UP

Aristotle - The Organon - index for ANALYTICA POSTERIORA Book 1 Part 24

Universal demonstration is better than particular

  
Paragraph 1 Since demonstrations may be either commensurately universal or particular, and either affirmative or negative;
Paragraph 2 The following considerations might lead some minds to prefer particular demonstration.
Paragraph 3 (1) The superior demonstration is the demonstration which gives us greater knowledge (for this is the ideal of demonstration), and we have greater knowledge of a particular individual when we know it in itself than when we know it through something else;
Paragraph 4 (2) The universal has not a separate being over against groups of singulars.
Paragraph 5 We may retort thus.
Paragraph 6 (2) If there is a single identical definition i.e. if the commensurate universal is unequivocal - then the universal will possess being not less but more than some of the particulars, inasmuch as it is universals which comprise the imperishable, particulars that tend to perish.
Paragraph 7 (3) Because the universal has a single meaning, we are not therefore compelled to suppose that in these examples it has being as a substance apart from its particulars - any more than we need make a similar supposition in the other cases of unequivocal universal predication, viz. where the predicate signifies not substance but quality, essential relatedness, or action.
Paragraph 8 (4) Demonstration is syllogism that proves the cause, i.e. the reasoned fact, and it is rather the commensurate universal than the particular which is causative (as may be shown thus:
Paragraph 9 (5) Our search for the reason ceases, and we think that we know, when the coming to be or existence of the fact before us is not due to the coming to be or existence of some other fact, for the last step of a search thus conducted is eo ipso the end and limit of the problem.
Paragraph 10 If, then, all causes and reasons are alike in this respect, and if this is the means to full knowledge in the case of final causes such as we have exemplified, it follows that in the case of the other causes also full knowledge is attained when an attribute no longer inheres because of something else.
Paragraph 11 (6) The more demonstration becomes particular the more it sinks into an indeterminate manifold, while universal demonstration tends to the simple and determinate.
Paragraph 12 (7) Demonstration which teaches two things is preferable to demonstration which teaches only one.
Paragraph 13 (8) Proof becomes more and more proof of the commensurate universal as its middle term approaches nearer to the basic truth, and nothing is so near as the immediate premiss which is itself the basic truth.
Paragraph 14 Some of these arguments, however, are dialectical.


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