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Aristotle - The Organon TOPICA Book 2 Part 9

Co-ordinates and inflected forms of the terms

1. Again look at the case of the co-ordinates and inflected forms of the terms in the thesis, both in demolishing and in establishing it. By co-ordinates are meant terms such as the following: 'Just deeds' and the 'just man' are coordinates of 'justice', and 'courageous deeds' and the 'courageous man' are co-ordinates of courage. Likewise also things that tend to produce and to preserve anything are called co-ordinates of that which they tend to produce and to preserve, as e.g. 'healthy habits' are co-ordinates of 'health' and a 'vigorous constitutional' of a 'vigorous constitution' and so forth also in other cases. 'Co-ordinate', then, usually describes cases such as these, whereas 'inflected forms' are such as the following: 'justly', 'courageously', 'healthily', and such as are formed in this way. It is usually held that words when used in their inflected forms as well are co-ordinates, as (e.g.) 'justly' in relation to justice, and 'courageously' to courage; and then 'co-ordinate' describes all the members of the same kindred series, e.g. 'justice', 'just', of a man or an act, 'justly'. Clearly, then, when any one member, whatever its kind, of the same kindred series is shown to be good or praiseworthy, then all the rest as well come to be shown to be so: e.g. if 'justice' be something praiseworthy, then so will 'just', of a man or thing, and 'justly' connote something praiseworthy. Then 'justly' will be rendered also 'praiseworthily', derived will by the same inflexion from 'the praiseworthy' whereby 'justly' is derived from 'justice'.

2. Look not only in the case of the subject mentioned, but also in the case of its contrary, for the contrary predicate: e.g. argue that good is not necessarily pleasant; for neither is evil painful: or that, if the latter be the case, so is the former. Also, if justice be knowledge, then injustice is ignorance: and if 'justly' means 'knowingly' and 'skilfully', then 'unjustly' means 'ignorantly' and 'unskilfully': whereas if the latter be not true, neither is the former, as in the instance given just now: for 'unjustly' is more likely to seem equivalent to 'skilfully' than to 'unskilfully'. This commonplace rule has been stated before in dealing with the sequence of contraries; for all we are claiming now is that the contrary of P shall follow the contrary of S.

3. Moreover, look at the modes of generation and destruction of a thing, and at the things which tend to produce or to destroy it, both in demolishing and in establishing a view. For those things whose modes of generation rank among good things, are themselves also good; and if they themselves be good, so also are their modes of generation. If, on the other hand, their modes of generation be evil, then they themselves also are evil. In regard to modes of destruction the converse is true: for if the modes of destruction rank as good things, then they themselves rank as evil things; whereas if the modes of destruction count as evil, they themselves count as good. The same argument applies also to things tending to produce and destroy: for things whose productive causes are good, themselves also rank as good; whereas if causes destructive of them are good, they themselves rank as evil.


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