in a whole, and C is included in A, then E will be included in A. Similarly if the syllogism is negative. In the second figure it will be possible to infer only that which is subordinate to the conclusion, e.g. if A belongs to no B and to all C; we conclude that B belongs to no C. If then D is subordinate to C, clearly B does not belong to it. But that B does not belong to what is subordinate to A is not clear by means of the syllogism. And yet B does not belong to E, if E is subordinate to A. But while it has been proved through the syllogism that B belongs to no C, it has been assumed without proof that B does not belong to A, consequently it does not result through the syllogism that B does not belong to E.

3. But in particular syllogisms there will be no necessity of inferring what is subordinate to the conclusion (for a syllogism does not result when this premiss is particular), but whatever is subordinate to the middle term may be inferred, not however through the syllogism, e.g. if A belongs to all B and B to some C. Nothing can be inferred about that which is subordinate to C; something can be inferred about that which is subordinate to B, but not through the preceding syllogism. Similarly in the other figures. That which is subordinate to the conclusion cannot be proved; the other subordinate can be proved, only not through the syllogism, just as in the universal syllogisms what is subordinate to the middle term is proved (as we saw) from a premiss which is not demonstrated: consequently either a conclusion is not possible in the case of universal syllogisms or else it is possible also in the case of particular syllogisms.


UPHOME HTML edition © RBJ created 1996/11/25 modified 2009/04/26