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Aristotle - The Organon ANALYTICA PRIORIA Book 2 Part 9

... in the second figure

1. In the second figure it is not possible to refute the premiss which concerns the major extreme by establishing something contrary to it, whichever form the conversion of the conclusion may take. For the conclusion of the refutation will always be in the third figure, and in this figure (as we saw) there is no universal syllogism. The other premiss can be refuted in a manner similar to the conversion: I mean, if the conclusion of the first syllogism is converted into its contrary, the conclusion of the refutation will be the contrary of the minor premiss of the first, if into its contradictory, the contradictory. Let A belong to all B and to no C: conclusion BC. If then it is assumed that B belongs to all C, and the proposition AB stands, A will belong to all C, since the first figure is produced. If B belongs to all C, and A to no C, then A belongs not to all B: the figure is the last. But if the conclusion BC is converted into its contradictory, the premiss AB will be refuted as before, the premiss, AC by its contradictory. For if B belongs to some C, and A to no C, then A will not belong to some B. Again if B belongs to some C, and A to all B, A will belong to some C, so that the syllogism results in the contradictory of the minor premiss. A similar proof can be given if the premisses are transposed in respect of their quality.

2. If the syllogism is particular, when the conclusion is converted into its contrary neither premiss can be refuted, as also happened in the first figure, if the conclusion is converted into its contradictory, both premisses can be refuted. Suppose that A belongs to no B, and to some C: the conclusion is BC. If then it is assumed that B belongs to some C, and the statement AB stands, the conclusion will be that A does not belong to some C. But the original statement has not been refuted: for it is possible that A should belong to some C and also not to some C. Again if B belongs to some C and A to some C, no syllogism will be possible: for neither of the premisses taken is universal. Consequently the proposition AB is not refuted. But if the conclusion is converted into its contradictory, both premisses can be refuted. For if B belongs to all C, and A to no B, A will belong to no C: but it was assumed to belong to some C. Again if B belongs to all C and A to some C, A will belong to some B. The same proof can be given if the universal statement is affirmative.


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