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Aristotle - The Organon ANALYTICA PRIORIA Book 2 Part 23

Rhetorical syllogism and induction

1. It is clear then how the terms are related in conversion, and in respect of being in a higher degree objects of aversion or of desire. We must now state that not only dialectical and demonstrative syllogisms are formed by means of the aforesaid figures, but also rhetorical syllogisms and in general any form of persuasion, however it may be presented. For every belief comes either through syllogism or from induction.

2. Now induction, or rather the syllogism which springs out of induction, consists in establishing syllogistically a relation between one extreme and the middle by means of the other extreme, e.g. if B is the middle term between A and C, it consists in proving through C that A belongs to B. For this is the manner in which we make inductions. For example let A stand for long-lived, B for bileless, and C for the particular long-lived animals, e.g. man, horse, mule. A then belongs to the whole of C: for whatever is bileless is long-lived. But B also ('not possessing bile') belongs to all C. If then C is convertible with B, and the middle term is not wider in extension, it is necessary that A should belong to B. For it has already been proved that if two things belong to the same thing, and the extreme is convertible with one of them, then the other predicate will belong to the predicate that is converted. But we must apprehend C as made up of all the particulars. For induction proceeds through an enumeration of all the cases.

3. Such is the syllogism which establishes the first and immediate premiss: for where there is a middle term the syllogism proceeds through the middle term; when there is no middle term, through induction. And in a way induction is opposed to syllogism: for the latter proves the major term to belong to the third term by means of the middle, the former proves the major to belong to the middle by means of the third. In the order of nature, syllogism through the middle term is prior and better known, but syllogism through induction is clearer to us.


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