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Aristotle - The Organon - index for TOPICA Book 6 Part 4

Intelligibility, priority, circularity

  
Paragraph 1 Whether, then, a man defines a thing correctly or incorrectly you should proceed to examine on these and similar lines.
Paragraph 2 The statement that a definition has not been made through more intelligible terms may be understood in two senses, either supposing that its terms are absolutely less intelligible, or supposing that they are less intelligible to us:
Paragraph 3 Absolutely, then, it is better to try to make what is posterior known through what is prior, inasmuch as such a way of procedure is more scientific.
Paragraph 4 One form, then, of the failure to work through more intelligible terms is the exhibition of the prior through the posterior, as we remarked before.
Paragraph 5 Of the failure to use terms that are prior there are three forms:
Paragraph 6 (1) The first is when an opposite has been defined through its opposite, e.g.i.
Paragraph 7 (2) Another is - if he has used the term defined itself.
Paragraph 8 (3) Again, see if he has defined one coordinate member of a division by another, e.g. 'an odd number' as 'that which is greater by one than an even number'.
Paragraph 9 Likewise also, see if he has defined a superior through a subordinate term, e.g. 'An "even number" is "a number divisible into halves"', or '"the good" is a "state of virtue"'.


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