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This Edition is an exact reprint of the First Edition, with the addition of two important Essays on the Ethics and Politics of Aristotle, which were found among the author’s posthumous papers. They were originally published in 1876, in ‘Fragments on Ethical Subjects, by the late George Grote,’ but would have been included in the First Edition of this Work, had they been discovered in time. These Essays are the fruit of long and laborious study, and, so far as they extend, embody the writer’s matured views upon the Ethics and the Politics: the two treatises whose omission from his published exposition of the Aristotelian philosophy has been most regretted.

The Essay on ‘The Ethics of Aristotle’ falls naturally into two divisions; the first treats of Happiness; the second of what, according to Aristotle, is the chief ingredient of Happiness, namely. Virtue. On Aristotle’s own conception of Happiness, Mr. Grote dwells very minutely; turning it over on all sides, and looking at it from every point of view. While fully acknowledging its merits, he gives also the full measure of its defects. His criticisms on this head are in the author’s ivbest style and are no less important as regards Ethical discussion than as a commentary on Aristotle.

His handling of Aristotle’s doctrine of Virtue is equally subtle and instructive. Particularly striking are the remarks on the Voluntary and the Involuntary, and on προαίρεσις, or deliberate preference.

The treatment of the Virtues in detail is, unhappily, more fragmentary; but what he does say regarding Justice and Equity has a permanent interest.

The Essay on ‘The Politics of Aristotle’ must be studied in connection with the preceding. Although but a brief sketch, it is remarkable for the insight which it affords us into the most consummate political ideal of the ancient world.








The Historian of Greece, when closing his great narrative in the year 1856, promised to follow out in a separate work that speculative movement of the fourth century B.C. which upheld the supremacy of the Hellenic intellect long after the decline of Hellenic liberty. He had traced the beginnings of the movement in the famous chapter on Sokrates, but to do justice to its chief heroes — Plato and Aristotle — proved to be impossible within the limits of the History. When, however, the promised work appeared, after nine laborious years, it was found to compass only Plato and the other immediate companions of Sokrates, leaving a full half of the appointed task unperformed. Mr. Grote had already passed his 70th year, but saw in this only a reason for turning, without a moment’s pause, to the arduous labour still before him. Thenceforth, in spite of failing strength and the increasing distraction of public business, he held steadily on till death overtook him in the middle of the course. What he was able to accomplish, though not what study he had gone through towards the remainder of his design, these volumes will show. The office of preparing and superintending their publication was entrusted to the vipresent editors by Mrs. Grote, in the exercise of her discretion as sole executrix under his last Will. As now printed, the work has its form determined by the author himself up to the end of Chapter XI. The first two chapters, containing a biography of Aristotle and a general account of his works, are followed by a critical analysis, in eight chapters, of all the treatises included under the title ‘Organon;’ and in the remaining chapter of the eleven the handling of the Physica and Metaphysica (taken together for the reasons given) is begun. What now stand as Chapters III., IV., &c., were marked, however, as Chapters VI., VII., &c., by the author; his design evidently being to interpolate before publication three other chapters of an introductory cast. Unfortunately no positive indication remains as to the subject of these; although there is reason to believe that, for one thing, he intended to prefix to the detailed consideration of the works a key to Aristotle’s perplexing terminology. Possibly also he designed to enter upon a more particular discussion of the Canon, after having viewed it externally in Chapter II.; citations and references bearing on such a discussion being found among his loose notes.

What might have been the course of the work from the point where it is broken off, is altogether matter of inference, beyond an indication of the subject of the chapter next to follow; but the remarks at the beginning of Chapter III. point to some likely conclusions. After the metaphysical discussions, which must have been prolonged through several chapters, there would probably have been taken in order the treatises De Cœlo, De viiGeneratione et Corruptione, the Meteorologica, and next the various Biological works; though with what detail in each case it is impossible to guess. Then must have followed the De Animâ with the minor Psychological treatises summed up as Parva Naturalia, and next, without doubt, the Ethica and Politica; last of all, the Rhetorica and Poetica. That Mr. Grote had carefully mastered all these works is evident from his marginal annotations in the various copies which he read. With the Ethica and Politica in particular he had early been familiar, and most there is reason to regret that he has left nothing worked out upon this field so specially his own.1 Fortunately it happens that on the psychological field next adjoining there is something considerable to show.

1 It has been already stated that two important Essays on these subjects have been discovered among Mr. Grote’s posthumous papers since the publication of the First Edition. They are printed in this Edition after the chapter De Animâ. — Second Edition.

In the autumn of 1867 Mr. Grote undertook to write a short account of Aristotle’s striking recognition of the physical aspect of mental phenomena, to be appended to the third edition of the senior editor’s work, ‘The Senses and the Intellect;’ but, on following out the indications relative to that point, he was gradually led by his interest in the subject to elaborate a full abstract of the De Animâ and the other psychological treatises. Several months were spent on this task, and at the end he declared that it had greatly deepened his insight into Aristotle’s philosophy as a whole. He also expressed his satisfaction at having thus completed an exposition of the Psychology, fitted to stand as his contribution to that part of viiiAristotle, in case he should never reach the subject in the regular course of his general work. The exposition was printed in full at the time (1868), and drew the attention of students. It is now reprinted, with the prominence due to its literary finish and intrinsic value, as a chapter — the last — in the body of the present work.

The long Appendix coming after is composed of elements somewhat heterogeneous; but the different sections were all written in the period since 1865, and all, not excepting the last two (treating briefly of Epikurus and the Stoics), have a bearing upon the author’s general design.

The first section — an historical account of ancient theories of Universals — has already seen the light.2 It brings together, as nowhere else, all the chief references to the doctrine of Realism in Plato, and exhibits the directly antagonistic position taken up by Aristotle towards his master. This it does so impressively that there could be no question of excluding it, even although it reproduces in part some of the matter of Chapter III., on the Categories. Being composed, in 1867, later than this Chapter, it is on that account written with all the firmer a grasp. On finishing it as it stands, Mr. Grote, in a private letter, expressed himself in terms that deserve to be quoted: — “I never saw before so clearly the extreme importance of Aristotle’s speculations as the guides and stimulants of mediæval philosophy. If I had time to carry the account further, I should have been able to show how much the improved views of the questionix of Universals depended on the fact that more and more of the works of Aristotle, and better texts, became known to Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, and their successors. During the centuries immediately succeeding Boëthius, nothing of Aristotle except the Categories and the treatise De Interpretatione was known, and these in a Latin translation. Most fortunately the Categories was never put out of sight; and it is there that the doctrine of Substantia Prima stands clearly proclaimed.”

2 In the Appendix to the senior editor’s ‘Manual of Mental and Moral Science’ (1867).

The second section, or, rather, the part therein treating of Aristotle’s doctrine of First Principles, is also a reprint. It was composed (in 1867) at the same time as the section on Universals, and was printed along with that; shorn, however, of the critical examination of Sir William Hamilton’s views on Aristotle, which is now prefixed to the statement of the Aristotelian doctrine. Hamilton having (in Note A, appended to his edition of Reid’s Works) claimed Aristotle as a supporter of the Philosophy of Common Sense, basing upon a long list of passages quoted, these were subjected by Mr. Grote to a searching criticism, the pointed vigour of which will be duly appreciated. The statement of his own view of Aristotle’s doctrine, though containing little that may not be found at more places than one in the body of the present work, is yet reprinted, because iteration was his favourite art for impressing anything to which he attached as much importance as he did attach to this conviction of his, regarding the very heart of Aristotle’s thought.

The long abstracts of six books of the Metaphysica and two books of the De Cœlo, next following in the xAppendix, are sections of a character altogether different from the foregoing. Evidently not intended for publication, they have been included, partly as furnishing some indication of the labour the author underwent in seeking to lay hold of his subject, partly because of their inherent value. From the first motive, they are here reproduced as nearly as possible in the guise they wore as preliminary drafts, bestrewed with references. Their value consists in the fact that they give Mr. Grote’s interpretation of the text of treatises at once exceedingly difficult and important: difficult, as is proved by the great divergence, among commentators at many points; important, not more for the deeper aspects of Aristotle’s own system, than for the speculations of the earlier Greek philosophers on which they are the classical authority. What relation, in the case of each treatise, the books abstracted (often translated) hold to the other books left untouched, is specially indicated at the beginning of the third section and at the end of the fourth. Here let it suffice to mention that each abstract has a certain completeness in itself, and at the same time a bond of connection with the other. The abstract of the Metaphysica closes where Aristotle descends to speak of the concrete heavenly bodies, and just as much of the De Cœlo is given as treats specially of these. This connection, whether or not it was present to the author’s mind, enhances the value of the abstracts as here presented.3

3 The author carried the abstract of De Cœlo a little farther, and then abruptly broke it off; probably finding himself borne too far away from the logical treatises with which he was at the time dealing.

In the remaining sections of the Appendix, not dealing xiwith Aristotle, the short account of Epikurus aims at setting in its true light a much-maligned system of thought. On writing it, in 1867, Mr. Grote remarked that the last word had not yet been said on Epikurus. The ethical part of the sketch was printed at the time:4 the whole is now given. More fragmentary is the notice of the Stoics, as merely replacing passages that he considered inadequate in a sketch submitted to him. Since it formed part of his entire design to add to the treatment of Aristotle a full exposition both of Stoic and Epikurean doctrines, considered as the outgrowth of the Cynic and Kyrenaic theories already handled at the end of the ‘Plato,’ the two fragments may not unfitly close the present work.

4 Also in the ‘Manual of Mental and Moral Science,’ among ‘Ethical Systems.’

Taken altogether, the two volumes are undoubtedly a most important contribution to the history of ancient thought. As regards Aristotle, the author’s design must be gathered chiefly from the first eleven chapters, — begun as these were in 1865, and proceeded with in their order, till he was overtaken, in the act of composing the last, by the insidious malady which, after six months, finally carried him off. Perhaps the most striking feature in the exposition of the Organon, is the very full analysis given of the long treatise called Topica. While the other treatises have all, more or less, been drawn upon for the ordinary theory of Logic, the Topica, with its mixed logical and rhetorical bearings, has ceased to be embodied in modern schemes of discipline or study. Mr. Grote’s profound interest in everything pertaining to Dialectic xiidrew him especially to this work, as the exhibition in detail of that habit of methodized discussion so deeply rooted in the Hellenic mind. And in the same connection it may be noted how the natural course of his work brought him, in the last months of his intellectual activity, to tread again old and familiar ground. A plea — this time against Aristotle — for the decried Sophists, and, once more, a picture of that dialectical mission of Sokrates which for him had an imperishable charm, were among the very last efforts of his pen.


Besides making up the Second Volume from the end of Chapter XI., the editors have, throughout the whole work, bestowed much attention on the notes and references set down by the author with his usual copious minuteness. It was deemed advisable to subject these everywhere to a detailed verification; and, though the editors speak on the matter with a diffidence best understood by those who may have undergone a similar labour, it is hoped that a result not unworthy of the author has been attained. In different places additional references have been supplied, either where there was an obvious omission on the author’s part, or in farther confirmation of his views given in the text: such references, mostly to the works of Aristotle himself, it has not been thought necessary to signalize. Where, as once or twice in the Appendix, a longer note in explanation seemed called for, this has been printed within square brackets.

From the text some passages, where the iterations seemed excessive, have been withheld, but only such as it was thought the author would himself have struck out xiiiupon revision: wherever there was evidence that revision had been made, the iterations, freely employed for emphasis, have been allowed to stand. On rare occasions, interpolations and verbal changes have been made with the view of bringing out more clearly the meaning sought to be conveyed. It is impossible to be more deeply sensible than the editors are, of the responsibility they have thus incurred; but they have been guided by their very respect for the venerable author, and they were fortunate in the many opportunities they enjoyed of learning from his own lips the cast of his views on Aristotle.5

5 It is but due to the younger editor to state that the heaviest part of all the work here indicated has been done by him. — A. B.

An index has been drawn up with some care; as was needful, if meant to be of real service to the readers of so elaborate a work.

It only remains to add that in printing the Greek of the notes, &c., the text of Waitz has been followed for the Organon (everywhere short of the beginning); the text of Bonitz, for the Metaphysica; and for other works of Aristotle, generally the Berlin edition. Regard was had, as far as the editors’ knowledge went, to the author’s own preferences in his reading.








          A. Sir William Hamilton on Aristotle’s Doctrine 565
          B. Aristotle’s Doctrine 573
          Book Γ. 583
          Book E. 592
          Book Ζ. 594
          Book Η. 609
          Book Θ. 613
          Book Λ. 619
          Book I. 630
          Book II. 639










In my preceding work, ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ I described a band of philosophers differing much from each other, but all emanating from Sokrates as common intellectual progenitor; all manifesting themselves wholly or principally in the composition of dialogues; and all living in an atmosphere of Hellenic freedom, as yet untroubled by any over-ruling imperial ascendancy from without. From that band, among whom Plato is facilè princeps, I now proceed to another, among whom the like pre-eminence belongs to Aristotle. This second band knew the Sokratic stimulus only as an historical tradition; they gradually passed, first from the Sokratic or Platonic dialogue — dramatic, colloquial, cross-examining — to the Aristotelian dialogue, semi-dramatic, rhetorical, counter-expository; and next to formal theorizing, ingenious solution and divination of special problems, historical criticism and abundant collections of detailed facts: moreover, they were witnesses of the extinction of freedom in Hellas, and of the rise of the Macedonian kingdom out of comparative nullity to the highest pinnacle of supremacy and mastership. Under the successors of Alexander, this extraneous supremacy, intermeddling and dictatorial, not only overruled the political movements of the Greeks, but also influenced powerfully the position and working of their philosophers; and would have become at once equally intermeddling even earlier, under Alexander himself, had not his whole time and personal energy been absorbed by insatiable thirst for eastern conquest, ending with an untimely death.

Aristotle was born at Stageira, an unimportant Hellenic colony in Thrace, which has obtained a lasting name in history from the fact of being his birthplace. It was situated in the 2Strymonic Gulf, a little north of the isthmus which terminates in the mountainous promontory of Athos; its founders were Greeks from the island of Andros, reinforced afterwards by additional immigrants from Chalkis in Eubœa. It was, like other Grecian cities, autonomous — a distinct, self-governing community; but it afterwards became incorporated in the confederacy of free cities under the presidency of Olynthus. The most material feature in its condition, at the period of Aristotle’s birth, was, that it lay near the frontier of Macedonia, and not far even from Pella, the residence of the Macedonian king Amyntas (father of Philip). Aristotle was born, not earlier than 392 B.C., nor later than 385-384 B.C. His father, Nikomachus, was a citizen of Stageira, distinguished as a physician, author of some medical works, and boasting of being descended from the heroic gens of the Asklepiads; his mother, Phaestis, was also of good civic family, descended from one of the first Chalkidian colonists.1 Moreover, Nikomachus was not merely learned in his art, but was accepted as confidential physician and friend of Amyntas, with whom he passed much of his time — a circumstance of great moment to the future career of his son. We are told that among the Asklepiads the habit of physical observation, and even manual training in dissection, were imparted traditionally from father to son, from the earliest years, thus serving as preparation for medical practice when there were no written treatises to study.2 The mind of Aristotle may thus have acquired that appetite for physiological study which so many of his treatises indicate.

1 Diog. L. v. 10. This was probably among the reasons which induced Aristotle to prefer Chalkis as his place of temporary retirement, when he left Athens after the death of Alexander.

2 Galen, De Anatomicis Administr. ii. 1. T. ii. pp. 280-281, ed. Kühn. παρὰ τοῖς γονεῦσιν ἐκ παίδων ἀσκουμένοις, ὥσπερ ἀναγινώσκειν καὶ γράφειν, οὕτως ἀνατέμνειν — (compare Plato — Protagoras, p. 328 A, p. 311 C).

Diog. L. v. 1. Ὁ δὲ Νικόμαχος ἦν ἀπὸ Νικομάχου τοῦ Μαχάνος τοῦ Ἀσκληπιοῦ, καθά φησιν Ἕρμιππος ἐν τῷ περὶ Ἀριστοτέλους καὶ συνεβίω Ἀμύντᾳ τῷ Μακεδόνων βασιλεῖ ἰατροῦ καὶ φίλου χρείᾳ.

We here learn that in the heroic genealogy of the Asklepiads, the son of Machaon himself bore the name of Nikomachus. I do not think that Will. v. Humboldt and Bernays are warranted in calling Aristotle “ein Halbgrieche,” “kein vollbürtiger Hellene” — (Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, pp. 2-56-134). An Hellenic family which migrated from Athens, Chalkis, Corinth, etc., to establish a colony on the coast of Thrace, or Asia Minor, did not necessarily lose its Hellenism. One cannot designate Demokritus, Xenokrates, Anaxagoras, Empedokles, &c., half Greeks.

Diogenes here especially cites Hermippus (B.C. 220-210), from whom several of his statements in this and other biographies appear to have been derived. The work of Hermippus seems to have been entitled “Lives of the Philosophers” (v. 2), among which lives that of Aristotle was one.

Hermippus mentioned, among other matters, communications made to Aristotle by Strœbus (a person engaged in the service of Kallisthenes as reader) respecting the condemnation and execution of Kallisthenes in Baktria, by order of Alexander (Plutarch, Alex. c. 54). From what source did Hermippus derive these statements made by Strœbus to Aristotle?

3Respecting the character of his youth, there existed, even in antiquity, different accounts. We learn that he lost his father and mother while yet a youth, and that he came under the guardianship of Proxenus, a native of Atarneus who had settled at Stageira. According to one account, adopted apparently by the earliest witnesses preserved to us,3 he was at first an extravagant youth, spent much of his paternal property, and then engaged himself to military service; of which he soon became weary, and went back to Stageira, turning to account the surgical building, apparatus, and medicines left by his father as a medical practitioner. After some time, we know not how long, he retired from this profession, shut up the building, and devoted himself to rhetoric and philosophy. He then went to Athens, and there entered himself in the school of Plato, at the age of thirty.4 The philosophical life was thus (if this account be believed) a second choice, adopted comparatively late in life.5 The other account, depending also upon good 4witnesses, represents him as having come to Athens and enlisted as pupil of Plato, at the early age of seventeen or eighteen: it omits all mention of an antecedent period, occupied by military service and a tentative of medical profession.6 In both the two narratives, Aristotle appears as resident at Athens, and devoting himself to rhetoric and philosophy, from some period before 360 B.C. down to the death of Plato in 347 B.C.; though, according to the first of the two narratives, he begins his philosophical career at a later age, while his whole life occupied seventy years instead of sixty-two years.

3 Epikurus and Timæus. Ἐπίκουρος ἐν τῇ περὶ ἐπιτηδευμάτων ἐπιστολῇ (Eusebius, Præp. Ev. xv. 5) — Diogen. L. x. 8; Ælian. V. H. v. 9.

4 An author named Eumêlus (cited by Diogenes, v. 6, ἐν τῇ πέμπτῃ τῶν ἱστοριῶν, but not otherwise known) stated that Aristotle came to Plato at the age of thirty, and that he lived altogether to seventy years of age, instead of sixty-three, as Hermippus and Apollodorus affirmed. Eumêlus conceived Aristotle as born in 392 B.C., and coming to Plato in 362 B.C. His chronological data are in harmony with the statements of Epikurus and Timæus respecting the early life of Aristotle. The Βίος Ἀνώνυμος given by Ménage recognizes two distinct accounts as to the age at which Aristotle died: one assigning to him 70 years, the other only 63.

5 See the Fragments of Timæus in Didot, Fragmenta Historicorum Græcorum, Fr. 70-74; also Aristokles, ap. Eusebium, Præp. Evang. xv. 2; Diogenes, L. x. 8; Athenæus, viii. p. 354. Timæus called Aristotle σοφιστὴν ὀψιμαθῆ καὶ μισητόν, καὶ τὸ πολυτίμητον ἰατρεῖον ἀρτίως ἀποκεκλεικότα. The speaker in Athenæus designates him as ὁ φαρμακοπώλης. The terms used by these writers are illtempered and unbecoming in regard to so great a man as Aristotle; but this is irrelevant to the question, whether they do not describe, in perverted colouring, some real features in his earlier life, or whether there was not, at least, a chronological basis of possibility for them. That no such features were noticed by other enemies of Aristotle, such as Eubulides and Kephisodôrus, is a reason as far as it goes for not believing them to be real, yet not at all a conclusive reason; nor is the speaker in Athenæus exact when he says that Epikurus is the only witness, for we find Timæus making the same statements. The ἰατρεῖον (see Antiphanes, apud Polluc. iv. 183 — Fragmenta Comic. cxxv., Meineke) of a Greek physician (more properly we should call the ἰατρὸς a general practitioner and chemist) was the repository of his materials and the scene of his important operations; for many of which instructions are given in the curious Hippokratic treatise entitled Κατ’ Ἰητρεῖον, vol. iii. pp. 262-337 of the edition of M. Littré, who in his preface to the treatise, p. 265, remarks about Aristotle:— “Il paraît qu’Aristote, qui était de famille médicale, avoit renoncé à une officine de ce genre, d’une grande valeur.” Stahr speaks of this ἰατρεῖον as if Aristotle had set up one at Athens (Aristotelia, p. 38), which the authorities do not assert; it was probably at Stageira. Ideler (Comm. ad Aristot. Meteorol. iv. 3, 16, p. 433) considers this story about Aristotle’s ἰατρεῖον to have been a fiction arising out of various expressions in his writings about the preparation of drugs — τὰ φάρμακα ἕψειν, &c. I think this is far-fetched. And when we find Aristokles rejecting the allegation about the ἰατρεῖον, by speaking of it as an ἄδοξον ἰατρεῖον, we can admit neither the justice of the epithet nor the ground of rejection.

6 This account rested originally (so far as we know) upon the statement of Hermippus (B.C. 220), and was adopted by Apollodôrus in his Chronology (B.C. 150), both of them good authorities, yet neither of them so early as Epikurus and Timæus. Diogenes Laertius and Dionysius of Halikarnassus alike follow Hermippus. Both the life of Aristotle ascribed to Ammonius, and the Anonymous Life first edited by Robbe (Leyden, 1861, p. 2), include the same strange chronological blunder: they affirm Aristotle to have come to Athens at the age of seventeen, and to have frequented the society of Sokrates (who had been dead more than thirty years) for three years; then to have gone to Plato at the age of twenty. Zeller imagines, and I think it likely, that Aristotle may have been for a short time pupil with Isokrates, and that the story of his having been pupil with Sokrates has arisen from confusion of the two names, which confusion has been seen on several occasions (Zeller, Gesch. der Philos. der Griechen, ii. 2, p. 15.)

During the interval, 367-360 B.C., Plato was much absent from Athens, having paid two separate visits to Dionysius the younger at Syracuse. The time which he spent there at each visit is not explicitly given; but as far as we can conjecture from indirect allusions, it cannot have been less than a year at each, and may possibly have been longer. If, therefore, Aristotle reached Athens in 367 B.C. (as Hermippus represents) he cannot have enjoyed continuous instructions from Plato for the three or four years next ensuing.

However the facts may stand as to Aristotle’s early life, there is no doubt that in or before the year 362 B.C. he became resident at Athens, and that he remained there, profiting by the society and lectures of Plato, until the death of the latter in 347 B.C. Shortly after the loss of his master, he quitted Athens, along with his fellow-pupil Xenokrates, and went to Atarneus, which was at that time ruled by the despot Hermeias. That despot was a remarkable man, who being a eunuch through bodily hurt when a child, and having become slave of a prior despot named Eubulus, had contrived to succeed him in the supreme power, and governed the towns of Atarneus and Assos with firmness and energy. Hermeias had been at Athens, had heard Plato’s lectures, and had contracted friendship with Aristotle; which friendship became farther cemented by the marriage5 of Aristotle, during his residence at Atarneus, with Pythias the niece of Hermeias.7 For three years Aristotle and Xenokrates remained at Assos or Atarneus, whence they were then forced to escape by reason of the despot’s death; for Mentor the Rhodian, general of the Persians in those regions, decoyed Hermeias out of the town under pretence of a diplomatic negociation, then perfidiously seized him, and sent him up as prisoner to the Persian king, by whose order he was hanged. Mentor at the same time seized the two towns and other possessions of Hermeias,8 while Aristotle with his wife retired to Mitylene. His deep grief for the fate of Hermeias was testified in a noble hymn or pæan which he composed, and which still remains, as well as by an epigram inscribed on the statue of Hermeias at Delphi. We do not hear of his going elsewhere, until, two or three years afterwards (the exact date is differently reported), he was invited by Philip into Macedonia, to become preceptor to the young prince Alexander, then thirteen or fourteen years old. The reputation, which Aristotle himself had by this time established, doubtless coincided with the recollection of his father Nikomachus as physician and friend of Amyntas, in determining Philip to such a choice. Aristotle performed the duties required from him,9 enjoying the confidence and favour both of Philip and Alexander, until the assassination of the former and the accession of the latter in 336 B.C. His principle residence during this period was in Macedonia, but he paid occasional visits to Athens, 6and allusion is made to certain diplomatic services which he rendered to the Athenians at the court of Philip; moreover he must have spent some time at his native city Stageira,10 which had been among the many Greek cities captured and ruined by Philip during the Olynthian war of 349-347 B.C. Having obtained the consent and authority of Philip, Aristotle repaired to Stageira for the purpose of directing the re-establishment of the city. Recalling such of its dispersed inhabitants as could be collected, either out of the neighbouring villages or from more distant parts, he is said to have drawn up laws, or framed regulations for the returned citizens, and new comers. He had reason to complain of various rivals who intrigued against him, gave him much trouble, and obstructed the complete renovation of the city; but, notwithstanding, his services were such that an annual festival was instituted to commemorate them.11 It is farther stated, that at some time during this period he had a school (analogous to the Academy at Athens) in the Nymphæum of the place called Mieza; where stone seats and shady walks, ennobled by the name of Aristotle, were still shown even in the days of Plutarch.12

7 Strabo, xiii. 610; Diodor. xvi. 52. It appears that Aristotle incurred censure, even from contemporary rivals, for this marriage with Pythias. On what ground we cannot exactly make out (Aristokles ap. Eusebium Præp. Ev. xv. 2), unless it be from her relationship to Hermeias. She died long before Aristotle, but he mentions her in his will in terms attesting the constant affection which had reigned between them until her death. Aristotle thought it right to reply to the censure in one of his letters to Antipater.

Aristokles (ap. Euseb. Præp. Ev. xv. 2) says that Aristotle did not marry Pythias until after the death of Hermeias, when she was compelled to save herself by flight, and was in distress and poverty.

Mr. Blakesley (Life of Aristotle, p. 36) and Oncken (Die Staatslehre des Aristoteles, p. 158) concur in thinking that the departure of Aristotle from Athens had nothing to do with the death of Plato, but was determined by the capture of Olynthus, and by the fear and dislike of Philip which that event engendered at Athens.

But the fact that Xenokrates left Athens along with Aristotle disproves this supposition, and proves that the death of Plato was the real cause.

8 Diog. Laert. v. 7-8. Diodorus ascribes this proceeding to Mentor the Rhodian: Strabo, to his brother Memnon. I think Diodorus is right. A remarkable passage in the Magna Moralia (genuine or spurious) of Aristotle, seems to me to identify the proceeding with Mentor (Aristot. Magn. Mor. i. 35, p. 1197, b. 21; as also the spurious second book of the Œkonomica, p. 1351, a. 33).

9 It was probably during this period that Aristotle introduced to Alexander his friend the rhetor Theodektês of Phasêlis. Alexander took delight in the society of Theodektês, and testified this feeling, when he conquered Phasêlis, by demonstrations of affection and respect towards the statue of the rhetor, who had died during the intervening years — ἀποδιδοὺς τιμὴν τῇ γενομένῃ δι’ Ἀριστοτέλην καὶ φιλοσοφίαν ὁμιλίᾳ πρὸς τὸν ἄνδρα (Plutarch, Alex. c. 17).

10 It is to this period of Aristotle’s life that the passage extracted from his letters in Demetrius (so-called περὶ Ἑρμηνείας) refers. ὡς Ἀριστοτέλης φησίν — ἐγὼ ἐκ μὲν Ἀθηνῶν εἰς Στάγειρα ἦλθον διὰ τὸν βασιλέα τὸν μέγαν, ἐκ δὲ Σταγείρων εἰς Ἀθήνας διὰ τὸν χειμῶνα τὸν μέγαν — s. 29.

We shall hardly consider this double employment of the epithet μέγαν as an instance of that success in epistolary style, which Demetrius ascribes to Aristotle (s. 239); but the passage proves Aristotle’s visits both to Stageira and to Athens. The very cold winters of the Chalkidic peninsula were severely felt by the Greeks (Plato — Symposion, p. 220), and may well have served as motive to Aristotle for going from Stageira to Athens.

11 Ammonius, Vit. Aristot. See the curious statements given by Dion Chrysostom, out of the epistles of Aristotle; Orat. ii. p. 100, xlvii. p. 225, Reiske.

Respecting the allusions made in these statements to various persons who were reluctant to return out of the separate villages into the restored city, compare what Xenophon says about the διοίκισις, and subsequent restitution, of Mantineia; Hellenica, v. 2, 1-8, vi. 5, 3-6.

12 Plutarch, Alexander, c. 7. What Plutarch calls the Nymphæum, is considered by Stahr (Aristotelia, i. p. 93 n.) to be probably the same as what Pliny denominates the Museum at Stageira (N. H. xvi. c. 23); but Zeller (p. 23, n.), after Geier, holds that Mieza lay S.W. of Pella, in Emathia, far from Stageira. Plutarch seems to imply that Aristotle was established along with Alexander at Meiza by Philip.

Compare, for these facts of the biography of Aristotle, Stahr, Aristotelia, Part I., pp. 86-94, 103-106.

I conceive that it was during this residence in Macedonia and at Pella, that Aristotle erected the cenotaph in honour of Hermeias, which is so contemptuously derided by the Chian poet Theokritus in his epigram, Diog. L. v. 11. The epigram is very severe on Aristotle, for preferring Pella to the Academy as a residence; ascribing such preference to the exigencies of an ungovernable stomach.

In 336 B.C. Alexander became king of Macedonia, and his vast projects for conquest, first of Persia, next of other peoples known and unknown, left him no leisure for anything but military and imperial occupations. It was in the ensuing year (335 B.C. when the preparations for the Persian expedition were being 7completed, ready for its execution in the following spring, that Aristotle transferred his residence to Athens. The Platonic philosophical school in which he had studied was now conducted by Xenokrates as Scholarch, having passed at the death of Plato, in 347 B.C., to his nephew Speusippus, and from the latter to Xenokrates in 339 B.C. Aristotle established for himself a new and rival school on the eastern side of Athens, in the gymnasium attached to the temple of Apollo Lykeius, and deriving from thence the name by which it was commonly known — the Lykeium. In that school, and in the garden adjoining, he continued to lecture or teach, during the succeeding twelve years, comprising the life and the brilliant conquests of Alexander. Much of his instruction is said to have been given while walking in the garden, from whence the students and the sect derived the title of Peripatetics. In the business of his school and the composition of his works all his time was occupied; and his scholars soon became so numerous that he found it convenient to desire them to elect from themselves every ten days a rector to maintain order, as Xenokrates had already done at the Academy.13 Aristotle farther maintained correspondence, not merely with Alexander and Antipater but also with Themison, one of the princes of Cyprus, as Isokrates had corresponded with Nikokles, and Plato with Dionysius of Syracuse.14

13 Diog. L. v. 4. Brandis notes it as a feature in Aristotle’s character (p. 65), that he abstained from meddling with public affairs at Athens. But we must remember, that, not being a citizen of Athens, Aristotle was not competent to meddle personally. His great and respected philosophical competitor, Xenokrates (a non-citizen or metic as well as he), was so far from being in a condition to meddle with public affairs, that he was once even arrested for not having paid in due season his μετοίκιον, or capitation-tax imposed upon metics. He was liberated, according to one story, by Lykurgus (Plutarch, Vit. x. Oratt. p. 842); according to another story (seemingly more probable), by Demetrius Phalereus (Diog. La. iv. 14). The anonymous life of Aristotle published by Robbe (Leyden, 1861, p. 3), takes due notice of Aristotle’s position at Athens as a metic.

14 Aristotle addressed to Themison a composition now lost, but well known in antiquity, called Προτρεπτικός. It was probably a dialogue; and was intended as an encouragement to the study of philosophy. See Rose, Aristot. Pseud. pp. 69-72, who gives a very interesting fragment of it out of Stobæus.

We have the titles of two lost works of Aristotle — Περὶ Βασιλείας, and Ἀλέξανδρος, ἢ ὑπὲρ ἀποίκων (or ἀποικιῶν). Both seem to have been dialogues. In one, or in both, he gave advice to Alexander respecting the manner of ruling his newly acquired empire in Asia; and respecting the relations proper to be established between Hellenes and native Asiatics (see Rose, Arist. Pseud. pp. 92-96; Bernays, Die Dialoge des Aristot. pp. 51-57).

In June, 323 B.C., occurred the premature and unexpected decease of the great Macedonian conqueror, aged 32 years and 8 months, by a violent fever at Babylon. So vast was his power, and so unmeasured his ambition, that the sudden removal of such a man operated as a shock to the hopes and fears of almost 8every one, both in Greece and Asia. It produced an entire change in the position of Aristotle at Athens.

To understand what that position really was, we must look at it in connection with his Macedonian sympathies, and with the contemporaneous political sentiment at Athens. It was in the middle of the year 335 B.C., that Alexander put down by force the revolt of the Thebans, took their city by assault, demolished it altogether (leaving nothing but the citadel called Kadmeia, occupied by a Macedonian garrison), and divided its territory between two other Bœotian towns. Immediately after that terror-striking act, he demanded from the Athenians (who had sympathized warmly with Thebes, though without overt acts of assistance) the surrender of their principal anti-Macedonian politicians. That demand having been refused, he at first prepared to extort compliance at the point of the sword, but was persuaded, not without difficulty, to renounce such intention, and to be content with the voluntary exile of Ephialtes and Charidemus from Athens. Though the unanimous vote of the Grecian Synod at Corinth constituted him Imperator, there can be no doubt that the prevalent sentiment in Greece towards him was that of fear and dislike; especially among the Athenians, whose dignity was most deeply mortified, and to whom the restriction of free speech was the most painful.15

15 See History of Greece, chap. xci. pp. 18, 41, 64.

Now it was just at this moment (in 335 B.C.) that Aristotle came to Athens and opened his school. We cannot doubt that he was already known and esteemed as the author of various published writings. But the prominent mark by which every one now distinguished him, was, that he had been for several years confidential preceptor of Alexander, and was still more or less consulted by that prince, as well as sustained by the friendship of Antipater, viceroy of Macedonia during the king’s absence. Aristotle was regarded as philo-Macedonian, and to a certain extent, anti-Hellenic — the sentiment expressed towards him in the unfriendly epigram of the contemporary Chian poet Theokritus.16 His new school, originally opened under the protection and patronage of Alexander and Antipater, continued to be associated with their names, by that large proportion of Athenian citizens who held anti-Macedonian sentiments. Alexander caused 9the statue of Aristotle to be erected in Athens,17 and sent to him continual presents of money, usefully employed by the philosopher in the prosecution of his physical and zoological researches,18 as well as in the purchase of books. Moreover, Aristotle remained in constant and friendly correspondence with Antipater, the resident viceroy at Pella,19 during the absence of Alexander in Asia. Letters of recommendation from Aristotle to the Macedonian rulers were often given and found useful: several of them were preserved and published afterwards. There is even reason to believe that the son of Antipater — Kassander, afterwards viceroy or king of Macedonia, was among his pupils.20

16 Diog. L. v. 11.

Ἑρμίου εὐνούχου ἤδ’ Εὐβούλου ἅμα δούλου
      Σῆμα κενὸν κενόφρων τεῦξεν Ἀριστοτέλης·
Ὃς διὰ τὴν ἀκρατῆ γαστρὸς φύσιν εἴλετο ναίειν
      Ἀντ’ Ἀκαδημείας Βορβόρου ἐν προχοαῖς.

Cf. Plutarch, De Exilio, p. 603.

17 Stahr, Aristotelia, vol. ii. p. 290.

18 Athenæus, ix. 398; Pliny, H. N. viii. c. 16. Athenæus alludes to 800 talents as having been given by Alexander to Aristotle for this purpose. Pliny tells us that Alexander put thousands of men at his service for enquiry and investigation. The general fact is all that we can state with confidence, without pretending to verify amounts.

19 Vit. Aristotelis, Leyden, 1861, Robbe, pp. 4-6; Aristokles ap. Eusebium Præp. Evang. xv. 2. Respecting the Epistles of Aristotle, and the collection thereof by Artemon, see Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigr. pp. 594-598.

20 We may infer this fact from the insulting reply made by Alexander, not long before his death, to Kassander, who had just then joined him for the first time at Babylon, having been sent by Antipater at the head of a reinforcement. Some recent comers from Greece complained to Alexander of having been ill-used by Antipater. Kassander being present at the complaint, endeavoured to justify his father and to invalidate their testimony, upon which Alexander silenced him by the remark that he was giving a specimen of sophistical duplicity learnt from Aristotle. Ταῦτα ἐκεῖνα σοφίσματα τῶν Ἀριστοτέλους εἰς ἑκάτερον τῶν λόγων, οἰμωξομένων, ἂν καὶ μικρὸν ἀδικοῦντες τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φανῆτε (Plutarch, Alex. 74).

I have recounted elsewhere how the character of Alexander became gradually corrupted by unexampled success and Asiatic influences;21 how he thus came to feel less affection and esteem for Aristotle, to whom he well knew that his newly acquired imperial and semi-divine pretensions were not likely to be acceptable; how, on occasion of the cruel sentence passed on Kallisthenes, he threatened even to punish Aristotle himself, as having recommended Kallisthenes, and as sympathizing with the same free spirit; lastly, how Alexander became more or less alienated, not only from the society of Hellenic citizens, but even from his faithful viceroy, the Macedonian Antipater. But these changed relations between Aristotle and Alexander did not come before the notice of the Athenians, nor alter the point of view in which they regarded the philosopher; the rather, since the relations of Aristotle with Antipater continued as intimate as ever.

21 Histor. of Greece, ch. xciv. pp. 291, 301, 341; Plutarch, Alexand. c. lv.; Dion Chrysostom. Orat. 64, p. 338, Reiske.

It will thus appear, that though all the preserved writings of Aristotle are imbued with a thoroughly independent spirit of theorizing contemplation and lettered industry, uncorrupted by any servility or political bias — yet his position during the twelve 10 years between 335-323 B.C. inevitably presented him to the Athenians as the macedonizing philosopher, parallel with Phokion as the macedonizing politician, and in pointed antithesis to Xenokrates at the Academy, who was attached to the democratical constitution, and refused kingly presents. Besides that enmity which he was sure to incur, as an acute and self-thinking philosopher, from theology and the other anti-philosophical veins in the minds of ordinary men, Aristotle thus became the object of unfriendly sentiment from many Athenian patriots,22 who considered the school of Plato generally as hostile to popular liberty, and who had before their eyes examples of individual Platonists, ruling their respective cities with a sceptre forcibly usurped.23

22 The statement of Aristokles (ap. Eusebium, Præp. Ev. xv. 2) is doubtless just — φανερὸν οὖν, ὅτι καθάπερ πολλοῖς καὶ ἄλλοις, οὕτω καὶ Ἀριστοτέλει συνέβη, διά τε τὰς πρὸς τοὺς βασιλεῖς φιλίας καὶ διὰ τὴν ἐν τοῖς λόγοις ὑπεροχήν, ὑπὸ τῶν τότε σοφιστῶν φθονεῖσθαι. The like is said by the rhetor Aristeides — Or. xii. p. 144, Dindorf.

I have already observed that the phrase of “Halbgrieche” applied by Bernays and W. v. Humboldt to Aristotle (Bernays, Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, p. 2, p. 134) is not accurate literally, unless we choose to treat all the Hellenic colonies as half-Greek. His ancestry was on both sides fully Hellenic. But it is true of him, in the same metaphorical sense in which it is true of Phokion. Aristotle was semi-Macedonian in his sympathies. He had no attachment to Hellas as an organized system autonomous, self-acting, with an Hellenic city as president: which attachment would have been considered, by Perikles, Archidamus, and Epameinondas, as one among the constituents indispensable to Hellenic patriotism.

23 Quintilian — Declamat. 268. “Quis ignorat, ex ipsâ Socratis (quo velut fonte omnis philosophia manasse creditur) scholâ evasisse tyrannos et hostes patriæ suæ?” Compare Athenæus, xi. 508-509.

Such sentiment was probably aggravated by the unparalleled and offensive Macedonian demonstration at the Olympic festival of 324 B.C. It was on that occasion that Alexander, about one year prior to his decease, sent down a formal rescript, which was read publicly to the assembled crowd by a herald with loud voice; ordering every Grecian city to recall all exiles who had been banished by judicial sentence, and intimating, that if the rescript were not obeyed spontaneously, Antipater would be instructed to compel the execution of it by force. A large number of the exiles whose restitution was thus ordered, were present on the plain of Olympia, and heard the order proclaimed, doubtless with undisguised triumph and exultation. So much the keener must have been the disgust and humiliation among the other Grecian hearers, who saw the autonomy of each separate city violently trampled down, without even the pretence of enquiry, by this high-handed sentence of the Macedonian conqueror. Among the Athenians especially, the resentment felt was profound; and a vote was passed appointing deputies to visit Alexander in person, for the purpose of remonstrating 11against it. The orator Demosthenes, who happened to be named Archi-Theôrus of Athens (chief of the solemn legation sent to represent Athens) at this Olympic festival, incurred severe reproach from his accuser Deinarchus, for having even been seen in personal conversation with the Macedonian officer who had arrived from Asia as bearer of this odious rescript.24

24 See the description of this event in History of Greece, ch. xcv. p. 416.

There is reason for supposing that Hypereides also (as well as Deinarchus) inveighed against Demosthenes for having publicly sought the company of Nikanor at this Olympic festival. At least we know that Hypereides, in his oration against Demosthenes, made express allusion to Nikanor. See Harpokration v. Νικάνωρ.

The exordium prefixed to the Pseud-Aristotelian Rhetorica ad Alexandrum, announces that discourse to have been composed pursuant to the desire of Alexander; and notices especially one message transmitted by him to Aristotle through Nikanor (p. 1420 a. 6, 1421 a. 26-38, καθάπερ ἡμῖν ἐδήλωσε Νικάνωρ, &c.).

Now it happened that this officer, the bearer of the rescript, was Nikanor of Stageira;25 son of Proxenus who had been Aristotle’s early guardian, and himself the cherished friend or ward, ultimately the son-in-law, of the philosopher. We may be certain that Aristotle would gladly embrace the opportunity of seeing again this attached friend, returning after a long absence on service in Asia; that he would be present with him at the Olympic festival, perhaps receive a visit from him at Athens also. And the unpopularity of Aristotle at Athens, as identified with Macedonian imperial authority, would thus be aggravated by his notorious personal alliance with his fellow-citizen Nikanor, the bearer of that rescript in which such authority had been most odiously manifested.

25 Diodor. xviii. 8. διόπερ ὑπογύων ὄντων τῶν Ὀλυμπίων ἐξέπεμψεν (Alexander) εἰς τὴν Ἑλλάδα Νικάνορα τὸν Σταγειρίτην, δοὺς ἐπιστολὴν περὶ τῆς καθόδου.

Antipater, when re-distributing the satrapies of the Macedonian empire, after the death both of Alexander and of Perdikkas, appointed Nikanor prefect or satrap of Kappadokia (Arrian, Τὰ μετὰ Ἀλέξανδρον, apud Photium, cod. 92, s.37, Didot).

Ammonius, in the life of Aristotle, mentions Nikanor as son of Proxenus of Atarneus. Sextus Empiricus alludes to Nikanor as son-in-law of Aristotle (adv. Mathematicos, sect. 258. p. 271, Fabr.). See Ménage ad Diogen. Laert. v. 12. Robbe’s Life of Aristotle also (Leyden, 1861, p. 2) mentions Nikanor as son of Proxenus.

Nikanor was appointed afterwards (in 318 B.C., five years later than the death of Aristotle) by Kassander, son of Antipater, to be commander of the Macedonian garrison which occupied Munychia, as a controlling force over Athens (Diodor. xviii. 64). It will be seen in my History of Greece (ch. xcvi. p. 458) that Kassander was at that moment playing a difficult game, his father Antipater being just dead; that he could only get possession of Munychia by artifice, and that it was important for him to entrust the mission to an officer who already had connections at Athens; that Nikanor, as adopted son of Aristotle, possessed probably beforehand acquaintance with Phokion and the other macedonizing leaders at Athens; so that the ready way in which Phokion now fell into co-operation with him is the more easily explained.

Nikanor, however, was put to death by Kassander himself, some months afterwards.

During the twelve or thirteen years26 of Aristotle’s teaching 12and Alexander’s reign, Athens was administered by macedonizing citizens, with Phokion and Demades at their head. Under such circumstances, the enmity of those who hated the imperial philosopher could not pass into act; nor was it within the contemplation of any one, that only one year after that rescript which insulted the great Pan-Hellenic festival, the illustrious conqueror who issued it would die of fever, in the vigour of his age and at the height of his power (June, 323 B.C.). But as soon as the news of his decease, coming by surprise both on friends and enemies, became confirmed, the suppressed anti-Macedonian sentiment burst forth in powerful tide, not merely at Athens, but also throughout other parts of Greece. There resulted that struggle against Antipater, known as the Lamian war:27 a gallant struggle, at first promising well, but too soon put down by superior force, and ending in the occupation of Athens by Antipater with a Macedonian garrison in September, 322 B.C., as well as in the extinction of free speech and free citizenship by the suicide of Demosthenes and the execution of Hypereides.

26 There remain small fragments of an oration of Demades in defence of his administration, or political activity, for twelve years — ὑπὲρ τῆς δωδεκαετίας (Demad. Fragm. 179, 32). The twelve years of Demades, however, seem to be counted from the battle of Chæroneia in 338 B.C.; so that they end in B.C. 326. See Clinton, Fast. Hellen. B.C. 326.

27 For the account of the Lamian war, see History of Greece, ch. xcv. pp. 420-440. As to the anti-Macedonian sentiment prevalent at Athens, see Diodorus, xviii. 10.

During the year immediately succeeding the death of Alexander, the anti-Macedonian sentiment continued so vehemently preponderant at Athens, that several of the leading citizens, friends of Phokion, left the city to join Antipater, though Phokion himself remained, opposing ineffectually the movement. It was during this period that the enemies of Aristotle found a favourable opportunity for assailing him. An indictment on the score of impiety was preferred against him by Eurymedon the Hierophant (chief priest of the Eleusinian Demeter), aided by Demophilus, son of the historian Ephorus. The Hymn or Pæan (still existing), which Aristotle had composed in commemoration of the death, and in praise of the character, of the eunuch Hermeias,28 was arraigned as a mark of impiety; besides which Aristotle had erected at Delphi a statue of Hermeias with an honorific inscription, and was even alleged to have offered sacrifices to him as to a god. In the published writings of Aristotle, too, the accusers found various heretical doctrines, 13suitable for sustaining their indictment; as, for example, the declaration that prayer and sacrifices to the gods were of no avail.29 But there can be little doubt that the Hymn, Ode, or Pæan, in honour of Hermeias, would be more offensive to the feelings of an ordinary Athenian than any philosophical dogma extracted from the cautious prose compositions of Aristotle. It is a hymn, of noble thought and dignified measure, addressed to Virtue (Ἀρετὴ — masculine or military Virtue), in which are extolled the semi-divine or heroic persons who had fought, endured, and perished in her service. The name and exploits of Hermeias are here introduced as the closing parallel and example in a list beginning with Hêraklês, the Dioskûri, Achilles, and Ajax. Now the poet Kallistratus, in his memorable Skolion, offers a like compliment to Harmodius and Aristogeiton; and Pindar, to several free Greeks of noble family, who paid highly for his epinician Odes now remaining. But all the persons thus complimented were such as had gained prizes at the sacred festivals, or had distinguished themselves in other ways which the public were predisposed to honour; whereas Hermeias was a eunuch, who began by being a slave, and ended by becoming despot over a free Grecian community, without any exploit conspicuous to the eye. To many of the Athenian public it would seem insult, and even impiety, to couple Hermeias with the greatest personages of Hellenic mythology, as a successful competitor for heroic honours. We need only read the invective of Claudian against Eutropius, to appreciate the incredible bitterness of indignation and contempt, which was suggested by the spectacle of a eunuch and a slave exercising high public functions.30 And the character of a despot was, to the anti-macedonizing14 Athenians, hardly less odious than either of the others combined with it in Hermeias.

28 Diogen. L. v. 5; Athenæus, xv. 696. The name of Demophilus was mentioned by Favorinus as also subscribed to the indictment: this Demophilus was probably son of the historian Ephorus. See Val. Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus, p. 582. He took part afterwards in the indictment against Phokion. As an historian, he completed the narrative of the Sacred War, which his father Ephorus had left unfinished (Diodor. xvi. 14). The words of Athenæus, as far as I can understand them, seem to imply that he composed a speech for the Hierophant Eurymedon.

29 See the passages from Origen advers. Celsum, cited in Stahr’s Aristotelia, vol. i. p. 146.

Among the titles of the lost works of Aristotle (No. 14 in the Catalogue of Diogenes Laertius, No. 9 in that of the Anonymous; see Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus, pp. 12-18), one is Περὶ Εὐχῆς. From its position in the Catalogue, it seems plainly to have been a dialogue; and the dialogues were the most popular and best-known writings of Aristotle. Now we know from the Nikomach. Ethica (x. 8, 1178, b. 6-32) that Aristotle declared all constructive effort, and all action with a view to external ends, to be inconsistent with the Divine Nature, which was blest exclusively in theorizing and contemplation. If he advocated the same doctrine in the dialogue Περὶ Εὐχῆς, he must have contended that persons praying could have no additional chance of obtaining the benefits which they prayed for; and this would have placed him in conflict with the received opinions.

Respecting the dialogue Περὶ Εὐχῆς, see Bernays, Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, pp. 120-122; and Rose, Arist. Pseudepigr. pp. 67, 68.

30 “Omnia cesserunt, eunucho consule, monstra:” this is among the bitter lines of Claudian, too numerous to cite; but they well deserve to be read in the original. Compare also, about the ancient sentiment towards eunuchs, Herodotus, viii. 106; Xenophon, Cyropæd. viii. 3. 15.

Apellikon thought it worth while to compose a special treatise, for the purpose of vindicating Aristotle from the aspersions circulated in regard to his relations with Hermeias. Aristokles speaks of the vindication as successful (ap. Euseb. P. E. xv. 2).

Taking these particulars into account, we shall see that a charge thus sustained, when preferred by a venerable priest, during the prevalence of strong anti-Macedonian feeling, against a notorious friend of Antipater and Nikanor, was quite sufficient to alarm the prudence of the accused. Aristotle bowed to the storm (if indeed he had not already left Athens, along with other philo-Macedonians) and retired to Chalkis (in Eubœa),31 then under garrison by Antipater. An accused person at Athens had always the option of leaving the city, at any time before the day of trial; Sokrates might have retired, and obtained personal security in the same manner, if he had chosen to do so. Aristotle must have been served, of course, with due notice: and according to Athenian custom, the indictment would be brought into court in his absence, as if he had been present; various accusers, among them Demochares,32 the nephew of Demosthenes, would probably speak in support of it; and Aristotle must been found guilty in his absence. But there is no ground for believing that he intended to abandon Athens, and live at Chalkis, permanently; the rather, inasmuch as he seems to 15have left not only his school, but his library, at Athens under the charge of Theophrastus. Aristotle knew that the Macedonian chiefs would not forego supremacy over Greece without a struggle; and, being in personal correspondence with Antipater himself, he would receive direct assurance of this resolution, if assurance were needed. In a question of military force, Aristotle probably felt satisfied that Macedonian arms must prevail; after which the affairs of Athens would be again administered, at least in the same spirit, as they had been before Alexander’s death, if not with more complete servility. He would then have returned thither to resume his school, in competition with that of Plato under Xenokrates at the Academy; for he must have been well aware that the reputation of Athens, as central hearth of Hellenic letters and philosophy, could not be transferred to Chalkis or to any other city.33

31 That Chalkis was among the Grecian towns then occupied by a Macedonian garrison is the statement of Brandis (Entwickelungen der Griechischen Philosophie, i. p. 391, 1862). Though I find no direct authority for this statement, I adopt it as probable in the highest degree.

32 Aristokles (ap. Eusebium Præp. Ev. xv. 2) takes notice of the allegations of Demochares against Aristotle: That letters of Aristotle had been detected or captured (ἁλῶναι), giving information injurious to Athens: That Aristotle had betrayed Stageira to Philip: That when Philip, after the capture of Olynthus, was selling into slavery the Olynthian prisoners, Aristotle was present at the auction (ἐπὶ τοῦ λαφυροπωλείου), and pointed out to him which among the prisoners were men of the largest property.

We do not know upon what foundation of fact (if upon any) these allegations were advanced by a contemporary orator. But they are curious, as illustrating the view taken of Aristotle by his enemies. They must have been delivered as parts of one of the accusatory speeches on Aristotle’s trial par contumace: for this was the earliest occasion on which Aristotle’s enemies had the opportunity of publicly proclaiming their antipathy against him, and they would hardly omit to avail themselves of it. The Hierophant, the principal accuser, would be supported by other speakers following him; just as Melêtus, the accuser of Sokrates, was supported by Anytus and Lykon. The ἱστορίαι of Demochares were not composed until seventeen years after this epoch — certainly not earlier than 306 B.C. — sixteen years after the death of Aristotle, when his character was not prominently before the public. Nevertheless Demochares may possibly have included these accusatory allegations against the philosopher in his ἱστορίαι, as well as in his published speech. His invectives against Antipater, and the friends of Antipater, were numerous and bitter:— Polybius. xii. 13, 9; Cicero, Brutus, 83; compare Democharis Fragmenta, in Didot’s Fragm. Historicorum Græcorum, vol. ii. p. 448. Philôn, who indicted Sophokles (under the γραφὴ παρανόμων) for the law which the latter had proposed in 306 B.C. against the philosophers at Athens, had been a friend of Aristotle, Ἀριστοτέλους γνώριμος. Athenæus, xiii. 610.

33 We may apply here the same remark that Dionysius makes about Deinarchus as a speech-maker; when Deinarchus retired to Chalkis, no one would send to Chalkis for a speech: Οὐ γὰρ εἰς Χαλκίδα ἄν τινες ἔπλεον λόγων χάριν, ἢ ἰδίων, ἢ δημοσίων· οὐ γὰρ τέλεον ἠπόρουν οὕτω λόγων. Dionys. Halic. Dinar. p. 639.

This is what would probably have occurred, when the Lamian war was finished and the Macedonian garrison installed at Athens, in Sept. 322 B.C. — had Aristotle’s life lasted longer. But in or about that very period, a little before the death of Demosthenes, he died at Chalkis of illness; having for some time been troubled with indigestion and weakness of stomach.34 The assertion of Eumêlus and others that he took poison, appears a mere fiction suggested by the analogy of Sokrates.35 One of his latest compositions was a defence of himself against the charge of impiety, and against the allegations of his accusers (as reported to him, or published) in support of it. A sentence of this defence remains,36 wherein he points out the inconsistency 16of his accusers in affirming that he intended to honour Hermeias as an immortal, while he had notoriously erected a tomb, and had celebrated funeral ceremonies to him as a mortal. And in a letter to Antipater, he said (among other things) that Athens was a desirable residence, but that the prevalence of sycophancy or false accusation was a sad drawback to its value; moreover that he had retired to Chalkis, in order that the Athenians might not have the opportunity of sinning a second time against philosophy, as they had already done once, in the person of Sokrates.37 In the same or another letter to Antipater, he adverted to an honorific tribute which had been voted to him at Delphi before the death of Alexander, but the vote for which had been since rescinded. He intimated that this disappointment was not indifferent to him, yet at the same time no serious annoyance.38

34 Censorinus, De Die Natali — Ménage ad Diogen. Laert. v. 16.

35 Diogenes L. however (v. 8) gave credit to this story, as we may see by his Epigram.

36 Athenæus xv. p. 696, 697. Probably this reply of Aristotle (though Zeller, p. 33, declares it to be spurious, in my judgment very gratuitously), may have been suited to the words of the speech (not preserved to us) which it was intended to answer. But the reply does not meet what I conceive to have been the real feeling in the minds of those who originated the charge. The logical inconsistency which he points out did not appear an inconsistency to Greeks generally. Aristotle had rendered to the deceased Hermeias the same honours (though less magnificent in degree) as Alexander to the deceased Hephæstion, and the Amphipolitans to the deceased Brasidas (Thucyd. v. 11; Aristotel. Ethic. Nikom. v. 7. 1). In both these cases a tomb was erected to the deceased, implying mortality; and permanent sacrifices were offered to him, implying immortality: yet these two proceedings did not appear to involve any logical contradiction, in the eyes of the worshippers. That which offended the Athenians, really, in the case of Aristotle, was the worthlessness of Hermeias, to whom he rendered these prodigious honours — eunuch, slave, and despot; an assemblage of what they considered mean attributes. The solemn measure and character of a Pæan was disgraced by being applied to such a vile person.

37 Ammonius, Vit. Aristotelis, p. 48, in Buhle’s Aristot. vol. i.; Ménage ad Diog. Laert. v. 5, with the passage from Origen (adv. Celsum) there cited; Ælian, V. H. iii. 36.

We learn from Diogenes that Theophrastus was indicted for impiety by Agnonides; but such was the esteem in which Theophrastus was held, that the indictment utterly failed; and Agnonides was very near incurring the fine which every accuser had to pay, if he did not obtain one-fifth of the suffrages of the Dikasts (Diog. L. v. 37). Now Agnonides comes forward principally as the vehement accuser of Phokion four years after the death of Aristotle, during the few months of democratical reaction brought about by the edicts and interference of Polysperchon (318 B.C.) after the death of Antipater (History of Greece, ch. xcvi. p. 477). Agnonides must have felt himself encouraged by what had happened five years before with Aristotle, to think that he would succeed in a similar charge against Theophrastus. But Theophrastus was personally esteemed; he was not intimately allied with Antipater, or directly protected by him; moreover, he had composed no hymn to a person like Hermeias. Accordingly, the indictment recoiled upon the accuser himself.

38 Ælian, V. H. xiv. 1. Ἀριστοτέλης, ἐπεί τις αὐτοῦ ἀφείλετο τὰς ψηφισθείσας ἐν Δελφοῖς τιμάς, ἐπιστέλλων πρὸς Ἀντίπατρον περὶ τούτων, φησίν — Ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐν Δελφοῖς ψηφισθέντων μοι, καὶ ὧν ἀφῄρημαι νῦν, οὕτως ἔχω ὡς μήτε μοι σφόδρα μέλειν αὐτῶν, μήτε μοι μηδὲν μέλειν. The statue of Aristotle at Athens was before the eyes of Alexander of Aphrodisias about A.D. 200. See Zumpt, Scholarchen zu Athen, p. 74.

In regard to the person and habits of Aristotle, we are informed that he had thin legs and small eyes; that in speech he was somewhat lisping; that his attire was elegant and even showy; that his table was well-served — according to his enemies, luxurious above the measure of philosophy. His pleasing and persuasive manners are especially attested by Antipater, in a letter, apparently of marked sympathy and esteem, written shortly after the philosopher’s death.39 He was deeply attached to his 17wife Pythias, by whom he had a daughter who bore the same name. His wife having died after some years, he then re-married with a woman of Stageira, named Herpyllis, who bore him a son called Nikomachus. Herpyllis lived with him until his death; and the constant as well as reciprocal attachment between them is attested by his last will.40 At the time of his death, his daughter Pythias had not yet attained marriageable age; Nikomachus was probably a child.

39 Plutarch — Alkibiad. et Coriolan. Comp. c. 3; Aristeid. cum Caton. maj. Comp. c. 2. The accusation of luxury and dainty feeding was urged against him by his contemporary assailant Kephisodorus (Eusebius, Pr. Ev. xv. 2); according to some statements, by Plato also, Ælian, V. H. iii. 19. Contrast the epigram of the contemporary poet Theokritus of Chios, who censures Aristotle διὰ τὴν ἀκρατῆ γαστρὸς φύσιν, with the satirical drama of the poet Lykophron (ap. Athenæum, ii. p. 55), in which he derided the suppers of philosophers, for their coarse and unattractive food: compare the verses of Antiphanes, ap. Athenæ. iii. p. 98 F.; and Diog. L. vii. 27; Timæus ap. Athenæum, viii. 342. The lines of Antiphanes ap. Athenæ. iv. 1346, seem to apply to Aristotle, notwithstanding Meineke’s remarks, p. 59.

40 Diog. L. v. 1, 13; Aristokles ap. Euseb. Pr. Ev. xv. 2.

The will or testament of the philosopher is preserved.41 Its first words constitute Antipater his general executor in the most comprehensive terms,42 words well calculated to ensure that his directions should be really carried into effect; since not only was Antipater now the supreme potentate, but Nikanor, the chief beneficiary under the will, was in his service and dependent on his orders. Aristotle then proceeds to declare that Nikanor shall become his son-in-law, by marriage with his daughter Pythias as soon as she shall attain suitable age; also, his general heir, subject to certain particular bequests and directions, and the guardian of his infant son Nikomachus. Nikanor being at that time on service, and perhaps in Asia, Aristotle directs that four friends (named Aristomenes, Timarchus, Hipparchus, Diotelês) shall take provisional care of Herpyllis, his two children, and his effects, until Nikanor can appear and act: Theophrastus is to be conjoined with these four if he chooses, and if circumstances permit him.43 The daughter 18Pythias, when she attains suitable age, is to become the wife of Nikanor, who will take the best care both of her and her son Nikomachus, being in the joint relation of father and brother to them.44 If Pythias shall die, either before the marriage or after it, but without leaving offspring, Nikanor shall have discretion to make such arrangements as may be honourable both for himself and for the testator respecting Nikomachus and the estate generally. In case of the death of Nikanor himself, either before the marriage or without offspring, any directions given by him shall be observed; but Theophrastus shall be entitled, if he chooses, to become the husband of Pythias, and if Theophrastus does not choose, then the executors along with Antipater shall determine what they think best both for her and for Nikomachus.45 The will then proceeds as follows:— “The executors (here Antipater is not called in to co-operate) with Nikanor, in faithful memory of me and of the steady affection of Herpyllis towards me, shall take good care of her in every way, but especially if she desires to be married, in giving her away to one not unworthy of me. They shall assign to her, besides what she has already received, a talent of silver, and three female slaves chosen by herself, out of the property, together with the young girl and the Pyrrhæan slave now attached to her person. If she prefers to reside at Chalkis, she may occupy the lodging near the garden; if at Stageira, she may live at my paternal house. Whichever of the two she may prefer, the executors shall provide it with all such articles of furniture as they deem sufficient for her comfort and dignity.”46

41 Diog. L. v. 11. Ἔσται μεν εὖ· ἐὰν δέ τι συμβαίνῃ, τάδε διέθετο Ἀριστοτέλης· ἐπίτροπον μὲν εἶναι πάντων καὶ διὰ παντὸς Ἀντίπατρον, &c. The testament of Aristotle was known to Hermippus (Athenæus, xiii. p. 589) about a century later than Aristotle, and the most ancient known authority respecting the facts of his life. Stahr (Aristotelia, vol. i. 159) and Brandis (Arist. p. 62) suppose that what Diogenes gives is only an extract from the will; since nothing is said about the library, and Aristotle would not omit to direct what should be done with a library which he so much valued. But to this I reply, that there was no necessity for his making any provision about the library; he had left it at Athens along with his school, in the care of Theophrastus. He wished it to remain there, and probably considered it as an appendage to the school; and it naturally would remain there, if he said nothing about it in his testament. We must remember (as I have already intimated) that when Aristotle left Athens, he only contemplated being absent for a time; and intended to come back and resume his school, when Macedonian supremacy should be re-established.

42 Pausanias (vi. 4, 5) describes a statue of Aristotle which he saw at Olympia: the fact by which Aristotle was best known both to him and to the guides, seems to have been the friendship first of Alexander, next of Antipater.

43 Diog. L. v. 12. ἕως δ’ ἂν Νικάνωρ καταλάβῃ, ἐπιμελεῖσθαι Ἀριστομένην, Τίμαρχον, Ἵππαρχον, Διοτέλην, Θεόφραστον, ἐὰν βούληται καὶ ἐνδέχηται αὐτῷ, τῶν τε παιδίων καὶ Ἑρπυλλίδος καὶ τῶν καταλελειμμένων. The four persons here named were probably present at Chalkis, so that Aristotle could count upon them; but at the time when this will was made, Theophrastus was at Athens, conducting the Aristotelian school; and in the critical condition of Grecian politics, there was room for doubt how far he could securely or prudently act in this matter.

The words of Diogenes — ἕως δ’ ἂν Νικάνωρ καταλάβῃ — are rendered in the improved translation of the edition by Firmin Didot, “quoad vero Nicanor adolescat,” &c. I cannot think this a correct understanding, either of the words or of the fact. Nikanor was not a minor under age, but an officer on active service. The translation given by Ménage appears to me more true — “tantisper dum redux sit Nicanor:” (ad. D. L. v. 12.)

44 Diog. L. v. 12. ὡς καὶ πατὴρ ὢν καὶ ἀδελφός.

45 Diog. L. v. 13. In following the phraseology of this testament, we remark that when Aristotle makes allusion to these inauspicious possibilities — the death of Nikanor or of Pythias, he annexes to them a deprecatory phrase: ἐὰν δὲ τῇ παιδὶ συμβῇ — ὃ μὴ γένοιτο οὐδὲ ἔσται, &c.

46 Diog. L. v. 14. καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ἐν Χαλκίδι βούληται οἰκεῖν, τὸν ξενῶνα τὸν πρὸς τῷ κήπῳ· ἐὰν δὲ ἐν Σταγείροις, τὴν πατρῴαν οἰκίαν. The “lodging near the garden” may probably have been the residence occupied by Aristotle himself, during his temporary residence at Chalkis. The mention of his paternal house, which he still possessed at Stageira, seems to imply that Philip, when he destroyed that town, respected the house therein which had belonged to his father’s physician.

We find in the will of Theophrastus (Diog. L. v. 52) mention made of a property (χωρίον) at Stageira belonging to Theophrastus, which he bequeaths to Kallinus. Probably this is the same property which had once belonged to Aristotle; for I do not see how else Theophrastus (who was a native of Eresus in Lesbos) could have become possessed of property at Stageira.

19Aristotle proceeds to direct that Nikanor shall make comfortable provision for several persons mentioned by name, male and female, most of them slaves, but one (Myrmex), seemingly, a free boarder or pupil, whose property he had undertaken to manage. Two or three of these slaves are ordered to be liberated, and to receive presents, as soon as his daughter Pythias shall be married. He strictly enjoins that not one of the youthful slaves who attended him shall be sold. They are to be brought up and kept in employment; when of mature age, they are to be liberated according as they shew themselves worthy.47

47 Diog. L. v. 15. μὴ πωλεῖν δὲ τῶν παίδων μηδένα τῶν ἐμὲ θεραπευόντων, ἀλλὰ χρῆσθαι αὐτοῖς· ὅταν δ’ ἐν ἡλικίᾳ γένωνται, ἐλευθέρους ἀφεῖναι κατ’ ἀξίαν.

Aristotle had in his lifetime ordered, from a sculptor named Gryllion, busts of Nikanor and of the mother of Nikanor; he intended farther to order from the same sculptor a bust of Proxenus, Nikanor’s father. Nikanor is instructed by the will to complete these orders, and to dedicate the busts properly when brought in. A bust of the mother of Aristotle is to be dedicated to Demeter at Nemea, or in any other place which Nikanor may prefer; another bust of Arimnêstus (brother of Aristotle) is to be dedicated as a memento of the same, since he has died childless.48

48 Diog. L. v. 15.

During some past danger of Nikanor (we do not know what) Aristotle had made a vow of four marble animal figures, in case the danger were averted, to Zeus the Preserver and Athênê the Preserver. Nikanor is directed to fulfil this vow and to dedicate the figures in Stageira.49

49 Diog. L. v. 16. ἀναθεῖναι δὲ καὶ Νικάνορα σωθέντα, ἣν εὐχὴν ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ ηὐξάμην, ζῷα λίθινα τετραπήχη Διῒ Σώτηρι καὶ Ἀθήνᾳ Σωτείρᾳ ἐν Σταγείροις.

Here is a vow, made by Aristotle to the gods under some unknown previous emergency, which he orders his executor to fulfil. I presume that the last words of direction given by Sokrates before his death to Kriton were of the same nature: “We owe a cock to Æsculapius: pay the debt, and do not fail.” (See my preceding work, Plato and the other Companions of Sokrates, vol. ii. ch. 23, p. 195.)

Lastly, wherever Aristotle is buried, the bones of his deceased wife Pythias are to be collected and brought to the same spot, as she had commanded during her lifetime.50

50 Diog. L. v. 16.

This testament is interesting, as it illustrates the personal circumstances and sentiments of the philosopher, evincing an affectionate forethought and solicitude for those who were in domestic relations with him. As far as we can judge, the establishment and property which he left must have been an ample one.51 How the provisions of the will were executed, 20or what became of most persons named in it, we do not know, except that Pythias the daughter of Aristotle was married three times: first, to Nikanor (according to the will); secondly, to Proklês, descendant of Demaratus (the king of Sparta formerly banished to Asia) by whom she had two sons, Proklês and Demaratus, afterwards pupils in the school of Theophrastus; thirdly, to a physician named Metrodôrus, by whom she had a son named Aristotle.52

51 The elder Pliny (H. N. xxxv. 12, 46; compare also Diogen. L. v. 1, 16) mentions that in the sale of Aristotle’s effects by his heirs there were included seventy dishes or pans (patinas, earthenware). Pliny considered this as a mark of luxurious living; since (according to Fenestella) “tripatinium appellabatur summam cœnarum lautitia.”

52 Sextus Empiric. adv. Mathematicos, i. p. 271 F. sect. 258. About the banishment, or rather voluntary exile, of Demaratus to Asia, in the reign of Darius I. king of Persia, see Herodot. vi. 70. Some towns and lands were assigned to him in Æolis, where Xenophon found his descendant Prokles settled, after the conclusion of the Cyreian expedition (Xen. Anab. vii. 8, 17).

Respecting this younger Aristotle — son of Metrodorus and grandson of the great philosopher — mention is made in the testament of Theophrastus, and directions are given for promoting his improvement in philosophy (Diog. La. v. 53). Nikomachus was brought up chiefly by Theophrastus, but perished young in battle (Aristokles ap. Euseb. Præp. Ev. xv. 2).

There existed in antiquity several works, partly by contemporaries like the Megaric Eubulides, partly by subsequent Platonists, in which Aristotle was reproached with ingratitude to Plato,53 servility to the Macedonian power, love of costly display and indulgences, &c. What proportion of truth may lie at the bottom of these charges we do not know enough to determine confidently; but we know that he had many enemies, philosophical as well as political;54 and controversy on those grounds (then as now) was rarely kept free from personal slander and invective.

53 Euseb. Præp. Ev. xv. 2; Diog. La. ii. 109.

54 The remarkable passage of Themistius (Orat. xxiii. p. 346) attests the number and vehemence of these opponents. Κηφισοδῶρους τε καὶ Εὐβουλίδας καὶ Τιμαίους καὶ Δικαιάρχους, καὶ στράτον ὅλον τῶν ἐπιθεμένων Ἀριστοτέλει τῷ Σταγειρίτῃ, πότ’ ἂν καταλέξαιμι εὐπετῶς, ὧν καὶ λόγοι ἐξικνοῦνται εἰς τόνδε τὸν χρόνον, διατηροῦντες τὴν ἀπέχθειαν καὶ φιλονεικίαν;

The accusation of ingratitude or unbecoming behaviour to Plato is no way proved by any evidence now remaining. It seems to have been suggested to the Platonists mainly, if not wholly, by the direct rivalry of Aristotle in setting up a second philosophical school at Athens, alongside of the Academy; by his independent, self-working, philosophical speculation; and by the often-repeated opposition which he made to some capital doctrines of Plato, especially to the so-called Platonic Ideas.55 21Such opposition was indeed expressed, as far as we can judge, in terms of respectful courtesy, and sometimes even of affectionate regret; examples of which we shall have to notice in going through the Aristotelian writings. Yet some Platonists seem to have thought that direct attack on the master’s doctrines was undutiful and ungrateful in the pupil, however unexceptionable the language might be. They also thought, probably, that the critic misrepresented what he sought to refute. Whether Aristotle really believed that he had superior claims to be made Scholarch of the Platonic school at the death of Plato in 347 B.C., or at the death of Speusippus in 339 B.C., is a point which we can neither affirm nor deny. But we can easily understand that the act of setting up a new philosophical school at Athens, though perfectly fair and admissible on his part, was a hostile competition sure both to damage and offend the pre-established school, and likely enough to be resented with unbecoming asperity. Ingratitude towards the great common master Plato, with arrogant claims of superiority over fellow-pupils, were the allegations which this resentment would suggest, and which many Platonists in the Academy would not scruple to advance against their macedonizing rival at the Lykeium.

55 This is what lies at the bottom of the charges advanced by Eubulides, probably derived from the Platonists, καὶ Εὐβουλίδης προδήλως ἐν τῷ κατ’ αὐτοῦ βιβλίῳ ψεύδεται, φάσκων, τελευτῶντι Πλάτωνι μὴ παραγενέσφαι, τά τε βίβλια αὐτοῦ διαφθεῖραι (Aristokles ap. Euseb. Præp. Ev. xv. 2). There can be no possible basis for this last charge — destroying or corrupting the books of Plato — except that Aristotle had sharply criticized them, and was supposed to have mis-stated or unfairly discredited them.

The frequently recurring protest of Aristotle against the Platonic doctrine of Ideas may be read now in the Analytica, Topica, Metaphysica, and Ethica Nikomachea, but was introduced even in the lost Dialogues. See Plutarch adv. Kolôten, c. 14; and Proklus adv. Joann. Philoponum ap. Bernays, Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, not. 22, p. 151.

Such allegations moreover would find easy credence from other men of letters, whose enmity Aristotle had incurred, and to a certain extent even provoked — Isokrates and his numerous disciples.

This celebrated rhetor was an elderly man at the zenith of his glory and influence, during those earlier years which Aristotle passed at Athens before the decease of Plato. The Isokratean school was then the first in Greece, frequented by the most promising pupils from cities near and far, perhaps even by Aristotle himself. The political views and handling, as well as the rhetorical style of which the master set the example, found many imitators. Illustrious statesmen, speakers, and writers traced their improvement to this teaching. So many of the pupils, indeed, acquired celebrity — among them Theodektês, Theopompus, Ephorus, Naukrates, Philiskus, Kephisodôrus, and others — that Hermippus56 thought it worth his while to draw up a catalogue of them: many must have been persons of opulent family, highly valuing the benefit received from Isokrates,22 since each of them was required to pay to him a fee of 1000 drachmæ.57 During the first sojourn of Aristotle in Athens (362-347 B.C.), while he was still attached to and receiving instruction from Plato, he appears to have devoted himself more to rhetoric than to philosophy, and even to have given public lessons or lectures on rhetoric. He thus entered into rivalry with Isokrates, for whom, as a teacher and author, he contracted dislike or contempt.

56 Athenæus x. p. 451; Dionys. Hal., De Isæo Judic. pp. 588, 625. οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁ τοὺς Ἰσοκράτους μαθητὰς ἀναγράφας Ἕρμιππος, ἀκριβὴς ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις γενόμενος, ὑπὲρ τοῦδε τοῦ ῥήτορος οὐδὲν εἴρηκεν, ἔξω δυοῖν τούτοιν, ὅτι διήκουσε μὲν Ἰσοκράτους, καθηγήσατο δὲ Δημοσθένους, συνεγένετο δὲ τοῖς ἀρίστοις τῶν φιλοσόφων. See Hermippi Fragmenta ed. Lozinski, Bonn, 1832, pp. 42-43.

Cicero, De Oratore, ii. 22, 94. “Ecce tibi exortus est Isocrates, magister istorum omnium, cujus è ludo, tanquam ex equo Trojano, meri principes exierunt: sed eorum partim in pompâ, partim in acie, illustres esse voluerunt. Atqui et illi — Theopompi, Ephori, Philiski, Naucratæ, multique alii — ingeniis differunt,” &c. Compare also Cicero, Brutus, 8, 32; and Dionys. Hal., De Isocrate Judicium, p. 536. ἐπιφανέστατος δὲ γενόμενος τῶν κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν ἀκμασάντων χρόνον, καὶ τοὺς κρατίστους τῶν ἐν Ἀθήνῃσί τε καὶ ἐν τῇ ἄλλῃ Ἑλλάδι νέων παιδεύσας· ὧν οἱ μὲν ἐν τοῖς δικανικοῖς ἐγένοντο ἄριστοι λόγοις, οἱ δ’ ἐν τῷ πολιτεύεσθαι καὶ τὰ κοινὰ πράττειν διήνεγκαν, καὶ ἄλλοι δὲ τὰς κοινὰς τῶν ἑλλήνων τε καὶ βαρβάρων πράξεις ἀνέγραψαν, &c.

57 See Demosthenes, adv. Lakritum, pp. 928, 938. Lakritus was a citizen of Phasêlis — μέγα πρᾶγμα, Ἰσοκράτους μαθητής. To have gone through a course of teaching from Isokrates, was evidently considered as a distinction of some importance.

The composition of Isokrates was extremely elegant: his structure of sentences was elaborate even to excess, his arrangement of words rhythmical, his phrases nicely balanced in antithetical equipoise, like those of his master Gorgias; the recital of his discourses proved highly captivating to the ear.58 Moreover, he had composed a book of rhetorical precepts known and esteemed by Cicero and Quintilian. Besides such technical excellence, Isokrates strove to attain, and to a certain extent actually attained, a higher order of merit. He familiarized his pupils with thoughts and arguments of lofty bearing and comprehensive interest; not assisting them to gain victory either 23in any real issue tried before the Dikasts, or in any express motion about to be voted on by the public assembly, but predisposing their minds to prize above all things the great Pan-hellenic aggregate — its independence in regard to external force, and internal harmony among its constituent cities, with a reasonable recognition of presidential authority, equitably divided between Athens and Sparta, and exercised with moderation by both. He inculcated sober habits and deference to legal authority on the part of the democrats of Athens; he impressed upon princes, like Philip and Nikokles, the importance of just and mild bearing towards subjects.59 Such is the general strain of the discourses which we now possess from Isokrates; though he appears to have adopted it only in middle life, having begun at first in the more usual track of the logographer — composing speeches to be delivered before the Dikastery by actual plaintiffs or defendants,60 and acquiring thus both reputation and profit. His reputation as a teacher was not only maintained but even increased when he altered his style; and he made himself peculiarly attractive to foreign pupils who desired to acquire a command of graceful expressions, without special reference to the Athenian Assembly and Dikastery. But his new style being midway between Demosthenes and Plato — between the practical advocate and politician on one side, and the generalizing or speculative philosopher on the other — he incurred as a semi-philosopher, professing to have discovered the juste milieu, more or less of disparagement from both extremes;61 and 24Aristotle, while yet a young man in the Platonic school, raised an ardent controversy against his works, on the ground both of composition and teaching. Though the whole controversy is now lost, there is good ground for believing that Aristotle must have displayed no small acrimony. He appears to have impugned the Isokratean discourses, partly as containing improper dogmas, partly as specimens of mere unimpressive elegance, intended for show, pomp, and immediate admiration from the hearer — ad implendas aures — but destitute both of comprehensive theory and of applicability to any useful purpose.62 Kephisodôrus, an intimate friend and pupil of Isokrates, defended him in an express reply, attacking both Aristotle the scholar and Plato the master. This reply was in four books, and 25Dionysius characterizes it by an epithet of the highest praise.63

58 Dionysius, while admiring Isocrates, complains of him, and complains still more of his imitators, as somewhat monotonous, wanting in flexibility and variety (De Compos. Verborum, p. 134). Yet he pronounces Isokrates and Lysias to be more natural, shewing less of craft and art than Isæus and Demosthenes (De Isæo Judicium, p. 592). Isokrates τὸν ὄγκον τῆς ποιητικῆς κατασκευῆς ἐπὶ λόγους ἤγαγε φιλοσόφους, ζηλώσας τοὺς περὶ Γοργίαν. (Dionys. Hal. ad Pompeium de Platone, p. 764; also De Isæo Judicium, p. 592; besides the special chapter, p. 534, seq., which he has devoted to Isokrates.)

Cicero, De Oratore, iii. 44, 173: “Idque princeps Isocrates instituisse fertur, ut inconditam antiquorum dicendi consuetudinem delectationis atque aurium causâ, quemadmodum scribit discipulus ejus Naucrates, numeris adstringeret.” Compare Cicero, Orator. 52, 175, 176.

The reference to Naucrates (whose works have not been preserved, though Dionysius commends his Λόγος Ἐπιτάφιος, Ars. Rhet. p. 259) is interesting, as it shews what was said of Isokrates by his own disciples. Cicero says of the doctrines in his own dialogue De Oratore (Epist. ad Famil. i. 9, 23), “Abhorrent a communibus præceptis, et omnem antiquorum, et Aristoteleam et Isocrateam, rationem oratoriam complectuntur.” About the Τέχνη of Isokrates, see Spengel, Συναγωγὴ Τεχνῶν (Munich), pp. 155-170.

59 Dionysius Hal. dwells emphatically on the lofty morality inculcated in the discourses of Isokrates, and recommends them as most improving study to all politicians (De Isocrate Judic. pp. 536, 544, 555, seq.) — more improving than the writers purely theoretical, among whom he probably numbered Plato and Aristotle.

60 Dionysius Hal. De Isocrate Judicium, pp. 576, 577, Reiske: δέσμας πάνυ πολλὰς δικανικῶν λόγων Ἰσοκρατείων περιφέρεσθαί φησιν ὑπὸ τῶν βιβλιοπωλῶν Ἀριστοτέλης. It appears that Aphareus, the adopted son of Isokrates, denied that Isokrates had ever written any judicial orations; while Kephisodôrus, the disciple of Isokrates, in his reply to Aristotle’s accusations, admitted that Isokrates had composed a few, but only a few. Dionysius accepts the allegation of Kephisodôrus and discredits that of Aristotle: I, for my part, believe the allegation of Aristotle, upon a matter of fact which he had the means of knowing. Cicero also affirms (Brutus, xii. 46-48), on the authority of Aristotle, that Isokrates distinguished himself at first as a composer of speeches intended to be delivered by actual pleaders in the Dikastery or Ekklesia; and that he afterwards altered his style. And this is what Aristotle says (respecting Isokrates) in Rhetoric. i. 9, 1368, a. 20, ὅπερ Ἰσοκράτης ἐποίει διὰ τὴν συνήθειαν τοῦ δικολογεῖν, where Bekker has altered the substantive to τὴν ἀσυνήθειαν; in my judgment, not wisely. I do not perceive the meaning or pertinence of ἀσυνήθειαν in that sentence.

61 See Plato, Euthydemus, p. 305; also ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ vol. i. ch. xix. pp. 557-563.

It is exactly this juste milieu which Dionysius Hal. extols as the most worthy of being followed, as being ἡ ἀληθινὴ φιλοσοφία. De Isocrate Jud. pp. 543, 558.

62 Cicero, De Oratore, iii. 35, 141. “Itaque ipse Aristoteles quum florere Isocratem nobilitate discipulorum videret, quod ipse suas disputationes a causis forensibus et civilibus ad inanem sermonis elegantiam transtulisset, mutavit repente totam formam prope disciplinæ suæ, versumque quendam Philoctetæ paulo secus dixit. Ille enim ‘turpe sibi ait esse tacere, quum barbaros’ — hic autem, ‘quum Isocratem’ — ‘pateretur dicere’” See Quintilian, Inst. Or. iv. 2, 196; and Cicero, Orator. 19, 62: “Aristoteles Isocratem ipsum lacessivit.” Also, ib. 51, 172: “Omitto Isocratem discipulosque ejus Ephorum et Naucratem; quanquam orationis faciendæ et ornandæ auctores locupletissimi summi ipsi oratores esse debebant. Sed quis omnium doctior, quis acutior, quis in rebus vel inveniendis vel judicandis acrior Aristotele fuit? Quis porro Isocrati adversatus est infensius?” That Aristotle was the first to assail Isokrates, and that Kephisodôrus wrote only in reply, is expressly stated by Numenius, ap. Euseb. Pr. Ev. xiv. 6: ὁ Κηφισόδωρος, ἐπειδὴ ὑπ’ Ἀριστοτέλους βαλλόμενον ἑαυτῷ τὸν διδάσκαλον Ἰσοκράτην ἑώρα, &c. Quintilian also says, Inst. Or. iii. 1, p. 126: “Nam et Isocratis præstantissimi discipuli fuerunt in omni studiorum genere; eoque jam seniore (octavum enim et nonagesimum implevit annum) pomeridianis scholis Aristoteles præcipere artem oratoriam cœpit; noto quidem illo (ut traditur) versu ex Philoctetâ frequenter usus: Αἰσχρὸν σιωπᾷν μέν, καὶ Ἰσοκράτην ἐᾷν λέγειν.”

Diogenes La. (v. 3) maintains that Aristotle turned the parody not against Isokrates, but against Xenokrates: Αἰσχρὸν σιωπᾷν, Ξενοκράτην δ’ ἐᾷν λέγειν. But the authority of Cicero and Quintilian is decidedly preferable. When we recollect that the parody was employed by a young man, as yet little known, against a teacher advanced in age, and greatly frequented as well as admired by pupils, it will appear sufficiently offensive. Moreover, it does not seem at all pertinent; for the defects of Isokrates, however great they may have been, were not those of analogy with βάρβαροι, but the direct reverse. Dionysius must have been forcibly struck with the bitter animus displayed by Aristotle against Isokrates, when he makes it a reason for rejecting the explicit averment of Aristotle as to a matter of fact: καὶ οὔτ’ Ἀριστοτέλει πείθομαι ῥυπαίνειν τὸν ἄνδρα βουλομένῳ (De Isocr. Jud. p. 577).

Mr. Cope, in his Introduction to Aristotle’s Rhetoric (p. 39, seq.), gives a just representation of the probable relations between Aristotle and Isokrates; though I do not concur in the unfavourable opinion which he expresses about “the malignant influence exercised by Isokrates upon education in general” (p. 40). Mr. Cope at the same time remarks, that “Aristotle in the Rhetorica draws a greater number of illustrations of excellences of style from Isokrates than from any other author” (p. 41); and he adds, very truly, that the absence of any evidence of ill feeling towards Isokrates in Aristotle’s later work, and the existence of such ill feeling as an actual fact at an earlier period, are perfectly reconcileable in themselves (p. 42).

That the Rhetorica of Aristotle which we now possess is a work of his later age, certainly published, perhaps composed, during his second residence at Athens, I hold with Mr. Cope and other antecedent critics.

63 Athenæus, ii. 60, iii. 122; Euseb. Pr. E. xiv. 6; Dionys. H. de Isocrate Judic. p. 577: ἱκανὸν ἡγησάμενος εἶναι τῆς ἀληθείας βεβαιωτὴν τὸν Ἀθηναῖον Κηφισόδωρον, ὃς καὶ συνεβίωσεν Ἰσοκράτει, καὶ γνησιώτατος ἀκουστὴς ἐγένετο, καὶ τὴν ἀπολογίαν τὴν πάνυ θαυμαστὴν ἐν ταῖς πρὸς Ἀριστοτέλη ἀντιγραφαῖς ἐποιήσατο, &c. Kephisodôrus, in this defence, contended that you might pick out, even from the very best poets and sophists, ἓν ἢ δύο πονηρῶς εἰρημένα. This implies that Aristotle, in attacking Isokrates, had cited various extracts which he denounced as exceptionable.

These polemics of Aristotle were begun during his first residence at Athens, prior to 347 B.C., the year of Plato’s decease, and at the time when he was still accounted a member of the Platonic school. They exemplify the rivalry between that school and the Isokratean, which were then the two competing places of education at Athens: and we learn that Aristotle, at that time only a half-fledged Platonist, opened on his own account not a new philosophical school in competition with Plato, as some state, but a new rhetorical school in opposition to Isokrates.64 But the case was different at the latter epoch, 335 B.C., when Aristotle came to reside at Athens for the second time. Isokrates was then dead, leaving no successor, so that his rhetorical school expired with him. Aristotle preferred philosophy to rhetoric: he was no longer trammelled by the living presence and authority of Plato. The Platonic school at the Academy stood at that time alone, under Xenokrates, who, though an earnest and dignified philosopher, was deficient in grace and in persuasiveness, and had been criticized for this defect even by Plato himself. Aristotle possessed those gifts in large measure, as we know from the testimony of Antipater. By these circumstances, coupled with his own established reputation and well-grounded self-esteem, he was encouraged to commence a new philosophical school; a school, in which philosophy formed the express subject of the morning lecture, while rhetoric was included as one among the subjects of more varied and popular instruction given in the afternoon.65 During the twelve ensuing years, Aristotle’s rivalry was mainly against 26the Platonists or Xenokrateans at the Academy; embittered on both sides by acrimonious feelings, which these expressed by complaining of his ingratitude and unfairness towards the common master, Plato.

64 That Aristotle had a school at Athens before the death of Plato we may see by what Strabo (xiii. 610) says about Hermeias: γενόμενος δ’ Ἀθήνῃσιν ἠκροάσατο καὶ Πλάτωνος καὶ Ἀριστοτέλους. Compare Cicero, Orator. 46; also Michelet, Essai sur la Métaphys. d’Aristote, p. 227. The statement that Aristotle during Plato’s lifetime tried to set up a rival school against him, is repeated by all the biographers, who do not however believe it to be true, though they cite Aristoxenus as its warrant. I conceive that they have mistaken what Aristoxenus said; and that they have confounded the school which Aristotle first set up as a rhetor, against Isokrates, with that which he afterwards set up as a philosopher, against Xenokrates.

65 Aulus Gellius, N. A. xx. 5. Quintilian (see note on p. 24) puts the rhetorical “pomeridianæ scholæ” within the lifetime of Isokrates; but Aristotle did not then lecture on philosophy in the morning.

There were thus, at Athens, three distinct parties inspired with unfriendly sentiment towards Aristotle: first, the Isokrateans; afterwards, the Platonists; along with both, the anti-Macedonian politicians. Hence we can account for what Themistius entitles the “army of assailants” (στράτον ὅλον) that fastened upon him, for the unfavourable colouring with which his domestic circumstances are presented, and for the necessity under which he lay of Macedonian protection; so that when such protection was nullified, giving place to a reactionary fervour, his residence at Athens became both disagreeable and insecure.








In the fourth and fifth chapters of my work on ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ I investigated the question of the Platonic Canon, and attempted to determine, upon the best grounds open to us, the question, What are the real works of Plato? I now propose to discuss the like question respecting Aristotle.

But the premisses for such a discussion are much less simple in regard to Aristotle than in regard to Plato. As far as the testimony of antiquity goes, we learn that the Canon of Thrasyllus, dating at least from the time of the Byzantine Aristophanes, and probably from an earlier time, was believed by all readers to contain the authentic works of Plato and none others; an assemblage of dialogues, some unfinished, but each undivided and unbroken. The only exception to unanimity in regard to the Platonic Canon, applies to ten dialogues, which were received by some (we do not know by how many, or by whom) as Platonic, but which, as Diogenes informs us, were rejected by agreement of the most known and competent critics. This is as near to unanimity as can be expected. The doubts, now so multiplied, respecting the authenticity of various dialogues included in the Canon of Thrasyllus, have all originated with modern scholars since the beginning of the present century, or at least since the earlier compositions of Wyttenbach. It was my task to appreciate the value of those doubts; and, in declining to be guided by them, I was at least able to consider myself as adhering to the views of all known ancient critics.

Very different is the case when we attempt to frame an Aristotelian Canon, comprising all the works of Aristotle and none others. We find the problem far more complicated, and the matters of evidence at once more defective, more uncertain, and more contradictory.

The different works now remaining, and published in the Berlin edition of Aristotle, are forty-six in number. But, among these, several were disallowed or suspected even by some ancient 28critics, while modern critics have extended the like judgment yet farther. Of several others again, the component sections (either the books, in our present phraseology, or portions thereof) appear to have existed once as detached rolls, to have become disjointed or even to have parted company, and to have been re-arranged or put together into aggregates, according to the judgment of critics and librarians. Examples of such doubtful aggregates, or doubtful arrangements, will appear when we review the separate Aristotelian compositions (the Metaphysica, Politica, &c.). It is, however, by one or more of these forty-six titles that Aristotle is known to modern students, and was known to mediæval students.

But the case was very different with ancient literati, such as Eratosthenes, Polybius, Cicero, Strabo, Plutarch, &c., down to the time of Alexander of Aphrodisias, Athenæus, Diogenes Laertius, &c., towards the close of the second century after the Christian era. It is certain that these ancients perused many works of Aristotle, or generally recognized as his, which we do not now possess; and among those which we do now possess, there are many which it is not certain that they perused, or even knew.

Diogenes Laertius, after affirming generally that Aristotle had composed a prodigious number of books (πάμπλειστα βίβλια), proceeds to say, that, in consequence of the excellence of the author in every variety of composition, he thinks it proper to indicate them briefly.1 He then enumerates one hundred and forty-six distinct titles of works, with the number of books or sections contained in each work. The subjects are exceedingly heterogeneous, and the form of composition likewise very different; those which come first in the list being Dialogues,2 while those which come last are Epistles, Hexameters, and Elegies. At the close of the list we read: “All of them together are 445,270 lines, and this is the number of books (works) composed by Aristotle.”3 A little farther on, Diogenes adds, as an evidence 29of the extraordinary diligence and inventive force of Aristotle, that the books (works) enumerated in the preceding list were nearly four hundred in number, and that these were not contested by any one; but that there were many other writings, and dicta besides, ascribed to Aristotle — ascribed (we must understand him to mean) erroneously, or at least so as to leave much doubt.4

1 Diog. La. v. 21. Συνέγραψε δὲ πάμπλειστα βίβλια, ἅπερ ἀκόλουθον ἡγησάμην ὑπογράψαι, διὰ τὴν περὶ πάντας λόγους τἀνδρὸς ἀρετήν.

2 Bernays has pointed out (in his valuable treatise, Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, p. 133) that the first in order, nineteen in number, among the titles enumerated by Diogenes, designate Dialogues. The longest of them, those which included more than one book or section, are enumerated first of all. Some of the dialogues appear to have coincided, either in title or in subject, with some of the Platonic:— Περὶ Δικαιοσύνης, in four books (comparable with Plato’s Republic); Πολιτικοῦ, in two books; Σοφιστὴς, Μενέξενος, Συμπόσιον, each in one book; all similar in title to works of Plato; perhaps also another, Περὶ ῥητορικῆς ἢ Γρύλλος, the analogue of Plato’s Gorgias.

3 Diog. La. v. 27. γίγνονται αἱ πᾶσαι μυριάδες στίχων τέτταρες καὶ τετταράκοντα πρὸς τοῖς πεντακισχιλίοις καὶ διακοσίοις ἑβδομήκοντα. Καὶ τοσαῦτα μὲν αὐτῷ πεπραγμάτευται βίβλια.

4 Diog. La. v. 34. Heitz (Die Verlorenen Schriften des Aristoteles, p. 17) notices, as a fact invalidating the trustworthiness of the catalogue given by Diogenes, that Diogenes, in other places, alludes to Aristotelian compositions which are not mentioned in his own catalogue. For example, though Diogenes, in the catalogue, allows only five books to the Ethica, yet he himself alludes (v. 21) to the seventh book of the Ethica. But this example can hardly be relied upon, because ἐν τῷ ἑβδόμῳ τῶν ἠθικῶν is only a conjecture of H. Stephens or Ménage. The only case which Heitz really finds to sustain his remark, is the passage of the Proœmium (i. 8), where Diogenes cites Aristotle ἐν τῷ Μαγικῷ, that work not being named in his catalogue. But there is another case (not noticed by Heitz) which appears to me still stronger. Diogenes cites at length the Hymn or Pæan composed by Aristotle in honour of Hermeias. Now there is no general head of his catalogue under which this hymn could fall. Here Anonymus (to be presently mentioned) has a superiority over Diogenes; for he introduces, towards the close of his catalogue, one general head — ἐγκώμια ἢ ὕμνους, which is not to be found in Diogenes.

We have another distinct enumeration of the titles of Aristotle’s works, prepared by an anonymous biographer cited in the notes of Ménage to Diogenes Laertius.5 This anonymous list contains only one hundred and twenty-seven titles, being nineteen less than the list in Diogenes. The greater number of titles are the same in both; but Anonymus has eight titles which are not found in Diogenes, while Diogenes has twenty-seven titles which are not given by Anonymus. There are therefore thirty-five titles which rest on the evidence of one alone out of the two lists. Anonymus does not specify any total number of lines; nevertheless he gives the total number of books composed by Aristotle as being nearly four hundred — the same as Diogenes. This total number cannot be elicited out of the items enumerated by Anonymus; but it may be made to coincide pretty nearly with the items in Diogenes,6 provided we understand by books, sections or subdivisions of one and the same title or work.

5 Ménage ad Diog. tom. ii. p. 201. See the very instructive treatise of Professor Heitz, Die Verlorenen Schriften des Aristoteles, p. 15 (Leipzig, 1865).

6 Heitz, Die Verl. Schrift. des Aristot. p. 51. Such coincidence assumes that we reckon the Πολιτεῖαι and the Epistles each as one book.

I think it unnecessary to transcribe these catalogues of the titles of works mostly lost. The reader will find them clearly printed in the learned work of Val. Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus, pp. 12-20.

The two catalogues just mentioned, agreeing as they do in the total number of books and in the greater part of the items, may probably be considered not as original and copy, but as 30inaccurate transcripts from the same original authority. Yet neither of the two transcribers tells us what that original authority was. We may, however, be certain that each of them considered his catalogue to comprehend all that Aristotle could be affirmed on good authority to have published; Diogenes plainly signifies thus much, when he gives not only the total number of books, but the total number of lines. Such being the case, we expect to find in it, of course, the titles of the forty-six works composing the Berlin edition of Aristotle now before us. But this expectation is disappointed. The far greater number of the Aristotelian works which we now peruse are not specified either in the list of Diogenes, or in that of Anonymus.7 Moreover, the lists also fail to specify the titles of various works which are not now extant, but which we know from Aristotle himself that he really composed.8

7 Heitz, Verl. Schr. Aristot. p. 18, remarks that “In diesem Verzeichnisse (that of Diogenes) die bei weitem grösste Zahl derjenigen Schriften fehlt, welche wir heute noch besitzen, und die wir als den eigentlichen Kern der aristotelischen Lehre enthaltend zu betrachten gewohnt sind.” Cf. p. 32. Brandis expresses himself substantially to the same effect (Aristoteles, Berlin, 1853, pp. 77, 78, 96); and Zeller also (Gesch. der Phil. 2nd ed. Aristot. Schriften, p. 43).

8 Heitz, Verl. Schr. des Aristoteles, p. 56, seq.

The last-mentioned fact is in itself sufficiently strange and difficult to explain, and our difficulty becomes aggravated when we combine it with another fact hardly less surprising. Both Cicero, and other writers of the century subsequent to him (Dionysius Hal., Quintilian, &c.), make reference to Aristotle, and especially to his dialogues, of which none have been preserved, though the titles of several are given in the two catalogues mentioned above. These writers bestow much encomium on the style of Aristotle; but what is remarkable is, that they ascribe to it attributes which even his warmest admirers will hardly find in the Aristotelian works now remaining. Cicero extols the sweetness, the abundance, the variety, the rhetorical force which he discovered in Aristotle’s writings: he even goes so far as to employ the phrase “flumen orationis aureum” (a golden stream of speech), in characterizing the Aristotelian style.9 Such predicates may have been correct, indeed were doubtless correct, in regard to the dialogues, and perhaps other lost works of Aristotle; but they describe exactly the 31opposite10 of what we find in all the works preserved. With most of these (except the History of Animals) Cicero manifests no acquaintance; and some of the best modern critics declare him to have been ignorant of them.11 Nor do other ancient authors, Plutarch, Athenæus, Diogenes Laertius, &c., give evidence of having been acquainted with the principal works of Aristotle known to us. They make reference only to works enumerated in the Catalogue of Diogenes Laertius.12

9 Cicero, Acad. Prior. ii. 38, 119: “Quum enim tuus iste Stoicus sapiens syllabatim tibi ista dixerit, veniet flumen orationis aureum fundens Aristoteles, qui illum desipere dicat.” Also Topica, i. 3. “Quibus (i.e. those who were ignorant of Aristotle) eo minus ignoscendum est, quod non modo rebus iis, quæ ab illo dictæ et inventæ sunt, adlici debuerunt, sed dicendi quoque incredibili quâdam quum copiâ, tum suavitate.” Also De Oratore, i. 11, 49; Brutus, 31, 121; De Nat. Deor. ii. 37; De Inventione, ii. 2; De Finibus, i. 5, 14; Epistol. ad Atticum, ii. 1, where he speaks of the “Aristotelia pigmenta,” along with the μυροθήκιον of Isokrates. Dionysius Hal. recommends the style of Aristotle in equal terms of admiration: παραληπτέον δὲ καὶ Ἀριστοτέλη εἰς μίμησιν τῆς τε περὶ τὴν ἑρμηνείαν δεινότητος καὶ τῆς σαφηνείας, καὶ τοῦ ἡδέος καὶ πολυμαθοῦς (De Veter. Script. Censurâ, p. 430, R.; De Verb. Copiâ, p. 187). Quintilian extols the “eloquendi suavitas” among Aristotle’s excellences (Inst. Or. X. i. p. 510). Demetrius Phalereus (or the author who bears that title), De Eloquentiâ, s. 128, commends αἱ Ἀριστοτέλους χάριτες. David the Armenian, who speaks of him (having reference to the dialogue) as Ἀφροδίτης ἐννόμου γέμων (the correction of Bernays, Dial. des Arist. p. 137) καὶ χαρίτων ἀνάμεστος, probably copies the judgment of predecessors (Scholia ad Categor. p. 26, b. 36, Brandis).

Bernays (Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, pp. 3-5) points out how little justice has been done by modern critics to the literary merits, exhibited in the dialogues and other works now lost, of one whom we know only as a “dornichten und wortkargen Systematiker.”

10 This opinion is insisted on by Ravaisson, Essai sur la Métaphysique d’Aristote, pp. 210, 211.

11 Valentine Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus, p. 23: “Cicero philosophicis certe ipsius Aristotelis libris nunquam usus est.” Heitz, Die Verlor. Schrift. des Aristot. pp. 31, 158, 187: “Cicero, dessen Unbekanntschaft mit beinahe sämmtlichen heute vorhandenen Werken des Aristoteles eine unstreitige Thatsache bildet, deren Bedeutung man sich umsonst bemüht hat abzuschwächen.” Madvig, Excursus VII. ad Ciceron. De Finibus, p. 855: “Non dubito profiteri, Ciceronem mihi videri dialogos Aristotelis populariter scriptos, et Rhetorica (quibus hic Topica adnumero) tum πολιτείας legisse; difficiliora vero, quibus omnis interior philosophia continebatur, aut omnino non attigisse, aut si aliquando attigerit, non longe progressum esse, ut ipse de subtilioribus Aristotelis sententiis aliquid habere possit explorati.” The language here used by Madvig is more precise than that of the other two; for Cicero must be allowed to have known, and even to have had in his library, the Topica of Aristotle.

12 See this point enforced by Heitz, pp. 29-31. Athenæus (xiv. 656) refers to a passage of Philochorus, in which Philochorus alludes to Aristotle, that is, as critics have hitherto supposed, to Aristot. Meteorol. iv. 3, 21. Bussemaker (in his Præfat. ad Aristot. Didot, vol. iv. p. xix.) has shewn that this supposition is unfounded, and that the passage more probably refers to one of the Problemata Inedita (iii. 43) which Bussemaker has first published in Didot’s edition of Aristotle.

Here, then, we find several embarrassing facts in regard to the Aristotelian Canon. Most of the works now accepted and known as belonging to Aristotle, are neither included in the full Aristotelian Catalogue given by Diogenes, nor were they known to Cicero; who, moreover, ascribes to Aristotle attributes of style not only different, but opposite, to those which our Aristotle presents. Besides, more than twenty of the compositions entered in the Catalogue are dialogues, of which form our Aristotle affords not a single specimen: while others relate to matters of ancient exploit or personal history; collected proverbs;32 accounts of the actual constitution of many Hellenic cities; lists of the Pythian victors and of the scenic representations; erotic discourses; legendary narratives, embodied in a miscellaneous work called ‘Peplus’ — a title perhaps borrowed from the Peplus or robe of Athênê at the Panathenaic festival, embroidered with various figures by Athenian women; a symposion or banquet-colloquy; and remarks on intoxication. All these subjects are foreign in character to those which our Aristotle treats.13

13 Brandis and Zeller, moreover, remark, that among the allusions made by Aristotle in the works which we possess to other works of his own, the majority relate to other works actually extant, and very few to any of the lost works enumerated in the Catalogue (Brand. Aristoteles, pp. 97-101; Zeller, Phil. der Griech. ii. 2, p. 79, ed. 2nd). This however is not always the case: we find (e.g.) in Aristotle’s notice of the Pythagorean tenets (Metaphys. A. p. 986, a. 12) the remark, διώρισται δὲ περὶ τούτων ἐν ἑτέροις ἡμῖν ἀκριβέστερον; where he probably means to indicate his special treatises, Περὶ τῶν Πυθαγορείων and Πρὸς τοὺς Πυθαγορείους, enumerated by Diog. L. v. 25, and mentioned by Alexander, Porphyry, and Simplikius. See Alexander, Schol. ad Metaphys. p. 542, b. 5, 560, b. 25, Br.; and the note of Schwegler on Metaphys. i. 5, p. 47.

The difficulty of harmonizing our Aristotle with the Aristotle of the Catalogue is thus considerable. It has been so strongly felt in recent years, that one of the ablest modern critics altogether dissevers the two, and pronounces the works enumerated in the Catalogue not to belong to our Aristotle. I allude to Valentine Rose, who in his very learned and instructive volume, ‘Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus,’ has collected and illustrated the fragments which remain of these works. He considers them all pseudo-Aristotelian, composed by various unknown members of the Peripatetic school, during the century or two immediately succeeding the death of Aristotle, and inscribed with the illustrious name of the master, partly through fraud of the sellers, partly through carelessness of purchasers and librarians.14 Emil Heitz, on the other hand, has argued more recently, that upon the external evidence as it stands, a more correct conclusion to draw would be (the opposite of that drawn by Rose, viz.): That the works enumerated in the Catalogue are the true and genuine; and that those which we possess, or most of them, are not really composed by Aristotle.15 Heitz thinks this conclusion better sustained than that of Rose, though he himself takes a different view, which I shall presently mention.

14 Valent. Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigr. pp. 4-10. The same opinion is declared also in the earlier work of the same author, De Aristotelis Librorum Ordine et Auctoritate.

15 Heitz, Die Verlor. Schrift. des Ar. pp. 29, 30.

It will be seen from the foregoing observations how much more difficult it is to settle a genuine Canon for Aristotle than 33for Plato. I do not assent to either of the two conclusions just indicated; but I contend that, if we applied to this question the same principles of judgment as those which modern Platonic critics often apply, when they allow or disallow dialogues of Plato, we should be obliged to embrace one or other of them, or at least something nearly approaching thereto. If a critic, after attentively studying the principal compositions now extant of our Aristotle, thinks himself entitled, on the faith of his acquired “Aristotelisches Gefühl,” to declare that no works differing materially from them (either in subject handled, or in manner of handling, or in degree of excellence), can have been composed by Aristotle — he will assuredly be forced to include in such rejection a large proportion of those indicated in the Catalogue of Diogenes. Especially he will be forced to reject the Dialogues — the very compositions by which Aristotle was best known to Cicero and his contemporaries. For the difference between them and the known compositions of Aristotle, not merely in form but in style (the style being known from the epithets applied to them by Cicero), must have been more marked and decisive than that between the Alkibiades, Hippias, Theages, Erastæ, Leges, &c. — which most Platonic critics now set aside as spurious — and the Republic, Protagoras, Gorgias, Philêbus, &c., which they treat as indisputably genuine.16

16 Thus (for example) in Bernays, who has displayed great acuteness and learning in investigating the Aristotelian Canon, and in collecting what can be known respecting the lost dialogues of Aristotle, we read the following observations:— “In der That mangelt es auch nicht an den bestimmtesten Nachrichten über die vormalige Existenz einer grossen aristotelischen Schriftenreihe, die von der jetzt erhaltenen durch die tiefste formale Verschiedenheit getrennt war. Das Verzeichniss aristotelischer Werke führt an seiner Spitze sieben und zwanzig Bände jetzt verlorener Schriften auf, die alle in der künstlerischen Gesprächsform abgefasst waren,” &c. (Bernays, Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, p. 2; compare ibid. p. 30).

If, as Bernays justly contends, we are to admit these various writings, notwithstanding “the profound difference of form,” as having emanated from the same philosopher Aristotle, how are we to trust the Platonic critics when they reject about one-third of the preserved dialogues of Plato, though there is no difference of form to proceed upon, but only a difference of style, merit, and, to a certain extent, doctrine?

Zeller (Die Phil. der Griechen, ii. 2, pp. 45, 46, 2nd ed.) remarks that the dialogues composed by Aristotle are probably to be ascribed to the earlier part of his literary life, when he was still (or had recently been) Plato’s scholar.

In discussing the Platonic Canon, I have already declared that I consider these grounds of rejection to be unsafe and misleading. Such judgment is farther confirmed, when we observe the consequences to which they would conduct in regard to the Aristotelian Canon. In fact, we must learn to admit among genuine works, both of Plato and Aristotle, great diversity in subject, in style, and in excellence.

34I see no ground for distrusting the Catalogue given by Diogenes, as being in general an enumeration of works really composed by Aristotle. These works must have been lodged in some great library — probably the Alexandrine — where they were seen and counted, and the titles of them enrolled by some one or more among the literati, with a specification of the sum total obtained on adding together the lines contained in each.17 I do not deny the probability, that, in regard to some, the librarians may have been imposed upon, and that pseudo-Aristotelian works may have been admitted; but whether such was partially the fact or not, the general goodness of the Catalogue seems to me unimpeachable. As to the author of it, the most admissible conjecture seems that of Brandis and others, recently adopted and advocated by Heitz: that the Catalogue owes its origin to one of the Alexandrine literati; probably to Hermippus of Smyrna, a lettered man and a pupil of Kallimachus at Alexandria, between 240-210 B.C.. Diogenes does not indeed tell us from whom he borrowed the Catalogue; but in his life of Aristotle, he more than once cites Hermippus, as having treated of Aristotle and his biography in a work of some extent; and we know from other sources that Hermippus had devoted much attention to Aristotle as well as to other philosophers. If Hermippus be the author of this Catalogue, it must have been drawn up about the same time that the Byzantine Aristophanes arranged the dialogues of Plato. Probably, indeed, Kallimachus the chief librarian, had prepared the way for both of them. We know that he had drawn up comprehensive tables, including, not only the principal orators and dramatists, with an enumeration of their discourses and dramas, but also various miscellaneous authors, with the titles of their works. We know, farther, that he noticed Demokritus and Eudoxus, and we may feel assured that, in a scheme thus large, he would not omit Plato or Aristotle, the two great founders of the first philosophical schools, nor the specification of the works of each contained in the Alexandrine library.18 Heitz supposes that Hermippus was the 35author of most of the catalogues (not merely of Aristotle, but also of other philosophers) given by Diogenes;19 yet that nevertheless Diogenes himself had no direct acquaintance with the works of Hermippus, but copied these catalogues at second-hand from some later author, probably Favorinus. This last supposition is noway made out.

17 Stahr, who in the first volume of his work Aristotelia (p. 194), had expressed an opinion that the Catalogue given by Diogenes is the Catalogue “der eigenen Schritten des Stageiriten, wie sie sich in seinem Nachlasse befanden,” retracts that opinion in the second volume of the same work (pp. 68-70), and declares the Catalogue to be an enumeration of the Aristotelian works in the library of Alexandria. Trendelenburg concurs in this later opinion (Proœmium ad Commentar. in Aristot. De Animâ, p. 123).

18 Ἕρμιππος ὁ Καλλιμάχειος ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ περὶ Ἀριστοτέλους, is cited by Athenæus, xv. 696; also v. 213.

Among the Tables prepared by Kallimachus, one was Παντοδάπων Συγγραμμάτων Πίναξ; and in it were included the Πλακουντοποιϊκὰ συγγράμματα Αἰγιμίου, καὶ Ἡγησίππου, καὶ Μητροβίου, ἔτι δὲ Φαίτου (Athenæus, xiv. 644). If Kallimachus carried down his catalogue of the contents of the library to works so unimportant as these, we may surely believe that he would not omit to catalogue such works of Aristotle as were in it. He appears to have made a list of the works of Demokritus (i.e. such as were in the library) with a glossary. See Brandis (Aristoteles, Berlin, 1853, p. 74); also Suidas v. Καλλίμαχος, Diogen. Laert. viii. 86; Dionys. Hal. De Dinarcho, pp. 630, 652 R.; Athenæus, viii. 336, xv. 669.

19 Heitz, Die Verl. Schr. des Aristot. pp. 45-48.

Patricius, in his Discuss. Peripatetic. (t. i. pp. 13-18), had previously considered Hermippus as having prepared a Catalogue of the works of Aristotle, partly on the authority of the Scholion annexed to the conclusion of the Metaphysica of Theophrastus. Hermippus recited the testament of Aristotle (Athenæus, xiii. 589).

Both Valentine Rose and Bernays regard Andronikus as author of the Catalogue of Aristotle in Diogenes. But I think that very sufficient reasons to refute this supposition have been shown by Heitz, pp. 49-52.

The opinion given by Christ, respecting the Catalogue which we find in Diogenes Laertius — “illum catalogum non Alexandrinæ bibliothecæ, sed exemplarium Aristotelis ab Apelliconte Athenas translatorum fuisse equidem censeo” — is in substance the same as that of Rose and Bernays. I do not concur in it. (Christ, Studia in Aristotelis Libros Metaphysicos, Berlin, 1853, p. 105).

It seems thus probable that the Catalogue given by Diogenes derives its origin from Hermippus or Kallimachus, enumerating the titles of such works of Aristotle as were contained in the Alexandrine library. But the aggregate of works composing our Aristotle is noway in harmony with that Catalogue. It proceeds from a source independent and totally different, viz., the edition and classification first published by the Rhodian Andronikus, in the generation between the death of Cicero and the Christian era. To explain the existence of these two distinct and independent sources and channels, we must have recourse to the remarkable narrative (already noticed in my chapter on the Platonic Canon), delivered mainly by Strabo and less fully by Plutarch, respecting the fate of the Aristotelian library after Aristotle’s death.

At the decease of Aristotle, his library and MSS. came to Theophrastus, who continued chief of the Peripatetic school at Athens for thirty-five years, until his death in 287 B.C. Both Aristotle and Theophrastus not only composed many works of their own, but also laid out much money in purchasing or copying the works of others;20 especially we are told that Aristotle, after the death of Speusippus, expended three talents in purchasing his books. The entire library of Theophrastus, thus enriched from two sources, was bequeathed by his testament 36 to a philosophical friend and pupil, Neleus;21 who left Athens, and carried away the library with him to his residence at the town of Skêpsis, in the Asiatic region known as Æolis, near Troad. At Skêpsis the library remained for the greater part of two centuries, in possession of the descendants of Neleus, men of no accomplishments and no taste for philosophy. It was about thirty or forty years after the death of Theophrastus that the kings of Pergamus began to occupy themselves in collecting their royal library, which presently reached a magnitude second only to that of Alexandria. Now Skêpsis was under their dominion, and it would seem that the kings seized the books belonging to their subjects for the use of the royal library; for we are told that the heirs of Neleus were forced to conceal their literary treasures in a cellar, subject to great injury, partly from damp, partly from worms. In this ruinous hiding-place the manuscripts remained for nearly a century and a half — “blattarum ac tinearum epulæ,” — until the Attalid dynasty at Pergamus became extinct. The last of these kings, Attalus, died in 133 B.C., bequeathing his kingdom to the Romans. All fear of requisitions for the royal library being thus at end, the manuscripts were in course of time withdrawn by their proprietors from concealment, and sold for a large sum to Apellikon, a native of Teos, a very rich resident at Athens, and attached to the Peripatetic sect. Probably this wealthy Peripatetic already possessed a library of his own, with some Aristotelian works; but the new acquisitions from Skêpsis, though not his whole stock, formed the most rare and precious ingredients in it. Here, then, the manuscripts and library both of Aristotle and Theophrastus became, for the first time since 287 B.C., open to the inspection of the Athenian Peripatetics of the time (about 100 B.C.), as well as of other learned men. Among the stock were contained many compositions which the Scholarchs, successors of Theophrastus at Athens, had neither possessed nor known.22 But the 37manuscripts were found imperfect, seriously damaged, and in a state of disorder. Apellikon did his best to remedy that mischief, by causing new copies to be taken, correcting what had become worm-eaten, and supplying what was defective or illegible. He appears to have been an erudite man, and had published a biography of Aristotle, refuting various calumnies advanced by other biographers; but being (in the words of Strabo) a lover of books rather than a philosopher, he performed the work of correction so unskilfully, that the copies which he published were found full of errors.23 In the year 86 B.C., Sylla besieged Athens, and captured it by storm; not long after which he took to himself as a perquisite the library of Apellikon, and transported it to Rome.24 It was there preserved under custody of a librarian, and various literary Greeks resident at Rome obtained access to it, especially Tyrannion, the friend of Cicero and a warm admirer of Aristotle, who took peculiar pains to gain the favour of the librarian.25 It was there also that the Rhodian Andronikus obtained access to the Aristotelian works.26 He classified them to a great degree anew, putting in juxtaposition the treatises most analogous in subject;27 moreover, 38he corrected the text, and published a new edition of the manuscripts, with a tabulated list. This was all the more necessary, because some booksellers at Rome, aiming only at sale and profit, had employed bad writers, and circulated inaccurate copies, not collated with the originals.28 These originals, however, were so damaged, and the restitutions made by Apellikon were so injudicious, that the more careful critics who now studied them were often driven to proceed on mere probable evidence.

20 Diog. L. iv. 5; Aulus Gellius, N. A. iii. 17.

21 From a passage of Lucian (De Parasito, c. xxxv.) we learn that Aristoxenus spoke of himself as friend and guest of Neleus: καὶ τίς περὶ τούτου λέγει; Πολλοὶ μὲν καὶ ἄλλοι, Ἀριστόξενος δὲ ὁ μουσικός, πολλοῦ λόγου ἄξιος καὶ αὐτὸς δὲ παράσιτος Νήλεως ἦν.

22 Strabo, xiii. 608, 609; Athenæus, v. 214. The narrative of Strabo has been often misunderstood and impugned, as if he had asserted that none of the main works of Aristotle had ever been published until they were thus exhumed by Apellikon. This is the supposed allegation which Stahr, Zeller, and others have taken so much pains to refute. But in reality Strabo says no such thing. His words affirm or imply the direct contrary, viz., that many works of Aristotle, not merely the exoteric works but others besides, had been published earlier than the purchase made by Apellikon. What Strabo says is, that few of these works were in possession of the Peripatetic Scholarchs at Athens before the time of that purchase; and he explains thus how it was that these Scholarchs, during the century intervening, had paid little attention to the profound and abstruse speculations of Aristotle; how it was that they had confined themselves to dialectic and rhetorical debate on special problems. I see no ground for calling in question the fact affirmed by Strabo — the poverty of the Peripatetic school-library at Athens; though he may perhaps have assigned a greater importance to that fact than it deserves, as a means of explaining the intellectual working of the Peripatetic Scholarchs from Lykon to Kritolaus. The philosophical impulse of that intervening century seems to have turned chiefly towards ethics and the Summum Bonum, with the conflicting theories of Platonists, Peripatetics, Stoics, and Epikureans thereupon.

23 Strabo, xiii. 609. ἦν δὲ ὁ Ἀπελλικῶν φιλόβιβλος μᾶλλον ἢ φιλόσοφος, διὸ καὶ ζητῶν ἐπανόοθωσιν τῶν διαβρωμάτων, εἰς ἀντίγραφα καινὰ μετήνεγκε τὴν γραφὴν ἀναπληρῶν οὐκ εὖ, καὶ ἐξέδωκεν ἁμαρτάδων πλήρη τὰ βίβλια.

24 Strabo, xiii. 609; Plutarch, Sylla, c. xxvi.

25 Strabo, xiii. 609. Τυραννίων, ὁ γραμματικὸς διεχειρίσατο φιλαριστοτέλης ὤν, θεραπεύσας τὸν ἐπὶ τῆς βιβλοθήκης. Tyrannion had been the preceptor of Strabo (xii. 548); and Boêthus, who studied Aristotle along with Strabo, was a disciple of the Rhodian Andronikus. See Ammonius ad Categorias, f. 8; and Ravaisson, Essai sur la Métaphysique d’Aristote, Introduction, p. 10.

26 Plutarch, Sylla, c. xxvi.

27 The testimony of Porphyry in respect to Andronikus, and to the real service performed by Andronikus, is highly valuable. Porphyry was the devoted disciple and friend, as well as the literary executor, of Plotinus; whose writings were left in an incorrect and disorderly condition. Porphyry undertook to put them in order and publish them; and he tells us that, in fulfilling this promise, he followed the example of what Andronikus had done for the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus. Ἐπεὶ δὲ αὐτὸς (Plotinus) τὴν διόρθωσιν καὶ τὴν διάταξιν τῶν βιβλίων ποιεῖσθαι ἡμῖν ἐπέτρεψεν, ἐγὼ δὲ ἐκείνῳ ζῶντι ὑπεσχόμην καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἑταίροις ἐπηγγειλάμην ποιῆσαι τοῦτο, πρῶτον μὲν τὰ βίβλια οὐ κατὰ χρόνους ἐᾶσαι φύρδην ἐκδεδομένα ἐδικαίωσα, μιμησάμενος δ’ Ἀπολλόδωρον τὸν Ἀθηναῖον καὶ Ἀνδρόνικον τὸν Περιπατητικόν, ὧν ὁ μὲν Ἐπίχαρμον τὸν κωμῳδιογράφον εἰς δέκα τόμους φέρων συνήγαγεν, ὁ δὲ τὰ Ἀριστοτέλους καὶ Θεοφράστου εἰς πραγματείας διεῖλε, τὰς οἰκείας ὑποθέσεις εἰς ταὐτὸν συναγαγών, οὕτω δὴ καὶ ἐγὼ πεντήκοντα τέσσαραὔντα ἔχων τὰ τοῦ Πλωτίνου βίβλια διεῖλον μὲν εἰς ἓξ ἐννεάδας, τῇ τελειότητι τοῦ ἓξ ἀριθμοῦ καὶ ταῖς ἐννεάσιν ἀσμένως ἐπιτυχών, ἑκάστῃ δὲ ἐννεάδι τὰ οἰκεῖα φέρων συνεφόρησα, δοὺς καὶ τάξιν πρώτην τοῖς ἐλαφροτέροις προβλήμασιν. (Porphyry, Vita Plotini, p. 117, Didot.) Porphyry here distinctly affirms that Andronikus rendered this valuable service not merely to the works of Aristotle, but also to those of Theophrastus. This is important, as connecting him with the library conveyed by Sylla to Rome; which library we know to have contained the manuscripts of both these philosophers. And in the Scholion appended to the Metaphysica of Theophrastus (p. 323, Brandis) we are told that Andronikus and Hermippus had made a catalogue of the works of Theophrastus, in which the Metaphysics was not included.

28 Strabo, xiii. 609: βιβλιοπῶλαί τινες γραφεῦσι φαύλοις χρώμενοι καὶ οὐκ ἀντιβάλλοντες, &c.

This interesting narrative — delivered by Strabo, the junior contemporary of Andronikus, and probably derived by him either from Tyrannion his preceptor or from the Sidonian Boêthus29 and other philosophical companions jointly, with whom he had prosecuted the study of Aristotle — appears fully worthy of trust. The proceedings both of Apellikon and of Sylla prove, what indeed we might have presumed without proof, that the recovery of these long-lost original manuscripts of Aristotle and Theophrastus excited great sensation in the philosophical world of Athens and of Rome. With such newly-acquired materials, a new epoch began for the study of these authors. The more abstruse philosophical works of Aristotle now came into the foreground under the auspices of a new Scholarch; whereas Aristotle had hitherto been chiefly known by his more popular and readable compositions. Of these last, probably, copies may have been acquired to a certain extent by the previous Peripatetic Scholarchs or School at Athens; but the School had been irreparably impoverished, so far as regarded the deeper speculations of philosophy, by the loss of those original manuscripts which had been transported from Athens to Skêpsis. What Aristotelian Scholarchs, prior to Andronikus, chiefly possessed and studied, of the productions of their illustrious founder, were chiefly the exoteric or extra-philosophical and comparatively popular:— such as the dialogues; the legendary and historical 39collections; the facts respecting constitutional history of various Hellenic cities; the variety of miscellaneous problems respecting Homer and a number of diverse matters; the treatises on animals and on anatomy, &c.30 In the Alexandrine library (as we see by the Catalogue of Diogenes) there existed all these and several philosophical works also; but that library was not easily available for the use of the Scholarchs at Athens, who worked upon their own stock, confining themselves mainly to smooth and elegant discourses on particular questions, and especially to discussions, with the Platonists, Stoics, and Epikureans, on the principia of Ethics, without any attempt either to follow up or to elucidate the more profound speculations (logical, physical, metaphysical, cosmical) of Aristotle himself. A material change took place when the library of Apellikon came to be laid open and studied, not merely by lecturers in the professorial chair at Athens, but also by critics like Tyrannion and Andronikus at Rome. These critics found therein the most profound and difficult philosophical works of Aristotle in the handwriting of the philosopher himself; some probably, of which copies may have already existed in the Alexandrine library, but some also as yet unpublished. The purpose of Andronikus, who is described as Peripatetic Scholarch, eleventh in succession from Aristotle, was not simply to make a Catalogue (as Hermippus had made at Alexandria), but to render a much greater service, which no critic could render without having access to original MSS., namely, to obtain a correct text of the books actually before him, to arrange these books in proper order, and then to publish and explain them,31 but to take no account of other 40Aristotelian works in the Alexandrine library or elsewhere. The Aristotelian philosophy thus passed into a new phase. Our editions of Aristotle may be considered as taking their date from this critical effort of Andronikus, with or without subsequent modifications by others, as the case may be.

29 Strabo, xvi. 757. Stahr, in his minor work, Aristoteles unter den Römern, p. 32, considers that this circumstance lessens the credibility of Strabo. I think the contrary. No one was so likely to have studied the previous history of the MSS. as the editors of a new edition.

30 Strabo, xiii. 609: συνέβη δὲ τοῖς ἐκ τῶν περιπάτων τοῖς μὲν πάλαι τοῖς μετὰ Θεόφραστον, ὅλως οὐκ ἔχουσι τὰ βίβλια πλὴν ὀλίγων καὶ μάλιστα τῶν ἐξωτερικῶν, μηδὲν ἔχειν φιλοσοφεῖν πραγματικῶς, ἀλλὰ θέσεις ληκυθίζειν· τοῖς δ’ ὕστερον, ἀφ’ οὖ τὰ βίβλια ταῦτα προῆλθεν, ἄμεινον μὲν ἐκείνων φιλοσοφεῖν καὶ ἀριστοτελίζειν, ἀναγκάζεσθαι μέντοι τὰ πολλὰ εἰκότα λέγειν διὰ τὸ πλῆθος τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν. Also Plutarch, Sylla, c. xxvi.

The passage of Strabo is so perspicuous and detailed, that it has all the air of having been derived from the best critics who frequented the library at Rome, where Strabo was when he wrote (καὶ ἔνθαδε καὶ ἐν Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ, xiii. 609). The Peripatetic Andronikus, whom he names among the celebrated Rhodians (xiv. 655), may have been among his informants. His statements about the bad state of the manuscripts; the unskilful emendations of Apellikon; the contrast between the vein of Peripatetic study, as it had stood before the revelation of the manuscripts, and as it came to stand afterwards; the uncertain evidences upon which careful students, even with the manuscripts before them, were compelled to proceed; the tone of depreciation in which he speaks of the carelessness of booksellers who sought only for profit, — all these points of information appear to me to indicate that Strabo’s informants were acute and diligent critics, familiar with the library, and anxious both for the real understanding of these documents, and for philosophy as an end.

31 Plutarch, Sylla, c. xxvi. Spengel (“Ueber die Reihenfolge der naturwissenschaftlichen Schriften des Aristoteles,” München. philol. Abhandl. 1848,) remarks justly that the critical arrangement of Aristotle’s writings, for collective publication, begins from the library of Apellikon at Rome, not from that of Alexandria. See p. 146: “Mehr als zweihundert Jahre lang fehlt uns alle nähere Kunde über die peripatetische Schule. Erst mit der viel besprochenen Auffindung der Bibliothek des Aristoteles in Athen und deren Wegführung nach Rom durch Sulla wird ein regeres Studium für die Schriften des Philosophen bemerkbar — und zwar jetzt eigentlich der Schriften, weniger der Lehre und Philosophie im Allgemeinen, welche früher allein beachtet worden ist. Wir möchten sagen, von jetzt an beginne das philologische Studium mit den Werken des Aristoteles, die kritische und exegetische Behandlung dieser durch Tyrannion, Andronikus, Adrastus und viele andre nachlfolgende,” &c.

The explanation just given, coinciding on many points with Brandis and Heitz, affords the most probable elucidation of that obscurity which arises about the Aristotelian Canon, when we compare our Aristotle with the Catalogue of Diogenes — the partial likeness, but still greater discrepancy, between the two. It is certain that neither Cicero32 nor the great Alexandrine literati, anterior to and contemporary with him, knew Aristotle from most of the works which we now possess. They knew him chiefly from the dialogues, the matters of history and legend, some zoological books, and the problems; the dialogues, and the historical collections respecting the constitutions of Hellenic cities,33 being more popular and better known than any other works. While the Republic of Plato is familiar to them, they 41exhibit no knowledge of our Aristotelian Politica, in which treatise the criticism upon the Platonic Republic is among the most interesting parts. When we look through the contents of our editions of Aristotle the style and manner of handling is indeed pretty much the same throughout, but the subjects will appear extremely diverse and multifarious; and the encyclopedical character of the author, as to science and its applications, will strike us forcibly. The entire and real Aristotle, however, was not only more encyclopedical as to subjects handled, but also more variable as to style and manner of handling; passing from the smooth, sweet, and flowing style — which Cicero extols as characterizing the Aristotelian dialogues — to the elliptical brevity and obscurity which we now find so puzzling in the De Animâ and the Metaphysica.34

32 This is certain, from the remarks addressed by Cicero to Trebatius at the beginning of the Ciceronian Topica, that in his time Aristotle was little known and little studied at Rome, even by philosophical students. Trebatius knew nothing of the Topica, until he saw the work by chance in Cicero’s library, and asked information about the contents. The reply of Cicero illustrates the little notice taken of Aristotle by Roman readers. “Cum autem ego te, non tam vitandi laboris mei causâ, quam quia tua id interesse arbitrarer, vel ut eos per te ipse legeres, vel ut totam rationem a doctissimo quodam rhetore acciperes, hortatus essem, utrumque ut ex te audiebam, es expertus. Sed a libris te obscuritas rejecit: rhetor autem ille magnus, ut opinor, Aristotelia se ignorare respondit. Quod quidem minime sum admiratus, eum philosophum rhetori non esse cognitum, qui ab ipsis philosophis, præter admodum paucos, ignoraretur.” Compare also Cicero, Academ. Post. i. 3, 10.

33 Even the philosophical commentators on Aristotle, such as David the Armenian, seem to have known the lost work of Aristotle called Πολιτεῖαι (the history of the constitutions of 250 Hellenic cities), better than the theoretical work which we possess, called the Politica; though they doubtless knew both. (See Scholia ad Categorias, Brandis, p. 16, b. 20; p. 24, a. 25; p. 25, b. 5.) — We read in Schneider’s Preface to the Aristotelian Politica (p. x.): “Altum et mirabile silentium est apud antiquitatem Græcam et Romanam de novâ Aristotelis Republicâ, cum omnes ferè scriptores Græci et Romani, mentione Reipublicæ Platonicæ pleni, vel laudibus vel vituperiis ejus abundant.” — There is no clear reference to the Aristotelian Politica earlier than Alexander of Aphrodisias. Both Hildenbrand (Geschichte der Staats- und Rechts-Philosophen, t. i. pp. 358-361), and Oncken (Staatslehre des Aristot. pp. 65-66), think that the Aristotelian Politica was not published until after the purchase of the library by Apellikon.

34 What Strabo asserts about the Peripatetic Scholarchs succeeding Theophrastus (viz., μηδὲν ἔχειν φιλοσοφεῖν πραγματικῶς, ἀλλὰ θέσεις ληκυθίζειν: that they could not handle philosophy in a businesslike way — with those high generalities and that subtle analysis which was supposed to belong to philosophy — but gave smooth and ornate discourses on set problems or theses) is fully borne out by what we read in Cicero about these same Peripatetics. The Stoics (immediate successors and rivals) accused their Peripatetic contemporaries even of being ignorant of Dialectic: which their founder, Aristotle, in his works that we now possess, had been the first to raise into something like a science. Cicero says (De Finibus, iii. 12, 41): “His igitur ita positis (inquit Cato) sequitur magna contentio: quam tractatam à Peripateticis mollius (est enim eorum consuetudo dicendi non satis acuta, propter ignorationem Dialecticæ), Carneades tuus, egregiâ quâdam exercitatione in dialecticis summâque eloquentiâ, rem in summum discrimen adduxit.” Also Cicero, in Tuscul. Disput. iv. 5. 9: “Quia Chrysippus et Stoici, quum de animi perturbationibus disputant, magnam partem in iis partiendis et definiendis occupati sunt, illa eorum perexigua oratio est, quâ medeantur animis nec eos turbulentos esse patiantur. Peripatetici autem ad placandos animos multa afferunt, spinas partiendi et definiendi prætermittunt.” This last sentence is almost an exact equivalent of the words of Strabo: μηδὲν ἔχειν φιλοσοφεῖν πραγματικῶς, ἀλλὰ θέσεις ληκυθίζειν. Aristotle himself, in the works which we possess, might pass as father of the Stoics rather than of the Peripatetics; for he abounds in classification and subdivision (spinas partiendi et dividendi), and is even derided on this very ground by opponents (see Atticus ap. Euseb. Præp. Ev. xv. 4); but he has nothing of the polished amplification ascribed to the later Peripatetics by Strabo and Cicero. Compare, about the Peripatetics from Lykon to Kritolaus, Cicero, De Finibus, v. 5: “Lyco, oratione locuples, rebus ipsis jejunior.” Plutarch (Sylla, c. xxvi.) calls these later Peripatetics χαριέντες καὶ φιλόλογοι, &c.

I shall assume this variety, both of subject and of handling, as a feature to be admitted and allowed for in Aristotle, when I come to discuss the objections of some critics against the authenticity of certain treatises among the forty-six which now pass under his name. But in canvassing the Aristotelian Canon I am unable to take the same ground as I took in my former work, when reviewing the Platonic Canon. In regard to Plato, I pointed out a strong antecedent presumption in favour of the Canon of Thrasyllus — a canon derived originally from the Alexandrine librarians, and sustained by the unanimous adhesion42 of antiquity. In regard to Aristotle, there are no similar grounds of presumption to stand upon. We have good reason for believing that the works both of Plato and Aristotle — if not all the works, at least many of them, and those the most generally interesting — were copied and transmitted early to the Alexandrine library. Now our Plato represents that which was possessed and accredited as Platonic by the Byzantine Aristophanes and the other Alexandrine librarians; but our Aristotle does not, in my judgment, represent what these librarians possessed and accredited as Aristotelian. That which they thus accredited stands recorded in the Catalogue given by Diogenes, probably the work of Hermippus, as I have already stated; while our Aristotle is traceable to the collection at Athens, including that of Apellikon, with that which he bought from the heirs of Neleus, and to the sifting, correction, and classification, applied thereto by able critics of the first century B.C. and subsequently; among whom Andronikus is best known. We may easily believe that the library of Apellikon contained various compositions of Aristotle, which had never been copied for the Alexandrine library — perhaps never prepared for publication at all, so that the task of arranging detached sections or morsels into a whole, with one separate title, still remained to be performed. This was most likely to be the case with abstruser speculations, like the component books of the Metaphysica, which Theophrastus may not have been forward to tender, and which the library might not be very eager to acquire, having already near four hundred other volumes by the same author. These reserved works would therefore remain in the library of Theophrastus, not copied and circulated (or at least circulated only to a few private philosophical brethren, such as Eudêmus), so that they never became fully published until the days of Apellikon.35

35 The two Peripatetic Scholarchs at Athens, Straton and Lykon, who succeeded (after the death of Theophrastus and the transfer of his library to Skêpsis) in the conduct of the school, left at their decease collections of books, of which each disposes by his will (Diogen. L. v. 62; v. 73). The library of Apellikon, when sent by Sylla to Rome, contained probably many other Aristotelian MSS., besides those purchased from Skêpsis.

Michelet, in his Commentary on the Nikomachean Ethica, advances a theory somewhat analogous but bolder, respecting the relation between the Catalogue given by Diogenes, and the works contained in our Aristotle. Comm. p. 2. “Id solum addam, hoc Aristotelis opus (the Nikomachean Ethica), ut reliqua omnia, ex brevioribus commentationibus consarcinatum fuisse, quæ quidem vivo Aristotele in lucem prodierint, cum unaquæque disciplina, e quâ excerpta fuerint in admirabilem illum quem habemus ordinem jam ab ipso Aristotele sive quodam ejus discipulo redacta, in libris Aristotelis manu scriptis latitaverit, qui hereditate ad Nelei prolem, ut notum est, transmissi, in cellâ illâ subterraneâ Scepsiâ absconditi fuerunt, donec Apellicon Teius et Rhodius Andronicus eos ediderint. Leguntur autem commentationum illarum de Moribus tituli in elencho librorum Aristotelis apud Diogenem (v. 22-26): περὶ ἀρετῶν (Lib. ii., iii. c. 6-fin. iv. nostrorum Ethicorum); περὶ ἑκουσίου (Lib. iii. c. 1-5); &c. Plerumque enim non integra volumina, sed singulos libros vel singula volumina diversarum disciplinarum, Diogenes in elencho suo enumeravit.”

In his other work (Essai sur la Métaphysique d’Aristote, pp. 202, 205, 225) Michelet has carried this theory still farther, and has endeavoured to identify separate fragments of the Aristotelian works now extant, with various titles in the Catalogue given by Diogenes. The identification is not convincing.

43But though the edition published by Andronikus would thus contain many genuine works of Aristotle not previously known or edited, we cannot be sure that it would not also include some which were spurious. Reflect what the library of Apellikon, transported to Rome by Sylla, really was. There was in it the entire library of Theophrastus; probably, also, that of Neleus, who must have had some books of his own, besides what he inherited from Theophrastus. It included all the numerous manuscript works composed by Aristotle and Theophrastus, and many other manuscript works purchased or acquired by them, but composed by others — the whole in very bad order and condition; and, moreover, the books which Apellikon possessed before, doubtless as many Aristotelian books as he could purchase. To distinguish, among this heterogeneous mass of manuscripts, which of them were the manuscripts composed by Aristotle; to separate these from the writings of Theophrastus, Eudêmus, or other authors, who composed various works of their own upon the same subjects and with the same titles as those of Aristotle — required extreme critical discernment and caution; the rather, since there was no living companion of Aristotle or Theophrastus to guide or advise, more than a century and a half having elapsed since the death of Theophrastus, and two centuries since that of Aristotle. Such were the difficulties amidst which Apellikon, Tyrannion, and Andronikus had to decide, when they singled out the manuscripts of Aristotle to be published. I will not say that they decided wrongly; yet neither can I contend (as I argued in the case of the Platonic dialogues) that the presumption is very powerful in favour of that Canon which their decision made legal. The case is much more open to argument, if any grounds against the decision can be urged.

Andronikus put in, arranged, and published the treatises of Aristotle (or those which he regarded as composed by Aristotle) included in the library conveyed by Sylla to Rome. I have already observed, that among these treatises there were some, of which copies existed in the Alexandrine library (as represented 44by the Catalogue of Diogenes), but a still greater number which cannot be identified with the titles remaining of works there preserved. As to the works common to both libraries, we must remember that Andronikus introduced a classification of his own, analogous to the Enneads applied by Porphyry to the works of Plotinus, and to the Tetralogies adopted by Thrasyllus in regard to the Dialogues of Plato; so that even these works might not be distributed in the same partitions under each of the two arrangements. And this is what we actually see when we compare the Catalogue of Diogenes with our Aristotle. Rhetoric, Ethics, Physics, Problems, &c., appear in both as titles or subjects, but distributed into a different number of books or sections in one and in the other; perhaps, indeed, the compositions are not always the same.

Before I proceed to deal with the preserved works of Aristotle — those by which alone he is known to us, and was known to mediæval readers, I shall say a few words respecting the import of a distinction which has been much canvassed, conveyed in the word exoteric and its opposite. This term, used on various occasions by Aristotle himself, has been also employed by many ancient critics, from Cicero downwards; while by mediæval and modern critics, it has not merely been employed, but also analysed and elucidated. According to Cicero (the earliest writer subsequent to Aristotle in whom we find the term), it designates one among two classes of works composed by Aristotle: exoteric works were those composed in a popular style and intended for a large, indiscriminate circle of readers: being contrasted with other works of elaborated philosophical reasoning, which were not prepared for the public taste, but left in the condition of memorials for the instruction of a more select class of studious men. Two points are to be observed respecting Cicero’s declaration. First, he applies it to the writings not of Aristotle exclusively, but also to those of Theophrastus, and even of succeeding Peripatetics; secondly, he applies it directly to such of their writings only as related to the discussion of the Summum Bonum.36 Furthermore, Cicero describes the works 45which Aristotle called exoteric, as having proems or introductory prefaces.37

36 Cicero, De Finibus, v. 5, 12. “De summo autem bono, quia duo genera librorum sunt, unum populariter scriptum, quod ἐξωτερικὸν appellabant, alterum limatius, quod in commentariis reliquerunt, non semper idem dicere videntur: nec in summâ tamen ipsâ aut varietas est ulla, apud hos quidem quos nominavi, aut inter ipsos dissensio.”

The word limatius here cannot allude to high polish and ornament of style (nitor orationis), but must be equivalent to ἀκριβέστερον, doctius, subtilius, &c. (as Buhle and others have already remarked, Buhle, De Libris Aristot. Exoter. et Acroam. p. 115; Madvig, ad Cicero de Finib. v. 12; Heitz, p. 134), applied to profound reasoning, with distinctions of unusual precision, which it required a careful preparatory training to apprehend. This employment of the word limatius appears to me singular, but it cannot mean anything else here. The commentarii are the general heads — plain unadorned statements of facts or reasoning — which the orator or historian is to employ his genius in setting forth and decorating, so that it may be heard or read with pleasure and admiration by a general audience. Cicero, in that remarkable letter wherein he entreats Lucceius to narrate his (Cicero’s) consulship in an historical work, undertakes to compose “commentarios rerum omnium” as materials for the use of Lucceius (Ep. ad Famil. v. 12. 10). His expression, “in commentariis reliquerunt,” shows that he considered the exoteric books to have been prepared by working up some naked preliminary materials into an ornate and interesting form.

37 Cicero, Ep. ad Att. iv. 16.

In the main, the distinction here drawn by Cicero, understood in a very general sense, has been accepted by most following critics as intended by the term exoteric: something addressed to a wide, indiscriminate circle of general readers or hearers, and intelligible or interesting to them without any special study or training — as contrasted with that which is reserved for a smaller circle of students assumed to be specially qualified. But among those who agree in this general admission, many differences have prevailed. Some have thought that the term was not used by Aristotle to designate any writings either of his own or of others, but only in allusion to informal oral dialogues or debates. Others again, feeling assured that Aristotle intended by the term to signify some writings of his own, have searched among the works preserved, as well as among the titles of the works lost, to discriminate such as the author considered to be exoteric: though this search has certainly not ended in unanimity; nor do I think it has been successful. Again, there have not been wanting critics (among them, Thomas Aquinas and Sepulveda), who assign to the term a meaning still more vague and undefined; contending that when Aristotle alludes to “exoteric discourses,” he indicates simply some other treatise of his own, distinct from that in which the allusion occurs, without meaning to imply anything respecting its character.38

38 Sepulveda, p. 125 (cited by Bernays, Dialoge des Aristoteles, p. 41): “Externos sermones sive exotericos solet Aristoteles libros eos appellare, quicunque sunt extra id opus in quo tunc versatur, ut jure pontificio periti consueverunt: non enim exoterici sermones seu libri certo aliquo genere continentur, ut est publicus error.”

Zeller lends his high authority to an explanation of exoteric very similar to the above. (Gesch. der Philos. ii. 2, p. 100, seq.:— ”dass unter exoterischen Reden nicht eine eigene Klasse populär geschriebener Bücher, sondern nur überhaupt solche Erörterungen verstanden werden, welche nicht in den Bereich der vorliegenden Untersuchung gehören.”) He discusses the point at some length; but the very passages which he cites, especially Physica, iv. 10, appear to me less favourable to his view than to that which I have stated in the text, according to which the word means dialectic as contrasted with didactic.

To me it appears that this last explanation is untenable, 46and that the term exoteric designates matter of a certain character, assignable to some extent by positive marks, but still more by negative; matter, in part, analogous to that defined by Cicero and other critics. But to conceive clearly or fully what its character is, we must turn to Aristotle himself, who is of course the final authority, wherever he can be found to speak in a decisive manner. His preserved works afford altogether eight passages (two of them indeed in the Eudemian Ethics, which, for the present at least, I shall assume to be his work), wherein the phrase “exoteric discourses” (ἐξωτερικοὶ λόγοι) occurs. Out of these eight passages, there are seven which present the phrase as designating some unknown matter, not farther specified, but distinct from the work in which the phrase occurs: “Enough has been said (or is said, Aristotle intimates) about this subject, even in the exoteric discourses.” To what it is that he here alludes — whether to other writings of his own or oral discussions of his own, or writing and speech of a particular sort by others — we are left to interpret as we best may, by probable reason or conjecture. But there is one among the eight passages, in which Aristotle uses the term exoteric as describing, not what is to be looked for elsewhere, but what he is himself about to give in the treatise in hand. In the fourth book of the Physica, he discusses the three high abstractions, Place, Vacuum, Time. After making an end of the first two, he enters upon the third, beginning with the following words:— “It follows naturally on what has been said, that we should treat respecting Time. But first it is convenient to advert to the difficulties involved in it, by exoteric discourse also — whether Time be included among entities or among non-entities; then afterwards, what is its nature. Now a man might suspect, from the following reasons, that Time either absolutely does not exist, or exists scarcely and dimly,” &c. Aristotle then gives a string of dialectic reasons, lasting through one of the columns of the Berlin edition, for doubting whether Time really exists. He afterwards proceeds thus, through two farther columns:— “Let these be enumerated as the difficulties accompanying the attributes of Time. What Time is, and what is its nature, is obscure, as well from what has been handed down to us by others, as from what we ourselves have just gone through;”39 and this question also he first discusses dialectically, and then brings to a solution.

39 Aristot. Physic. iv. 10, p. 217, b. 29. Ἐχόμενον δὲ τῶν εἰρημένων ἐστὶν ἐπελθεῖν περὶ χρόνου· πρῶτον δὲ καλῶς ἔχει διαπορῆσαι περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ διὰ τῶν ἐξωτερικῶν λόγων, πότερον τῶν ὄντων ἐστὶν ἢ τῶν μὴ ὄντων, εἶτα τίς ἡ φύσις αὐτοῦ. Ὅτι μὲν οὖν ἢ ὅλως ἔστιν, ἢ μόλις καὶ ἀμυδρῶς, ἐκ τῶνδέ τις ἂν ὑποπτεύσειεν. Then, after a column of text urging various ἀπορίας as to whether Time is or is not, he goes on, p. 218, a. 31:— Περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ τοσαῦτ’ ἔστω διηπορημένα. Τί δ’ ἐστὶν ὁ χρόνος, καὶ τίς αὐτοῦ ἡ φύσις, ὁμοίως ἔκ τε τῶν παραδεδομένων ἄδηλόν ἐστι, καὶ περὶ ὧν τυγχάνομεν διεληλυθότες πρότερον — thus taking up the questions, What Time is? What is the nature of Time? Upon this he goes through another column of ἀπορίαι, difficulties and counter-difficulties, until p. 219, a. 1, when he approaches to a positive determination, as the sequel of various negatives — ὅτι μὲν οὖν οὔτε κίνησις οὔτ’ ἄνευ κινήσεως ὁ χρόνος ἐστί, φανερόν. ληπτέον δέ, ἐπεὶ ζητοῦμεν τί ἐστιν ὁ χρόνος, ἐντεῦθεν ἀρχομένοις, τί τῆς κινήσεώς ἐστιν. He pursues this positive determination throughout two farther columns (see ὑποκείσθω, a. 30), until at length he arrives at his final definition of Time — ἀριθμὸς κινήσεως κατὰ τὸ πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον, καὶ συνεχής (συνεχοῦς γὰρ) — which he declares to be φανερόν, p. 220, a. 25.

It is plain that the phrase ἐξωτερικοὶ λόγοι here designates the preliminary dialectic tentative process, before the final affirmative is directly attempted, as we read in De Gener. et Corr. i. 3, p. 317, b. 13: περὶ μὲν οὖν τούτων ἐν ἄλλοις τε διηπόρηται καὶ διώρισται τοῖς λόγοις ἐπὶ πλεῖον — first, τὸ διαπορεῖν, next, τὸ διορίζειν.

47Now what is it that Aristotle here means by “exoteric discourse?” We may discover by reading the matter comprised between the two foregoing citations. We find a string of perplexing difficulties connected with the supposition that Time exists: such as, “That all Time is either past or future, of which the former no longer exists, and the latter does not yet exist; that the Now is no part of Time, for every Whole is composed of its Parts, and Time is not composed of Nows,” &c. I do not go farther here into these subtle suggestions, because my present purpose is only to illustrate what Aristotle calls “exoteric discourse,” by exhibiting what he himself announces to be a specimen thereof. It is the process of noticing and tracing out all the doubts and difficulties (ἀπορίας) which beset the enquiry in hand, along with the different opinions entertained about it either by the vulgar, or by individual philosophers, and the various reasons whereby such opinions may be sustained or impugned. It is in fact the same process as that which, when performed (as it was habitually and actively in his age) between two disputants, he calls dialectic debate; and which he seeks to encourage as well as to regulate in his treatise entitled Topica. He contrasts it with philosophy, or with the strictly didactic and demonstrative procedure: wherein the teacher lays down principles which he requires the learner to admit, and then deduces from them, by syllogisms constructed in regular form, consequences indisputably binding on all who have admitted the principles. But though Aristotle thus distinguishes Dialectic from Philosophy, he at the same time declares it to be valuable as an auxiliary towards the purpose of philosophy, and as an introductory exercise before the didactic stage begins. 48The philosopher ought to show his competence as a dialectician, by indicating and handling those various difficulties and controversies bearing on his subject, which have already been made known, either in writings or in oral debate.40

40 See Aristot. Topic. i. p. 100, b. 21, p. 101, a. 25, 34-36, b. 2. Πρὸς δὲ τὰς κατὰ φιλοσοφίαν ἐπιστήμας (χρήσιμος ἡ πραγματεία), ὅτι δυνάμενοι πρὸς ἀμφότερα διαπορῆσαι ῥᾷον ἐν ἑκάστοις κατοψόμεθα τἀληθές τε καὶ τὸ ψεῦδος, p. 105, b. 30. Πρὸς μὲν οὖν φιλοσοφίαν κατ’ ἀληθειαν περὶ αὐτῶν πραγματευέον, διαλεκτικῶς δὲ πρὸς δόξαν.

Compare also the commencement of book B. in the Metaphysica, p. 995, a. 28 seq., and, indeed, the whole of book B., which contains a dialectic discussion of numerous ἀπορίαι. Aristotle himself refers to it afterwards (Γ. p. 1004, a. 32) in the words ὕπερ ἐν ταῖς ἀπορίαις ἐλεχθη.

The Scholia of Alexander on the beginning of the Topica (pp. 251, 252, Brandis) are instructive; also his Scholia on p. 105, b. 30, p. 260, a. 24. διαλεκτικῶς δὲ πρὸς δόξαν, ὡς ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ πραγματείᾳ (i.e. the Topica) καὶ ἐν τοῖς ῥητορικοῖς, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐξωτερικοῖς. καὶ γὰρ ἐν ἐκείνοις πλεῖστα καὶ περὶ τῶν ἠθικῶν καὶ περὶ τῶν φυσικῶν ἐνδόξως λέγεται.

We see here that Alexander understands by the exoteric the dialectic handling of opinions on physics and ethics.

In the Eudemian Ethica also (i. 8, p. 1217, b. 16) we find ἐπέσκεπται δὲ πολλοῖς περὶ αὐτοῦ τρόποις, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐξωτερικοῖς λόγοις καὶ ἐν τοῖς κατὰ φιλοσοφίαν, where we have the same antithesis in other words — Exoteric or Dialectic versus Philosophical or Didactic. Compare a clear statement in Simplikius (Schol. ad Physic. p. 364, b. 19). Πρῶτον μὲν λογικῶς ἐπιχειρεῖ, τούτεστι πιθανῶς καὶ ἐνδόξως, καὶ ἔτι κοινότερόν πως καὶ διαλεκτικώτερον. Ἡ γὰρ διαλεκτικὴ ἡ Ἀριστοτέλους κοινή ἐστι μέθοδος περὶ παντὸς τοῦ προτεθέντος ἐξ ἐνδόξων συλλογιζομένη — τὸ γὰρ λογικὸν ὡς κοινὸν εἴωθεν ἀντιδιαστέλλειν τᾳ οἰκείῳ καὶ κατὰ φύσιν τοῦ πράγματος καὶ ἀποδεικτικῷ.

We thus learn, from the example furnished by Aristotle himself, what he means by “exoteric discourses.” The epithet means literally, extraneous to, lying on the outside of; in the present case, on the outside of philosophy, considered in its special didactic and demonstrative march.41 Yet what thus lies outside philosophy, is nevertheless useful as an accompaniment and preparation for philosophy. We shall find Aristotle insisting upon this in his Topica and Analytica; and we shall also find him introducing the exoteric treatment into his most abstruse philosophical treatises (the Physica is one of the most abstruse) as an accompaniment and auxiliary — a dialectic survey of opinions, puzzles, and controverted points, before he begins to lay down and follow out affirmative principles of his own. He does this not only throughout the Physica (in several other 49passages besides that which I have just cited),42 but also in the Metaphysica, the treatises De Animâ, De Generatione et Corruptione, &c.

41 We find the epithet ἐξωτερικὸς used once by Aristotle, not in conjunction with λόγοι, but with πράξεις, designating those acts which are performed with a view to some ulterior and extraneous end (τῶν ἀποβαινόντων χάριν, as contrasted with πράξεις αὐτοτελεῖς — οἰκεῖαι): Polit. vii. p. 1325, b. 22-29. σχολῇ γὰρ ἂν ὁ θεὸς ἔχοι καλῶς καὶ πᾶς ὁ κόσμος, οἷς οὐκ εἰσὶν ἐξωτερικαὶ πράξεις παρὰ τὰς οἰκείας τὰς αὐτῶν. In the Eudemian Ethics the phrase τοῖς ἀλλοτρίοις λόγοις σοφίζονται is used much in the same sense as τοῖς ἐξωτερικοῖς λόγοις: i.e. opposed to τοῖς οἰκείοις — to that which belongs specially to the scientific determination of the problem (Ethic. Eudem. i. p. 1218, b. 18).

The phrase διὰ τῶν ἐξωτερικῶν λόγων, in Aristot. Physic. iv. 10, p. 217, b. 31, and the different phrase ἐκ τῶν εἰωθότων λόγων λέγεσθαι, in Phys. vi. 2, p. 233, a. 13, appear to have the same meaning and reference. Compare Prantl not. ad Arist. Phys. p. 501.

42 If we turn to the beginning of book iv. of the Physica, where Aristotle undertakes to examine Τόπος, Place, we shall see that he begins by a dialectic handling of ἀπορίαι, exactly analogous to that which he himself calls ἐξωτερικοὶ λόγοι, when he proceeds to examine Χρόνος, Time: see Physica, iv. pp. 208, a. 32-35, 209, a. 30; 210, a. 12, b. 31. He does the like also about Κενόν, Vacuum, p. 213, a. 20, b. 28, and about Ἄπειρον, Infinitum, iii. p. 204, b. 4 (with the Scholia of Simplikius, p. 364, b. 20, Br.).

Compare the Scholion of Simplikius ad Physica (i. p. 329, b. 1, Br.) — ἴσως δὲ (Simplikius uses this indecisive word ἴσως) ὅτι ἡ ἐφ’ ἑκάτερα ἀπορία τοῦ λόγου ἐξωτερική τις ἦν, ὡς Εὔδημός φησι, διαλεκτικὴ μᾶλλον οὖσα, with this last Scholion, on p. 364, b. 20, which describes the same dialectic handling, though without directly calling it exoteric.

Having thus learnt to understand, from one distinct passage of Aristotle himself, what he means by “exoteric discourses,” we must interpret by the light of this analogy the other indistinct passages in which the phrase occurs. We see clearly that in using the phrase, he does not of necessity intend to refer to any other writings of his own — nor even to any other writings at all. He may possibly mean this; but we cannot be sure of it. He means by the phrase, a dialectic process of turning over and criticizing diverse opinions and probabilities: whether in his own writings, or in those of others, or in no writings at all, but simply in those oral debates which his treatise called Topica presupposes — this is a point which the phrase itself does not determine. He may mean to allude, in some cases where he uses the phrase, to his own lost dialogues; but he may also allude to Platonic and other dialogues, or to colloquies carried on orally by himself with his pupils, or to oral debates on intellectual topics between other active-minded men. When Bernays refers “exoteric discourse” to the lost Aristotelian Dialogues; when Madvig, Zeller, Torstrick, Forchhammer, and others, refer it to the contemporary oral dialectic43 — I think that 50neither of these explanations is in itself inadmissible. The context of each particular passage must decide which of the two is the more probable. We cannot go farther, in explaining the seven doubtful passages where Aristotle alludes to the “exoteric discourses,” than to understand the general character and scope of the reasonings which he thus designates. Extra-philosophical, double-sided, dialectic, is in general (he holds) insufficient by itself, and valuable only as a preparation and auxiliary to the didactic process. But there are some particular points on which such dialectic leaves a result sufficient and satisfactory, which can be safely accepted as the basis of future deduction. These points he indicates in the passages above cited; without informing us more particularly whether the dialectic was written or spoken, and whether by himself or by others.44

43 Ueberweg (Geschichte der Philos. des Alterthums, vol. i. § 46, p. 127, 2nd ed.) gives a just and accurate view of ἐξωτερικοὶ λόγοι, as conceived by Aristotle. See also the dissertation of Buhle, prefixed to his unfinished edition of Aristotle, De Aristotelis Libris Exotericis et Acroamaticis, pp. 107-152 — which discusses this subject copiously, and gives a collection both of the passages and comments which bear upon it. It is instructive, though his opinion leans too much towards the supposition of a double doctrine. Bernays, in his dissertation, Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, maintains that by exoteric books are always meant the lost dialogues of Aristotle; and he employs much reasoning to refute the supposition of Madvig (Excurs. VII. ad Cicero, de Fin. p. 861), of Torstrick (ad Aristotel. de Animâ, p. 123), and also of Zeller, that by exoteric discourses are not meant any writings at all, but simply the colloquies and debates of cultivated men, apart from the philosophical schools. On the other hand, Forchhammer has espoused this last-mentioned opinion, and has defended it against the objections of Bernays (Forchhammer, Aristoteles und die exoterischen Reden, p. 16, seq.). The question is thus fully argued on both sides. To me it seems that each of these two opinions is partially right, and neither of them exclusively right. “Exoteric discourse,” as I understand it, might be found both in the Aristotelian dialogues, and in the debates of cultivated men out of the schools, and also in parts of the Aristotelian akroamatic works. The argument of Bernays (p. 36, seq.), that the points which Aristotle alludes to as having been debated and settled in exoteric discourses, were too abstruse and subtle to have been much handled by cultivated men out of the schools, or (as he expresses it) in the salons or coffee-houses (or what corresponded thereto) at Athens — this argument seems to me untenable. We know well, from the Topica of Aristotle, that the most abstruse subjects were handled dialectically, in a manner which he called extra-philosophical; and that this was a frequent occupation of active-minded men at Athens. To discuss these matters in the way which he calls πρὸς δόξαν, was more frequent than to discuss them πρὸς ἀλήθειαν.

Zell remarks (ad Ethica Nikom. i. 13), after referring to the passage in Aristotle’s Physica, iv. 10 (to which I have called attention in a previous note), “quo loco, à Buhlio neglecto, ἐξωτερικοὶ λόγοι idem significant quod alibi κοιναὶ δόξαι, εἰωθότες λόγοι, vel τὰ λεγόμενα: quæ semper, priusquam suas rationes in disputando proponat, disquirere solet Aristoteles. Vide supra, ad cap. viii. 1.” I find also in Weisse (Translation of and Comment on the Physica of Aristotle, p. 517) a fair explanation of what Aristotle really means by exoteric; an explanation, however, which Ritter sets aside, in my judgment erroneously (Geschichte der Philosophie, vol. iii. p. 23).

44 Thus, for example, the passage in the Ethica Nikom. i. 13, p. 1102, a. 26. λέγεται δὲ περὶ αὐτῶν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐξωτερικοῖς λόγοις ἀρκούντως ἔνια, καὶ χρηστέον αὐτοῖς, is explained in the Paraphrase of the Pseudo-Andronikus as referring to oral colloquy of Aristotle himself with pupils or interlocutors; and this may possibly be a correct explanation.

From the time of Cicero downward, a distinction has been drawn between some books of Aristotle which were exoteric, and others that were not so; these last being occasionally designated as akroamatic. Some modern critics have farther tried to point out which, among the preserved works of Aristotle, belonged to each of these heads. Now there existed, doubtless, in the days of Cicero, Strabo, Plutarch, and Gellius, books of Aristotle properly called exoteric, i.e. consisting almost entirely of exoteric discourse and debate; though whether Aristotle himself would have spoken of an exoteric book, I have some doubt. Of such a character were his Dialogues. But all the works designated 51as akroamatic (or non-exoteric) must probably have contained a certain admixture of “exoteric discourse”; as the Physica (Φυσικὴ Ἀκρόασις) and the Metaphysica are seen to contain now. The distinction indicated by Cicero would thus be really between one class of works, wherein “exoteric discourse” was exclusive or paramount, — and another, in which it was partially introduced, subordinate to some specified didactic purpose.45 To this last class belong all the works of Aristotle that we possess at present. Cicero would have found none of them corresponding to his notion of an exoteric book.

45 To this extent I go along with the opinion expressed by Weisse in his translation of the Physica of Aristotle, p. 517: “Dass dieser Gegensatz kein absoluter von zwei durchaus getrennten Bücherclassen ist, sondern dass ein und dasselbe Werk zugleich exoterisch und esoterisch sein konnte; und zweitens, dass exoterisch überhaupt dasjenige heisst, was nicht in den positiv-dogmatischen Zusammenhang der Lehre des Philosophen unmittelbar als Glied eintritt.” But Weisse goes on afterwards to give a different opinion (about the meaning of exoteric books), conformable to what I have cited in a previous note from Sepulveda; and in that I do not concur. However, he remarks that the manner in which Aristotle handled the Abstracta, Place and Infinite, is just the same as that which he declares to be exoteric in the case of Time. The distinction drawn by Aulus Gellius (xx. 5) is not accurate: “Ἐξωτερικὰ dicebantur, quæ ad rhetoricas meditationes, facultatem argutiarum, civiliumque rerum notitiam conducebant. Ἀκροατικὰ autem vocabantur, in quibus philosophia remotior subtiliorque agitabatur; quæque ad naturæ contemplationes, disceptationesque dialecticas pertinebant.” It appears to me that disceptationes dialecticæ ought to be transferred to the department ἐξωτερικά, and that civilium rerum notitia belongs as much to ἀκροατικὰ as to ἐξωτερικά. M. Ravaisson has discussed this question very ably and instructively, Essai sur la Métaphysique d’Aristote, pp. 224-244. He professes indeed to defend the opinion which I have cited from Sepulveda, and which I think erroneous; but his reasonings go really to the support of the opinion given in my text. He remarks, justly, that the dialogues of Plato (at least all the dialogues of Search) are specimens of exoteric handling; of which attribute Forchhammer speaks as if it were peculiar to the Charmides (Aristot. Exot. Reden. p. 22). Brandis (Aristoteles, p. 105) thinks that when Aristotle says in the Politica, vii. 1, p. 1323, a. 21: νομίσαντας οὖν ἱκανῶς πολλὰ λέγεσθαι καὶ τῶν ἐν τοῖς ἐξωτερικοῖς λόγοις περὶ τῆς ἀρίστης ζώης, καὶ νῦν χρηστέον αὐτοῖς, he intends to designate the Ethica. It may be so; yet the Politica seems a continuation of the Ethica: moreover, even in the Ethica, we find reference made to previous discussions, ἐν τοῖς ἐξωτερικῶς λόγοις (Eth. N. I. 13).

To understand fully the extent comprehended by the word exoteric, we must recollect that its direct and immediate meaning is negative — extraneous to philosophy, and suitable to an audience not specially taught or prepared for philosophy. Now this negative characteristic belongs not merely to dialectic (as we see it in the example above cited from the Aristotelian Physica), but also to rhetoric or rhetorical argument. We know that, in Aristotle’s mind, the rhetorical handling and the dialectical handling, are placed both of them under the same head, as dealing with opinions rather than with truth.46 Both the one 52and the other are parted off from the didactic or demonstrative march which leads to philosophical truth; though dialectic has a distant affinity with that march, and is indeed available as an auxiliary skirmisher. The term exoteric will thus comprehend both rhetorical argument and dialectical argument.47 Of the latter, we have just seen a specimen extracted from the Physica; of the former, I know no specimen remaining, but there probably were many of them in the Aristotelian dialogues now lost — that which was called ‘Eudemus,’ and others. With these dialogues Cicero was probably more familiar than with any other composition of Aristotle. I think it highly probable that Aristotle alludes to the dialogues in some of the passages where he refers to “exoteric discourses.” To that extent I agree with Bernays; but I see no reason to believe (as he does) that the case is the same with all the passages, or that the epithet is to be understood always as implying one of these lost Aristotelian dialogues.48

46 See the first two chapters of Aristotle’s Rhetorica, especially pp. 1355 a. 24-35, 1358 a. 5, 11, 25, also p. 1404 a. 1.: ὅλως οὔσης πρὸς δόξαν τῆς πραγματείας τῆς περὶ τὴν ῥητορικήν, which is exactly what he says also about Dialectic, in the commencement of the Topica.

47 Octavianus Ferrarius observes, in his treatise De Sermonibus Exotericis (Venet. 1575), p. 24: “Quod si Dialecticus et Rhetor inter se mutant, ut aiunt, ita ut Dialecticus Rhetorem et Rhetor Dialecticum vicissim induat — de his ipsis veteribus Dialecticis minime nobis dubitandum est, quin iidem dialectice simul et rhetorice loqui in utramque partem potuerint. Nec valde mirum debet hoc videri; libros enim exotericos prope solos habuerunt: qui cum scripti essent (ut posterius planum faciam) dialectico more, illorum lectio cum libris peperit philosophos congruentes” — Ferrari adverts well to the distinction between the philosopher and the dialectician (sensu Aristotelico), handling often the same subjects, but in a different way: between the οἰκεῖαι ἀρχαί, upon which didactic method rested, and the δόξαι or diverse opinions, each countenanced by more or less authority, from which dialectic took its departure (pp. 36, 86, 89).

48 I agree very much with the manner in which Bernays puts his case, pp. 79, 80, 92, 93: though there is a contradiction between p. 80 and p. 92, in respect to the taste and aptitude of the exterior public for dialectic debate; which is affirmed in the former page, denied in the latter. But the doctrine asserted in the pages just indicated amounts only to this — that the dialogues were included in Aristotle’s phrase, ἐξωτερικοὶ λόγοι; which appears to me true.

There grew up, in the minds of some commentators, a supposition of “exoteric doctrine” as denoting what Aristotle promulgated to the public, contrasted with another secret or mystic doctrine reserved for a special few, and denoted by the term esoteric; though this term is not found in use before the days of Lucian.49 I believe the supposition of a double doctrine to be mistaken in regard to Aristotle; but it is true as to the Pythagoreans, and is not without some colour of truth even as to Plato. That Aristotle employed one manner of explanation and illustration, when discussing with advanced pupils, and another, more or less different, when addressing an unprepared audience, we may hold as certain and even unavoidable; but this does not amount to a double positive doctrine. Properly 53speaking, indeed, the term “exoteric” (as I have just explained it out of Aristotle himself) does not designate, or even imply, any positive doctrine at all. It denotes a many-sided controversial debate, in which numerous points are canvassed and few settled; the express purpose being to bring into full daylight the perplexing aspects of each. There are indeed a few exceptional cases, in which “exoteric discourse” will itself have thrown up a tolerably trustworthy result: these few (as I have above shown) Aristotle occasionally singles out and appeals to. But as a general rule, there is no doctrine which can properly be called exoteric: the “exoteric discourse” suggests many new puzzles, but terminates without any solution at all. The doctrine, whenever any such is proved, emerges out of the didactic process which follows.

49 Luc. Vit. Auct. 26.









Of the prodigious total of works composed by Aristotle, I have already mentioned that the larger number have perished. But there still remain about forty treatises, of authenticity not open to any reasonable suspicion, which attest the grandeur of his intelligence, in respect of speculative force, positive as well as negative, systematizing patience, comprehensive curiosity as to matters of fact, and diversified applications of detail. In taking account of these treatises, we perceive some in which the order of sequence is determined by assignable reasons; as regards others, no similar grounds of preference appear. The works called 1. De Cœlo; 2. De Generatione et Corruptione; 3. Meteorologica, — are marked out as intended to be studied in immediate succession, and the various Zoological treatises after them. The cluster entitled Parva Naturalia is complementary to the treatise De Animâ. The Physica Auscultatio is referred to in the Metaphysica, and discusses many questions identical or analogous, standing in the relation of prior to a posterior, as the titles indicate; though the title ‘Metaphysica’ is not affixed or recognized by Aristotle himself, and the treatise so called includes much that goes beyond the reach of the Physica. As to the treatises on Logic, Rhetoric, Ethics, Politics, Poetics, Mechanics, &c., we are left to fix for ourselves the most convenient order of study. Of no one among them can we assign the date of composition or publication. There are indeed in the Rhetorica, Politics, and Meteorologica, various allusions which must have been written later than some given events of known date; but these allusions may have been later additions, and cannot be considered as conclusively proving, though they certainly raise a presumption, that the entire work was written subsequently to those events.

The proper order in which the works of Aristotle ought to be studied (like the order proper for studying the Platonic dialogues),1 was matter of debate from the time of his earliest 55editors and commentators, in the century immediately preceding the Christian era. Boêthus the Sidonian (Strabo’s contemporary and fellow-student) recommended that the works on natural philosophy and physiology should be perused first; contending that these were the easiest, the most interesting, and, on the whole, the most successful among all the Aristotelian productions. Some Platonists advised that the ethical treatises should be put in the front rank, on the ground of their superior importance for correcting bad habits and character; others assigned the first place to the mathematics, as exhibiting superior firmness in the demonstrations. But Andronikus himself, the earliest known editor of Aristotle’s works, arranged them in a different order, placing the logical treatises at the commencement of his edition. He considered these treatises, taken collectively, to be not so much a part of philosophy as an Organon or instrument, the use of which must be acquired by the reader before he became competent to grasp or comprehend philosophy; as an exposition of method rather than of doctrine.2 From the 56time of Andronikus downward, the logical treatises have always stood first among the written or printed works of Aristotle. They have been known under the collective title of the ‘Organon,’ and as such it will be convenient still to regard them.3

1 Scholia, p. 25, b. 37, seq. Br.; p. 321, b. 30; Diogen. L. iii. 62. The order in which the forty-six Aristotelian treatises stand printed in the Berlin edition, and in other preceding editions, corresponds to the tripartite division, set forth by Aristotle himself, of sciences or cognitions generally: 1. Theoretical; θεωρητικαί 2. Practical; πρακτικαί. 3. Constructive or Technical; ποιητικαί.

Patricius, in his Discussiones Peripateticæ, published in 1581 (tom. i. lib. xiii. p. 173), proclaims himself to be the first author who will undertake to give an account of Aristotle’s philosophy from Aristotle himself (instead of taking it, as others before him had done, from the Aristotelian expositors, Andronikus, Alexander, Porphyry, or Averroes); likewise, to be the first author who will consult all the works of Aristotle, instead of confining himself, as his predecessors had done, to a select few of the works. Patricius then proceeds to enumerate those works upon which alone the professors “in Italicis scholis” lectured, and to which the attention of all readers was restricted. 1. The Predicabilia, or Eisagoge of Porphyry. 2. The Categoriæ. 3. The De Interpretatione. 4. The Analytica Priora; but only the four first chapters of the first book. 5. The Analytica Posteriora; but only a few chapters of the first book; nothing of the second. 6. The Physica; books first and second; then parts of the third and fourth; lastly, the eighth book. 7. The De Cœlo; books first and second. 8. The De Generatione et Corruptione; books first and second. 9. The De Animâ; all the three books. 10. The Metaphysica; books Alpha major, Alpha minor, third, sixth, and eleventh. “Idque, quadriennio integro, quadruplicis ordinis Philosophi perlegunt auditoribus. De reliquis omnibus tot libris, mirum silentium.”

Patricius expressly remarks that neither the Topica nor the De Sophisticis Elenchis was touched in this full course of four years. But he does not remark — what to a modern reader will seem more surprising — that neither the Ethica, nor the Politica, nor the Rhetorica, is included in the course.

2 Aristot. Topica, i. p. 104, b. 1, with the Scholia of Alexander, p. 259, a. 48 Br.; Scholia ad Analyt. Prior. p. 140, a. 47, p. 141, a. 25; also Schol. ad Categor. p. 36, a., p. 40, a., 8. This conception of the Organon is not explicitly announced by Aristotle, but seems quite in harmony with his views. The contemptuous terms in which Prantl speaks of it (Gesch. der Logik, i. 136), as a silly innovation of the Stoics, are unwarranted.

Aristotle (Metaph. E. i. p. 1025, b. 26) classifies the sciences as θεωρητικαί, πρακτικαί, ποιητικαί; next he subdivides the first of the three into φυσική, μαθηματική, πρώτη φιλοσοφία. Brentano, after remarking that no place in this distribution is expressly provided for Logic, explains the omission as follows: “Diese auffallende Erscheinung erklärt sich daraus, dass diese [the three above-named theoretical sciences] allein das reelle Sein betrachten, und nach den drei Graden der Abstraktion in ihrer Betrachtungsweise verschieden, geschieden werden; während die Logik das bloss rationelle Sein, das ὃν ὡς ἀληθές, behandelt.” (Ueber die Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles, p. 39.) — Investigations περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας, ὃν τρόπον δεῖ ἀποδέχεσθαι are considered by Aristotle as belonging to τὰ Ἀναλυκτικά; enquiries into method in the first instance, and into doctrine chiefly with a view to method (Metaphys. Γ. p. 1005, b. 2. In Metaphys. Γ. 1005, b. 7, he declares that these enquiries into method, or analysis of the principia of syllogistic reasoning, belong to the Philosophia Prima (compare Metaphys. Z. 12, p. 1037, b. 8). Schwegler in his Commentary (p. 161) remarks that this is one of the few passages in which Aristotle indicates the relation in which Logic stands to Metaphysics, or First Philosophy. The question has been started among his Ἀπορίαι, Metaph. B. 2, p. 999, b. 30.

3 Respecting the title of Organon which was sometimes applied to the Analytica Posteriora only, see Waitz ad Organ. ii. p. 294.

These treatises are six in number:— 1. Categoriæ;4 2. De Interpretatione, or De Enunciatione; 3. Analytica Priora; 4. Analytica Posteriora; 5. Topica; 6. De Sophisticis Elenchis. This last short treatise — De Sophisticis Elenchis — belongs naturally to the Topica which precedes it, and of which it ought to be ranked as the ninth or concluding book. Waitz has printed it as such in his edition of the Organon; but as it has been generally known with a separate place and title, I shall not depart from the received understanding.

4 Some eminent critics, Prantl and Bonitz among them, consider the treatise Categoriæ not to be the work of Aristotle. The arguments on which this opinion rests are not convincing to me; and even if they were, the treatise could not be left out of consideration, since the doctrine of the Ten Categories is indisputably Aristotelian. See Zeller, Die Phil. der Griech. ii. 2, pp. 50, 51, 2nd ed.

Aristotle himself does not announce these six treatises as forming a distinct aggregate, nor as belonging to one and the same department, nor as bearing one comprehensive name. We find indeed in the Topica references to the Analytica, and in the Analytica references to the Topica. In both of them, the ten Categories are assumed and presupposed, though the treatise describing them is not expressly mentioned: to both also, the contents of the treatise De Interpretatione or Enunciatione, though it is not named, are indispensable. The affinity and interdependence of the six is evident, and justifies the practice of the commentators in treating them as belonging to one and the same department. To that department there belonged also several other treatises of Aristotle, not now preserved, but specified in the catalogue of his lost works; and these his disciples Theophrastus, Eudemus, and Phanias, had before them. As all these three disciples composed treatises of their own on the same or similar topics,5 amplifying, elucidating, or controverting the 57views of their master, the Peripatetics immediately succeeding them must have possessed a copious logical literature, in which the six treatises now constituting the Organon appeared as portions, but not as a special aggregate in themselves.

5 Ammonius ap. Schol. p. 28, a. 41; p. 33, b. 27, Br.

Of the two treatises which stand first in the Aristotelian Organon — the Categoriæ and the De Interpretatione — each forms in a certain sense the complement of the other. The treatise De Interpretatione handles Propositions (combinations of terms in the way of Subject and Predicate), with prominent reference to the specific attribute of a Proposition — the being true or false, the object of belief or disbelief; the treatise Categoriæ deals with these same Terms (to use Aristotle’s own phrase) pronounced without or apart from such combination. In his definition of the simple Term, the Proposition is at the same time assumed to be foreknown as the correlate or antithesis to it.6

6 Τὰ ἄνευ συμπλοκῆς λεγόμενα — τῶν κατὰ μηδεμίαν συμπλοκὴν λεγομένωνα (Categ. p. 1, a. 16, b. 25). See Schol. ad Aristot. Physica, p. 323, b. 25, Br.; and Bonitz ad Aristotel. Metaph. (A. p. 987) p. 90.

The Categories of Aristotle appear to formed one of the most prominent topics of the teaching of Themistius: rebutting the charge, advanced both against himself, and, in earlier days, against Sokrates and the Sophists, of rendering his pupils presumptuous and conceited, he asks, ἠκούσατε δὲ αὖ τινος τῶν ἐμῶν ἐπιτηδείων ὑψηλογουμένου καὶ βρενθυομένου ἐπὶ τοῖς συνωνύμοις ἢ ὁμωνύμοῖς ἢ παρωνύμοις; (Orat. xxiii. p. 351.)

Reference is made (in the Scholia on the Categoriæ, p. 43, b. 19) to a classification of names made by Speusippus, which must have been at least as early as that of Aristotle; perhaps earlier, since Speusippus died in 339 B.C. We do not hear enough of this to understand clearly what it was. Boêthus remarked that Aristotle had omitted to notice some distinctions drawn by Speusippus on this matter, Schol. p. 43, a. 29. Compare a remark in Aristot. De Cœlo, i. p. 280, b. 2.

The first distinction pointed out by Aristotle among simple, uncombined Terms, or the things denoted thereby, is the Homonymous, the Synonymous, and the Paronymous. Homonymous are those which are called by the same name, used in a different sense or with a different definition or rational explanation. Synonymous are those called by the same name in the same sense. Paronymous are those called by two names, of which the one is derived from the other by varying the inflexion or termination.7

7 Aristot. Categor. p. 1, a. 1-15.

We can hardly doubt that it was Aristotle who first gave this peculiar distinctive meaning to the two words Homonymous and Synonymous, rendered in modern phraseology (through the Latin) Equivocal and Univocal. Before his time this important distinction between different terms had no technical name to designate it. The service rendered to Logic by introducing such a technical term, and by calling attention to the lax mode of speaking which it indicated, was great. In every branch of his 58writings Aristotle perpetually reverts to it, applying it to new cases, and especially to those familiar universal words uttered most freely and frequently, under the common persuasion that their meaning is not only thoroughly known but constant and uniform. As a general fact, students are now well acquainted with this source of error, though the stream of particular errors flowing from it is still abundant, ever renewed and diversified. But in the time of Aristotle the source itself had never yet been pointed out emphatically to notice, nor signalized by any characteristic term as by a beacon. The natural bias which leads us to suppose that one term always carries one and the same meaning, was not counteracted by any systematic warning or generalized expression. Sokrates and Plato did indeed expose many particular examples of undefined and equivocal phraseology. No part of the Platonic writings is more valuable than the dialogues in which this operation is performed, forcing the respondent to feel how imperfectly he understands the phrases constantly in use. But it is rarely Plato’s practice to furnish generalized positive warnings or systematic distinctions. He has no general term corresponding to homonymous or equivocal; and there are even passages where (under the name of Prodikus) he derides or disparages a careful distinctive analysis of different significations of the same name. To recognize a class of equivocal terms and assign thereto a special class-name, was an important step in logical procedure; and that step, among so many others, was made by Aristotle.8

8 In the instructive commentary of Dexippus on the Categoriæ (contained in a supposed dialogue between Dexippus and his pupil Seleukus, of which all that remains has been recently published by Spengel, Munich, 1859), that commentator defends Aristotle against some critics who wondered why he began with these Ante-predicaments (ὁμώνυμα, συνώνυμα, &c.), instead of proceeding at once to the Predicaments or Categories themselves. Dexippus remarks that without understanding this distinction between equivoca and univoca, the Categories themselves could not be properly appreciated; for Ens — τὸ ὂν — is homonymous in reference to all the Categories, and not a Summum Genus, comprehending the Categories as distinct species under it; while each Category is a Genus in reference to its particulars. Moreover, Dexippus observes that this distinction of homonyms and synonyms was altogether unknown and never self-suggested to the ordinary mind (ὅσων γὰρ ἔννοιαν οὐκ ἔχομεν, τούτων πρόληψιν οὐκ ἔχομεν, p. 20), and therefore required to be brought out first of all at the beginning; whereas the Post-predicaments (to which we shall come later on) were postponed to the end, because they were cases of familiar terms loosely employed. (See Spengel, Dexipp. pp. 19, 20, 21.)

Though Aristotle has professed to distinguish between terms implicated in predication, and terms not so implicated,9 yet 59when he comes to explain the functions of the latter class, he considers them in reference to their functions as constituent members of propositions. He immediately begins by distinguishing four sorts of matters (Entia): That which is affirmable of a Subject, but is not in a Subject; That which is in a Subject, but is not affirmable of a Subject; That which is both in a Subject, and affirmable of a Subject; That which is neither in a Subject, nor affirmable of a Subject.10

9 Aristot. Categor. p. 1, a. 16. τῶν λεγομένων τὰ μὲν κατὰ συμπλοκὴν λέγεται, τὰ δ’ ἄνευ συμπλοκῆς· τὰ μὲν οὖν κατὰ συμπλοκὴν οἷον ἄνθρωπος τρέχει, ἄνθρωπος νικᾷ· τὰ δ’ ἄνευ συμπλοκῆς οἶον ἄνθρωπος, βοῦς, τρέχει, νικᾷ.

It will be seen that the meaning and function of the single word can only explained relatively to the complete proposition, which must be assumed as foreknown.

That which Aristotle discriminates in this treatise, in the phrases — λέγεσθαι κατὰ συμπλοκὴν and λέγεσθαι ἄνευ συμπλοκῆς is equivalent to what we read in the De Interpretatione (p. 16, b. 27, p. 17, a. 17) differently expressed, φωνὴ σημαντικὴ ὡς κατάφασις and φωνὴ σημαντικὴ ὡς φάσις.

10 Aristot. Categor. p. 1, a. 20.

This fundamental quadruple distinction of Entia, which serves as an introduction to the ten Categories or Predicaments, belongs to words altogether according to their relative places or functions in the proposition; the meanings of the words being classified accordingly. That the learner may understand it, he ought properly to be master of the first part of the treatise De Interpretatione, wherein the constituent elements of a proposition are explained: so intimate is the connection between that treatise and this.

The classification applies to Entia (Things or Matters) universally, and is thus a first step in Ontology. He here looks at Ontology in one of its several diverse aspects — as it enters into predication, and furnishes the material for Subjects and Predicates, the constituent members of a proposition.

Ontology, or the Science of Ens quatenus Ens, occupies an important place in Aristotle’s scientific programme; bearing usually the title of First Philosophy, sometimes Theology, though never (in his works) the more modern title of Metaphysica. He describes it as the universal and comprehensive Science, to which all other sciences are related as parts or fractions. Ontology deals with Ens in its widest sense, as an Unum not generic but analogical — distinguishing the derivative varieties into which it may be distributed, and setting out the attributes and accompaniments of Essentia universally; while other sciences, such as Geometry, Astronomy, &c., confine themselves to distinct branches of that whole;11 each having its own separate class of Entia for special and exclusive study. This is the characteristic distinction of Ontology, as Aristotle conceives it; he does not set it in antithesis to Phenomenology, according to 60the distinction that has become current among modern metaphysicians.

11 Aristot. Metaphys. Γ. p. 1003, a. 21, 25-33, E. p. 1025, b. 8. ἔστιν ἐπιστήμη τις ἢ θεωρεῖ τὸ ὂν ᾗ ὂν καὶ τὰ τούτῳ ὑπάρχοντα καθ’ αὑτό· αὕτη δ’ ἐστὶν οὐδεμιᾷ τῶν ἄλλων ἐπισκοπεῖ καθόλου περὶ τοῦ ὄντος ᾗ ὅν, ἀλλὰ μέρος αὐτοῦ τι ἀποτεμόμεναι περὶ τούτου θεωροῦσι τὸ συμβεβηκός, &c. Compare p. 1005, a. 2-14.

Now Ens (or Entia), in the doctrine of Aristotle, is not a synonymous or univocal word, but an homonymous or equivocal word; or, rather, it is something between the two, being equivocal, with a certain qualification. Though not a Summum Genus, i.e. not manifesting throughout all its particulars generic unity, nor divisible into species by the addition of well-marked essential differentiæ, it is an analogical aggregate, or a Summum Analogon, comprehending under it many subordinates which bear the same name from being all related in some way or other to a common root or fundamentum, the relationship being both diverse in kind and nearer or more distant in degree. The word Ens is thus homonymous, yet in a qualified sense. While it is not univocal, it is at the same time not absolutely equivocal. It is multivocal (if we may coin such a word), having many meanings held together by a multifarious and graduated relationship to one common fundamentum.12 Ens (or Entia), in this widest sense, is the theme of Ontology or First Philosophy, and is looked at by Aristotle in four different principal aspects.13

12 Simplikius speaks of these Analoga as τὸ μέσον τῶν τε συνωνύμων καὶ τῶν ὁμωνύμων, τὸ ἀφ’ ἑνός, &c. Schol. ad Categor. p. 69, b. 29, Brand. See also Metaphys. Z. p. 1030, a. 34.

Dexippus does not recognize, formally and under a distinct title, this intermediate stage between συνώνυμα and ὁμώνυμα. He states that Aristotle considered Ens as ὁμώνυμον, while other philosophers considered it as συνώνυμον (Dexippus, p. 26, book i. sect. 19, ed. Spengel). But he intimates that the ten general heads called Categories have a certain continuity and interdependence (συνέχειαν καὶ ἀλληλουχίαν) each with the others, branching out from οὐσία in ramifications more or less straggling (p. 48, book ii. sects. 1, 2, Spengel). The list (he says, p. 47) does not depend upon διαίρεσις (generic division), nor yet is it simple enumeration (ἀπαρίθμησις) of incoherent items. In the Physica, vii. 4, p. 249, a. 23, Aristotle observes: εἰσὶ δὲ τῶν ὁμωνυμιῶν αἱ μὲν πολὺ ἀπέχουσι αἱ δὲ ἔχουσαί τινα ὁμοιότητα, αἱ δ’ ἐγγὺς ἢ γένει ἢ ἀναλογίᾳ, διὸ οὐ δοκοῦσιν ὁμωνυμίαι εἶναι οὖσαι.

13 Aristot. Metaphys. Δ. p. 1017, a. 7, E. p. 1025, a. 34, p. 1026, a. 33, b. 4; upon which last passage see the note of Bonitz.

1. Τὸ ὂν κατὰ συμβεβηκός — Ens per AccidensEns accidental, or rather concomitant, either as rare and exceptional attribute to a subject, or along with some other accident in the same common subject.

2. Τὸ ὂν ὡς ἀληθές, καὶ τὸ μὴ ὂν ὡς ψεῦδος — Ens, in the sense /of Truth, Non-Ens, in the sense of Falsehood. This is the Ens of the Proposition; a true affirmation or denial falls under Ens in this mode, when the mental conjunction of terms agrees with reality; a false affirmation or denial, where no such agreement exists, falls under Non-Ens.14

14 Aristot. Metaph. E. 4, p. 1027, b. 18, — p. 1028, a. 4. οὐ γὰρ ἐστι τὸ ψεῦδος καὶ τὸ ἀληθὲς ἐν τοῖς πράγμασιν — ἀλλ’ ἐν διανοίᾳ — οὐκ ἔξω δηλοῦσιν οὖσάν τινα φύσιν τοῦ ὄντος. Also Θ. 10, p. 1051, b. 1: τὸ κυριώτατα ὂν ἀληθες καὶ ψεῦδος. In a Scholion, Alexander remarks: τὸ δὲ ὡς ἀληθῶς ὂν πάθος ἐστὶ καὶ βούλημα διανοίας, τὸ δὲ ζητεῖν τὸ ἑκάστῳ δοκοῦν οὐ σφόδρα ἀναγκαῖον.

613. Τὸ ὂν δυνάμει καὶ τὸ ὂν ἐνεργείᾳ — Ens, potential, actual.

4. Τὸ ὂν κατὰ τὰ σχήματα τῶν κατηγοριῶν — Ens, according to the ten varieties of the Categories, to be presently explained.

These four are the principal aspects under which Aristotle looks at the aggregate comprised by the equivocal or multivocal word Entia. In all the four branches, the varieties comprised are not species under a common genus, correlating, either as co-ordinate or subordinate, one to the other; they are analoga, all having relationship with a common term, but having no other necessary relationship with each other. Aristotle does not mean that these four modes of distributing this vast aggregate, are the only modes possible; for he himself sometimes alludes to other modes of distributions.15 Nor would he maintain that the four distributions were completely distinguished from each other, so that the same subordinate fractions are not comprehended in any two; for on the contrary, the branches overlap each other and coincide to a great degree, especially the first and fourth. But he considers the four as discriminating certain distinct aspects of Entia or Entitas, more important than any other aspects thereof that could be pointed out, and as affording thus the best basis and commencement for the Science called Ontology.

15 Aristot. Metaph. Γ. p. 1003, a. 33, b. 10. Compare the able treatise of Brentano, “Ueber die Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles,” pp. 6, 7.

Of these four heads, however, the first and second are rapidly dismissed by Aristotle in the Metaphysica,16 being conceived as having little reference to real essence, and therefore belonging more to Logic than to Ontology; i.e. to the subjective processes of naming, predicating, believing, and inferring rather than to the objective world of Perceivables and Cogitables.17 It is the 62third and fourth that are treated in the Metaphysica; while it is the fourth only (Ens according to the ten figures of the Categories) which is set forth and elucidated in this first treatise of the Organon, where Aristotle appears to blend Logic and Ontology into one.

16 Aristot. Metaph. E. p. 1027, b. 16, p. 1028, a. 6.

17 Aristot. Metaph. Θ. 10, p. 1051, b. 2-15, with Schwegler’s Comment, p. 186. This is the distinction drawn by Simplikius (Schol. ad Categ. p. 76, b. 47) between the Organon and the Metaphysica: Αἱ γὰρ ἀρχαὶ κατὰ μὲν τήν σημαντικὴν αὐτῶν λέξιν ἐν τῇ λογικῇ πραγματείᾳ δηλοῦνται, κατὰ δὲ τὰ σημαινόμενα ἐν τῇ Μετὰ τὰ Φυσικὰ οἰκείως.

Τὰ ὄντα are equivalent to τὰ λεγόμενα, in this and the other logical treatises of Aristotle. Categ. p. 1, a. 16-20, b. 25; Analyt. Prior. i. p. 43, a. 25.

This is the logical aspect of Ontology; that is, Entia are considered as Objects to be named, and to serve as Subjects or Predicates for propositions: every such term having a fixed denotation, and (with the exception of proper names) a fixed connotation, known to speakers and hearers.

Τὰ λεγόμενα (or Entia considered in this aspect) are distinguished by Aristotle into two classes: 1. Τὰ λεγόμενα κατὰ συμπλοκήν, οἷον ἄνθρωπος τρέχει, ἄνθροπος νικᾷ. 2. Τὰ λεγόμενα ἄνευ συμπλοκῆς (or κατὰ μηδεμίαν συμπλοκήν) οἷον ἄνθρωπος, βοῦς, τρέχει, νικᾷ.

We are to observe here, that in Logic the Proposition or Enunciation is the Prius Naturâ, which must be presupposed as known before we can understand what the separate terms are (Analytic. Prior. i. p. 24, a. 16): just as the right angle must be understood before we can explain what is an acute or an obtuse angle (to use an illustration of Aristotle; see Metaphys. Ζ. p. 1035, b. 7). We must understand the entire logical act, called Affirming or Denying, before we can understand the functions of the two factors or correlates with which that act is performed. Aristotle defines the Term by means of the Proposition, ὅρον δὲ καλῶ εἰ ὂν διαλύεται ἡ πρότασις (Anal. Pr. i. 24, b. 16).

Τὰ λεγόμενα, as here used by Aristotle, coincides in meaning with what the Stoics afterwards called Τὰ λεκτά — of two classes: 1. λεκτὰ αὐτοτελῆ, one branch of which, τὰ ἀξιώματα, are equivalent to the Aristotelian τὰ κατὰ συμπλοκὴν λεγόμενα. 2. λεκτὰ ἐλλιπῆ, equivalent to τὰ ἄνευ συμπλοκῆς λεγόμενα (Diogen. Laert. vii. 43, 44, 63, 64; Sext. Emp. adv. Mathemat. viii. 69, 70, 74): equivalent also, seemingly, to τὰ διανοητὰ in Aristotle: ὁ διανοητὸς Ἀριστομένης (Anal. Pr. I. p. 47, b. 22).

Hobbes observes (Computation or Logic, part i. 2, 5): “Nor is it at all necessary that every name should be the name of something. For as these, a man, a tree, a stone, are the names of the things themselves, so the images of a man, of a tree, of a stone, which are represented to men sleeping, have their names also, though they be not things, but only fictions and phantasms of things. For we can remember these; and therefore it is no less necessary that they have names to mark and signify them, than the things themselves. Also this word future is a name; but no future thing has yet any being. Moreover, that which neither is, nor has been, nor ever shall or ever can be, has a name — impossible. To conclude, this word nothing is a name, which yet cannot be name of any thing; for when we subtract two and three from five, and, so nothing remaining, we would call that subtraction to mind, this speech nothing remains, and in it the word nothing, is not unuseful. And for the same reason we say truly, less than nothing remains, when we subtract more from less; for the mind feigns such remains as these for doctrine’s sake, and desires, as often as is necessary, to call the same to memory. But seeing every name has some relation to that which is named, though that which we name be not always a thing that has a being in nature, yet it is lawful for doctrine’s sake to apply the word thing to whatsoever we name; as it were all one whether that thing truly existent, or be only feigned.”

The Greek neuter gender (τὸ λεγόμενον or τὸ λεκτόν, τὰ λεγόμενα or τὰ λεκτά) covers all that Hobbes here includes under the word thing. — Scholia ad Aristot. Physic. I. i. p. 323, a. 21, Brand.: ὀνομάζονται μὲν καὶ τὰ μὴ ὄντα, ὁρίζονται δὲ μόνα τὰ ὄντα.

Of this mixed character, partly logical, partly ontological, is the first distinction set forth in the Categoriæ — the distinction between matters predicated of a Subject, and matters which are in a Subject — the Subject itself being assumed as the fundamentum correlative to both of them. The definition given of that which is in a Subject is ontological: viz., “In a Subject, I call that which is in anything, not as a part, yet so that it cannot exist separately from that in which it is.”18 By these two negative characteristics, without any mark positive, does Aristotle define what is meant by being in a Subject. Modern logicians, and Hobbes among them, can find no better definition for an Accident; though Hobbes remarks truly, that Accident cannot be properly defined, but must be elucidated by examples.19

18 Aristot. Categ. p. 1, a. 24.

19 Hobbes, Computation or Logic, part i. 3, 3, i. 6, 2, ii. 8, 2-3.

63The distinction here drawn by Aristotle between being predicated of a Subject, and being in a Subject, coincides with that between essential and non-essential predication: all the predicates (including the differentia) which belong to the essence, fall under the first division;20 all those which do not belong to the essence, under the latter. The Subjects — what Aristotle calls the First Essences or Substances, those which are essences or substances in the fullest and strictest meaning of the word — are concrete individual things or persons; such as Sokrates, this man, that horse or tree. These are never employed as predicates at all (except by a distorted and unnatural structure of the proposition, which Aristotle indicates as possible, but declines to take into account); they are always Subjects of different predicates, and are, in the last analysis, the Subjects of all predicates. But besides these First Essences, there are also Second Essences — Species and Genus, which stand to the first Essence in the relation of predicates to a Subject, and to the other Categories in the relation of Subjects to predicates.21 These Second Essences are less of Essences than the First, which alone is an Essence in the fullest and most appropriate sense. Among the Second Essences, Species is more of an Essence than Genus, because it belongs more closely and specially to the First Essence; while Genus is farther removed from it. Aristotle thus recognizes a graduation of more or less in Essence; the individual is more Essence, or more complete as an Essence, than the Species, the Species more than the Genus. As he recognizes a First Essence, i.e. an individual object (such as Sokrates, this horse, &c.), so he also recognizes an individual accident (this particular white colour, that particular grammatical knowledge) which is in a Subject, but is not predicated of a Subject; this particular white colour exists in some given body, but is not predicable of any body.22

20 Aristot. Categ. p. 3, a. 20. It appears that Andronikus did not draw the line between these two classes of predicates in same manner as Aristotle: he included many non-essential predicates in τὰ καθ’ ὑποκειμένου. See Simplikius, ad Categorias, Basil. 1551, fol. 13, 21, B. Nor was either Alexander or Porphyry careful to observe the distinction between the two classes. See Schol. ad Metaphys. p. 701, b. 23, Br.; Schol. ad De Interpret. p. 106, a. 29, Br. And when Aristotle says, Analyt. Prior. i. p. 24, b. 26, τὸ δὲ ἐν ὅλῳ εἰναι ἕτερον ἑτέρῳ, καὶ τὸ κατὰ παντὸς κατηγορεῖσθαι θατέρου θάτερον, ταὐτόν ἐστιν, he seems himself to forget the distinction entirely.

21 Categor. p. 2, a. 15, seq. In Aristotle phraseology it is not said that Second Essences are contained in First Essences, but that First Essences are contained in Second Essences, i.e. in the species which Second Essences signify. See the Scholion to p. 3, a. 9, in Waitz, vol. i. p. 32.

22 Arist. Categ. p. 1, a. 26; b. 7: Ἁπλῶς δὲ τὰ ἄτομα καὶ ἓν ἀριθμῷ κατ’ οὐδενὸς ὑποκειμένου λέγεται, ἐν ὑποκειμένῳ δὲ ἕνια οὐδὲν κωλύει εἶναι· ἡ γάρ τις γραμματικὴ τῶν ἐν ὑποκειμένῳ ἐστίν. Aristotle here recognizes an attribute as “individual and as numerically one;” and various other logicians have followed him. But is it correct to say, that an attribute, when it cannot be farther divided specifically, and is thus the lowest in its own predicamental series, is Unum Numero? The attribute may belong to an indefinite number of different objects; and can we count it as One, in the same sense in which we count each of these objects as One? I doubt whether Unum Numero be applicable to attributes. Aristotle declares that the δευτέρα οὐσία is not Unum Numero like the πρώτη οὐσία — οὐ γὰρ ἐν ἐστι τὸ ὑποκείμενον ὥσπερ ἡ πρώτη οὐσία, ἀλλὰ κατὰ πολλῶν ὁ ἄνθρωπος λέγεται καὶ τὸ ζῷον (Categ. p. 3, b. 16). Upon the same principle, I think, he ought to declare that the attribute is not Unum Numero; for though it is not (in his language) predicable of many Subjects, yet it is in many Subjects. It cannot correctly be called Unum Numero, according to the explanation which he gives of that phrase in two passages of the Metaphysica, B. p. 999, b. 33; Δ. p. 1016, b. 32: ἀριθμῷ μὲν ὧν ἡ ὕλη μία, &c.

Respecting the logical distinction, which Aristotle places in 64the commencement of this treatise on the Categories — between predicates which are affirmed of a Subject, and predicates which are in a Subject23 — we may remark that it turns altogether upon the name by which you describe the predicate. Thus he tells us that the Species and Genus (man, animal), and the Differentia (rational), may be predicated of Sokrates, but are not in Sokrates; while knowledge is in Sokrates, but cannot be predicated of Sokrates; and may be predicated of grammar, but is not in grammar. But if we look at this comparison, we shall see that in the last-mentioned example, the predicate is described by an abstract word (knowledge); while in the preceding examples it is described by a concrete word (man, animal, rational).24 If, in place of these three last words, we substitute the abstract words corresponding to them — humanity, animality, rationality — we shall have to say that these are in Sokrates, though they cannot (in their abstract form) be predicated of Sokrates, but only in the form of their concrete paronyms, which Aristotle treats as a distinct predication. So if, instead of the abstract word knowledge, we employ the concrete word knowing or wise, we can no longer say that this is in Sokrates, and that it may be predicated of grammar. Abstract alone can be predicated of abstract; concrete alone can be predicated of concrete; if we describe the relation between Abstract and Concrete, we must say, The Abstract is in the Concrete — the Concrete contains or embodies the Abstract. Indeed we find Aristotle referring the same predicate, when described by the abstract name, to one Category; and when described by the concrete paronymous adjective, to another and different Category.25 The names Concrete and Abstract were not in the 65philosophical vocabulary of his day. In this passage of the Categoriæ, he establishes a distinction between predicates essential and predicates non-essential; the latter he here declares to be in the Subject, the former not to be in it, but to be co-efficients of its essence. But we shall find that he does not adhere to this distinction even throughout the present treatise, still less in other works. It seems to be a point of difference between the Categoriæ on one side, and the Physica and Metaphysica on the other, that in the Categoriæ he is more disposed to found supposed real distinctions on verbal etiquette, and on precise adherence to the syntactical structure of a proposition.26

23 The distinction is expressed by Ammonius (Schol. p. 51, b. 46) as follows:— αἱ πρῶται οὐσίαι ὑποκεῦνται πᾶσιν, ἀλλ’ οὐχ ὁμοίως· τοῖς μὲν γὰρ πρὸς ὕπαρξιν, τούτεστι τοῖς συμβεβηκόσιν, τοῖς δὲ πρὸς κατηγορίαν, τούτεστι ταῖς καθόλου οὐσίαις.

24 Ueberweg makes a remark similar to this. — System der Logik, sect. 56, note, p. 110, ed. second.

25 The difference of opinion as to the proper mode of describing the Differentia — whether by the concrete word πεζὸν, or by the abstract πεζότης — gives occasion to an objection against Aristotle’s view, and to a reply from Dexippus not very conclusive (Dexippus, book ii. s. 22, pp. 60, 61, ed. Spengel).

26 Categor. p. 3, a. 3. In the Physica, iv. p. 210, a. 14-30, Aristotle enumerates nine different senses of the phrase ἕν τινι. His own use of the phrase is not always uniform or consistent. If we compare the Scholia on the Categoriæ, pp. 44, 45, 53, 58, 59, Br., with the Scholia on the Physica, pp. 372, 373, Br., we shall see that the Commentators were somewhat embarrassed by his fluctuation. The doctrine of the Categoriæ was found especially difficult in its application to the Differentia.

In Analyt. Post. i. p. 83, a. 30, Aristotle says, ὅσα δὲ μὴ οὐσίαν σημαίνει, δεῖ κατά τινος ὑποκειμένου κατηγορεῖσθαι, which is at variance with the language of the Categoriæ, as the Scholiast remarks, p. 228, a. 33. The like may be said about Metaphys. B. p. 1001, b. 29; Δ. p. 1017, b. 13. See the Scholia of Alexander, p. 701, b. 25, Br.

See also De Gener. et Corrupt. p. 319, b. 8; Physic. i. p. 185, a. 31: οὐθὲν γὰρ τῶν ἄλλων χωριστόν ἐστι παρὰ τὴν οὐσίαν· πάντα γὰρ καθ’ ὑποκειμένου τῆς οὐσίας λέγεται, where Simplikius remarks that the phrase is used ἀντὶ τοῦ ἐν ὑποκειμένῳ (Schol. p. 328, b. 43).

Lastly, Aristotle here makes one important observation respecting those predicates which he describes as (not in a Subject but) affirmed or denied of a Subject — i.e. the essential predicates. In these (he says) whatever predicate can be truly affirmed or denied of the predicate, the same can be truly affirmed or denied of the Subject.27 This observation deserves notice, because it is in fact a brief but distinct announcement of his main theory of the Syllogism; which theory he afterwards expands in the Analytica Priora, and traces into its varieties and ramifications.

27 Categor. p. 1, b. 10-15.

After such preliminaries, Aristotle proceeds28 to give the enumeration of his Ten Categories or Predicaments; under one or other of which, every subject or predicate, considered as capable of entering into a proposition, must belong: 1. Essence or Substance; such as, man, horse. 2. How much or Quantity; such as, two cubits long, three cubits long. 3. What manner of or Quality; such as, white, erudite. 4. Ad aliquid — To something or Relation; such as, double, half, greater. 5. Where; such as, in the market-place, in the Lykeium. 6. When; such as, 66yesterday, last year. 7. In what posture; such as, he stands up, he is sitting down. 8. To have; such as, to be shod, to be armed. 9. Activity; such as, he is cutting, he is turning. 10. Passivity; such as, he is being cut, he is being burned.

28 Ibid. p. 1, b. 25, seq.

Ens in its complete state — concrete, individual, determinate — includes an embodiment of all these ten Categories; the First Ens being the Subject of which the rest are predicates. Whatever question be asked respecting any individual Subject, the information given in the answer must fall, according to Aristotle, under one or more of these ten general heads; while the full outfit of the individual will comprise some predicate under each of them. Moreover, each of the ten is a Generalissimum; having more or fewer species contained under it, but not being itself contained under any larger genus (Ens not being a genus). So that Aristotle does not attempt to define or describe any one of the ten; his only way of explaining is by citing two or three illustrative examples of each. Some of the ten are even of wider extent than Summa Genera; thus, Quality cannot be considered as a true genus, comprehending generically all the cases falling under it. It is a Summum Analogon, reaching beyond the comprehension of a genus; an analogous or multivocal name, applied to many cases vaguely and remotely akin to each other.29 And again the same particular predicate may be ranked both under Quality and under Relation; it need not belong exclusively to either one of them.30 Moreover, Good, like Ens or Unum, is common to all the Categories, but is differently represented in each.31

29 Aristot. Categor. p. 8, b. 26. ἔστι δὲ ἡ ποιότης τῶν πλεοναχῶς λεγομένων, &c.

See the Scholia, p. 68, b. 69 a., Brandis. Ammonius gives the true explanation of this phrase, τῶν πλεοναχῶς λεγομένων (p. 69, b. 7). Alexander and Simplikius try to make out that it implies here a συνώνομον.

30 Aristot. Categor. p. 11, a. 37. Compare the Scholion of Dexippus, p. 48, a. 28-37.

31 Aristot. Ethic. Nikomach. i. p. 1096, a. 25; Ethic. Eudem. i. p. 1217, b. 25.

Aristotle comments at considerable length upon the four first of the ten Categories. 1. Essence or Substance. 2. Quantity. 3. Quality. 4. Relation. As to the six last, he says little upon any of them; upon some, nothing at all.

His decuple partition of Entia or Enunciata is founded entirely upon a logical principle. He looks at them in their relation to Propositions; and his ten classes discriminate the relation which they bear to each other as parts or constituent elements of a proposition. Aristotle takes his departure, not from any results of scientific research, but from common speech; and from the 67dialectic, frequent in his time, which debated about matters of common life and talk, about received and current opinions.32 We may presume him to have studied and compared a variety of current propositions, so as to discover what were the different relations in which Subjects and Predicates did stand or could stand to each other; also the various questions which might be put respecting any given subject, with the answers suitable to be returned.33

32 Waitz, ad Aristot. Categor. p. 284: “Id Categoriis non de ipsâ rerum natura et veritate exponit, sed res tales capit, quales apparent in communi vita homini philosophia non imbuto, unde fit, ut in Categoriis alia sit πρώτη οὐσία et in prima philosophia: illa enim partes habet, hæc vero non componitor ex partibus.”

Compare Metaphys. Z. p. 1032, b. 2, and the ἀπορία in Z. p. 1029, a., p. 1037, a. 28.

The different meaning of πρώτη οὐσία in the Categoriæ and in the Metaphysica, is connected with various difficulties and seeming discrepancies in the Aristotelian theory of cognition, which I shall advert to in a future chapter. See Zeller, Philos. der Griech. ii. 2, pp. 234, 262; Heyder, Aristotelische und Hegelsche Dialektik, p. 141, seq.

33 Thus he frequently supposes a question put, an answer given, and the proper mode of answering. Categor. p. 2, b. 8: ἐὰν γὰρ ἀποδιδῷ τις τὴν πρώτην οὐσίαν τί ἐστι, γνωριμώτερον καὶ οἰκειότερον ἀποδώσει, &c.; also ibid. p. 2, b. 32; p. 3, a. 4, 20.

Aristotle ranks as his first and fundamental Category Substance or Essence — Οὐσία; the abstract substantive word corresponding to Τὸ ὄν; which last is the vast aggregate, not generically One but only analogically One, destined to be distributed among the ten Categories as Summa Genera. The First Ens or First Essence — that which is Ens in the fullest sense — is the individual concrete person or thing in nature; Sokrates, Bukephalus, this man, that horse, that oak-tree, &c. This First Ens is indispensable as Subject or Substratum for all the other Categories, and even for predication generally. It is a Subject only; it never appears as a predicate of anything else. As Hic Aliquis or Hoc Aliquid, it lies at the bottom (either expressed or implied) of all the work of predication. It is Ens or Essence most of all, par excellence; and is so absolutely indispensable, that if all First Entia were supposed to be removed, neither Second Entia nor any of the other Categories could exist.34

34 Aristot. Categ. p. 2, a. 11, b. 6. Οὐσία ἡ κυριώτατα καὶ πρώτως καὶ μάλιστα λεγομένη — μὴ οὐσῶν οὖν τῶν πρώτων οὐσιῶν, ἀδύνατον τῶν ἄλλων τι εἶναι.

The Species is recognized by Aristotle as a Second Ens or Essence, in which these First Essences reside; it is less (has less completely the character) of Essence than the First, to which it serves as Predicate. The Genus is (strictly speaking) a Third Essence,35 in which both the First and the Second 68Essence are included; it is farther removed than the Species from the First Essence, and has therefore still less of the character of Essence. It stands as predicate both to the First and to the Second Essence. While the First Essence is more Essence than the Second, and the Second more than the Third, all the varieties of the First Essence are in this respect upon an equal footing with each other. This man, this horse, that tree, &c., are all Essence, equally and alike.36 The First Essence admits of much variety, but does not admit graduation, or degrees of more or less.

35 Aristotle here, in the Categoriæ, ranks Genus and Species as being, both of them, δεύτεραι οὐσίαι. Yet since he admits Genus to be farther removed from πρώτη οὐσία than Species is, he ought rather to have called Genus a Third Essence. In the Metaphysica he recognizes a gradation or ordination of οὐσία into First, Second, and Third, founded upon a totally different principle: the Concrete, which in the Categoriæ ranks as πρώτη οὐσία, ranks as τρίτη οὐσία in the Metaphysica. See Metaphys. Η. p. 1043, a. 18-28.

36 Aristot. Categ. p. 2, b. 20; p. 3, b. 35.

Nothing else except Genera and Species can be called Second Essences, or said to belong to the Category Essence; for they alone declare what the First Essence is. If you are asked respecting Sokrates, What he is? and if you answer by stating the Species or the Genus to which he belongs — that he is a man or an animal — your answer will be appropriate to the question; and it will be more fully understood if you state the Species than if you state the Genus. But if you answer by stating what belongs to any of the other Categories (viz., that he is white, that he is running), your answer will be inappropriate, and foreign to the question; it will not declare what Sokrates is.37 Accordingly, none of these other Categories can be called Essences. All of them rank as predicates both of First and of Second Essence; just as Second Essences rank as predicates of First Essences.38

37 Ibid. p. 2, b. 29-37. εἰκότως δὲ μετὰ τὰς πρώτας οὐσίας μόνα τῶν ἄλλων τὰ εἴδη καὶ τὰ γένη δεύτεραι οὐσίαι λέγονται· μόνα γὰρ δηλοῖ τὴν πρώτην οὐσίαν τῶν κατηγορουμένων. τὸν γάρ τινα ἄνθρωπον ἐὰν ἀποδιδῷ τις τί ἐστι, τὸ μὲν εἶδος ἢ τὸ γένος ἀποδιδοὺς οἰκείως ἀποδώσει, καὶ γνωριμώτερον ποιήσει ἄνθρωπον ἢ ζῷον ἀποδιδούς· τῶν δὲ ἄλλων ὅ, τι ἂν ἀποδιδῷ τις, ἀλλοτρίως ἔσται ἀποδεδωκώς, οἷον λευκόν ἢ τρέχει ἢ ὁτιοῦν τῶν τοιούτων ἀποδιδούς. Ὥστε εἰκότως τῶν ἄλλων ταῦτα μόνα οὐσίαι λέγονται.

38 Ibid. p. 3, a. 2.

Essence or Substance is not in a Subject; neither First nor Second Essence. The First Essence is neither in a Subject nor predicated of a Subject; the Second Essences are not in the First, but are predicated of the First. Both the Second Essence, and the definition of the word describing it, may be predicated of the First; that is, the predication is synonymous or univocal; whereas, of that which is in a Subject, the name may often be predicated, but never the definition of the name. What is true of the Second Essence, is true also of the Differentia; that it is not in a Subject, but that it may be predicated univocally of a Subject — not only its name, but also the definition of its name.39

39 Ibid. p. 3, a. 7, 21, 34. κοινὸν δὲ κατὰ πάσης οὐσίας τὸ μὴ ἐν ὑποκειμένῳ εἶναι — οὐκ ἴδιον δὲ τῆς τοῦτο οὐσίας, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἡ διαφορὰ τῶν μὴ ἐν ὑποκειμένῳ ἐστίν — ὑπάρχει δὲ ταῖς οὐσίαις καὶ ταὶς διαφοραῖς τὸ πάντα συνωνύμως ἀπ’ αὐτῶν λέγεσθαι.

69All Essence or Substance seems to signify Hoc Aliquid Unum Numero. The First Essence really does so signify, but the Second Essence does not really so signify: it only seems to do so, because it is enunciated by a substantive name, like the First.40 It signifies really Tale Aliquid, answering to the enquiry Quale Quid? for it is said not merely of one thing numerically, but of many things each numerically one. Nevertheless, a distinction must be drawn. The Second Essence does not (like the Accident, such as white) signify Tale Aliquid simply and absolutely, or that and nothing more. It signifies Talem Aliquam Essentiam; it declares what the Essence is, or marks off the characteristic feature of various First Essences, each Unum Numero. The Genus marks off a greater number of such than the Species.41

40 Aristot. Categ. p. 3, b. 10-16: Πᾶσα δὲ οὐσία δοκεῖ τόδε τι σημαίνειν. ἐπὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν πρώτων οὐσιῶν ἀναμφισβήτητον καὶ ἀληθές ἐστιν ὅτι τόδε τι σημαίνει· ἄτομον γὰρ καὶ ἓν ἀριθμῷ τὸ δηλούμενόν ἐστιν· ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν δευτέρων οὐσιῶν φαίνεται μὲν ὁμοίως τῷ σχήματι τῆς προσηγορίας τόδε τι σημαίνειν, ὅταν εἴπῃ ἄνθρωπον ἢ ζῷον, οὐ μὴν ἀληθές γε, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ποιόν τι σημαίνει.

41 Ibid. p. 3, b. 18-24.

Again, Essences have no contraries.42 But this is not peculiar to Essences, for Quanta also have no contraries; there is nothing contrary to ten, or to that which is two cubits long. Nor is any one of the varieties of First Essence more or less Essence than any other variety. An individual man is as much Essence as an individual horse, neither more nor less. Nor is he at one time more a man than he was at another time; though he may become more or less white, more or less handsome.43

42 Ibid. b. 24-30.

43 Ibid. b. 34, seq.

But that which is most peculiar to Essence, is, that while remaining Unum et Idem Numero, it is capable by change in itself of receiving alternately contrary Accidents. This is true of no other Category. For example, this particular colour, being one and the same in number, will never be now black, and then white; this particular action, being one and the same in number, will not be at one time virtuous, at another time vicious. The like is true respecting all the other Categories. But one and the same man will be now white, hot, virtuous; at another time, he will be black, cold, vicious. An objector may say that this is true, not merely of Essence, but also of Discourse and of Opinion; each of which (he will urge) remains Unum Numero, but is nevertheless recipient of contrary attributes; for the proposition or assertion, Sokrates is sitting, 70may now be true and may presently become false. But this case is different, because there is no change in the proposition itself, but in the person or thing to which the proposition refers; while one and the same man, by new affections in himself, is now healthy, then sick; now hot, then cold.44

44 Aristot. Categ. p. 4, a. 10-b. 20.

Here Aristotle concludes his first Category or Predicament — Essence or Substance. He proceeds to the other nine, and ranks Quantity first among them.45 Quantum is either Continual or Discrete; it consists either of parts having position in reference to each other, or of parts not having position in reference to each other. Discrete Quanta are Number and Speech; Continual Quanta are Line, Surface, Body, and besides these, Time and Place. The parts of Number have no position in reference to each other; the parts of Line, Surface, Body, have position in reference to each other. These are called Quanta, primarily; other things are called Quanta in a secondary way, κατὰ συμβεβηκός.46 Thus we say much white, when the surface of white is large; we say, the action is long, because much time and movement have been consumed in it. If we are asked, how long the action is? we must answer by specifying its length in time — a year or a month.

45 Ibid. b. 21, seq.

46 Ibid. p. 5, a. 38, seq.

To Quantum (as to Essence or Substance) there exists no contrary.47 There is nothing contrary to a length of three cubits or an area of four square feet. Great, little, long, short, are more properly terms of Relation than terms of Quantity; thus belonging to another Category. Nor is Quantum ever more or less Quantum; it does not admit of degree. The Quantum a yard is neither more nor less Quantum than that called a foot. That which is peculiar to Quanta is to be equal or unequal:48 the relations of equality and inequality are not properly affirmed of anything else except of Quanta.

47 Ibid. b. 11, seq.

48 Ibid. p. 6, a. 26-35.

From the Category of Quantity, Aristotle proceeds next to that of Relation;49 which he discusses in immediate sequence after Quantity, and before Quality, probably because in the course of his exposition about Quantity, he had been obliged to intimate how closely Quantity was implicated with Relation, and how essential it was that the distinction between the two should be made clear.

49 Ibid. a. 36, seq.

Relata (τὰ πρός τι — ad Aliquid) are things such, that what they are, they are said to be of other things, or are said to in some other manner towards something else (ὅσα αὐτὰ ἅπερ ἐστὶν 71ἑτέρων εἶναι λέγεται, ἢ ὁπωστοῦν ἄλλως πρὸς ἕτερον). Thus, that which is greater, is said to be greater than another; that which is called double is called also double of another. Habit, disposition, perception, cognition, position, &c., are all Relata. Habit, is habit of something; perception and cognition, are always of something; position, is position of something. The Category of Relation admits contrariety in some cases, but not always; it also admits, in some cases, graduation, or the more or less in degree; things are more like or less like to each other.50 All Relata are so designated in virtue of their relation to other Correlata; the master is master of a servant — the servant is servant of a master. Sometimes the Correlatum is mentioned not in the genitive case but in some other case; thus cognition is cognition of the cognitum, but cognitum is cognitum by cognition; perception is perception of the perceptum, but the perceptum is perceptum by perception.51 The correlation indeed will not manifestly appear, unless the Correlate be designated by its appropriate term: thus, if the wing be declared to be wing of a bird, there is no apparent correlation; we ought to say, the wing is wing of the winged, and the winged is winged through or by the wing; for the wing belongs to the bird, not quâ bird, but quâ winged,52 since there are many things winged, which are not birds. Sometimes there is no current term appropriate to the Correlate, so that we are under the necessity of coining one for the occasion: we must say, to speak with strict accuracy, ἡ κεφαλή, τοῦ κεφαλωτοῦ κεφαλή not ἡ κεφαλή, τοῦ ζῷου κεφαλή; τὸ πηδάλιον, τοῦ πηδαλιωτοῦ πηδάλιον, not τὸ πηδάλιον, πλοίου πηδάλιον.53

50 Aristot. Categ. p. 6, b. 20.

51 Ibid. b. 28-37.

52 Ibid. b. 36; p. 7, a. 5. οὐ μὴν ἀλλ’ ἐνίοτε οὐ δόξει ἀντιστρέφειν, ἐὰν μὴ οἰκείως πρὸς ὃ λέγεται ἀποδοθῇ, ἀλλὰ διαμάρτῃ ὁ ἀποδιδούς, οἷον τὸ πτερὸν ἐὰν ἀποδοθῇ ὄρνιθος, οὐκ ἀντιστρέφει ὄρνις πτεροῦ· οὐ γὰρ οἰκείως τὸ πρῶτον ἀποδέδοται πτερὸν ὄρνιθος· οὐ γὰρ ᾗ ὄρνις, ταύτῃ τὸ πτερὸν αὐτοῦ λέγεται, ἀλλ’ ᾗ πτερωτόν ἐστι· πολλῶν γὰρ καὶ ἄλλων πτερά ἐστιν, ἃ οὐκ εἰσὶν ὄρνιθες.

53 Ibid. p. 7, a. 6-25. ἐνίοτε δὲ καὶ ὀνοματοποιεῖν ἴσως ἀναγκαῖον, ἐὰν μὴ κείμενον ᾖ ὄνομα πρὸς ὃ οἰκείως ἂν ἀποδοθείη, &c.

The Relatum and its Correlate seem to be simul naturâ. If you suppress either one of the pair, the other vanishes along with it. Aristotle appears to think, however, that there are many cases in which this is not true. He says that there can be no cognoscens without a cognoscibile, nor any percipiens without a percipibile; but that there may be cognoscibile without any cognoscens, and percipibile without any percipiens. He says that τὸ αἰσθητὸν exists πρὸ τοῦ αἴσθησιν εἶναι.54 Whether any Essence 72or Substance can be a Relatum or not, he is puzzled to say; he seems to think that the Second Essence may be, but that the First Essence cannot be so. He concludes, however, by admitting that the question is one of doubt and difficulty.55

54 Ibid. b. 15; p. 8, a. 12. The Scholion of Simplikius on this point (p. 65, a. 16, b. 18, Br.) is instructive. He gives his own opinion, and that of some preceding commentators, adverse to Aristotle. He says that ἐπιστήμη and τὸ ἐπιστητόν, αἰσθησις and τὸ αἰσθητόν, are not properly correlates. The actual correlates with the actual, the potential with the potential. Now, in the above pairs, τὸ ἐπιστητὸν and τὸ αἰσθητὸν are potentials, while ἐπιστήμη and αἴσθησις are actuals; therefore it is correct to say that τὸ ἐπιστητὸν and τὸ αἰσθητὸν will not cease to exist if you take away ἐπιστήμη and αἴσθησις. But the real and proper correlate to τὸ ἐπιστητὸν would be τὸ ἐπιστημονικόν: the proper correlate to τὸ αἰσθητὸν would be τὸ αἰσθητικὸν. And when we take these two latter pairs, it is perfectly correct to say, συναναιρεῖ ταῦτα ἄλληλα.

In the treatise, De Partibus Animalium, i. p. 641, b. 2, where Aristotle makes νοῦς correlate with τὰ νοητά, we must understand νοῦς as equivalent to τὸ νοητικόν, and as different from ἡ νόησις.

55 Aristot. Categ. p. 8, b. 22.

Quality is that according to which Subjects are called Such and Such (ποιοί τινες). It is, however, not a true genus, but a vague word, of many distinct, though analogous, meanings including an assemblage of particulars not bound together by any generic tie.56 The more familiar varieties are — 1. Habits or endowments (ἕξεις) of a durable character, such as, wise, just, virtuous; 2. Conditions more or less transitory, such as, hot, cold, sick, healthy, &c. (διαθέσεις); 3. Natural powers or incapacities, such as hard, soft, fit for boxing, fit for running, &c. 4. Capacities of causing sensation, such as sweet of honey, hot and cold of fire and ice. But a person who occasionally blushes with shame, or occasionally becomes pale with fear, does not receive the designation of such or such from this fact; the occasional emotion is a passion, not a quality.57

56 See the first note on p. 66. Aristot. Categ. p. 8, b. 26: ἔστι δὲ ἡ ποιότης τῶν πλεοναχῶς λεγομένων, &c. Compare Metaphys. Δ. p. 1020, a. 33, and the Scholion of Alexander, p. 715, a. 5, Br.

The abstract term Ποιότης was a new coinage in Plato’s time; he introduces it with an apology (Theætet. p. 182 A.).

57 Aristot. Categ. p. 9, b. 20-33.

A fifth variety of Quality is figure or circumscribing form, straightness or crookedness. But dense, rare, rough, smooth, are not properly varieties of Quality; objects are not denominated such and such from these circumstances. They rather declare position of the particles of an object in reference to each other, near or distant, evenly or unevenly arranged.58

58 Ibid. p. 10, a. 11-24.

Quality admits, in some cases but not in all, both contrariety and graduation. Just is contrary to unjust, black to white; but there is no contrary to red or pale. If one of two contraries belongs to Quality, the other of the two will also belong to Quality. In regard to graduation, we can hardly say that Quality in the abstract is capable of more and less; but it is indisputable that different objects have more or less of the same quality. One man is more just, healthy, wise, than another; though justice or health in itself cannot be called more or less. 73One thing cannot be more a triangle, square, or circle than another; the square is not more a circle than the oblong.59

59 Aristot. Categ. p. 10, b. 12; p. 11, a. 10, 11-24.

What has just been said is not peculiar to Quality; but one peculiarity there is requiring to be mentioned. Quality is the foundation of Similarity and Dissimilarity. Objects are called like or unlike in reference to qualities.60

60 Ibid. p. 11, a. 15.

In speaking about Quality, Aristotle has cited many illustrations from Relata. Habits and dispositions, described by their generic names, are Relata; in their specific varieties they are Qualities. Thus cognition is always cognition of something, and is therefore a Relatum; but grammatiké (grammatical cognition) is not grammatiké of any thing, and is therefore a Quality. It has been already intimated61 that the same variety may well belong to two distinct Categories.

61 Ibid. a. 20-38. ἔτι εἰ τύγχανοι τὸ αὐτὸ πρός τι καὶ ποιὸν ὄν, οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἐν ἀμφοτέροις τοῖς γένεσιν αὐτὸ καταριθμεῖσθαι.

After having thus dwelt at some length on each of the first four Categories, Aristotle passes lightly over the remaining six. Respecting Agere and Pati, he observes that they admit (like Quality) both of graduation and contrariety. Respecting Jacēre he tells us that the predicates included in it are derived from the fact of positions, which positions he had before ranked among the Relata. Respecting Ubi, Quando, and Habere, he considers them all so manifest and intelligible, that he will say nothing about them; he repeats the illustrations before given — Habere, as, to be shod, or to be armed (to have shoes or arms); Ubi, as, in the Lykeium; Quando, as, yesterday, last year.62

62 Ibid. b. 8-15. διὰ τὸ προφανῆ εἶναι, οὐδὲν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἄλλο λέγεται ἢ ὅσα ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐρρέθη, &c.



No part of the Aristotelian doctrine has become more incorporated with logical tradition, or elicited a greater amount of comment and discussion,63 than these Ten Categories or Predicaments. I have endeavoured to give the exposition as near as may be in the words and with the illustrations of Aristotle; because in many of the comments new points of view are introduced, sometimes more just than those of Aristotle, but not present to his mind. Modern logicians join the Categories side by side with the five Predicables, which are explained in the Eisagoge of Porphyry, more than five centuries after Aristotle’s death. As expositors of Logic they are right in doing this; but my purpose is to illustrate rather the views of Aristotle.74 The mind of Aristotle was not altogether exempt from that fascination64 which particular numbers exercised upon the Pythagoreans and after them upon Plato. To the number Ten the Pythagoreans ascribed peculiar virtue and perfection. The fundamental Contraries, which they laid down as the Principles of the Universe, were ten in number.65 After them, also, Plato carried his ideal numbers as far as the Dekad, but no farther. That Aristotle considered Ten to be the suitable number for a complete list of general heads — that he was satisfied with making up the list of ten, and looked for nothing beyond — may be inferred from the different manner in which he deals with the different items. At least, such was his point of view when he composed this treatise. Though he recognizes all the ten Categories as co-ordinate in so far that (except Quale) each is a distinct Genus, not reducible under either of the others, yet he devotes all his attention to the first four, and gives explanations (copious for him) in regard to these. About the fifth and sixth (Agere and Pati)66 he says a little, though much less than we should expect, considering their extent and importance. About the last four, next to nothing appears. There are even passages in his writings where he seems to drop all mention of the two last (Jacere and Habere), and to recognize no more than eight Predicaments. In the treatise Categoriæ where his attention is fastened on Terms and their signification, and on 75the appropriate way of combining these terms into propositions, he recites the ten seriatim; but in other treatises, where his remarks bear more upon the matter and less upon the terms by which it is signified, he thinks himself warranted in leaving out the two or three whose applications are most confined to special subjects. If he had thought fit to carry the total number of Predicaments to twelve or fifteen instead of ten,67 he would probably have had little difficulty in finding some other general heads not less entitled to admission than Jacere and Habere; the rather, as he himself allows, even in regard to the principal Categories, that particulars comprised under one of them may also be comprised under another, and that there is no necessity for supposing each particular to be restricted to one Category exclusively.

63 About the prodigious number of these comments, see the Scholion of Dexippus, p. 39, a. 34, Br.; p. 5, ed. Spengel.

64 See Simpl. in Categ. Schol. p. 78, b. 14, Br.; also the two first chapters of the Aristotelian treatise De Cœlo; compare also, about the perfection of the τρίτη σύστασις, De Partibus Animalium, ii. p. 646, b. 9; De Generat. Animal. iii. p. 760, a. 34.

65 Aristot. Metaph. A. p. 986, a. 8. There existed, in the time of the later Peripatetics, a treatise in the Doric dialect by Archytas — Περὶ τοῦ Παντός — discriminating Ten Categories, and apparently the same ten Categories as Aristotle. By several Aristotelian critics this treatise was believed to have been composed by Archytas the Tarentine, eminent both as a Pythagorean philosopher and as the leading citizen of Tarentum — the contemporary and friend of Plato, and, therefore, of course, earlier than Aristotle. Several critics believed that Aristotle had borrowed his Ten Categories from this work of Archytas; and we know that the latter preserved the total number of Ten. See Schol. ad Categor. p. 79, b. 3, Br.

But other critics affirmed, apparently with better reason, that the Archytas, author of this treatise, was a Peripatetic philosopher later than Aristotle; and that the doctrine of Archytas on the Categories was copied from Aristotle in the same manner as the Doric treatise on the Kosmos, ascribed to the Lokrian Timæus, was copied from the Timæus of Plato, being translated into a Doric dialect.

See Scholia of Simplikius and Boëthius, p. 33, a. 1, n.; p. 40, a. 43, Brandis. The fact that this treatise was ascribed to the Tarentine Archytas, indicates how much the number Ten was consecrated in men’s minds as a Pythagorean canon.

66 Trendelenburg thinks (Geschichte der Kategorienlehre, p. 131) that Aristotle must have handled the Categories Agere, and Pati more copiously in other treatises; and there are some passages in his works which render this probable. See De Animâ, ii. p. 416, b. 35; De Generat. Animal. iv. p. 768, b. 15. Moreover, in the list of Aristotle’s works given by Diogenes Laertius, one title appears — Περὶ τοῦ ποιεῖν καὶ πεπονθέναι (Diog. L. v. 22).

67 Prantl expresses this view in his Geschichte der Logik (p. 206), and I think it just.

These remarks serve partly to meet the difficulties pointed out by commentators in regard to the Ten Categories. From the century immediately succeeding Aristotle, down to recent times, the question has always been asked, why did Aristotle fix upon Ten Categories rather than any other number? and why upon these Ten rather than others? And ancient commentators68 as well as modern have insisted, that the classification is at once defective and redundant; leaving out altogether some particulars, while it enumerates others twice over or more than twice. (This last charge is, however, admitted by Aristotle himself, who considers it no ground of objection that the same particular may sometimes be ranked under two distinct heads.) The replies made to the questions, and the attempts to shew cause for the selection of these Ten classes, have not been satisfactory; though it is certain that Aristotle himself treats the classification as if it were real and exhaustive,69 obtained by 76comparing many propositions and drawing from them an induction. He tries to determine, in regard to some particular enquiries, under which of the Ten Summa Genera the subject of the enquiry is to be ranged; he indicates some predicate of extreme generality (Unum, Bonum, &c.), which extend over all or several Categories, as equivocal or analogous, representing no true Genera. But though Aristotle takes this view of the completeness of his own classification, he never assigns the grounds of it, and we are left to make them out in the best way we can.

68 Schol. p. 47, b. 14, seq., 49, a. 10, seq. Br.; also Simplikius ad Categor. fol. 15, 31 A, 33 E. ed. Basil., 1551.

69 Scholia ad Analyt. Poster. (I. xxiii. p. 83, a. 21) p. 227, b. 40, Br. Ὅτι δὲ τοσαῦται μόναι αἱ κατηγορίαι αἱ κατὰ τῶν οὐσιῶν λεγόμεναι, ἐκ τῆς ἐπαγωγῆς λαμβάνει.

Brentano (in his treatise, Ueber die Bedeutung des Seienden in Aristoteles, Sects. 12 and 13, pp. 148-177) attempts to draw out a scheme of systematic deduction for the Categories. He quotes (pp. 181, 182) a passage from Thomas Aquinas, in which such a scheme is set forth acutely and plausibly. But if Aristotle had had any such system present to his mind, he would hardly have left it to be divined by commentators.

Simplikius observes (Schol. ad Categ. p. 44, a. 30) that the last nine Categories coincide in the main (excepting such portion of Quale as belongs to the Essence) with τὸ ὄν κατὰ συμβεβηκός: which latter, according to Aristotle’s repeated declarations, can never be the matter of any theorizing or scientific treatment — οὐδεμία ἐστὶ περὶ αὐτὸ θεωρία, Metaphys. E. p. 1026, b. 4; K. p. 1064, b. 17. This view of Aristotle respecting τὸ συμβεβηκός, is hardly consistent with a scheme of intentional deduction for the accidental predicates.

We cannot safely presume, I think, that he followed out any deductive principle or system; if he had done so, he would probably have indicated it. The decuple indication of general heads arose rather from comparison of propositions and induction therefrom. Under each of these ten heads, some predicate or other may always be applied to every concrete individual object, such as a man or animal. Aristotle proceeded by comparing a variety of propositions, such as were employed in common discourse or dialectic, and throwing the different predicates into genera, according as they stood in different logical relation to the Subject. The analysis applied is not metaphysical but logical; it does not resolve the real individual into metaphysical ἀρχαὶ or Principles, such as Form and Matter; it accepts the individual as he stands, with his full complex array of predicates embodied in a proposition, and analyses that proposition into its logical constituents.70 The predicates derive 77their existence from being attached to the First Subject, and have a different manner of existence according as they are differently related to the First Subject.71 What is this individual, Sokrates? He is an animal. What is his Species? Man. What is the Differentia, limiting the Genus and constituting the Species? Rationality, two-footedness. What is his height and bulk? He is six feet high, and is of twelve stone weight. What manner of man is he? He is flat-nosed, virtuous, patient, brave. In what relation does he stand to others? He is a father, a proprietor, a citizen, a general. What is he doing? He is digging his garden, ploughing his field. What is being done to him? He is being rubbed with oil, he is having his hair cut. Where is he? In the city, at home, in bed. When do you speak of him? As he is, at this moment, as he was, yesterday, last year. In what posture is he? He is lying down, sitting, standing up, kneeling, balancing on one leg. What is he wearing? He has a tunic, armour, shoes, gloves.

70 Aristot. Metaphys. Z. p. 1038, b. 15. διχῶς ὑποκεῖται, ἢ τόδε τι ὄν, ὥσπερ τὸ ζῷον τοῖς πάθεσιν, ἢ ὡς ἡ ὕλη τῇ ἐντελεχείᾳ. The first mode of ὑποκείμενον is what is in the Categories. For the second, which is the metaphysical analysis, see Aristot. Metaph. Z. p. 1029, a. 23: τὰ μὲν γὰρ ἄλλα τῆς οὐσίας κατηγορεῖται, αὕτη δὲ τῆς ὕλης. ὥστε τὸ ἔσχατον καθ’ αὑτὸ οὔτε τὶ οὔτε ποσὸν οὔτε ἄλλο οὐθέν ἐστι.

Porphyry and Dexippus tell us (Schol. ad Categ. p. 45, a. 6-30) that both Aristotle and the Stoics distinguished πρῶτον ὑποκείμενον and δεύτερον ὑποκείμενον. The πρῶτον ὑποκείμενον is ἡ ἄποιος ὕλη — τὸ δυνάμει σῶμα, which Aristotle insists upon in the Physica and Metaphysica, the δεύτερον ὑποκείμενον, ὃ κοινῶς ποιὸν ἢ ἰδίως ὑφίσταται, coincides with the πρώτη οὐσία of the Categories, already implicated with εἶδος and stopping short of metaphysical analysis.

The remarks of Boêthus and Simplikius upon this point deserve attention. Schol. pp. 50-54, Br.; p. 54, a. 2: οὐ περὶ τῆς ἀσχέτου ὕλης ἐστὶν ὁ παρὼν λόγος, ἀλλὰ τῆς ἤδη σχέσιν ἐχούσης πρὸς τὸ εἶδος. τὸ δὲ σύνθετον δηλόνοτι, ὅπερ ἐστὶ τὸ ἄτομον, ἐπιδέχεται τὸ τόδε. They point out that the terms Form and Matter are not mentioned in the Categories, nor do they serve to illustrate the Categories, which do not carry analysis so far back, but take their initial start from τόδε τι, the σύνθετον of Form and Matter, — οὐσία κυριώτατα καὶ πρώτως καὶ μάλιστα λεγομένη.

Simplikius says (p. 50, a. 17):— δυνατὸν δὲ τοῦ μὴ μνημονεῦσαι τοῦ εἴδους καὶ τῆς ὕλης αἴτιον λέγειν, καὶ τὸ τὴν τῶν Κατηγοριῶν πραγματείαν κατὰ τὴν πρόχειρον καὶ κοινὴν τοῦ λόγου χρῆσιν ποιεῖσθαι· τὸ δὲ τῆς ὕλης καὶ τοῦ εἴδους ὄνομα καὶ τὰ ὑπὸ τούτων σημαινόμενα οὐκ ἦν τοῖς πολλοῖς συνήθη, &c. Compare p. 47, a. 27. This what Dexippus says also, that the Categories bear only upon τὴν πρώτην χρείαν τοῦ λόγου καθ’ ἣν τὰ πράγματα δηλοῦν ἀλλήλοις ἐφιέμεθα (p. 13, ed. Spengel; also p. 49).

Waitz, ad Categor. p. 284. “In Categoriis, non de ipsâ rerum naturâ et veritate exponit, sed res tales capit, quales apparent in communi vitâ homini philosophiâ non imbuto.”

We may add, that Aristotle applies the metaphysical analysis — Form and Matter — not only to the Category οὐσία but also to that of ποιὸν and ποσόν. (De Cœlo, iv. 312, a. 14.)

71 Aristot. Metaph. Δ. 1017, a. 23. ὁσαχῶς γὰρ λέγεται, τοσαυταχῶς τὸ εἶναι σημαίνει.

Confining ourselves (as I have already observed that Aristotle does in the Categories) to those perceptible or physical subjects which every one admits,72 and keeping clear of metaphysical entities, we shall see that respecting any one of these subjects the nine questions here put may all be put and answered; that the two last are most likely to be put in regard to some living being; and that the last can seldom be put in regard to any other subject except a person (including man, woman, or child). Every individual person falls necessarily under each of the ten Categories; belongs to the Genus animal, Species man; he is of a certain height and bulk; has certain qualities; stands in certain relations to other persons or things; is doing something and suffering something; is in a certain place; must be described with reference to a certain moment of time; is in a certain attitude or posture; is clothed or equipped in a certain manner. Information of some kind may always be given respecting him under each of these heads; he is always by necessity quantus, but not always of any particular quantity. Until such information is given, the concrete individual is not 78known under conditions thoroughly determined.73 Moreover each head is separate and independent, not resolvable into any of the rest, with a reservation, presently to be noticed, of Relation in its most comprehensive meaning. When I say of a man, that he is at home, lying down, clothed with a tunic, &c., I do not predicate of him any quality, action, or passion. The information which I give belongs to three other heads distinct from these last, and distinct also from each other. If you suppress the two last of the ten Categories and leave only the preceding eight, under which of these eight are you to rank the predicates, Sokrates is lying down, Sokrates is clothed with a tunic, &c.? The necessity for admitting the ninth and tenth Categories (Jacere and Habere) as separate general heads in the list, is as great as the necessity for admitting most of the Categories which precede. The ninth and tenth are of narrower comprehension,74 and include a smaller number of distinguishable varieties, than the preceding; but they are not the less separate heads of information. So, among the chemical elements enumerated by modern science, some are very rarely found; yet they are not for that reason the less entitled to a place in the list.

72 Ibid. Z. p. 1028, b. 8, seq.: p. 1042, a. 25. αἱ αἰσθηταὶ οὐσίαι — αἱ ὁμολογούμεναι οὐσίαι.

73 Prantl observes, Geschichte der Logik, p. 208:— “Fragen wir, wie Aristoteles überhaupt dazu gekommen sei, von Kategorien zu sprechen, und welche Geltung dieselben bei ihm haben, so ist unsere Antwort hierauf folgende: Aristoteles geht, im Gegensatze gegen Platon, davon aus, dass die Allgemeinheit in der Concretion des Seienden sich verwirkliche und in dieser Realität von dem menschlichen Denken und Sprechen ergriffen werde; der Verwirklichungsprocess des concret Seienden ist der Uebergang vom Unbestimmten, jeder Bestimmung aber fähigen, zum allseitig Bestimmten, welchem demnach die Bestimmtheit überhaupt als eine selbst concret gewordene einwohnt und ebenso in des Menschen Rede von ihm ausgesagt wird. Das grundwesentliche Ergebniss der Verwirklichung ist sonach: die zeitlich-räumlich concret auftretende und hiemit individuell gewordene Substanzialität, in einer dem Zustande der Concretion entsprechenden Erscheinungsweise; diese letztere umfasst das ganze habituelle Dasein und Wirken der concreten Substanz, welche in der Welt der räumlichen Ausdehnung numerären Vielheit erscheint. Die ontologische Basis demnach der Kategorien ist der in die Concretion führende Verwirklichungsprocess der Bestimmtheit überhaupt.”

74 Plotinus, among his various grounds of exception to the ten Aristotelian Categories, objects to the ninth and tenth on the ground of their narrow comprehension (Ennead. vi. 1, 23, 24).

Boêthus expressly vindicated the title of ἔχειν to be recognized as a separate Category, against the Stoic objectors. — Schol. ad Categ. p. 81, a. 5.

If we seek not to appreciate the value of the Ten Categories as a philosophical classification, but to understand what was in the mind of Aristotle when he framed it, we shall attend, not so much to the greater features, which it presents in common with every other scheme of classification, as to the minor features which constitute its peculiarity. In this point of view the two last Categories are more significant than the first four, and the tenth is the most significant of all; for every one is astonished when he finds Habere enrolled as a tenth Summum Genus, co-ordinate79 with Quantum and Quale. Now what is remarkable about the ninth and tenth Categories is, that individual persons or animals are the only Subjects respecting whom they are ever predicated, and are at the same time Subjects respecting whom they are constantly (or at least frequently) predicated. An individual person is habitually clothed in some particular way in all or part of his body; he (and perhaps his horse also) are the only Subjects that are ever so clothed. Moreover animals are the only Subjects, and among them man is the principal Subject, whose changes of posture are frequent, various, determined by internal impulses, and at the same time interesting to others to know. Hence we may infer that when Aristotle lays down the Ten Categories, as Summa Genera for all predications which can be made about any given Subject, the Subject which he has wholly, or at least principally, in his mind is an individual Man. We understand, then, how it is that he declares Habere and Jacere to be so plain as to need no farther explanation. What is a man’s posture? What is his clothing or equipment? are questions understood by every one.75 But when Aristotle treats of Habere elsewhere, he is far from recognizing it as narrow and plain per se. Even in the Post-Predicamenta (an appendix tacked on to the Categoriæ, either by himself afterwards, or by some follower) he declares Habere to be a predicate of vague and equivocal signification; including portions of Quale, Quantum, and Relata. And he specifies the personal equipment of an individual as only one among these many varieties of signification. He takes the same view in the fourth book (Δ.) of the Metaphysica, which book is a sort of lexicon of philosophical terms.76 This enlargement of the meaning of the word Habere seems to indicate an alteration of Aristotle’s point of view, dropping that special reference to an individual man as Subject, which was present to him when he drew up the list of Ten 80Categories. The like alteration carried him still farther, so as to omit the ninth and tenth almost entirely, when he discusses the more extensive topics of philosophy. Some of his followers, on the contrary, instead of omitting Habere out of the list of Categories, tried to procure recognition for it in the larger sense which it bears in the Metaphysica. Archytas ranked it fifth in the series, immediately after Relata.77

75 In the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Mr. James Harris’s Philosophical Arrangements, there is a learned and valuable illustration of these two last Aristotelian Categories. I think, however, that he gives to the Predicament Κεῖσθαι (Jacere) a larger and more comprehensive meaning than it bears in the treatise Categoriæ; and that neither he, nor the commentators whom he cites (p. 317), take sufficient notice of the marked distinction drawn in that treatise between κεῖσθαι and θέσις (Cat. p. 6, b. 12). Mr. Harris ranks the arrangement of words in an orderly discourse, and of propositions in a valid syllogism, as cases coming under the Predicament Κεῖσθαι; which is travelling far beyond the meaning of that word in the Aristotelian Categories. At the same time he brings out strongly the fact, that living beings, and especially men, are the true and special subjects of predicates belonging to Κεῖσθαι and Ἔχειν. The more we attend to this, the nearer approach shall we make to the state of Aristotle’s mind when he drew up the list of Categories; as indeed Harris himself seems to recognize (chap. ii. p. 29).

76 Aristot. Categor. p. 15, b. 17; Metaphys. Δ. p. 1023, a. 8.

77 See the Scholia of Simplikius, p. 80, b. 7, seq.; p. 92, b. 41, Brand.; where the different views of Archytas, Plotinus, and Boêthus, are given; also p. 59, b. 43: προηγεῖται γὰρ ἡ συμφυὴς τῶν πρός τι σχέσις τῶν ἐπικτήτων σχέσεων, ὡς καὶ τῲ Ἀρχύτᾳ δοκεῖ. In the language of Archytas, αἱ ἐπίκτητοι σχέσεις were the equivalent of the Aristotelian ἔχειν.

The narrow manner in which Aristotle conceives the Predicament Habere in the treatise Categoriæ, and the enlarged sense given to that term both in the Post-Predicaments and in the Metaphysica, lead to a suspicion that the Categoriæ is comparatively early, in point of date, among his compositions. It seems more likely that he should begin with the narrower view, and pass from thence to the larger, rather than vice versâ. Probably the predicates specially applicable to Man would be among his early conceptions, but would by later thought be tacitly dropped,78 so as to retain those only which had a wider philosophical application.

78 Respecting the paragraph (at the close of the Categoriæ) about τὸ ἔχειν, see the Scholion in Waitz’s ed. of the Organon, p. 38.

The fact that Archytas in his treatise presented the Aristotelian Category ἔχειν under the more general phrase of αἱ ἐπίκτητοι σχέσεις (see the preceding note), is among the reasons for believing that treatise to be later than Aristotle.

I have already remarked that Aristotle, while enrolling all the Ten Predicaments as independent heads, each the Generalissimum of a separate descending line of predicates, admitted at the same time that various predicates did not of necessity belong to one of these lines exclusively, but might take rank in more than one line. There are some which he enumerates under all the different heads of Quality, Relation, Action, Passion. The classification is evidently recognized as one to which we may apply a remark which he makes especially in regard to Quality and Relation, under both of which heads (he says) the same predicates may sometimes be counted.79 And the observation is much more extensively true than he was aware; for he both conceives and defines the Category of Relation or Relativity 81(Ad Aliquid) in a way much narrower than really belongs to it. If he had assigned to this Category its full and true comprehension, he would have found it implicated with all the other nine. None of them can be isolated from it in predication.

79 Aristot. Categ. p. 11, a. 37.

Simplikius says that what Aristotle admits about ποιότης, is true about all the other Categories also, viz.: that it is not a strict and proper γένος. Each of the ten Categories is (what Aristotle says about τὸ ὃν) μέσον τῶν τε συνωνόμων καὶ ὁμωνύμων. — οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐκεῖνα κυρίως ἐστὶ γένη, οὐδὲ ὡς γένη τῶν ὑπ’ αὐτὰ κατηγορεῖται, τάξεως οὔσης πανταχοῦ πρώτων καὶ δευτέρων. (Scholia ad Categor. p. 69, b. 30, Br.) This is a remarkable observation, which has not been sufficiently adverted to, I think, by Brentano in his treatise on Aristotle’s Ontology.

That Agere and Pati (with the illustrations which he himself gives thereof — urit, uritur) may be ranked as varieties under the generic Category of Relation or Relativity, can hardly be overlooked. The like is seen to be true about Ubi and Quando, when we advert to any one of the predicates belonging to either; such as, in the market-place, yesterday.80 Moreover, not merely the last six of the ten Categories, but also the second and fourth (Quantum and Quale) are implicated with and subordinated to Relation. If we look at Quantum, we shall find that the example which Aristotle gives of it is τριπῆχυς, tricubital, or three cubits long; a term quite as clearly relative as the term διπλάσιος or double, which he afterwards produces as instance of the Category Ad Aliquid.81 When we are asked the questions, How much is the height? How large is the field? we cannot give the information required except by a relative predicate — it is three feetit is four acres; we thereby carry back the mind of the questioner to some unit of length or superficies already known to him, and we convey our meaning by comparison with such unit. Again, if we turn from Quantum to Quale, we find the like Relativity implied in all the predicates whereby answer is made to the question Ποιὸς τίς ἐστι; Qualis est? What manner of man is he? He is such as A, B, C — persons whom we have previously seen, or heard, or read of.82

80 The remarks of Plotinus upon these four last-mentioned Categories are prolix and vague, but many of them go to shew how much τὸ πρός τι is involved in all of the four (Ennead. vi. 1, 14-18).

81 Trendelenburg (Kategorienlehre, p. 184) admits a certain degree of interference and confusion between the Categories of Quantum and Ad Aliquid; but in very scanty measure, and much beneath the reality.

82 The following passages from Mr. James Mill (Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind, vol. ii. ch. xiv. sect. ii. pp. 48, 49, 56, 1st ed.) state very clearly the Relativity of the predicates of Quantity and Quality:—

“It seems necessary that I should say something of the word Quantus, from which the word Quantity is derived. Quantus is the correlate of Tantus. Tantus, Quantus, are relative terms, applicable to all the objects to which we apply the terms Great, Little.” — “Of two lines, we call the one tantus, the other quantus. The occasions on which we do so, are when the one is as long as the other.” — “When we say that one thing is tantus, quantus another, or one so great, as the other is great; the first is referred to the last, the tantus to the quantus. The first is distinguished and named by the last. The Quantus is the standard.” — “On what account, then, is it that we give to any thing the name Quantus? As a standard by which to name another thing, Tantus. The thing called Quantus is the previously known thing, the ascertained amount, by which we can mark and define the other amount.”

Talis, Qualis, are applied to objects in the same way, on one account, as Tantus, Quantus, on another; and the explanation we gave of Tantus, Quantus, may be applied, mutatis mutandis, to the pair of relatives which we have now named. Tantus, Quantus, are names applied to objects on account of dimension. Talis, Qualis, are names applied to objects on account of all other sensations. We apply Tantus, Quantus, to a pair of objects when they are equal; we apply Talis, Qualis, to a pair of objects when they are alike. One of the objects is then the standard. The object Qualis is that to which the reference is made.”

Compare the same work, vol. i. ch. ix. p. 225:— “The word Such is a relative term, and always connotes so much of the meaning of some other term. When we call a thing such, it is always understood that it is such as some other thing. Corresponding with our words such as, the Latins had Talis, Qualis.”

82We thus see that all the predicates, not only under the Category which Aristotle terms Ad Aliquid, but also under all the last nine Categories, are relative. Indeed the work of predication is always relative. The express purpose, as well as the practical usefulness, of a significant predicate is, to carry the mind of the hearer either to a comparison or to a general notion which is the result of past comparisons. But though each predicate connotes Relation, each connotes a certain fundamentum besides, which gives to the Relation its peculiar character. Relations of Quantity are not the same as relations of Quality; the predicates of the former connote a fundamentum different from the predicates of the latter, though in both the meaning conveyed is relative. In fact, every predicate or concrete general name is relative, or connotes a Relation to something else, actual or potential, beyond the thing named. The only name not relative is the Proper name, which connotes no attributes, and cannot properly be used as a predicate (so Aristotle remarks), but only as a Subject.83 Sokrates, Kallias, Bukephalus &c., denotes the Hoc Aliquid or Unum Numero, which, when pronounced alone, indicates some concrete aggregate (as yet unknown) which may manifest itself to my senses, but does not, so far as the name is concerned, involve necessary reference to anything besides; though even these names, when one and the same name continues to be applied to the same object, may be 83held to connote a real or supposed continuity of past or future existence, and become thus to a certain extent relative.

83 You may make Sokrates a predicate, in the proposition, τὸ λευκὸν ἐκεῖνο Σωκράτης ἐστίν, but Aristotle dismisses this as an irregular or perverse manner of speaking (see Analytic. Priora, i. p. 43, a. 35; Analyt. Poster. i. p. 83, a. 2-16).

Alexander calls these propositions αἱ παρὰ φύσιν προτάσεις (see Schol. ad Metaphys. Δ. p. 1017, a. 23).

Mr. James Harris observes (Philosophical Arrangements, ch. x. p. 214; also 317, 348):— “Hence too we may see why Relation stands next to Quantity; for in strictness the Predicaments which follow are but different modes of Relation, marked by some peculiar character over their own, over and above the relative character, which is common to them all.” To which I would add, that the first two Categories, Substance and Quantity, are no less relative or correlative than the eight later Categories; as indeed Harris himself thinks; see the same work, pp. 90, 473: “Matter and Attribute are essentially distinct, yet, like convex and concave, they are by nature inseparable. We have already spoken as to the inseparability of attributes; we now speak as to that of matter. Ἡμεῖς δὲ φαμὲν μὲν εἶναί τινα ὕλην τῶν σωμάτων τῶν αἰσθητῶν, ἀλλὰ ταύτην οὐ χωριστὴν ἀλλ’ ἀεὶ μετ’ ἐναντιώσεως — ὕλην τὴν ἀχώριστον μὲν, ὑποκειμένην δὲ τοῖς ἐναντίοις (Aristot. De Gen. et Corr. p. 329, a. 24). By contraries, Aristotle means here the several attributes of matter, hot, cold, &c.; from some one or other of which matter is always inseparable.”

We must observe that what the proper name denotes is any certain concrete One and individual,84 with his attributes essential and non-essential, whatever they may be, though as yet undeclared, and with his capacity of receiving other attributes different and even opposite. This is what Aristotle indicates as the most special characteristic of Substance or Essence, that while it is Unum et Idem Numero, it is capable of receiving contraries. This potentiality of contraries, described as characterizing the Unum et Idem Numero,85 is relative to something about to come; the First Essence is doubtless logically First, but it is just as much relative to the Second, as the Second to the First. We know it only by two negations and one affirmation, all of which are relative to predications in futuro. It is neither in a Subject, nor predicable of a Subject. It is itself the ultimate Subject of all predications and all inherencies. Plainly, therefore, we know it only relatively to these predications and inherencies. Aristotle says truly, that if you take away the First Essences, everything else, Second Essences as well as Accidents, disappears along with them. But he might have added with equal truth, that if you take away all Second Essences and all Accidents, the First Essences will disappear equally. The correlation and interdependence is reciprocal.86 It may be suitable, with a view to clear and retainable philosophical explanation, to state the Subject first and the predicates afterwards; so that the Subject may thus be considered as logically prius. But in truth the Subject is only a substratum for predicates,87 as much as the predicates are superstrata upon 84the Subject. The term substratum designates not an absolute or a per se, but a Correlatum to certain superstrata, determined or undetermined: now the Correlatum is one of the pair implicated directly or indirectly in all Relation; and it is in fact specified by Aristotle as one variety of the Category Ad Aliquid.88 We see therefore that the idea of Relativity attaches to the first of the ten Categories, as well as to the nine others. The inference from these observations is, that Relation or Relativity, understood in the large sense which really belongs to it, ought to be considered rather as an Universal, comprehending and pervading all the Categories, than as a separate Category in itself, co-ordinate with the other nine. It is the condition and characteristic of the work of predication generally; the last analysis of which is into Subject and Predicate, in reciprocal implication with each other. I remark that this was the view taken of it by some well-known Peripatetic commentators of antiquity;89 by Andronikus, for example, and by Ammonius after him. Plato, though he makes no attempt to draw up a list of Categories, has an incidental passage respecting Relativity;90 conceiving it in a very extended sense, apparently as belonging more or less to all predicates. Aristotle, though in the Categoriæ he gives a narrower explanation of it, founded upon grammatical rather than real considerations, yet intimates in other places that predicates ranked under the heads of Quale, Actio, Passio, Jacere, &c., may also be looked at as belonging to the head of Ad Aliquid.91 This latter, moreover, he himself 85declares elsewhere to be Ens in the lowest degree, farther removed from the Prima Essentia than any of the other Categories; to be more in the nature of an appendage to some of them, especially to Quantum and Quale;92 and to presuppose, not only the Prima Essentia (which all the nine later Categories presuppose), but also one or more of the others, indicating the particular mode of comparison or Relativity in each case affirmed. Thus, under one aspect, Relation or Relativity may be said to stand prius naturâ, and to come first in order before all the Categories, inasmuch as it is implicated with the whole business of predication (which those Categories are intended to resolve into its elements), and belongs not less to the mode of conceiving what we call the Subject, than to the mode of conceiving what we call its Predicates, each and all. Under another aspect, Relativity may be said to stand last in order among the Categories — even to come after the adverbial Categories Ubi et Quando; because its locus standi is dim and doubtful, and because every one of the subordinate predicates belonging to it may be seen to belong to one or other of the remaining Categories also. Aristotle remarks that the Category Ad Aliquid has no peculiar and definite mode of generation corresponding to it, in the manner that Increase and Diminution belong to Quantum, Change to Quale, Generation, simple and absolute, to Essence or Substance.93 New relations may become predicable of a thing, without any change in the thing itself, but simply by changes in other things.94

84 Simplikius ap. Schol. p. 52, a. 42: πρὸς ὅ φασιν οἱ σπουδαιότεροι τῶν ἐξηγητῶν, ὅτι ἡ αἰσθητὴ οὐσία συμφόρησίς τίς ἐστι ποιοτήτων καὶ ὕλης, καὶ ὁμοῦ μὲν πάντα συμπαγέντα μίαν ποιεῖ τὴν αἰσθητὴν οὐσίαν, χωρὶς δὲ ἕκαστον λαμβανόμενον τὸ μὲν ποιὸν τὸ δὲ ποσόν ἐστι λαμβανόμενον, ἤ τι ἄλλο.

85 Aristot. Categ. p. 4, a. 10: Μάλιστα δὲ ἴδιον τοῦτο τῆς οὐσίας δοκεῖ εἶναι, τὸ ταὐτὸν καὶ ἓν ἀριθμῷ ὂν τῶν ἐναντίων εἶναι δεκτικόν. See Waitz, note, p. 290: δεκτικὸν dicitur τὸ ἐν ᾧ πέφυκεν ὑπάρχειν τι.

Dexippus, and after him Simplikius, observe justly, that the characteristic mark of πρώτη οὐσία is this very circumstance of being unum numero, which belongs in common to all πρῶται οὐσίαι, and is indicated by the Proper name: λύσις δὲ τούτου, ὅτι αὐτὸ τὸ μίαν εἶναι ἀριθμῷ, κοινός ἐστι λόγος. (Simpl. in Categor., fol. 22 Δ.; Dexippus, book ii. sect. 18, p. 57, ed. Spengel.)

86 Aristot. Categ. p. 2, b. 5. μὴ οὐσῶν οὖν τῶν πρώτων οὐσιῶν ἀδύνατον τῶν ἄλλων τι εἶναι.

Mr. John Stuart Mill observes: “As to the self-existence of Substance, it is very true that a substance may be conceived to exist without any other substance; but so also may an attribute without any other attributes. And we can no more imagine a substance without attributes, than we can imagine attributes without a substance.” (System of Logic, bk. i. ch. iii. p. 61, 6th ed.)

87 Aristot. Physic. ii. p. 194, b. 8. ἔτι τῶν πρός τι ἡ ὕλη· ἄλλῳ γὰρ εἴδει ἄλλη ὕλη.

Plotinus puts this correctly, in his criticisms on the Stoic Categories; criticisms which on this point equally apply to the Aristotelian: πρός τι γὰρ τὸ ὑποκείμενον, οὐ πρὸς τὸ ἐν αὐτῷ, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὸ ποιοῦν εἰς αὐτό, κείμενον. Καὶ τὸ ὑποκείμενον ὑποκεῖται πρὸς τὸ οὐχ ὑποκείμενον· εἰ τοῦτο, πρὸς τὰ τὸ ἔξω, &c. Also Dexippus in the Scholia ad Categor. p. 45, a. 26: τὸ γὰρ ὑποκείμενον κατὰ πρός τι λέγεσθαι ἐδόκει, τινὶ γὰρ ὑποκείμενον.

88 Aristot. Metaphys. Δ. p. 1020, b. 31, p. 1021, a. 27, seq.

89 Schol. p. 60, a. 38, Br.; p. 47, b. 26. Xenokrates and Andronikus included all things under the two heads τὸ καθ’ αὑτὸ and τὸ πρός τι. Ἀνδρόνικος μὲν γὰρ ὁ Ῥόδιος τελευταίαν ἀπονέμει τοῖς προς τι τάξιν, λέγων αἰτίαν τοιαύτην. τὰ πρός τι οἰκείαν ὕλη οὐκ ἔχει· παραφυάδι γὰρ ἔοικεν οἰκείαν φύσιν μὴ ἐχούσῃ ἀλλὰ περιπλεκομένῃ τοῖς ἔχουσιν οἰκείαν ῥίζαν· αἱ δὲ ἔννεα κατηγορίαι οἰκείαν ὕλην ἔχουσιν· εἰκότως οὖν τελευταίαν ὤφειλον ἔχειν τάξιν. Again, Schol. p. 60, a. 24 (Ammonius): καλῶς δέ τινες ἀπεικάζουσι τὰ πρός τι παραφυάσιν, &c. Also p. 59, b. 41; p. 49, a. 47; p. 61, b. 29: ἴσως δὲ καὶ ὅτι τὰ πρός τι ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις γένεσιν ὑφέστηκε, διὰ τοῦτο σὺν αὐτοῖς θεωρεῖται, κἂν μὴ προηγουμένης ἔτυχε μνήμης (and the Scholia ad p. 6, a. 36, prefixed to Waitz’s edition, p. 33). Also p. 62, a. 37: διὰ ταῦτα δὲ ὡς παραφυομένην ταῖς ἄλλαις κατηγορίαις τὴν τοῦ πρός τι ἐπεισοδιώδη νομίζουσι, καίτοι προηγουμένην οὖσαν καὶ κατὰ διαφορὰν οἰκείαν θεωρουμένην. Boêthus had written an entire book upon τὰ πρός τι, Schol. p. 61, b. 9.

90 Plato, Republic, iv. 437 C. to 439 B. (compare also Sophistes, p. 255 C., and Politicus, p. 285). Καὶ τὰ πλείω δὴ πρὸς τὰ ἐλάττω καὶ τὰ διπλάσια πρὸς τὰ ἡμίσεα καὶ πάντα τὰ τοιαῦτα, καὶ αὖ βαρύτερα πρὸς κουφότερα καὶ θάττω πρὸς βραδύτερα, καὶ ἔτι γε τὰ θερμὰ πρὸς τὰ ψυχρὰ καὶ πάντα τὰ τούτοις ὅμοια, ἆρ’ οὐχ οὕτως ἔχει; (438 C.)

91 See Metaphysic. Δ. p. 1020, b. 26, p. 1021, b. 10. Trendelenburg observes (Gesch. der Kategorienlehre, pp. 118-122, seq.) how much more the description given of πρός τι in the Categoriæ is determined by verbal or grammatical considerations, than in the Metaphysica and other treatises of Aristotle.

92 See Ethic. Nikomach. i. p. 1096, a. 20: τὸ δὲ καθ’ αὑτὸ καὶ ἡ οὐσία πρότερον τῇ φύσει τοῦ πρός τι· παραφυάδι γὰρ τοῦτ’ ἔοικε καὶ συμβεβηκότι τοῦ ὄντος, ὥστε οὐκ ἂν εἴη κοινή τις ἐπὶ τούτων ἰδέα. (The expression παραφυάδι was copied by Andronikus; see a note on the preceding page.) Metaphys. N. p. 1088, a. 22-26: τὸ δὲ πρός τι πάντων ἥκιστα φύσις τις ἢ οὐσία τῶν κατηγοριῶν ἐστί, καὶ ὑστέρα τοῦ ποιοῦ καὶ ποσοῦ· καὶ πάθος τι τοῦ ποσοῦ τὸ πρός τι, ὥσπερ ἐλέχθη, ἀλλ’ οὐχ ὕλη, εἴ τι ἕτερον καὶ τῷ ὅλως κοινῷ πρός τι καὶ τοῖς μέρεσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ εἴδεσιν. Compare Bonitz in his note on p. 1070, a. 33.

The general doctrine laid down by Aristotle, Metaphys. N. p. 1087, b. 34, seq., about the universality of μέτρον as pervading all the Categories, is analogous to the passage above referred to in the Politicus of Plato, and implies the Relativity involved more or less in all predicates.

93 Aristot. Metaph. N. p. 1088, a. 29: σημεῖον δὲ ὅτι ἥκιστα οὐσία τις καὶ ὄν τι τὸ πρός τι τὸ μόνον μὴ εἶναι γένεσιν αὐτοῦ μηδὲ φθορὰν μηδὲ κίνησιν, ὥσπερ κατὰ τὸ ποσὸν αὔξησις καὶ φθίσις, κατὰ τὸ ποιὸν ἀλλοίωσις, κατὰ τόπον φορά, κατὰ τὴν οὐσίαν ἡ ἁπλῆ γένεσις καὶ φθορά. Compare K. p. 1068, a. 9: ἀνάγκη τρεῖς εἶναι κινήσεις, ποιοῦ, ποσοῦ, τόπου. κατ’ οὐσίαν δ’ οὔ, διὰ τὸ μηθὲν εἶναι οὐσίᾳ ἐναντίον, οὐδὲ τοῦ πρός τι. Also Physica, v. p. 225, b. 11: ἐνδέχεται γὰρ θατέρου μεταβάλλοντος ἀληθεύεσθαι θάτερον μηδὲν μετάβαλλον. See about this passage Bonitz and Schwegler’s notes on Metaphys. p. 1068.

94 Hobbes observes (First Philosophy, part ii. ch. xi. 6): “But we must not so think of Relation as if it were an accident differing from all the other accidents of the relative; but one of them, namely, that by which the comparison is made. For example, the likeness of one white to another white, or its unlikeness to black, is the same accident with its whiteness.” This may be true about the relations Like and Unlike (see Mr. John Stuart Mill, Logic, ch. iii. p. 80, 6th ed.) But, in Relations generally, the fundamentum may be logically distinguished from the Relation itself.

Aristotle makes the same remarks upon τὸ συμβεβηκὸς as upon τὸ πρός τι:— That it verges upon Non-ens; and that it has no special mode of being generated or destroyed. φαίνεται γὰρ τὸ συμβεβηκὸς ἐγγύς τι τοῦ μὴ ὄντος· τῶν μὲν γὰρ ἄλλον τρόπον ὄντων ἔστι γένεσις καὶ φθορά, τῶν δὲ κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς οὐκ ἔστιν. (Metaphys. E. p. 1026, b. 21.)

86Those among the Aristotelian commentators who denied the title of Ad Aliquid to a place among the Categories or Summa Genera of predicates, might support their views from passages where Aristotle ranks the Genus as a Relatum, though he at the same time declares that the Species under it are not Relata. Thus scientia is declared by him to be a Relatum; because it must be of something—alicujus scibilis; while the something thus implied is not specified.95 But (scientia) musica, grammatica, medica, &c., are declared not to be Relata; the indeterminate something being there determined, and bound up in one word with the predication of Relativity. Now the truth is that both are alike Relata, though both also belong to the Category of Quality; a man is called Talis from being sciens, as well as from being grammaticus. Again, he gives as illustrative examples of the Category Ad Aliquid, the adjectives double, triple. But he ranks in a different Category (that of Quantum) the adjectives bicubital, tricubital (διπῆχυς, τριπῆχυς). It is plain that the two last of these predicates are species under the two first, and that all four predicates are alike relative, under any real definition that can be given of Relativity, though all four belong also to the Category of Quantum. Yet Aristotle does not recognize any predicates as belonging to Ad Aliquid, except such as are logically and grammatically elliptical; that is, such as do not include in themselves the specification of the Correlate, but require to be supplemented by an additional word in the genitive or dative case, specifying the latter. As we have already seen, he lays it down generally, that all Relata (or Ad Aliquid) imply a Correlatum; and he prescribes that when the Correlatum is indicated, care shall be taken to designate it by a precise and specific term, not of wider import than the Relatum,96 but specially reciprocating therewith: thus he regards ala (a wing) as Ad Aliquid, but when you specify its correlate in order to speak with propriety (οἰκείως), you must describe it as ala 87alati (not as ala avis), in order that the Correlatum may be strictly co-extensive and reciprocating with the Relatum. Wing, head, hand, &c., are thus Ad Aliquid, though there may be no received word in the language to express their exact Correlata; and though you may find it necessary to coin a new word expressly for the purpose.97 In specifying the Correlatum of servant, you must say, servant of a master, not servant of a man or of a biped; both of which are in this case accompaniments or accidents of the master, being still accidents, though they may be in fact constantly conjoined. Unless you say master, the terms will not reciprocate; take away master, the servant is no longer to be found, though the man who was called servant is still there; but take away man or biped, and the servant may still continue.98 You cannot know the Relatum determinately or accurately, unless you know the Correlatum also; without the knowledge of the latter, you can only know the former in a vague and indefinite manner.99 Aristotle raises, also, the question whether any Essence or Substance can be described as Ad Aliquid.100 He inclines to the negative, though not decisively pronouncing. He seems to think that Simo and Davus, when called men, are Essences or Substances; but that when called master and slave, they are not so; this, however, is surprising, when he had just before spoken of the connotation of man as accidents (συμβεβηκότα) belonging to the connotation of master. He speaks of the members of an organized body (wing, head, foot) as examples of Ad Aliquid; while in other 88 treatises, he determines very clearly that these members presuppose, as a prius naturâ, the complete organism whereof they are parts, and that the name of each member connotes the performance of, or aptitude to perform, a certain special function: now, such aptitude cannot exist unless the whole organism be held together in co-operative agency, so that if this last condition be wanting, the names, head, eye, foot, can no longer be applied to the separate members, or at least can only be applied equivocally or metaphorically.101 It would seem therefore that the functioning something is here the Essence, and that all its material properties are accidents (συμβεβηκότα).

95 Categor. p. 6, b. 12, p. 11, a. 24; Topic. iv. p. 124, b. 16. Compare also Topica, iv. p. 121, a. 1, and the Scholia thereupon, p. 278, b. 12-16, Br.; in which Scholia Alexander feels the difficulty of enrolling a generic term as πρός τι, while the specific terms comprised under it are not πρός τι; and removes the difficulty by suggesting that ἐπιστήμη may be at once both ποιότης and πρός τι; and that as ποιότης (not as πρός τι) it may be the genus including μουσικὴ and γεωμετρία, which are not πρός τι, but ποιότητες.

96 Categor. p. 6, b. 30, p. 7, b. 12.

97 Categor. p. 7, a. 5. ἐνίοτε δὲ ὀνοματοποιεῖν ἴσως ἀναγκαῖον, ἐὰν μὴ κείμενον ᾖ ὄνομα πρὸς ὃ οἰκείως ἂν ἀποδοθείη.

98 Categor. p. 7, a. 31. ἔτι δ’ ἐὰν μέν τι οἰκείως ἀποδιδόμενον ᾖ πρὸς ὃ λέγεται, πάντων περιαιρουμένων τῶν ἄλλων ὅσα συμβεβηκότα ἐστί, καταλειπομένου δὲ μόνου τούτου πρὸς ὃ ἀπεδόθη οἰκείως, ἀεὶ πρὸς αὐτὸ ῥηθήσεται, οἷον ὁ δοῦλος ἐὰν πρὸς δεσπότην λέγηται, περιαιρουμένων τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων ὅσα συμβεβηκότα ἐστὶ τῷ δεσπότῃ οἷον τὸ δίποδι εἶναι καὶ τὸ ἐπιστήμης δεκτικῷ καὶ τὸ ἀνθρώπῳ, καταλειπομένου δὲ μόνου τοῦ δεσπότην εἶναι, ἀεὶ ὁ δοῦλος πρὸς αὐτὸ ῥηθήσεται.

This is not only just and useful in regard to accuracy of predication, but deserves attention also in another point of view. In general, it would be said that man and biped belonged to the Essence (οὐσία); and the being a master to the Accidents or Accompaniments (συμβεβηκότα). Here the case is reversed; man and biped are the accidents or accompaniments; master is the Essence. What is connoted by the term master is here the essential idea, that which is bound up with the idea connoted by servant; while the connotation of man or biped sinks into the character of an accessory or accompaniment. The master might possibly not be a man, but a god; the Delphian Apollo (Euripid. Ion, 132), and the Corinthian Aphrodité, had each many slaves belonging to them. Moreover, even if every master were a man, the qualities connoted by man are here accidental, as not being included in those connoted by the term master. Compare Metaphysica, Δ. p. 1025, a. 32; Topica, i. p. 102, a. 18.

99 That Plato was fully sensible to the necessity of precision and appropriateness in designating the Correlatum belonging to each Relatum, may be seen by the ingenious reasoning in the Platonic Parmenides, pp. 133-134, where δεσπότης and δοῦλος are also the illustrative examples employed.

100 Categor. p. 8, a. 35, b. 20.

101 See Politica, i. p. 1253, a. 18: καὶ πρότερον δὴ τῇ φύσει πόλις ἢ οἰκία καὶ ἕκαστος ἡμῶν ἐστίν· τὸ γὰρ ὅλον πρότερον ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι τοῦ μέρους· ἀναιρουμένου γὰρ τοῦ ὅλου οὐκ ἔσται ποῦς οὐδὲ χεὶρ, εἰ μὴ ὁμωνύμως, ὥσπερ εἴ τις λέγει τὴν λιθίνην· διαφθαρεῖσα γὰρ ἔσται τοιαύτη. πάντα δὲ τῷ ἔργῳ ὥρισται καὶ τῇ δυνάμει, ὤστε μηκέτι τοιαῦτα ὄντα οὐ λεκτέον τὰ αὐτα εἶναι ἀλλ’ ὁμώνυμα; also p. 1254, a. 9: τό τε γὰρ μόριον οὐ μόνον ἄλλου ἐστὶ μόριον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἄλλου.

Compare De Animâ, ii. 1, p. 412, b. 20; Meteorologic. iv. p. 390, a. 12.

The doctrine enunciated in these passages is a very important one, in the Aristotelian philosophy.

Trendelenburg (Kategorienlehre, p. 182) touches upon this confusion of the Categories, but faintly and partially.

In the fourth book of the Metaphysica, Aristotle gives an explanation of Ad Aliquid different from, and superior to, that which we read in the Categoriæ; treating it, not as one among many distinct Categories, but as implicated with all the Categories, and taking a different character according as it is blended with one or the other — Essentia, Quantum, Quale, Actio, Passio, &c.102 He there, also, enumerates as one of the varieties of Relata, what seems to go beyond the limit, or at least beyond the direct denotation, of the Categories; for, having specified, as one variety, Relata Numero, and, as another, Relata secundum actionem et passionem (τὸ θερμαντικὸν πρὸς τὸ θερμαντόν, &c.), he proceeds to a third variety, such as the mensurabile with reference to mensura, the scibile with reference to scientia, the cogitabile with reference to cogitatio; and in regard to this third variety, he draws a nice distinction. He says that mensura and cogitatio are Ad Aliquid, not because they are themselves related to mensurabile and cogitabile, but because mensurabile and cogitabile are related to them.103 You cannot say (he thinks) that mensura is referable 89to the mensurabile, or cogitatio to the cogitabile, because that would be repeating the same word twice over — mensura est illius cujus est mensuracogitatio est illius cujus est cogitatio. So that he regards mensura and cogitatio as Correlata, rather than as Relata; while mensurabile and cogitabile are the Relata to them. But in point of fact, the distinction is not important; of the relative pair there may be one which is more properly called the Correlatum; yet both are alike relative.

102 Metaphys. Δ. p. 1020, b. 27-32. At the same time we must remark, that while Aristotle enumerates τὸ ὑπέρεχον and τὸ ὑπερεχόμενον under Πρός τι, he had just before (a. 25) ranked τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρόν, τὸ μεῖζον καὶ τὸ ἕλαττον, under the general head Ποσόν — as ποσοῦ πάθη καθ’ αὑτά.

103 Metaphys. Δ. p. 1021, a. 26, b. 3; also I. p. 1056, b. 34. Bonitz in his note (p. 262) remarks that the distinction here drawn by Aristotle is not tenable; and I agree with him that it is not. But it coincides with what Aristotle asserts in other words in the Categoriæ; viz., that to be simul naturâ is not true of all Relata, but only of the greater part of them; that τὸ αἰσθητὸν is πρότερον τῆς αἰσθήσεως, and τὸ ἐπιστητὸν πρότερον τῆς ἐπιστήμης (Categor. p. 7, b. 23; p. 8, a. 10). As I have mentioned before (p. 71 n.), Simplikius, in the Scholia (p. 65, b. 14), points out that Aristotle has not been careful here to observe his own precept of selecting οἰκείως the correlative term. He ought to have stated the potential as correlating with the potential, the actual with the actual. If he had done this, the συνύπαρξις τῶν πρός τι would have been seen to be true in all cases. Eudorus noticed a similar inadvertence of Aristotle in the case of πτέρον and πτερωτόν (Schol. 63, a. 43). See ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ vol. ii. p. 330, note x.

I transcribe a curious passage of Leibnitz, bearing on the same question:— “On réplique maintenant, que la vérité du mouvement est indépendante de l’observation: et qu’un vaisseau peut avancer, sans que celui qui est dedans s’en aperçoive. Je réponds, que le mouvement est indépendant de l’observation: mais qu’il n’est point indépendant de l’observabilité. Il n’y a point de mouvement, quand il n’y a point de changement observable. Et même quand il n’y a point de changement observable, il n’y a point de changement du tout. Le contraire est fondé sur la supposition d’un Espace réel absolu, que j’ai réfuté demonstrativement par le principe du besoin d’une Raison suffisante des choses.” (Correspondence with Clarke, p. 770. Erdmann’s edition.)

If we compare together the various passages in which Aristotle cites and applies the Ten Categories (not merely in the treatise before us, but also in the Metaphysica, Physica, and elsewhere), we shall see that he cannot keep them apart steadily and constantly; that the same predicate is referred to one head in one place, and to another head in another: what is here spoken of as belonging to Actio or Passio, will be treated in another place as an instance of Quale or Ad Aliquid; even the derivative noun ἕξις (habitus) does not belong to the Category ἔχειν (Habere), but sometimes to Quale, sometimes to Ad Aliquid.104 This is inevitable; for the predicates thus differently referred have really several different aspects, and may be classified in one way or another, according as you take them in this or that aspect. Moreover, this same difficulty of finding impassable lines of demarcation would still be felt, even if the Categories, instead of the full list of Ten, were reduced to the smaller list of the four principal Categories — Substance, Quantity, Quality, and Relation; a reduction which has been recommended by commentators on Aristotle as well as by acute logicians of modern times. Even these four cannot be kept clearly apart: the predicates which declare Quantity or Quality must at the same time declare or imply Relation; while the predicates which declare Relation 90must also imply the fundamentum either of Quantity or of Quality.105

104 Aristot. Categor. p. 6, b. 2; p. 8, b. 27.

105 See Trendelenburg, Kategorienlehre, p. 117, seq.

The remarks made by Mr. John Stuart Mill (in his System of Logic, book i. ch. iii.) upon the Aristotelian Categories, and the enlarged philosophical arrangement which he introduces in their place, well deserve to be studied. After enumerating the ten Predicaments, Mr. Mill says:— “It is a mere catalogue of the distinctions rudely marked out by the language of familiar life, with little or no attempt to penetrate, by philosophic analysis, to the rationale even of these common distinctions. Such an analysis would have shewn the enumeration to be both redundant and defective. Some objects are omitted, and others repeated several times under different heads.” (Compare the remarks of the Stoic commentators, and Porphyry, Schol. p. 48, b. 10 Br.: ἀθετοῦντες τὴν διαίρεσιν ὡς πολλὰ παριεῖσαν καὶ μὴ περιλαμβάνουσαν, ἢ καὶ πάλιν πλεονάζουσαν. And Aristotle himself observes that the same predicates might be ranked often under more than one head.) “That could not be a very comprehensive view of the nature of Relation, which could exclude action, passivity, and local situation from that category. The same objection applies to the categories Quando (or position in time), and Ubi (or position in space); while the distinction between the latter and Situs (Κεῖσθαι) is merely verbal. The incongruity of erecting into a summum genus the tenth Category is manifest. On the other hand, the enumeration takes no notice of any thing but Substances and Attributes. In what Category are we to place sensations, or any other feelings and states of mind? as hope, joy, fear; sound, smell, taste; pain, pleasure; thought, judgment, conception, and the like? Probably all these would have been placed by the Aristotelian school in the Categories of Actio and Passio; and the relation of such of them as are active, to their objects, and of such of them as are passive, to their causes, would have been rightly so placed; but the things themselves, the feelings or states of mind, wrongly. Feelings, or states of consciousness, are assuredly to be counted among realities; but they cannot be reckoned either among substances or among attributes.”

Among the many deficiencies of the Aristotelian Categories, as a complete catalogue, there is none more glaring than the imperfect conception of Πρός τι (the Relative), which Mr. Mill here points out. But the Category Κεῖσθαι (badly translated by commentators Situs, from which Aristotle expressly distinguishes it, Categor. p. 6, b. 12: τὸ δὲ ἀνακεῖσθαι ἢ ἑστάναι ἢ καθῆσθαι αὐτὰ μὲν οὐκ εἰσὶ θέσεις) appears to be hardly open to Mr. Mill’s remark, that it is only verbally distinguished from Ποῦ, Ubi. Κεῖσθαι is intended to mean posture, attitude, &c. It is a reply to the question, In what posture is Sokrates? Answer. — He is lying down, standing upright, kneeling, πὺξ προτείνων, &c. This is quite different from the question, Where is Sokrates? In the market-place, in the palæstra, &c. Κεῖσθαι (as Aristotle himself admits, Categ. p. 6, b. 12) is not easily distinguished from Πρός τι: for the abstract and general word θέσις (position) is reckoned by Aristotle under Πρός τι, though the paronyma ἀνακεῖσθαι, ἑστάναι, καθῆσθαι are affirmed not to be θέσεις, but to come under the separate Category Κεῖσθαι. But Κεῖσθαι is clearly distinguishable from Ποῦ Ubi.

Again, to Mr. Mill’s question, “In what Category are we to place sensations or other states of mind — hope, fear, sound, smell, pain, pleasure, thought, judgment,” &c.? Aristotle would have replied (I apprehend) that they come under the Category either of Quale or of Pati — Ποιότητες or Πάθη. They are attributes or modifications of Man, Kallias, Sokrates, &c. If the condition of which we speak be temporary or transitory, it is a πάθος, and we speak of Kallias as πάσχων τι; if it be a durable disposition or capacity likely to pass into repeated manifestations, it is ποιότης, and we describe Kallias as ποιός τις (Categ. p. 9, a. 28-p. 10 a. 9). This equally applies to mental and bodily conditions (ὁμοίως δὲ τούτοις καὶ κατὰ τὴν ψυχὴν παθητικαὶ ποιότητες καὶ πάθη λέγεται. — p. 9, b. 33). The line is dubious and difficult between πάθος and ποιότης, but one or other of the two will comprehend all the mental states indicated by Mr. Mill. Aristotle would not have admitted that “feelings are to be counted among realities,” except as they are now or may be the feelings of Kallias, Sokrates, or some other Hic Aliquis — one or many. He would consider feelings as attributes belonging to these Πρῶται Οὐσίαι; and so in fact Mr. Mill himself considers them (p. 83), after having specified the Mind (distinguished from Body or external object) as the Substance to which they belong.

Mr. Mill’s classification of Nameable Things is much better and more complete than the Aristotelian Categories, inasmuch as it brings into full prominence the distinction between the subjective and objective points of view, and, likewise, the all-pervading principle of Relativity, which implicates the two; whereas, Aristotle either confuses the one with the other, or conceives them narrowly and inadequately. But we cannot say, I think, that Aristotle, in the Categories, assigns no room for the mental states or elements. He has a place for them, though he treats them altogether objectively. He takes account of himself only as an object — as one among the πρῶται οὐσίαι, or individuals, along with Sokrates and Kallias.

91The most capital distinction, however, which is to be found among the Categories is that of Essence or Substance from all the rest. This is sometimes announced as having a standing per se; as not only logically distinguishable, but really separable from the other nine, if we preserve the Aristotelian list of ten,106 or from the other three, if we prefer the reduced list of four. But such real separation cannot be maintained. The Prima Essentia (we are told) is indispensable as a Subject, but cannot appear as Predicate; while all the rest can and do so appear. Now we see that this definition is founded upon the function enacted by each of them in predication, and therefore presupposes the fact of predication, which is in itself a Relation. The Category of Relation is thus implied, in declaring what the First Essence is, together with some predicabilia as correlates, though it is not yet specified what the predicabilia are. But besides this, the distinction drawn by Aristotle, between First and Second Essence or Substance, abolishes the marked line of separation between Substance and Quality, making the former shade down into the latter. The distinction recognizes a more or less in Substance, which graduation Aristotle expressly points out, stating that the Species is more Substance or Essence, and that Genus less so. We see thus that he did not conceive Substance (apart from attributes) according to the modern view, as that which exists without the mind (excluding within the mind or relation to the mind); for in that there can be no graduation. That which is without the mind, must also be within; and that which is within must also be without; the subject and the object correlating. This implication of within and without understood, there is then room for graduation, according as the one or the other aspect may be more or less prominent. Aristotle, in point of fact, confines himself to the mental or logical work of predication, to the conditions thereof, and to the component terms whereby the mind accomplishes that act. When he speaks of the First Essence or Substance, without the Second, all that he 92can say about it positively is to call it Unum numero and indivisible:107 even thus, he is compelled to introduce unity, measure, and number, all of which belong to the two Categories of Quantity and Relation; and yet still the First Essence or Substance remains indeterminate. We only begin to determine it when we call it by the name of the Second Substance or Essence; which name connotes certain attributes, the attributes thus connoted being of the essence of the Species; that is, unless they be present, no individual would be considered as belonging to the Species, or would be called by the specific name.108 When we thus, however, introduce attributes, we find ourselves not merely in the Category of Substantia (Secunda), but also in that of Qualitas. The boundary between Substantia and Qualitas disappears; the latter being partially contained in the former. The Second Substance or Essence includes attributes or Qualities belonging to the Essence. In fact, the Second Substance or Essence, when distinguished from the First, is both here and elsewhere characterized by Aristotle, as being not Substance at all, but Quality,109 though when considered as being in implication with the First, it takes on the nature of Substance and becomes substantial or essential Quality. The Differentia belongs thus both to Substance and to Quality (quale quid), making up as complement that which is designated by the specific name.110

106 Aristotle sometimes speaks of it as χωριστόν, the other Categories being not χωριστά (Metaphys. Z. p. 1028, a. 34). It is not easy, however, always to distinguish whether he means by the term χωριστὰ “sejuncta re”, or “sejuncta notione solâ.” See Bonitz ad Metaphysic. (Δ. p. 1017), p. 244.

107 Categor. p. 3, b. 12: ἄτομον γὰρ καὶ ἓν ἀριθμῷ τὸ δηλούμενόν ἐστιν. Compare Metaphysic. N. p. 1087, b. 33; p. 1088, a. 10.

108 Hobbes says:— “Now that accident (i.e. attribute) for which we give a certain name to any body, or the accident which denominates its Subject, is commonly called the Essence thereof; as rationality is the essence of a man, whiteness of any white thing, and extension the essence of a body” (Hobbes, Philosophy, ch. viii. s. 23). This topic will be found discussed, most completely and philosophically, in Mr. John Stuart Mill’s System of Logic, Book I. ch. vi. ss. 2-3; ch. vii. s. 5.

109 Categor. p. 3, b. 13: ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν δευτέρων οὐσιῶν φαίνεται μὲν ὁμοίως τῷ σχήματι τῆς προσηγορίας τόδε τι σημαίνειν, ὅταν εἴπῃ ἄνθρωπον ἢ ζῶον, οὐ μὴν ἀληθές γε, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ποιόν τι σημαίνει — ποιὰν γάρ τινα οὐσίαν σημαίνει (b. 20).

Metaphysic. Z. p. 1038, b. 35: φανερὸν ὅτι οὐθὲν τῶν καθόλου ὑπαρχόντων οὐσία ἐστί, καὶ ὅτι οὐθὲν σημαίνει τῶν κοινῇ κατηγορουμένων τόδε τι, ἀλλὰ τοιόνδε. Compare Metaphys. M. p. 1087, a. 1; Sophistic. Elench. p. 178, b. 37; 179, a. 9.

That which is called πρώτη οὐσία in the Categoriæ is called τρίτη οὐσία in Metaphys. Η. p. 1043, a. 18. In Ethic. Nikom. Z. p. 1143, a. 32, seq., the generalissima are called πρῶτα, and particulars are called ἔσχατα. Zell observes in his commentary (p. 224), “τὰ ἔσχατα sunt res singulæ, quæ et ipsæ sunt extremæ, ratione mentis nostræ, ab universis ad singula delabentis.” Patricius remarks upon the different sense of the terms Πρώτη Οὐσία in the Categoriæ and in the De Interpretatione (Discuss. Peripatetic. p. 21).

110 Metaphysic. Δ. p. 1020, b. 13: σχεδὸν δὴ κατὰ δύο τρόπους λέγοιτ’ ἂν τὸ ποιόν, καὶ τούτων ἕνα τὸν κυριώτατον· πρώτη μὲν γὰρ ποιοτὴς ἡ τῆς οὐσίας διαφορά. Compare Physic. v. p. 226, a. 27. See Trendelenburg, Kategorienlehre, pp. 56, 93.

The remarks of the different expositors (contained in Scholia, pp. 52, 53, 54, Brand.), are interesting upon the ambiguous position of Differentia, in regard to Substance and Quality. It comes out to be Neither and Both — οὐδέτερα καὶ ἀμφότερα (Plato, Euthydemus, p. 300 C.). Dexippus and Porphyry called it something intermediate between οὐσία and ποιότης, or between οὐσία and συμβεβηκός.

93We see, accordingly, that neither is the line of demarcation between the Category of Substance or Essence and the other Categories so impassable, nor the separability of it from the others so marked as some thinkers contend. Substance is represented by Aristotle as admitting of more and less, and as graduating by successive steps down to the other Categories; moreover, neither in its complete manifestation (as First Substance), nor in its incomplete manifestation (as Second Substance), can it be explained or understood without calling in the other Categories of Quantity, Quality, and Relation. It does not correspond to the definition of Substantia given by Spinoza — “quod in se est et per se concipitur.” It can no more be conceived or described without some of the other Categories, than they can be conceived or described without it. Aristotle defines it by four characteristics, two negative, and two positive. It cannot be predicated of a Subject: it cannot inhere in a Subject: it is, at bottom, the Subject of all Predicates: it is Unum numero and indivisible.111 Not one of these four determinations can be conceived or understood, unless we have in our minds the idea of other Categories and its relation to them. Substance is known only as the Subject of predicates, that is, relatively to them; as they also are known relatively to it. Without the Category of Relation, we can no more understand what is meant by a Subject than what is meant by a Predicate. The Category of Substance, as laid out by Aristotle, neither exists by itself, nor can be conceived by itself, without that of Relation and the generic notion of Predicate.112 All three lie 94together at the bottom of the analytical process, as the last findings and residuum.

111 Categor. p. 2, a. 14, b. 4; p. 3, b. 12.

112 Aristotle gives an explanation of what he means by καθ’ αὑτό — καθ’ αὑτά, in the Analytic. Post. I. iv. p. 73, a. 34, b. 13. According to that explanation it will be necessary to include in τὸ καθ’ αὑτὸ of the Category Οὐσία, all that is necessary to make the definition or explanation of that Category understood.

M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, in the valuable Preface introducing his translation of the Organon, gives what I think a just view of the Categories generally, and especially of πρώτη οὐσία, as simply naming (i.e. giving a proper name), and doing nothing more. I transcribe the passage, merely noting that the terms anterior and posterior can mean nothing more than logical anteriority and posteriority.

“Mais comment classer les mots? — C’est à la réalité seule qu’il faut le demander; à la réalité dont le langage n’est que le réflet, dont les mots ne sont que le symbole. Que nous présente la réalité? Des individus, rien que des individus, existant par eux-mêmes, et se groupant, par leurs ressemblances et leurs différences, sous des espèces et sous des genres. Ainsi donc, en étudiant l’individu, l’être individuel, et en analysant avec exactitude tout ce qu’il est possible d’en dire en tant qu’être, on aura les classes les plus générales des mots; les catégories, ou pour prendre le terme français, les attributions, qu’il est possible de lui appliquer. Voilà tout le fondement des Catégories. — Ce n’est pas du reste, une classification des choses à la manière de celles de l’histoire naturelle, qu’il s’agit de faire en logique: c’est une simple énumération de tous les points de vue, d’où l’esprit peut considérer les choses, non pas, il est vrai, par rapport à l’esprit lui-même, mais par rapport à leur réalité et à leurs appellations. — Aristote distingue ici dix points de vue, dix significations principales des mots. — La Catégorie de la Substance est à la tête de toutes les autres, précisément parceque la première, la plus essentielle, marque d’un être, c’est d’être. Cela revient à dire qu’avant tout, l’être est, l’être existe. Par suite les mots qui expriment la substance sont antérieurs à tous les autres et sont les plus importants. Il faut ajouter que ces mots là participeront en quelque sorte à cet isolement que les individus nous offrent dans la nature. Mais de même que, dans la réalité, les individus subsistant par eux seuls forment des espèces et des genres, qui ont bien aussi une existence substantielle, la substance se divisera de même en substance première et substance seconde. — Les espèces et les genres, s’ils expriment la substance, ne l’expriment pas dans toute sa pureté; c’est déjà de la substance qualifié, comme le dit Aristote. — Il n’y a bien dans la réalité que des individus et des espèces ou genres. Mais ces individus en soi et pour soi n’existent pas seulement; ils existent sous certaines conditions; leur existence se produit sous certaines modifications, que les mots expriment aussi, tout comme ils expriment l’existence absolue. Ces nouvelles classes de mots formeront les autres Catégories. — Ces modifications, ces accidents, de l’individu sont au nombre de neuf: Aristote n’en reconnaît pas davantage. — Voilà donc les dix Catégories: les dix seules attributions possibles. Par la première, on nomme les individus, sans faire plus que les nommer: par les autres, on les qualifie. On dit d’abord ce qu’est l’individu, et ensuite quel il est.” Barthélemy St. Hilaire, Logique d’Aristote, Preface, pp. lxxii.-lxxvii.

Aristotle, taking his departure from an analysis of the complete sentence or of the act of predication, appears to have regarded the Subject as having a natural priority over the Predicate. The noun-substantive (which to him represents the Subject), even when pronounced alone, carries to the hearer a more complete conception than either the adjective or the verb when pronounced alone; these make themselves felt much more as elliptical and needing complementary adjuncts. But this is only true in so far as the conception, raised by the substantive named alone (ἄνευ συμπλοκῆς), includes by anticipation what would be included, if we added to it some or all of its predicates. If we could deduct from this conception the meaning of all the applicable predicates, it would seem essentially barren or incomplete, awaiting something to come; a mere point of commencement or departure,113 known only by the various lines which may be drawn from it; a substratum for various attributes to lie upon or to inhere in. That which is known only as a substratum, is known only relatively to a superstructure to come; the one is Relatum, the other Correlatum, and the mention of either involves an implied assumption of the other. There may be a logical priority, founded upon expository convenience, belonging to the substratum, because it remains numerically one and the same, while the superstructure is variable. But the priority is nothing more than logical and notional; it does not amount to an ability of prior independent existence. On the contrary, 95there is simultaneity by nature (according to Aristotle’s own definition of the phrase) between Subject, Relation, and Predicate; since they all imply each other as reciprocating correlates, while no one of them is the cause of the others.114

113 Plato would not admit the point as as anything more than ἀρχὴν γραμμῆς (Aristot. Metaphys. A. p. 992, a. 21).

114 Aristot. Categor. p. 14, b. 27: φύσει δὲ ἅμα, ὅσα ἀντιστρέφει κατὰ τὴν τοῦ εἶναι ἀκολούθησιν, μηδαμῶς δὲ αἴτιον θάτερον θατέρῳ τοῦ εἶναι ἐστιν, οἷον ἐπὶ τοῦ διπλασίου καὶ τοῦ ἡμίσεος· &c.

When Aristotle says, very truly, that if the First Substances were non-existent, none of the other Predicaments could exist, we must understand what he means by the term first. That term bears, in this treatise, a sense different from what it bears elsewhere: here it means the extreme concrete and individual; elsewhere it means the extreme abstract and universal. The First Substance or First Essence, in the Categories, is a Hoc Aliquid (τόδε τι), illustrated by the examples hic homo, hic equus. Now, as thus explained and illustrated, it includes not merely the Second Substance, but various accidental attributes besides. When we talk of This man, Sokrates, Kallias, &c., the hearer conceives not only the attributes for which he is called a man, but also various accidental attributes, ranking under one or more of the other Predicaments. The First Substance thus (as explained by Aristotle) is not conceived as a mere substratum without Second Substance and without any Accidents, but as already including both of them, though as yet indeterminately; it waits for specializing words, to determine what its Substance or Essence is, and what its accompanying Accidents are. Being an individual (Unum numero), it unites in itself both the essential attributes of its species, and the unessential attributes peculiar to itself.115 It is already understood as including attributes of both kinds; but we wait for predicates to declare (δηλοῦν — ἀποδιδόναι116) what these attributes are. The First or Complete Ens embodies in itself all the Predicaments, though as yet potential and indeterminate, until the predicating adjuncts are specified. There is no priority, in the order of existence, belonging to Substance over Relation or Quality; take away either one of the three, and the First Ens disappears. But in regard to the order of exposition, there is a natural priority, founded on convenience and facility of understanding. The Hoc Aliquid or Unum Numero, which intimates in general 96outline a certain concretion or co-existence of attributes, though we do not yet know what they are — being as it were a skeleton — comes naturally as Subject before the predicates, whose function is declaratory and specifying as to those attributes: moreover, the essential attributes, which are declared and connoted when we first bestow a specific name on the subject, come naturally before the unessential attributes, which are predicated of the subject already called by a specific name connoting other attributes.117 The essential characters are native and at home; the accidental attributes are domiciliated foreigners.118

115 Aristot. Metaphys. Z. p. 1033, b. 24; p. 1034, a. 8. Τὸ δ’ ἄπαν τόδε Καλλίας ἢ Σωκράτης ἐστὶν ὥσπερ ἡ σφαῖρα ἡ χαλκῆ ἡδί, ὁ δ’ ἄνθρωπος καὶ τὸ ζῷον ὥσπερ σφαῖρα χαλκῆ ὅλως. — τὸ δ’ ἅπαν ἤδη τὸ τοιόνδε εἶδος ἐν ταῖσδε ταῖς σαρξὶ καὶ ὀστοῖς Καλλίας καὶ Σωκράτης· καὶ ἕτερον μὲν διὰ τὴν ὕλην, ἕτερα γάρ, ταὐτὸ δὲ τῷ εἴδει· ἄτομον γὰρ τὸ εἶδος.

116 Categor. p. 2, b. 29, seq. εἰκότως δὲ μετὰ τὰς πρώτας οὐσίας μόνα τῶν ἄλλων τὰ εἴδη καὶ τὰ γένη δεύτεραι οὐσίαι λέγονται· μόνα γὰρ δηλοῖ τὴν πρώτην οὐσίαν τῶν κατηγορουμένων. &c.

117 Analyt. Poster. i. p. 73, b. 6: οἷον τὸ βαδίζον ἕτερόν τι ὃν βαδίζον ἐστὶ καὶ λευκόν, ἡ δ’ οὐσία, καὶ ὅσα τόδε τι σημαίνει, οὐχ ἕτερόν τι ὄντα ὅπερ ἐστίν. Also p. 83, a. 31. καὶ μὴ εἶναί τι λευκόν, ὃ οὐχ ἕτερόν τι ὃν λευκόν ἐστιν: also p. 83, b. 22.

118 Categor. p. 2, b. 31: τὸν γάρ τινα ἄνθρωπον ἐὰν ἀποδιδῷ τις τί ἐστι, τὸ μὲν εἶδος ἢ τὸ γένος ἀποδιδοὺς οἰκείως ἀποδώσει — τῶν δ’ ἄλλων ὅ τι ἂν ἀποδιδῷ τις, ἀλλοτρίως ἐσται ἀποδεδωκώς, &c.

It is thus that Aristotle has dealt with Ontology, in one of the four distinct aspects thereof, which he distinguishes from each other; that is, in the distribution of Entia according to their logical order, and the reciprocal interdependence, in predication. Ens is a multivocal word, neither strictly univocal nor altogether equivocal. It denotes (as has been stated above) not a generic aggregate, divisible into species, but an analogical aggregate, starting from one common terminus and ramifying into many derivatives, having no other community except that of relationship to the same terminus.119 The different modes of Ens are distinguished by the degree or variety of such relationship. The Ens Primum, Proprium, Completum, is (in Aristotle’s view) the concrete individual; with a defined essence or essential constituent attributes (τί ἥν εἶναι), and with unessential accessories or accidents also — all embodied and implicated in the One Hoc Aliquid. In the Categoriæ Aristotle analyses this Ens Completum (not metaphysically, into Form and Matter, as we shall find him doing elsewhere, but) logically into Subject and Predicates. In this logical analysis, the Subject which can never be a Predicate stands first; next, come the near kinsmen, Genus and Species (expressed by substantive names, as the First Substance is), which are sometimes Predicates — as applied to Substantia Prima, sometimes Subjects — in regard to the extrinsic accompaniments or accidents;120 in the third rank, come the more remote kinsmen, Predicates pure and 97simple. These are the logical factors or constituents into which the Ens Completum may be analysed, and which together make it up as a logical sum-total. But no one of these logical constituents has an absolute or independent locus standi, apart from the others. Each is relative to the others; the Subject to its Predicates, not less than the Predicates to their Subject. It is a mistake to describe the Subject as having a real standing separately and alone, and the Predicates as something afterwards tacked on to it. The Subject per se is nothing but a general potentiality or receptivity for Predicates to come; a relative general conception, in which the two, Predicate and Subject, are jointly implicated as Relatum and Correlatum.121

119 Aristot. Metaphys. Δ. p. 1017, a. 22. καθ’ αὑτὰ δὲ εἶναι λέγεται ὅσαπερ σημαίνει τὰ σχήματα τῆς κατηγορίας· ὀσαχῶς γὰρ λέγεται, τοσαυταχῶς τὸ εἶναι σημαίνει.

120 Categor. p. 3, a. 1: ὡς δέ γε αἱ πρῶται οὐσίαι πρὸς τὰ ἄλλα πάντα ἔχουσιν, οὕτω τὰ εἴδη καὶ τὰ γένη πρὸς τὰ λοιπὰ πάντα ἔχει· κατὰ τούτων γὰρ πάντα τὰ λοιπὰ κατηγορεῖται.

121 Bonitz has an instructive note upon Form and Matter, the metaphysical constituents of Prima Substantia, Hoc Aliquid, Sokrates, Kallias (see Aristot. Metaphys. Z. p. 1033, b. 24), which illustrates pertinently the relation between Predicate and Subject, the logical constituents of the same σύνολον. He observes (not. p. 327, ad Aristot. Metaph. Z. p. 1033, b. 19). “Quoniam ex duabus substantiis, quæ quidem actu sint, nunquam una existit substantia, si et formam et materiem utrumque per se esse poneremus, nunquam ex utroque existeret res definita ac sensibilis, τόδε τι. Ponendum potius, si recte assequor Aristotelis sententiam, utrumque (Form and Matter) ita ut alterum exspectet, materia ut formæ definitionem, forma ut materiam definiendam, exspectet, neutra vero per se et absolute sit.” What Bonitz says here about Matter and Form is no less true about Subject and Predicate: each is relative to the other — neither of them is absolute or independent of the other. In fact, the explanation given by Aristotle of Materia (Metaph. Z. p. 1028, b. 36) coincides very much with the Prima Essentia of the Categories, if abstracted from the Secunda Essentia. Materia is called there by Aristotle τὸ ὑποκείμενον, καθ’ οὗ τὰ ἄλλα λέγεται. ἐκεῖνο δ’ αὐτὸ μηκέτι κατ’ ἄλλο — λέγω δ’ ὕλην ἣ καθ’ αὑτὴν μήτε τὶ μήτε ποσὸν μήτε ἄλλο μηθὲν λέγεται οἷς ὥρισται τὸ ὄν (p. 1029, a. 20). ἔστι γάρ τι καθ’ οὗ κατηγορεῖται τούτων ἕκαστον, ᾧ τὸ εἶναι ἕτερον καὶ τῶν κατηγοριῶν ἑκάστῃ· τὰ μὲν γὰρ ἄλλα τῆς οὐσίας κατηγορεῖται, αὕτη δὲ τῆς ὕλης.

Aristotle proceeds to say that this Subject — the Subject for all Predicates, but never itself a Predicate — cannot be the genuine οὐσία, which must essentially be χωριστὸν καὶ τὸ τόδε τι (p. 1029, a. 28), and which must have a τί ἦν εἶναι (1029, b. 2). The Subject is in fact not true οὐσία, but is one of the constituent elements thereof, being relative to the Predicates as Correlata: it is the potentiality for Predicates generally, as Materia is the potentiality for Forms.

The logical aspect of Ontology, analysing Ens into a common Subject with its various classes of Predicates, appears to begin with Aristotle. He was, as far as we can see, original, in taking as the point of departure for his theory, the individual man, horse, or other perceivable object; in laying down this Concrete Particular with all its outfit of details, as the type of Ens proper, complete and primary; and in arranging into classes the various secondary modes of Ens, according to their different relations to the primary type and the mode in which they contributed to make up its completeness. He thus stood opposed to the Pythagoreans and Platonists, who took their departure from the Universal, as the type of full and true Entity;122 while he also 98dissented from Demokritus, who recognized no true Ens except the underlying, imperceptible, eternal atoms and vacuum. Moreover Aristotle seems to have been the first to draw up a logical analysis of Entity in its widest sense, as distinguished from that metaphysical analysis which we read in his other works; the two not being contradictory, but distinct and tending to different purposes. Both in the one and in the other, his principal controversy seems to have been with the Platonists, who disregarded both individual objects and accidental attributes; dwelling upon Universals, Genera and Species, as the only real Entia capable of being known. With the Sophists, Aristotle contends on a different ground, accusing them of neglecting altogether the essential attributes, and confining themselves to the region of accidents, in which no certainty was to be found;123 in Plato, he points out the opposite mistake, of confining himself to the essentials, and ascribing undue importance to the process of generic and specific subdivision.124 His own logical analysis takes account both of the essential and accidental, and puts them in what he thinks their proper relation. The Accidental (συμβεβηκός, concomitant, i.e. of the essence) is per se not knowable at all (he contends), nor is ever the object of study pursued in any science; it is little better than a name, designating the lowest degree of Ens, bordering on Non-Ens.125 It is a term comprehending all that he includes under his nine last Categories; yet it is not a term connoting either generic communion, or even so much as analogical relation.126 In the treatise now before us, he does not recognize either that or any other general term as common to all those nine Categories; each of the nine is here treated as a Summum Genus, having its own mode of relationship, and clinging by its own separate thread to the Subject. He acknowledges the Accidents in his classification, not as a class by themselves, but as subordinated to the Essence, and, as so many threads of distinct, variable, and irregular accompaniments,99 attaching themselves to this constant root, without uniformity or steadiness.127

122 Simplikius ad Categ. p. 2, b. 5; Schol. p. 52, a. 1, Br: Ἀρχύτας ὁ Πυθαγορεῖος οὐ προσίεται τὴν νυνὶ προκειμένην τῶν οὐσίων διαίρεσιν, ἀλλ’ ἄλλην ἀντὶ ταύτης ἐκεῖνος ἐγκρίνει — τῶν μέντοι Πυθαγορείων οὐδεὶς ἂν πρόσοιτο ταύτην τὴν διαίρεσιν τῶν πρώτων καὶ δευτέρων οὐσιῶν, ὅτι τοῖς καθόλου τὸ πρώτως ὑπάρχειν μαρτυροῦσι, τὸ δὲ ἔσχατον ἐν τοῖς μεριστοῖς ἀπολείπουσι, καὶ διότι ἐν τοῖς ἁπλουστάτοις τὴν πρώτην καὶ κυριωτάτην οὐσίαν ἀποτίθενται, ἀλλ’ οὐχ ὡς νῦν λέγεται ἐν τοῖς συνθέτοις καὶ αἰσθητοῖς, καὶ διότι τὰ γένη καὶ τὰ εἴδη ὄντα νομίζουσιν, ἀλλ’ οὐχὶ συγκεφαλαιούμενα ταῖς χωρισταῖς ἐπινοίαις.

123 Metaphys. E. p. 1026, b. 15: εἰσὶ γὰρ οἱ τῶν σοφιστῶν λόγοι περὶ τὸ συμβεβηκὸς ὡς εἰπεῖν μάλιστα πάντων, &c.; also K. p. 1061, b. 8; Analytic. Poster. i. p. 71, b. 10.

124 Analytic. Priora, i. p. 46, a. 31.

125 Aristot. Metaph. E. p. 1026, b. 13-21. ὥσπερ γὰρ ὀνόματι μόνον τὸ συμβεβηκός — φαίνεται γὰρ τὸ συμβεβηκὸς ἐγγύς τι τοῦ μὴ ὄντος.

126 Physica, iii. 1, p. 200, b. 34. κοινὸν δ’ ἐπὶ τούτων οὐδέν ἐστι λαβεῖν, &c.

127 See the explanation given of τὸ ὂν κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς in Metaphys. E. pp. 1026 b., 1027 a. This is the sense in which Aristotle most frequently and usually talks of συμβεβηκός, though he sometimes uses it to include also a constant and inseparable accompaniment or Accident, if it be not included in the Essence (i. e. not connoted by the specific name); thus, to have the three angles equal to two right angles is a συμβεβηκὸς of the triangle, Metaph. Δ. p. 1025, a. 80. The proper sense in which he understands τὸ συμβεβηκὸς is as opposed to τὸ ἀεὶ ἐξ ἀνάγκης, as well as τὸ ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολύ. See Metaphys. K. p. 1065, a. 2; Analyt. Poster. i. p. 74, b. 12, p. 75, a. 18.

It is that which is by its nature irregular and unpredictable. See the valuable chapter (ii) in Brentano, Von der Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles (pp. 8-21), in which the meaning of τὸ συμβεβηκὸς in Aristotle is clearly set forth.

In discriminating and arranging the Ten Categories, Trendelenburg supposes that Aristotle was guided, consciously or unconsciously, by grammatical considerations, or by a distinction among the parts of speech. It should be remembered that what are now familiarly known as the eight parts of speech, had not yet been distinguished or named in the time of Aristotle, nor did the distinction come into vogue before the time of the Stoic and Alexandrine grammarians, more than a century after him. Essentia or Substantia, the first Category, answers (so Trendelenburg thinks128) to the Substantive; Quantum and Quale represent the Adjective; Ad Aliquid, the comparative Adjective, of which Quantum and Quale are the positive degree; Ubi and Quando the Adverb; Jacere, Habere, Agere, Pati the Verb. Of the last four, Agere and Pati correspond to the active and passive voices of the Verb; Jacere to the neuter or intransitive Verb; and Habere to the peculiar meaning of the Greek perfect — the present result of a past action.

128 Trendelenburg, Kategorienlehre, pp. 23, 211.

This general view, which Trendelenburg himself conceives as having been only guiding and not decisive or peremptory in the mind of Aristotle,129 appears to me likely and plausible, though Bonitz and others have strongly opposed it. We see from Aristotle’s own language, that the grammatical point of view had great effect upon his mind; that the form (e.g.) of a substantive implied in his view a mode of signification belonging to itself, which was to be taken into account in arranging and explaining the Categories.130 I apprehend that Aristotle was induced to distinguish and set out his Categories by analysing 100various complete sentences, which would of course include substantives, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. It is also remarkable that Aristotle should have designated his four last Categories by the indication of verbs, the two immediately preceding by adverbs, the second and third by adjectives, and the first by a substantive. There remains the important Category Ad Aliquid, which has no part of speech corresponding to it specially. Even this Category, though not represented by any part of speech, is nevertheless conceived and defined by Aristotle in a very narrow way, with close reference to the form of expression, and to the requirement of a noun immediately following, in the genitive or dative case. And thus, where there is no special part of speech, the mind of Aristotle still seems to receive its guidance from grammatical and syntactic forms.

129 Ibid. p. 209: “Gesichtspunkte der Sprache leiteten den erfindenden Geist, um sie (die Kategorien) zu bestimmen. Aber die grammatischen Beziehungen leiten nur und entscheiden nicht.” P. 216: “der grammatische Leitfaden der Satzzergliederung wird anerkannt.”

130 Categor. p. 3, b. 13: ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν δευτέρων οὐσιῶν φαίνεται μὲν ὁμοίως τῷ σχήματι τῆς προσηγορίας τόδε τι σημαίνειν, ὅταν εἴπῃ ἄνθρωπον ἢ ζῷον, οὐ μὴν ἀληθές γε, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ποιόν τι σημαίνει. &c.

We may illustrate the ten Categories of Aristotle by comparing them with the four Categories of the Stoics. During the century succeeding Aristotle’s death, the Stoics, Zeno and Chrysippus (principally the latter), having before them what he had done, proposed a new arrangement for the complete distribution of Subject and Predicates. Their distribution was quadruple instead of decuple. Their first Category was τί, Aliquid or Quiddam — τὸ ὑποκείμενον, the Substratum or Subject. Their second was ποιόν, Quale or Quality. Their third was πὼς ἔχον, certo Modo se habens. Their fourth was, πρός τι πὼς ἔχον, Ad Aliquid certo Modo se habens.131

131 Plotinus, Ennead. vi. 1, 25; vi. 1, 30: τὰ πὼς ἔχοντα τρίτα τίθεσθαι. Simplikius ad Categor. f. 7, p. 48, a. 13, Brand. Schol.: Οἱ Στωϊκοὶ εἰς ἐλάττονα συστέλλειν ἀξιοῦσι τὸν τῶν πρώτων γενῶν ἀριθμόν καί τινα ἐν τοῖς ἀλάττοσιν ὑπηλλαγμένα παραλαμβάνουσι. ποιοῦνται γὰρ τὴν τομὴν εἰς τέσσαρα, εἰς ὑποκείμενα, καὶ ποιὰ, καὶ πὼς ἔχοντα, καὶ πρός τι πὼς ἔχοντα.

It would seem from the adverse criticisms of Plotinus, that the Stoics recognized one grand γένος comprehending all the above four as distinct species: see Plotinus, Ennead., vi. 2, 1; vi. 1, 25. He charges them with inconsistency and error for doing so. He admits, however, that Aristotle did not recognize any one supreme γένος comprehending all the ten Categories (vi. 1, 1), but treated all the ten as πρῶτα γένη, under an analogous aggregate. I cannot but think that the Stoics looked upon their four γένη in the same manner; for I do not see what they could find more comprehensive to rank generically above τί.

We do not possess the advantage (which we have in the case of Aristotle) of knowing this quadruple scheme as stated and enforced by its authors. We know it only through the abridgment of Diogenes Laertius, together with incidental remarks and criticisms, chiefly adverse, by Plutarch, Sextus Empiricus, Plotinus, and some Aristotelian commentators. As far as we can make out upon this evidence, it appears that the first Stoic Category corresponded with the Πρώτη Οὐσία, First Essence or Substance of Aristotle. It was exclusively Subject, and could 101never become Predicate; but it was indispensable as Subject, to the three other Predicates. Its meaning was concrete and particular; for we are told that all general notions or conceptions were excluded by the Stoics from this Category,132 and were designated as Οὔτινα, Non-Individuals, or Non-Particulars. Homo was counted by them, not under the Category τί, Quid, but under the Category ποιόν, Quale; in its character of predicate determining the Subject τίς or τί. The Stoic Category Quale thus included the Aristotelian Second Essences or Substances, and also the Aristotelian differentia. Quale was a species-making Category (εἰδοποιός).133 It declared what was the Essence of the Subject τί — the essential qualities or attributes, but also the derivative manifestations thereof, coinciding with what is called the proprium in Porphyry’s Eisagoge. It therefore came next in order immediately after τί: since the Essence of the Subject must be declared, before you proceed to declare its Accidents.

132 Simpl. ad Categ., p. 54, a. 12, Schol. Brand.: συμπαραληπτέον δὲ καὶ τὴν συνήθειαν τῶν Στωϊκῶν περὶ τῶν γενικῶν ποιῶν, πῶς αἱ πτώσεις κατ’ αὐτοὺς προφέρονται, καὶ πῶς οὔτινα τὰ κοινὰ παρ’ αὐτοῖς λέγεται, καὶ ὅπως παρὰ τὴν ἄγνοιαν τοῦ μὴ πᾶσαν οὐσίαν τόδε τι σημαίνειν καὶ τὸ παρὰ τὸν οὔτινα σόφισμα γίνεται παρὰ τὸ σχῆμα τῆς λέξεως· οἷον εἴ τίς ἐστιν ἐν Ἀθήναις, οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν Μεγάροις· ὁ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος οὔτις ἐστίν, οὐ γάρ ἐστί τις ὁ κοινός, ὡς τινὰ δὲ αὐτὸν ἐλάβομεν ἐν τῷ λόγῳ, καὶ παρὰ τοῦτο τὸ ὄνομα τοῦτο ἔσχεν ὁ λόγος οὔτις κληθείς.

Compare Schol. p. 45, a. 7, where Porphyry says that the Stoics, as well as Aristotle, in arranging Categories, took as their point of departure τὸ δεύτερον ὑποκείμενον, not τὸ πρῶτον ὑποκείμενον ( = τὴν ἄποιον ὕλην).

133 Trendelenburg, Kategorienlehre p. 222; Plutarch, De Stoicor. Repugnantiis, p. 1054 a.; Simpl. ad Categor. Schol. p. 67. Br. Ποιὰ were distributed by the Stoics into three varieties; and the abstract word Ποιότης, in the Stoic sense, corresponded only to the highest and most complete of these three varieties, not to the second or third variety, so that ποιότης had a narrower extension than ποιόν: there were ποιὰ without any ποιοτὴς corresponding to them. To the third Category, Πὼς ἔχοντα, which was larger and more varied than the second, they had no abstract term corresponding; nor to the fourth Category, Πρός τι. Hence, we may see one reason why the Stoics, confining the abstract term ποιότητες to durable attributes, were disposed to maintain that the ποιότητες τῶν σωμάτων were themselves σώματα or σωματικά: which Galen takes much pains to refute (vol. xix. p. 463, seq. ed. Kuhn). The Stoics considered these qualities as ἀέρας τινάς, or πνεύματα, &c., spiritual or gaseous agents pervading and holding together the solid substance.

It is difficult to make out these Stoic theories clearly from the evidence before us. From the statements of Simplikius in Scholia, pp. 67-69, I cannot understand the line of distinction between ποιὰ and πὼς ἔχοντα. The Stoics considered ποιότης to be δύναμις πλείστων ἐποιστικὴ συμπτωμάτων, ὡς ἡ φρόνησις τοῦ τε φρονίμως περιπατεῖν καὶ τοῦ φρονίμως διαλέγεσθαι (p. 69, b. 2); and if all these συμπτώματα were included under ποιόν, so that ὁ φρονίμως περιπατῶν, ὁ πὺξ προτείνων and ὁ τρέχων, were ποιοί τινες (p. 67, b. 34). I hardly see what was left for the third Category πὼς ἔχοντα to comprehend; although, according to the indications of Plotinus, it would be the most comprehensive. The Stoic writers seem both to have differed among themselves and to have written inconsistently.

Neither Trendelenburg (Kategorienlehre, pp. 223-226), nor even Prantl, in his more elaborate account (Gesch. der Logik, pp. 429-437), clears up this obscurity.

The Third Stoic Category (πὼς ἔχον) comprised a portion of what Aristotle ranked under Quale, and all that he ranked under Quantum, Ubi, Quando, Agere, Pati, Jacere, Habere. The 102fourth Stoic Category coincided with the Aristotelian Ad Aliquid. The third was thus intended to cover what were understood as absolute or non-relative Accidents; the fourth included what were understood as Relative Accidents.

The order of arrangement among the four was considered as fixed and peremptory. They were not co-ordinate species under one and the same genus, but superordinate and subordinate,134 the second presupposing and attaching to the first; the third, presupposing and attaching to the first, plus the second; the fourth, presupposing and attaching to the first, plus the second and third. The first proposition to be made is, in answer to the question Quale Quid? You answer Tale Aliquid, declaring the essential attributes. Upon this, the next question is put, Quali Modo se habens? You answer by a term of the third Category, declaring one or more of the accidental attributes non-relative, Tale Aliquid, tali Modo se habens. Upon this, the fourth and last question follows, Quali Modo se habens ad alia? Answer is made by the predicate of the fourth Category, i.e. a Relative. Hic Aliquis — homo (1), niger (2), servus (3).

134 Prantl, Geschichte der Logik, vol. i. pp. 428, 429; Simplikius ad Categor. fol. 43, A: κἀκεῖνο ἄτοπον τὸ σύνθετα ποιεῖν τὰ γένη ἐκ προτέρων τινῶν καὶ δευτέρων ὡς τὸ πρός τι ἐκ ποιοῦ καὶ πρός τι. Cf. Plotinus, Ennead. vi. 1, 25-29.

Porphyry appears to include all συμβεβηκότα under ποιὸν and πὼς ἔχον: he gives as examples of the latter, what Aristotle would have assigned to the Category κεῖσθαι (Eisagoge, cc. 2, 10; Schol. Br. p. 1, b. 32, p. 5, a. 30).

In comparing the ten Aristotelian with the four Stoic Categories we see that the first great difference is in the extent and comprehension of Quale, which Aristotle restricts on one side (by distinguishing from it Essentia Secunda), and enlarges on the other (by including in it many attributes accidental and foreign to the Essence). The second difference is, that the Stoics did not subdivide their third Category, but included therein all the matter of six Aristotelian Categories,135 and much of the matter of the Aristotelian Quale. Both schemes agree on two points:— 1. In taking as the point of departure the concrete, particular, individual, Substance. 2. In the narrow, restricted, inadequate conception formed of the Relative — Ad Aliquid.

135 Plotinus (Ennead. vi. 1. 80) disapproves greatly the number of disparates ranked under τὸ πὼς ἔχον, which has (he contends) no discoverable unity as a generic term. It is curious to see how he cites the Aristotelian Categories, as if the decuple distinction which they marked out were indefeasible.

Simplikius says that the Stoics distinguished between τὸ πρός τι and τὸ πρός τι πὼς ἔχον; and Trendelenburg, (pp. 228, 229) explains and illustrate this distinction, which, however, appears to be very obscure.

Plotinus himself recognizes five Summa or Prima Genera,136 (he 103does not call them Categories) Ens, Motus, Quies, Idem, Diversum; the same as those enumerated in the Platonic Sophistes. He does not admit Quantum, Quale, or Ad Aliquid, to be Prima Genera; still less the other Aristotelian Categories. Moreover, he insists emphatically on the distinction between the intelligible and the sensible world, which distinction he censures Aristotle for neglecting. His five Genera he applies directly and principally to the intelligible world. For the sensible world he admits ultimately five Catgories; Substantia or Essentia (though he conceives this as fluctuating between Form, Matter, and the Compound of the two), Ad Aliquid, Quantum, Quale, Motus. But he doubts whether Quantum, Quale, and Motus, are not comprehended in Ad Aliquid.137 He considers, moreover, that Sensible Substance is not Substance, properly speaking, but only an imitation thereof; a congeries of non-substantial elements, qualities and matter.138 Dexippus,139 in answering the objections of Plotinus, insists much on the difference between Aristotle’s point of view in the Categoriæ, in the Physica, and in the Metaphysica. In the Categoriæ, Aristotle dwells mainly on sensible substances (such as the vulgar understand) and the modes of naming and describing them.

136 Plotinus, Ennead. vi. 2, 8, 14, 16.

137 Plotinus, Ennead. vi. 3. 3. ἢ καὶ ταῦτα εἰς τὰ πρός τι· περιεκτικὸν γὰρ μᾶλλον. His idea of Relation is more comprehensive than that of Aristotle, for he declares that terms, propositions, discourse, &c., are πρός τι· καθ’ ὃ σημαντικά (vi. 3. 19).

138 Ibid. vi. 3. 8-15.

139 The second and third books of Dexippus’s Dialogue contain his answers to many of the objections urged by Plotinus. Aristotle, in the Categoriæ (Dexippus says), accommodates himself both to the received manner of speaking and to the simple or ordinary conception of οὐσία entertained by youth or unphilosophical men — οὔτε γὰρ περὶ τῶν ὄντων, οὔτε περὶ τῶν γενῶν τῆς πρώτης οὐσίας νῦν αὐτῷ πρόκειται λέγειν· στοχάζεται γὰρ τῶν νέων τοῖς ἁπλουστέροις ἐπακολουθεῖν δυναμένων (p. 49). Compare also pp. 50-54, where Dexippus contrasts the more abstruse handling which we read in the Physica and Metaphysica, with the more obvious and unpretending thoughts worked out by Aristotle in the Categoriæ. Dexippus gives an interesting piece of advice to his pupil, that he should vary his mode of discussing these topics, according as his companions are philosophical or otherwise — ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν, ὦ καλὲ κἀγαθὲ Σέλευκε, δογματικώτερον πρὸς Πλωτῖνον ἀπαντῶ, σὺ δέ, ἐπεὶ βαθύτεραί πως εἰσὶν αἱ λύσεις αὗται, πρὸς μὲν τοῦς ἐκ φιλοσοφίας ὁρμωμένους ταῖς τοιαύταις ἀπαντήσεσι χρῶ, πρὸς δὲ τοὺς ὀλίγα ἐπισταμένους τῶν δογμάτων ταῖς προχείροις χρῶ διαλύσεσιν, ἐκεῖνο λέγων, ὅτι περὶ πόδα ποιεῖσθαι ἔθος τὰς ἀκροάσεις Ἀριστοτέλει· διὸ καὶ νῦν οὐδὲν ἔξωθεν ἐπεισάγει τῶν ἀνωτέρω κειμένων φιλοσοφημάτων, &c. (pp. 50, 51).

Galen also recognizes five Categories; but not the same five as Plotinus. He makes a new list, formed partly out of the Aristotelian ten, partly out of the Stoic four:— Οὐσία, ποσόν, ποιόν, πρός τι, πρό τι πὼς ἔχον.140

140 Schol. ad Categor. p. 49, a. 30.



The latter portion of this Aristotelian treatise, on the Categories or Predicaments, consists of an Appendix, usually known 104under the title of ‘Post-Predicamenta;’141 wherein the following terms or notions are analysed and explained — Opposita, Prius, Simul, Motus, Habere.

141 Andronikus and other commentators supposed the Post-Predicamenta to have been appended to the Categoriæ by some later hand. Most of the commentators dissented from this view. The distinctions and explanations seem all Aristotelian.

Of Opposita, Aristotle reckons four modes, analogous to each other, yet not different species under the same genus:142 — 1. Relative-OppositaRelatum and Correlatum. 2. Contraria. 3. Habitus and Privatio. 4. Affirmatio and Negatio.

142 Categ. p. 11, b. 16: περὶ δὲ τῶν ἀντικειμένων, ποσαχῶς εἴωθεν ἀντικεῖσθαι ῥητέον. See Simpl. in Schol. p. 81, a. 37-b. 24. Whether Aristotle reckoned τὰ ἀντικείμενα a true genus or not, was debated among the commentators. The word ποσαχῶς implies that he did not; and he treats even the term ἐναντία as a πολλαχῶς λεγόμενον, though it is less wide in its application than ἀντικείμενα, which includes Relata (Metaphys. I. p. 1055, a. 17). He even treats στέρησις as a πολλαχῶς λεγόμενον (p. 1055, a. 34).

Αἱ ἀντιθέσεις τέσσαρες, the four distinct varieties of τὰ ἀντικείμενα are enumerated by Aristotle in various other places:— Topic. ii. p. 109, b. 17; p. 113, b. 15; Metaphys. I. p. 1055, a. 38. In Metaphys. Δ. p. 1018, a. 20, two other varieties are added. Bonitz observes (ad Metaph. p. 247) that Aristotle seems to treat this quadripartite distribution of Opposita, “tanquam certum et exploratum, pariter ac causarum numerum,” &c.

These four modes of opposition have passed from the Categoriæ of Aristotle into all or most of the modern treatises on Logic. The three last of the four are usefully classed together, and illustrated by their contrasts with each other. But as to the first of the four, I cannot think that Aristotle has been happy in the place which he has assigned to it. To treat Relativa as a variety of Opposita, appears to me an inversion of the true order of classification; placing the more comprehensive term in subordination to the less comprehensive. Instead of saying that Relatives are a variety of the Opposite, we ought rather to say that Opposites are varieties of the Relative. We have here another proof of what has been remarked a few pages above; the narrow and inadequate conception which Aristotle formed of his Ad Aliquid or the Relative; restricting it to cases in which the describing phrase is grammatically elliptical.143 The three classes last-mentioned by Aristotle105 (1. Contraria, 2. Habitus and Privatio, 3. Affirmatio and Negatio) are truly Opposita; in each there is a different mode of opposition, which it is good to distinguish from the others. But the Relatum and its Correlatum, as such, are not necessarily Opposite at all; they are compared or conceived in conjunction with each other; while a name, called relative, which connotes such comparison, &c., is bestowed upon each. Opposita fall under this general description, as parts (together with other parts not Opposita) of a larger whole. They ought properly to be called Opposite-Relativa: the phrase Relative-Opposita, as applied to Relatives generally, being discontinued as incorrect.144

143 Categ. p. 11, b. 24.

Ammonius and Simplikius inform us that there was much debate among the commentators about these four alleged varieties of ἀντικείμενα; also, that even Aristotle himself had composed a special treatise (not now extant), Περὶ τῶν Ἀντικειμένων, full of perplexing ἀπορίαι, which the Stoics afterwards discussed without solving (Schol. p. 83, a. 15-48). Herminus and others seem to have felt the difficulty of calling all Relatives ἀντικείμενα; for they admitted that the antithesis between the Relative and its Correlate was of gentler character, not conflicting, but reciprocally sustaining. Alexander ingeniously compared Relatum and its Correlatum to the opposite rafters of a roof, each supporting the other (μαλακώτερα καὶ ἧττον μαχόμενα ἐν τοῖς ἀντικειμένοις, ὡς καὶ ἀμφιβάλεσθαι εἰ εἰσὶν ἀντικείμενα σώζοντα ἄλληλα· ἀλλὰ τοῦτο μὲν δείκνυσιν Ἀλέξανδρος ὅτι ἀντικείμενα, ὃς καὶ τὰ λαβδοειδῆ ξύλα παραδεῖγμα λαμβάνει, &c., Schol. p. 81, b. 32; p. 82, a. 15, b. 20). This is an undue enlargement of the meaning of Opposita, by taking in the literal material sense as an adjunct to the logical. On the contrary, the Stoics are alleged to have worked out the views of Aristotle about ἐναντία, but to have restricted the meaning of ἀντικείμενα to contradictory opposition, i. e. to Affirmative and Negative Propositions with the same subject and predicate (Schol. p. 83, b. 11; p. 87, a. 29). In Metaphysica, A. 983, a. 31, Aristotle calls the final cause (τὸ οὗ ἕνεκα καὶ τἀγαθόν) τὴν ἀντικειμένην αἰτίαν to the cause (among his four), τὸ ὅθεν ἡ κίνησις. This is a misleading phrase; the two are not opposed, but mutually implicated and correlative.

144 See the just and comprehensive definition of Relative Names given by Mr. John Stuart Mill, in his System of Logic, Book I. chap. ii. § 7, p. 46.

After reading that definition, the inconvenience of ranking Relatives as a species or variety of Opposites, will be seen at once.

From Opposita Aristotle passes to Prius and Simul; with the different modes of each.145 Successive and Synchronous, are the two most general classes under which facts or events can be cast. They include between them all that is meant by Order in Time. They admit of no definition, and can be explained only by appeal to immediate consciousness in particular cases. Priority and Simultaneity, in this direct and primary sense, are among the clearest and most impressive notions of the human mind. But Aristotle recognizes four additional meanings of these same words, which he distinguishes from the primary, in the same way as he distinguishes (in the ten Categories) the different meanings of Essentia, in a gradually descending scale of analogy. The secondary Prius is that which does not reciprocate according to the order of existence with its Posterius; where the Posterius presupposes the Prius, while the Prius does not presuppose the Posterius: for example, given two, the existence of one is necessarily implied; but given one, the existence of two is not implied.146 The tertiary Prius is that which comes first in the arrangements of science or discourse: as, in geometry, point and line are prior as compared with the diagrams and 106demonstrations; in writing, letters are prior as compared with syllables; in speeches, the proem is prior as compared with the exposition. A fourth mode of Prius (which is the most remote and far-fetched) is, that the better and more honourable is prius naturâ. Still a fifth mode is, when, of two Relatives which reciprocate with each other as to existence, one is cause and the other effect: in such a case, the cause is said to be prior by nature to the effect.147 For example, if it be a fact that Caius exists, the proposition “Caius exists,” is a true proposition; and vice versâ, if the proposition “Caius exists” is a true proposition, it is a fact that Caius exists. But though from either of these you can infer the other, the truth of the proposition is the effect, and not the cause, of the reality of the fact. Hence it is correct to say that the latter is prius naturâ, and the former posterius naturâ.

145 Categ. p. 14, a. 26, seq.

146 Ibid. p. 14, a. 29, seq. This second mode of Prius is entitled by Alexander (see Schol. (ad Metaphys. Δ.) p. 707, b. 7, Brandis) πρότερον τῇ φύσει. But Aristotle does not so call it here; he reserves that title for the fourth and fifth modes.

It appears that debates, Περὶ Προτέρου καὶ Ὑστέρου were frequent in the dialectic schools of Aristotle’s day as well as debates, Περὶ Ταὐτοῦ καὶ Ἑτέρου, Περὶ Ὁμοίου καὶ Ἀνομοίου, Περὶ Ταὐτότητος καὶ Ἐναντιότητος (Arist. Metaph. B. p. 995, b. 20).

147 Aristot. Categ. p. 14, b. 10.

This is a sort of article in a Philosophical Dictionary, tracing the various derivative senses of two very usual correlative phrases; and there is another article in the fourth book of the Metaphysica, where the derivations of the same terms are again traced out, though by roads considerably different.148 The two terms are relatives; Prius implies a Posterius, as Simul implies another Simul; and it is an useful process to discriminate clearly the various meanings assigned to each. Aristotle has done this, not indeed clearly nor consistently with himself, but with an earnest desire to elucidate what he felt to be confused and perplexing. Yet there are few terms in his philosophy which are more misleading. Though he sets out, plainly and repeatedly the primary and literal sense of Priority, (the temporal or real), as discriminated from the various secondary and metaphorical senses, nevertheless when he comes to employ the term Prius in the course of his reasonings, he often does so without specifying in which sense he intends it to be understood. And as the literal sense (temporal or real priority) is the most present and familial to every man’s mind, so the term is often construed in this sense when it properly bears only the metaphorical sense. The confusion of logical or emotional priority (priority either in logical order of conception, or in esteem and respect) with priority in the order of time, involving separability of existence, is a frequent source of misunderstanding in the Aristotelian Physics and 107Metaphysics. The order of logical antecedence and sequence, or the fact of logical coexistence, is of great importance to be understood, with a view to the proof of truth, to the disproof of error, or to the systematization of our processes of thought; but we must keep in mind that what is prior in the logical order is not for that reason prior in temporal order, or separable in real existence, or fit to be appealed to as a real Cause or Agent.149

148 Aristot. Metaphys. Δ. p. 1018, b. 11-p. 1019, a. 12. The article in the Metaphysica is better and fuller than that in the Categoriæ. In this last, Order in Place receives no special recognition, while we find such recognition in the Metaphysica, and we find also fuller development of the varieties of the logical or intellectual Prius.

149 In the language of Porphyry, προϋφέστηκε (priority in real existence) means nothing more than προε̈πινοεῖται (priority in the order of conception), Eisagoge, cc. xv., xvi.; Schol. Br. p. 6, a. 7-21.









In the preceding chapter I enumerated and discussed what Aristotle calls the Categories. We shall now proceed to the work which stands second in the aggregate called the Organon — the treatise De Interpretatione.

We have already seen that the Aristotelian Ontology distinguishes one group of varieties of Ens (or different meanings of the term Ens) as corresponding to the diversity of the ten Categories; while recognizing also another variety of Ens as Truth, with its antithesis Non-Ens as Falsehood.1 The former group was dealt with in the preceding chapter; the latter will form the subject of the present chapter. In both, indeed, Ontology is looked at as implicated with Logic; that is, Ens is considered as distributed under significant names, fit to be coupled in propositions. This is the common basis both of the Categoriæ and of the treatise De Interpretatione. The whole classification of the Categories rests on the assumption of the proposition with its constituent parts, and on the different relation borne by each of the nine genera of predicates towards their common Subject. But in the Categoriæ no account was taken of the distinction between truth and falsehood, in the application of these predicates to the Subject. If we say of Sokrates, that he is fair, pug-nosed, brave, wise, &c., we shall predicate truly; if we say that he is black, high-nosed, cowardly, stupid, &c., we shall predicate falsely; but in each case our predicates will belong to the same Category — that of Quale. Whether we describe him as he now is, standing, talking, in the market-place at Athens; or whether we describe him as he is not, sitting down, singing, in Egypt — in both speeches, our predicates rank under the same Categories, Jacere, Agere, Ubi. No account is taken in the Categoriæ of the distinction between true and false application of predicates; we are only informed under what 109number of general heads all our predicates must be included, whether our propositions be true or false in each particular case.

1 See above in the preceding chapter, p. 60.

But this distinction between true and false, which remained unnoticed in the Categoriæ, comes into the foreground in the treatise De Interpretatione. The Proposition, or enunciative speech,2 is distinguished from other varieties of speech (interrogative, precative, imperative) by its communicating what is true or what is false. It is defined to be a complex significant speech, composed of two terms at least, each in itself significant, yet neither of them, separately taken, communicating truth or falsehood. The terms constituting the Proposition are declared to be a Noun in the nominative case, as Subject, and a Verb, as Predicate; this latter essentially connoting time, in order that the synthesis of the two may become the enunciation of a fact or quasi-fact, susceptible of being believed or disbelieved. All this mode of analysing a proposition, different from the analysis thereof given or implied in the Categoriæ, is conducted with a view to bring out prominently its function of imparting true or false information. The treatise called the Categoriæ is a theory of significant names subjicible and predicable, fit to serve as elements of propositions, but not yet looked at as put together into actual propositions; while in the treatise De Interpretatione they are assumed to be put together, and a theory is given of Propositions thus completed.

2 Aristot. De Interpret. p. 17, a. 1: λόγος ἀποφαντικός.

Words spoken are marks significant of mental impressions associated with them both by speaker and hearer; words written are symbols of those thus uttered. Both speech and writing differ in different nations, having no natural connection with the things signified. But these last, the affections or modifications of the mind, and the facts or objects of which they are representations or likenesses, are the same to all. Words are marks primarily and directly of the first, secondarily and indirectly of the second.3 Aristotle thus recognizes these two aspects — first, the subjective, next the objective, as belonging, both of them conjointly, to significant language, yet as logically distinguishable; the former looking to the proximate correlatum, the latter to the ultimate.

3 Ibid. p. 16, a. 3, seq. ὣν μέντοι ταῦτα σημεῖα πρώτως, ταὐτὰ πᾶσι παθήματα τῆς ψυχῆς, καὶ ὧν ταῦτα ὁμοιώματα, πράγματα ἤδη ταὐτά.

For this doctrine, that the mental affections of mankind, and the things or facts which they represent, are the same everywhere, though the marks whereby they are signified differ, Aristotle refers us to his treatise De Animâ, to which he says 110that it properly belongs.4 He thus recognizes the legitimate dependence of Logic on Psychology or Mental Philosophy.

4 Aristot. De Interpret. p. 16, a. 8: περὶ μὲν οὖν ταύτων εἴρηται ἐν τοῖς περὶ ψυχῆς· ἄλλης γὰρ πραγματείας. It was upon this reference, mainly, that Andronikus the Rhodian rested his opinion, that the treatise De Interpretatione was not the work of Aristotle. Andronikus contended that there was nothing in the De Animâ to justify the reference. But Ammonius in his Scholia (p. 97, Brand.) makes a sufficient reply to the objection of Andronikus. The third book De Animâ (pp. 430, 431) lays down the doctrine here alluded to. Compare Torstrick’s Commentary, p. 210.

That which is signified by words (either single or in combination) is some variety of these mental affections or of the facts which they represent. But the signification of a single Term is distinguished, in an important point, from the signification of that conjunction of terms which we call a Proposition. A noun, or a verb, belonging to the aggregate called a language, is associated with one and the same phantasm5 or notion, without any conscious act of conjunction or disjunction, in the minds of speakers and hearers: when pronounced, it arrests for a certain time the flow of associated ideas, and determines the mind to dwell upon that particular group which is called its meaning.6 But neither the noun nor the verb, singly taken, does more than this; neither one of them affirms, or denies, or communicates any information true or false. For this last purpose, we must conjoin the two together in a certain way, and make a Proposition. The signification of the Proposition is thus specifically distinct from that of either of its two component elements. It communicates what purports to be matter of fact, which may be either true or false; in other words, it implies in the speaker, and raises in the hearer, the state of belief or disbelief, which does not attach either to the noun or to the verb separately. Herein the Proposition is discriminated from other significant arrangements of words (precative, interrogative, which convey no truth or falsehood), as well as from its own component parts. Each of these parts, noun and verb, has a significance of its own; but these are the ultimate elements of speech, for the parts of the noun or of the verb have no significance at all. The Verb is 111distinguished from the Noun by connoting time, and also by always serving as predicate to some noun as subject.7

5 Ibid. p. 16, a. 13: τὰ μὲν οὖν ὀνόματα αὐτὰ καὶ τὰ ῥήματα ἔοικε τῷ ἄνευ διαιρέσεως καὶ συνθέσεως νοήματι, οἷον τὸ ἄνθρωπος καὶ τὸ λευκόν, ὅταν μὴ προστέθῃ τι· οὔτε γὰρ ψεῦδος οὔτε ἀληθές πω.

6 Ibid. p. 16, b. 19: αὐτὰ μὲν καθ’ ἑαυτὰ λεγόμενα τὰ ῥήματα ὀνόματά ἐστι καὶ σημαίνει τι (ἵστησι γὰρ ὁ λέγων τὴν διάνοιαν, καὶ ὁ ἀκούσας ἠρέμησεν) ἀλλ’ εἰ ἐστὶν ἢ μή, οὔπω σημαίνει, &c.

Compare Analyt. Poster. II. xix. pp. 99, 100, where the same doctrine occurs: the movement of association is stopped, and the mind is determined to dwell upon a certain idea; one among an aggregate of runaways being arrested in flight, another halts also, and so the rest in succession, until at length the Universal, or the sum total, is detained, or “stands still” as an object of attention. Also Aristot. Problem. p. 956, b. 39.

7 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 16, b. 2, seq.

Aristotle intimates his opinion, distinctly and even repeatedly, upon the main question debated by Plato in the Kratylus. He lays it down that all significant speech is significant by convention only, and not by nature or as a natural instrument.8 He tells us also that, in this treatise, he does not mean to treat of all significant speech, but only of that variety which is known as enunciative. This last, as declaring truth or falsehood, is the only part belonging to Logic as he conceives it; other modes of speech, the precative, imperative, interrogative, &c., belong more naturally to Rhetoric or Poetic.9 Enunciative speech may be either simple or complex; it may be one enunciation, declaring one predicate (either in one word or in several words) of one subject; or it may comprise several such.10 The conjunction of the predicate with the subject constitutes the variety of proposition called Affirmation; the disjunction of the same two is Negation or Denial.11 But such conjunction or disjunction, operated by the cogitative act, between two mental states, takes place under the condition that, wherever conjunction may be enunciated, there also disjunction may be enunciated, and vice versâ. Whatever may be affirmed, it is possible also to deny; whatever may be denied, it is possible also to affirm.12

8 Ibid. p. 16, a. 26; p. 17, a. 2.

9 Ibid. p. 17, a. 6: ὁ δὲ ἀποφαντικὸς τῆς νῦν θεωρίας. See the Scholion of Ammonius, pp. 95, 96, 108, a. 27. In the last passage, Ammonius refers to a passage in one of the lost works of Theophrastus, wherein that philosopher distinguished τὸν ἀποφαντικὸν λόγον from the other varieties of λόγος, by the difference of σχέσις: the ἀποφαντικὸς λόγος was πρὸς τὰ πράγματα, or objective; the others were πρὸς τοὺς ἀκροωμένους, i.e. varying with the different varieties of hearers, or subjective.

10 Ibid. p. 17, a. 25.

11 Ibid. p. 17, a. 25.

12 Ibid. p. 17, a. 30: ἅπαν ἂν ἐνδέχοιτο καὶ ὃ κατέφησέ τις ἀποφῆσαι, καὶ ὃ ἀπέφησέ τις καταφῆσαι.

To every affirmative proposition there is thus opposed a contradictory negative proposition; to every negative a contradictory affirmative. This pair of contradictory opposites may be called an Antiphasis; always assuming that the predicate and subject of the two shall be really the same, without equivocation of terms — a proviso necessary to guard against troublesome puzzles started by Sophists.13 And we must also distinguish these propositions opposite as Contradictories, from propositions opposite as Contraries. For this, it has to be observed that there is a distinction among things (πράγματα) as universal or singular, 112according as they are, in their nature, predicable of a number or not: homo is an example of the first, and Kallias is an example of the second. When, now, we affirm a predicate universally, we must attach the mark of universality to the subject and not to the predicate; we must say, Every man is white, No man is white. We cannot attach the mark of universality to the predicate, and say, Every man is every animal; this would be untrue.14 An affirmation, then, is contradictorily opposed to a negation, when one indicates that the subject is universally taken, and the other, that the subject is taken not universally, e.g. Omnis homo est albus, Non omnis homo est albus; Nullus homo est albus, Est aliquis homo albus. The opposition is contrary, when the affirmation is universal, and the negation is also universal, i.e., when the subject is marked as universally taken in each: for example, Omnis homo est albus, Nullus homo est albus. Of these contrary opposites, both cannot be true, but both may be false. Contradictory opposites, on the other hand, while they cannot both be true, cannot both be false; one must be false and the other true. This holds also where the subject is a singular term, as Sokrates.15 If, however, an universal term appear as subject in the proposition indefinitely, that is, without any mark of universality whatever, e.g., Est albus homo, Non est albus homo, then the affirmative and negative are not necessarily either contrary or contradictory, though they may be so sometimes: there is no opposition, properly speaking, between them; both may alike be true. This last observation (says Aristotle) will seem strange, because many persons suppose that Non est homo albus is equivalent to Nullus homo est albus; but the meaning of the two is not the same, nor does the truth of the latter follow from that of the former,16 since homo in the former may be construed as not universally taken.

13 Ibid. p. 17, a. 33: καὶ ἔστω ἀντίφασις τοῦτο, κατάφασις καὶ ἀπόφασις αἱ ἀντικείμεναι.

It seems (as Ammonius observes, Schol. p. 112, a. 33) that ἀντίφασις in this sense was a technical term, introduced by Aristotle.

14 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 17, a. 37-b. 14: ἐπεὶ δ’ ἐστὶ τὰ μὲν καθόλου τῶν πραγμάτων, τὰ δὲ καθ’ ἕκαστον (λέγω δὲ καθόλου μὲν ὃ ἐπὶ πλειόνων πέφυκε κατηγορεῖσθαι, καθ’ ἕκαστον δὲ ὃ μὴ, οἷον ἄνθρωπος μὲν τῶν καθόλου, Καλλίας δὲ τῶν καθ’ ἕκαστον)· &c. Ammonius (in Schol. p. 113, a. 38) says that what is predicated, either of many subjects or of one, must be μία φύσις.

The warning against quantifying the predicate appears in this logical treatise of Aristotle, and is repeated in the Analytica Priora, I. xxvii. p. 43, b. 17. Here we have: οὐδεμία κατάφασις ἀληθὴς ἔσται, ἐν ᾗ τοῦ κατηγορουμένου καθόλου τὸ καθόλου κατηγορεῖται, οἷον ἔστι πᾶς ἄνθρωπος πᾶν ζῷον (b. 14).

15 Ibid. b. 16-29.

16 Ibid. p. 17, b. 29-37. Mr. John Stuart Mill (System of Logic, Bk. I. ch. iv. s. 4) cites and approves Dr. Whately’s observation, that the recognition of a class of Propositions called indefinite “is a solecism, of the same nature as that committed by grammarians when in their list of genders they enumerate the doubtful gender. The speaker must mean to assert the proposition either as an universal or as a particular proposition, though he has failed to declare which.”

But Aristotle would not have admitted Dr. Whately’s doctrine, declaring what the speaker “must mean.” Aristotle fears that his class, indefinite, will appear impertinent, because many speakers are not conscious of any distinction or transition between the particular and the general. The looseness of ordinary speech and thought, which Logic is intended to bring to view and to guard against, was more present to his mind than to that of Dr. Whately: moreover, the forms of Greek speech favoured the ambiguity.

Aristotle’s observation illustrates the deficiencies of common speaking, as to clearness and limitation of meaning, at the time when he began to theorize on propositions.

I think that Whately’s assumption — “the speaker must mean” — is analogous to the assumption on which Sir W. Hamilton founds his proposal for explicit quantification of the predicate, viz., that the speaker must, implicitly or mentally, quantify the predicate; and that his speech ought to be such as to make such quantification explicit. Mr. Mill has shewn elsewhere that this assumption of Sir. W. Hamilton’s is incorrect.

113It thus appears that there is always one negation corresponding to one and the same affirmation; making up together the Antiphasis, or pair of contradictory opposites, quite distinct from contrary opposites. By one affirmation we mean, that in which there is one predicate only, and one subject only, whether taken universally or not universally:—

E.g. Omnis homo est albus … … Non omnis homo est albus.
  Est homo albus … … Non est homo albus.
  Nullus homo est albus … … Aliquis homo est albus.

But this will only hold on the assumption that album signifies one and the same thing. If there be one name signifying two things not capable of being generalized into one nature, or not coming under the same definition, then the affirmation is no longer one.17 Thus if any one applies the term himation to signify both horse and man, then the proposition, Est himation album, is not one affirmation, but two; it is either equivalent to Est homo albus and Est equus albus — or it means nothing at all; for this or that individual man is not a horse. Accordingly, in this case also, as well as in that mentioned above, it is not indispensable that one of the two propositions constituting the Antiphasis should be true and the other false.18

17 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 18, a. 13, seq.: μία δέ ἐστι κατάφασις καὶ ἀπόφασις ἡ ἓν καθ’ ἑνὸς σημαίνουσα, ἢ καθόλου ὄντος καθόλου ἢ μὴ ὁμοίως, οἷον πᾶς ἄνθρωπος λευκός ἐστιν … εἰ τὸ λευκὸν ἓν σημαίνει. εἰ δὲ δυοῖν ἓν ὄνομα κεῖται, ἐξ ὧν μή ἐστιν ἕν, οὐ μία κατάφασις, &c., and the Scholion of Ammonius, p. 116, b. 6, seq.

18 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 18, a. 26. The example which Aristotle here gives is one of a subject designated by an equivocal name; when he had begun with the predicate. It would have been more pertinent if he had said at first, εἰ ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἓν σημαίνει.

With these exceptions Aristotle lays it down, that, in every Antiphasis, one proposition must be true and the other must be false. But (he goes on to say) this is only true in regard to matters past or present; it is not true in regard to events particular and future. To admit it in regard to these latter, would be to affirm that the sequences of events are all necessary, and none of them casual or contingent; whereas we know, by our own personal experience, that many sequences depend upon 114our deliberation and volition, and are therefore not necessary. If all future sequences are necessary, deliberation on our part must be useless. We must therefore (he continues) recognize one class of sequences which are not uniform — not predetermined by antecedents; events which may happen, but which also may not happen, for they will not happen. Thus, my coat may be cut into two halves, but it never will be so cut; it will wear out without any such bisection occurring.19

19 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 18, a. 28-p. 19, b. 4.

If you affirm the reality of a fact past or present, your affirmation is of necessity determinately true, or it is determinately false, i.e. the contradictory negation is determinately true. But if you affirm the reality of a fact to come, then your affirmation is not by necessity determinately true, nor is the contradictory negation determinately true. Neither the one nor the other separately is true: nothing is true except the disjunctive antithesis as a whole, including both. If you say, To-morrow there will either be a sea-fight, or there will not be a sea-fight, this disjunctive or indeterminate proposition, taken as a whole, will be true. Yet neither of its constituent parts will be determinately true; neither the proposition, To-morrow there will be a sea-fight, nor the proposition, To-morrow there will not be a sea-fight. But if you speak with regard to past or present — if you say, Yesterday either there was a sea-fight or there was not a sea-fight — then not only will the disjunctive as a whole be true, but also one or other of its parts will be determinately true.20

20 Ibid. p. 18, b. 29. Ammonius (Scholia ad De Interpret. p. 119, bb. 18, 28, seq.) expresses Aristotle’s meaning in terms more distinct than Aristotle himself: μὴ πάντως ἔχειν τὸ ἕτερον μόριον τῆς ἀντιφάσεως ἀφωρισμένως ἀληθεῦον, &c. (b. 43).

This remarkable logical distinction is founded on Aristotle’s ontological or physical doctrines respecting the sequence and conjunction of events. He held (as we shall see more fully in the Physica and other treatises) that sequences throughout the Kosmos were to a certain extent regular, to a certain extent irregular. The exterior sphere of the Kosmos (the Aplanēs) with the countless number of fixed stars fastened into it, was a type of regularity and uniformity; eternal and ever moving in the same circular orbit, by necessity of its own nature, and without any potentiality of doing otherwise. But the earth and the elemental bodies, organized and unorganized, below the lunar sphere and in the interior of the Kosmos, were of inferior perfection and of very different nature. They were indeed in part governed and pervaded by the movement115 and influence of the celestial substance within which they were comprehended, and from which they borrowed their Form or constituent essence; but they held this Form implicated with Matter, i.e. the principle of potentiality, change, irregularity, generation, and destruction, &c. There are thus in these sublunary bodies both constant tendencies and variable tendencies. The constant Aristotle calls ‘Nature;’ which always aspires to Good, or to perpetual renovation of Forms as perfect as may be, though impeded in this work by adverse influences, and therefore never producing any thing but individuals comparatively defective and sure to perish. The variable he calls ‘Spontaneity’ and ‘Chance,’ forming an independent agency inseparably accompanying Nature — always modifying, distorting, frustrating, the full purposes of Nature. Moreover, the different natural agencies often interfere with each other, while the irregular tendency interferes with them all. So far as Nature acts, in each of her distinct agencies, the phenomena before us are regular and predictable; all that is uniform, and all that (without being quite uniform) recurs usually or frequently, is her work. But, besides and along with Nature, there is the agency of Chance and Spontaneity, which is essentially irregular and unpredictable. Under this agency there are possibilities both for and against; either of two alternative events may happen.

It is with a view to this doctrine about the variable kosmical agencies or potentialities that Aristotle lays down the logical doctrine now before us, distinguishing propositions affirming particular facts past or present, from propositions affirming particular facts future. In both cases alike, the disjunctive antithesis, as a whole, is necessarily true. Either there was a sea-fight yesterday, or there was not a sea-fight yesterday: Either there will be a sea-fight to-morrow, or there will not be a sea-fight to-morrow — both these disjunctives alike are necessarily true. There is, however, a difference between the one disjunctive couple and the other, when we take the affirmation separately or the negation separately. If we say, There will be a sea-fight to-morrow, that proposition is not necessarily true nor is it necessarily false; to say that it is either the one or the other (Aristotle argues) would imply that every thing in nature happened by necessary agency — that the casual, the potential, the may be or may not be, is stopped out and foreclosed. But this last is really the case, in regard to a past fact. There was a sea-fight yesterday, is a proposition either necessarily true or necessarily false. Here the antecedent agencies have already 116spent themselves, blended, and become realized in one or other of the two alternative determinate results. There is no potentiality any longer open; all the antecedent potentiality has been foreclosed. The proposition therefore is either necessarily true or necessarily false; though perhaps we may not know whether it is the one or the other.

In defending his position regarding this question, Aristotle denies (what he represents his opponents as maintaining) that all events happen by necessity. He points to the notorious fact that we deliberate and take counsel habitually, and that the event is frequently modified, according as we adopt one mode of conduct or another; which could not be (he contends), if the event could be declared beforehand by a proposition necessarily or determinately true. What Aristotle means by necessity, however, is at bottom nothing else than constant sequence or conjunction, conceived by him as necessary, because the fixed ends which Nature is aiming at can only be attained by certain fixed means. To this he opposes Spontaneity and Chance, disturbing forces essentially inconstant and irregular; admitting, indeed, of being recorded when they have produced effects in the past, yet defying all power of prediction as to those effects which they will produce in the future. Hence arises the radical distinction that he draws in Logic, between the truth of propositions relating to the past (or present) and to the future.

But this logical distinction cannot be sustained, because his metaphysical doctrine (on which it is founded) respecting the essentially irregular or casual, is not defensible. His opponents would refuse to grant that there is any agency essentially or in itself irregular, casual, and unpredictable.21 The aggregate of 117Nature consists of a variety of sequences, each of them constant and regular, though intermixed, co-operating, and conflicting with each other, in such manner that the resulting effects are difficult to refer to their respective causes, and are not to be calculated beforehand except by the highest scientific efforts; often, not by any scientific efforts. We must dismiss the hypothesis of Aristotle, assuming agencies essentially irregular and unpredictable, either as to the past or as to the future. The past has been brought about by agencies all regular, however multifarious and conflicting, and the future will be brought about by the like: there is no such distinction of principle as that which Aristotle lays down between propositions respecting the past and propositions respecting the future.

21 The Stoics were opposed to Aristotle on this point. They recognized no logical difference in the character of the Antiphasis, whether applied to past and present, or to future. Nikostratus defended the thesis of Aristotle against them. See the Scholia of Simplikius on the Categoriæ, p. 87, b. 30-p. 88, a. 24. αἱ γὰρ εἰς τὸν μέλλοντα χρόνον ἐγκλινόμεναι προτάσεις οὔτε ἀληθεῖς εἰσὶν οὔτε ψευδεῖς διὰ τὴν τοῦ ἐνδεχομένου φύσιν.

The remarks of Hobbes, upon the question here discussed by Aristotle, well deserve to be transcribed (De Corpore, part II. ch. X. s. 5):—

“But here, perhaps, some man may ask whether those future things, which are called contingents, are necessary. I say, therefore, that generally all contingents have their necessary causes, but are called contingents in respect of other events, upon which they do not depend; as the rain, which shall be to-morrow, shall be necessary, that is, from necessary causes; but we think and say, it happens by chance, because we do not yet perceive the causes thereof, though they exist now. For men commonly call that casual or contingent, whereof they do not perceive the necessary cause; and in the same manner they use to speak of things past, when not knowing whether a thing be done or no, they say, it is possible it never was done.

“Wherefore, all propositions concerning future things, contingent or not contingent — as this, It will rain to-morrow, or this, To-morrow the sun will rise — are either necessarily true, or necessarily false; but we call them contingent, because we do not yet know whether they be true or false; whereas their verity depends not upon our knowledge, but upon the foregoing of their causes. But there are some, who, though they confess this whole proposition, To-morrow it will either rain or not rain, to be true, yet they will not acknowledge the parts of it, as To-morrow it will rain, or To-morrow it will not rain, to be either of them true by itself; because they say neither this nor that is true determinately. But what is this determinately true, but true upon our knowledge, or evidently true? And therefore they say no more, but that it is not yet known whether it be true or no; but they say it more obscurely, and darken the evidence of the truth with the same words with which they endeavour to hide their own ignorance.”

Compare also the fuller elucidation of the subject given by Mr. John Stuart Mill, in his System of Logic, Bk. III. ch. xvii. s. 2:— “An event occurring by chance may be better described as a coincidence from which we have no ground to infer an uniformity; the occurrence of an event in certain circumstances, without our having reason on that account to infer that it will happen again in those circumstances. This, however, when looked closely into, implies that the enumeration of the circumstances is not complete. Whatever the fact was, since it has occurred once, we may be sure that if all the circumstances were repeated, it would occur again; and not only if all, but there is some particular portion of those circumstances, on which the phenomenon is invariably consequent. With most of them, however, it is not connected in any permanent manner: its conjunction with those is said to be the effect of chance, to be merely casual. Facts casually conjoined are separately the effect of causes, and therefore of laws; but of different causes, and causes not connected by any law. It is incorrect then to say that any phenomenon is produced by chance; but we may say that two or more phenomena are conjoined by chance, that they co-exist or succeed one another only by chance.”

There is, indeed, one distinction between inferences as to the past and inferences as to the future, which may have contributed to suggest, though it will not justify, the position here laid down by Aristotle. In regard to the disjunctive — To-morrow there will be a sea-fight, or there will not be a sea-fight — nothing more trustworthy than inference or anticipation is practicable: the anticipation of a sagacious man with full knowledge is more likely to prove correct than that of a stupid man with little knowledge; yet both are alike anticipations, unverifiable at the present moment. But if we turn to the other disjunctive — Yesterday there was a sea-fight, or there was not a sea-fight — we are no longer in the same position. The two disputants, 118supposed to declare thus, may have been far off, and may have no other means of deciding the doubt than inference. But the inference here is not unverifiable: there exist, or may exist, witnesses or spectators of the two fleets, who can give direct attestation of the reality, and can either confirm or refute the inference, negative or affirmative, made by an absentee. Thus the proposition, Yesterday there was a sea-fight, or the other, Yesterday there was not a sea-fight, will be verifiable or determinably true. There are indeed many inferences as to the past, in regard to which no direct evidence is attainable. Still this is an accident; for such direct evidence may always be supposed or imagined as capable of being brought into court. But, in respect to the future, verification is out of the question; we are confined to the region of inference, well or ill-supported. Here, then, we have a material distinction between the past and the future. It was probably present to the mind of Aristotle, though he misconceives its real extent of operation, and makes it subservient to his still more comprehensive classification of the different contemporaneous agencies (regular and irregular) which he supposes to pervade the Kosmos.

In the treatise before us, he next proceeds to state what collocation of the negative particle constitutes the special or legitimate negation to any given affirmation, or what are the real forms of proposition, standing in contradictory opposition to certain other forms, so as to make up one Antiphasis.22 The simplest proposition must include a noun and a verb, either definite or indefinite: non homo is a specimen of an indefinite noun — non currit, of an indefinite verb. There must be, in any one proposition, one subject and one predicate; even the indefinite noun or verb signifies, in a certain sense, one thing. Each affirmation comprises a noun, or an indefinite noun, with a verb; the special corresponding or contradictory negation (making up the Antiphasis along with the former) comprises a noun (or an indefinite noun) with an indefinite verb. The simplest proposition is —

Affirmative. Contradictory Negative.
Est homo … … … … Non est homo.
Est non homo … … … … Non est non homo.

Here are only two pairs of antithetic propositions, or one quaternion. The above is an indefinite proposition (which may be either universal or not). When we universalize it, or turn it an universal proposition, we have —


Affirmative. Contradictory Negative.
Est omnis homo … … … … Non est omnis homo.
Est omnis non homo … … … … Non est omnis non homo.

22 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 19, b. 5, seq.

The above are specimens of the smallest proposition; but when we regard larger propositions, such as those (called tertii adjacentis) where there are two terms besides est, the collocation of the negative particle becomes more complicated, and requires fuller illustration. Take, as an example, the affirmative Est justus homo, the true negation of this is, Non est justus homo. In these two propositions, homo is the subject; but we may join the negative with it, and we may consider non homo, not less than homo, as a distinct subject for predication, affirmative or negative. Farther, we may attach est and non est either to justus or to non justus as the predicate of the proposition, with either homo, or non homo, as subject. We shall thus obtain a double mode of antithesis, or two distinct quaternions, each containing two pairs of contradictory propositions. The second pair of the first quaternion will not be in the same relation as the second pair of the second quaternion, to the proposition just mentioned, viz. — (A) Est justus homo; with its negative, (B) Non est justice homo.23

23 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 19, b. 19. ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἔστι τρίτον προσκατηγορῆται, ἤδη διχῶς λέγονται αἱ ἀντιθέσεις· λέγω δὲ οἷον ἔστι δίκαιος ἄνθρωπος· τὸ ἔστι τρίτον φημὶ συγκεῖσθαι ὄνομα ἢ ῥῆμα ἐν τῇ καταφάσει. ὥστε διὰ τοῦτο τέτταρα ἔσται ταῦτα, ὧν τὰ μὲν δύο πρὸς τὴν κατάφασιν καὶ ἀπόφασιν ἕξει κατὰ τὸ στοιχοῦν ὡς αἱ στερήσεις, τὰ δὲ δύο, οὔ. [λέγω δὲ ὅτι τὸ ἔστιν ἢ τῷ δικαίῳ προσκείσεται ἢ τῷ οὐ δικαίῳ], ὥστε καὶ ἡ ἀπόφασις. τέτταρα οὖν ἔσται. νοοῦμεν δὲ τὸ λεγόμενον ἐκ τῶν ὑπογεγραμμένων. In this passage the words which I have enclosed between brackets are altered by Waitz: I shall state presently what I think of his alteration. Following upon these words there ought to be, and it seems from Ammonius (Schol. p. 121, a. 20) that there once was, a scheme or table arranging the four propositions in the order and disposition which we read in the Analytica Priora, I. xlvi. p. 51, b. 37, and which I shall here follow. But no such table now appears in our text; we have only an enumeration of the four propositions, in a different order, and then a reference to the Analytica.

First, let us assume homo as subject. We have then

(A) Est justus homo … … … … (B) Non est justus homo.
(D) Non est non justus homo … … … … (C) Est non justus homo.

Examining the relation borne by the last two among these four propositions (C and D), to the first two (A and B), the simple affirmative and negative, we see that B is the legitimate negative of A, and D that of C. We farther see that B is a consequence of C, and D a consequence of A, but not vice versâ: that is, if C is true, B must certainly be true; but we cannot infer, because B is true, that C must also be true: while, if A is true, D must also be true; but D may perhaps be true, though A be not true. In other words, the relation of D to A and of C to B, 120is the same as it would be if the privative term injustus were substituted in place of non justus; i.e. if the proposition C (Est injustus homo) be true, the other proposition B (Non est justus homo) must certainly be true, but the inference will not hold conversely; while if the proposition A (Est justus homo) be true, it must also be true to say D (Non est injustus homo), but not vice versâ.24

24 Referring to the words cited in the preceding note, I construe τὰ δὲ δύο, οὔ as Boethius does (II. pp. 384-385), and not in agreement with Ammonius (Schol. p. 122, a. 26, Br.), who, however, is followed both by Julius Pacius and Waitz (p. 344). I think it impossible that these words, τὰ δὲ δύο, οὔ, can mean (as Ammonius thinks) the κατάφασις and ἀπόφασις themselves, since the very point which Aristotle is affirming is the relation of these words, πρὸς τὴν κατάφασιν καὶ ἀπόφασιν, i.e. to the affirmative and negative started from —

(A) Est justus homo … … … … (B) Non est justus homo.

As the words τὰ μὲν δύο refer to the second contradictory pair (that is, C and D) in the first Quaternion, so the words τὰ δὲ δύο, οὔ designate the second contradictory pair (G and H) in the second Quaternion. Though G and H are included in the second Quaternion, they are here designated by the negative relation (τὰ δὲ δύο, οὔ) which they bear to A and B, the first contradictory pair of the first Quaternion. διχῶς λέγονται αἱ ἀντιθέσεις (line 20) is explained and illustrated by line 37 — αὗται μὲν οὖν δύο ἀντίκεινται, ἄλλαι δὲ δύο πρὸς τὸ οὐκ ἄνθρωπος ὡς ὑποκείμενόν τι προστεθέν. Lastly, Aristotle expressly states that the second Quaternion will stand independently and by itself (p. 20, a. 1), having noticed it in the beginning only in relation to the first.

Such is the result obtained when we take homo as the subject of the proposition; we get four propositions, of which the two last (C and D) stand to the two first (B and A) in the same relation as if they (C and D) were privative propositions. But if, instead of homo, we take non homo as Subject of the proposition (justus or non justus being predicates as before), we shall then obtain two other pairs of contradictory propositions; and the second pair of this new quaternion will not stand in that same relation to these same propositions B and A. We shall then find that, instead of B and A, we have a different negative and a different affirmative, as the appropriate correlates to the third and fourth propositions. The new quaternion of propositions, with non homo as subject, will stand thus —

(E) Est justus non homo … … … … (F) Non est justus non homo.
(H) Non est non justus non homo … … … … (G) Est non justus non homo.25

121Here we see that propositions G and H do not stand to B and A in the same relations as C and D stand to B and A; but that they stand in that same relation to two perfectly different propositions, F and E. That is, if in place of non justus, in propositions G and H, we substitute the privative term injustus (thus turning G into Est injustus non homo, and turning H into Non est injustus non homo), the relation of G, when thus altered, to F, and the relation of H, when thus altered, to E, will be the same as it was before. Or, in other words, if G be true, F will certainly be true, but not vice versâ; and if E be true, H will certainly be true, but not vice versâ.

25 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 19, b. 36. αὗται μὲν οὖν δύο ἀντίκεινται (the two pairs — A B and C D — of the first quaternion), ἄλλαι δὲ δύο πρὸς τὸ οὐκ ἄνθρωπος ὡς ὑποκείμενόν τι προστεθέν·

(E) ἔστι δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος … … … … (F) οὐκ ἔστι δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος.
(H) οὐκ ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος … … … … (G) ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος.

πλείους δὲ τούτων οὐκ ἔσονται ἀντιθέσεις. αὗται δὲ χωρὶς ἐκείνων αὐταὶ καθ’ ἑαυτὰς ἔσονται, ὡς ὀνόματι τῷ οὐκ ἄνθρωπος χρώμεναι. The second αὗται alludes to this last quaternion, ἐκείνων to the first. I have, as in the former case, transposed propositions three and four of this second quaternion, in order that the relation of G to F and of H to E may be more easily discerned.

There are few chapters in Aristotle more obscure and puzzling than the tenth chapter of the De Interpretatione. It was found so by Alexander, Herminus, Porphyry, Ammonius, and all the Scholiasts. Ammonius (Schol. pp. 121, 122, Br.) reports these doubts, and complains of it as a riddle almost insolvable. The difficulties remain, even after the long note of Waitz, and the literal translation of M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire.

The propositions which we have hitherto studied have been indefinite; that is, they might be universal or not. But if we attach to them the sign of universality, and construe them as universals, all that we have said about them would still continue to be true, except that the propositions which are diametrically (or diagonally) opposed would not be both true in so many instances. Thus, let us take the first quaternion of propositions, in which est is attached to homo, and let us construe these propositions as universal. They will stand thus —

(A) Omnis est homo justus … … … … (B) Non omnis est homo justus.
(D) Non omnis est homo non justus … … … … (C) Omnis est homo non justus.

In these propositions, as in the others before noticed, the same relation prevails between C and B, and between A and D; if C be true, B also is true, but not vice versâ; if A be true, D also will be true, but not vice versâ. But the propositions diagonally opposed will not be so often alike true:26 thus, if A be true (Omnis est homo justus), C cannot be true (Omnis est homo non justus); whereas in the former quaternion of propositions (indefinite, and therefore capable of being construed as not universal) A and C might both be alike true.27

26 Aristot. De Interpret. p. 19, b. 35. πλὴν οὐχ ὁμοίως τὰς κατὰ διάμετρον ἐνδέχεται συναληθεύειν· ἐνδέχεται δὲ ποτέ. The “diameter” or “diagonal” is to be understood with reference to the scheme or square mentioned p. 119, note, the related propositions standing at the angles, as above.

27 The Scholion of Ammonius, p. 123, a. 17, Br., explains this very obscure passage: ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ μὲν τῶν ἀπροσδιορίστων (indefinite propositions, such as may be construed either as universal or as particular), κατὰ τὴν ἐνδεχομένην ὕλην τάς τε καταφάσεις (of the propositions diagonally opposite), συναληθεύειν ἀλλήλαις συμβαίνει καὶ τὰς ἀποφάσεις, ἅτε ταῖς μερικαῖς ἰσοδυναμούσας. ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν προσδιωρισμένων (those propositions where the mark of universality is tacked to the Subject), περὶ ὧν νυνὶ αὐτῷ ὁ λόγος, τῆς καθόλου καταφάσεως καὶ τῆς ἐπὶ μέρους ἀποφάσεως, τὰς μὲν καταφάσεις ἀδύνατον συναληθεῦσαι καθ’ οἱανδήποτε ὕλην, τὰς μέντοι ἀποφάσεις συμβαίνει συναληθεύειν κατὰ μόνην τὴν ἐνδεχομένην· &c.

122It is thus that Aristotle explains the distinctions of meaning in propositions, arising out of the altered collocation of the negative particle; the distinction between (1) Non est justus, (2) Est non justus, (3) Est injustus. The first of the three is the only true negative, corresponding to the affirmative Est Justus. The second is not a negative at all, but an affirmative (ἐκ μεταθέσεως, or by transposition, as Theophrastus afterwards called it). The third is an affirmative, but privative. Both the second and the third stand related in the same manner to the first; that is, the truth of the first is a necessary consequence either of the second or of the third, but neither of these can be certainly inferred from the first. This is explained still more clearly in the Prior Analytics; to which Aristotle here makes express reference.28

28 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 19, b. 31. ταῦτα μὲν οὖν, ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς Ἀναλυτικοῖς λέγεται, οὕτω τέτακται.

Waitz in his note suggests that instead of τέτακται we ought to read τετάχθω. But if we suppose that the formal table once existed in the text, in an order of arrangement agreeing with the Analytica, this conjectural change would be unnecessary.

Waitz has made some changes in the text of this chapter, which appear to me partly for the better, partly not for the better. Both Bekker and Bussemaker (Firmin Didot) retain the old text; but this old text was a puzzle to the ancient commentators, even anterior to Alexander of Aphrodisias. I will here give first the text of Bekker, next the changes made by Waitz: my own opinion does not wholly coincide with either. I shall cite the text from p. 19, b. 19, leaving out the portion between lines 30 and 36, which does not bear upon the matter here discussed, while it obscures the legitimate sequence of Aristotle’s reasoning.

(Bekker.) — Ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἔστι τρίτον προσκατηγορῆται, ἤδη διχῶς λέγονται αἱ ἀντιθέσεις. λέγω δὲ οἷον ἔστι δίκαιος ἄνθρωπος· τὸ ἔστι τρίτον φημὶ συγκεῖσθαι ὄνομα ἢ ῥῆμα ἐν τῇ καταφάσει. ὥστε διὰ τοῦτο τέτταρα ἔσται ταῦτα, ὧν τὰ μὲν δύο πρὸς τὴν κατάφασιν καὶ ἀπόφασιν ἕξει κατὰ τὸ στοιχοῦν ὡς αἱ στερήσεις, τὰ δὲ δύο, οὔ. λέγω δ’ ὅτι τὸ ἔστιν ἢ τῷ δικαίῳ προσκείσεται ἢ τῷ οὐ δικαίῳ (25), ὥστε καὶ ἡ ἀπόφασις. τέτταρα οὖν ἔσται. (Here follow the first pairs of Antitheses, or the first Quaternion of propositions in the order as given) —

(A) ἔστι δίκιος ἄνθρωπος … … … … (B) οὐκ ἔστι δίκιος ἄνθρωπος.
(C) ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος ἄνθρωπος … … … … (D) οὐκ ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος ἄνθρωπος.

τὸ γὰρ ἔστιν ἐνταῦθα καὶ τὸ οὐκ ἔστι τῷ δικαίῳ προσκείσεται καὶ τῷ οὐ δικαίῳ (30). — Αὗται μὲν οὖν δύο ἀντίκεινται, ἄλλαι δὲ δύο πρὸς τὸ οὐκ ἄνθρωπος ὡς ὑποκείμενόν τι (38) προστεθέν. (Here follow the second pairs of Antitheses, or the second Quaternion of propositions, again in the order from which I have departed above) —

(E) ἔστι δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος … … … … (F) Οὐκ ἔστι δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος.
(G) ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος … … … … (H) Οὐκ ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος.

πλείους δὲ τούτων οὐκ ἔσονται ἀντιθέσεις. αὗται δὲ (the second Quaternion) χωρὶς ἐκείνων (first Quaternion) αὐταὶ καθ’ ἑαυτὰς ἔσονται, ὡς ὀνόματι τῷ οὐκ ἄνθρωπος χρώμεναι.

In this text Waitz makes three alterations:— 1. In line 24, instead of ἢ τῷ δικαίῳ προσκείσεται ἢ τῷ οὐ δικαίῳ — he reads, ἢ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ προσκείσεται ἢ τῷ οὐκ ἀνθρώπῳ.

2. In line 30 he makes a similar change; instead of τῷ δικαίῳ προσκείσεται καὶ τῷ οὐ δικαίῳ — he reads, τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ προσκείσεται καὶ τῷ οὐκ ἀνθρώπῳ.

In line 38, instead of προστεθέν, he reads προστεθέντος.

Of these three alterations the first appears to me good, but insufficient; the second not good, though the passage as it stands in Bekker requires amendment; and the third, a change for the worse.

The purpose of Aristotle is here two-fold. First, to give the reason why, when the propositions were tertii adjacentis, there were two Quaternions or four couples of antithetical propositions; whereas in propositions secundi adjacentis, there was only one Quaternion or two couples of antithetical propositions. Next, to assign the distinction between the first and the second Quaternion in propositions tertii adjacentis.

Now the first of these two purposes is marked out in line 25, which I think we ought to read not by substituting the words of Waitz in place of the words of Bekker, but by retaining the words of Bekker and inserting the words of Waitz as an addition to them. The passage after such addition will stand thus — λέγω δ’ ὅτι τὸ ἔστιν ἢ τῷ δικαίῳ προσκείσεται ἢ τῷ οὐ δικαίῳ, καὶ ἢ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἢ τῷ οὐκ ἀνθρώπῳ, ὥστε καὶ ἡ ἀπόφασις. τέτταρα οὖν ἔσται. Here Aristotle declares the reason why (οὖν) there come to be four couples of propositions; that reason is, because ἔστι and οὐκ ἔστι may be joined either with δίκαιος or οὐ δίκαιος and either with ἄνθρωπος or with οὐκ ἄνθρωπος. Both these alternatives must be specified in order to make out a reason why there are two Quaternions or four couples of antithetical propositions. But the passage, as read by Bekker, gives only one of these alternatives, while the passage, as read by Waitz, gives only the other. Accordingly, neither of them separately is sufficient; but both of them taken together furnish the reason required, and thus answer Aristotle’s purpose.

Aristotle now proceeds to enunciate the first of the two Quaternions, and then proceeds to line 30, where the reading of Bekker is irrelevant and unmeaning; but the amendment of Waitz appears to me still worse, being positively incorrect in statement of fact. Waitz reads τὸ γὰρ ἔστιν ἐνταῦθα (in the first Quaternion, which has just been enunciated) καὶ τὸ οὐκ ἔστιν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ προσκείσεται καὶ τῷ οὐκ ἀνθρώπῳ. These last words are incorrect in fact, for οὐκ ἄνθρωπος does not appear in the first Quaternion, but is reserved for the second. While the reading of Waitz is thus evidently wrong, that of Bekker asserts nothing to the purpose. It is useless to tell us merely that ἔστι and οὐκ ἔστιν attach both to δίκαιος and to οὐ δίκαιος in this first Quaternion (ἐνταῦθα), because that characteristic is equally true of the second Quaternion (presently to follow), and therefore constitutes no distinction between the two. To bring out the meaning intended by Aristotle I think we ought here also to retain the words of Bekker, and to add after them some, though not all, of the words of Waitz. The passage would then stand thus — τὸ γὰρ ἔστιν ἐνταῦθα καὶ τὸ οὐκ ἔστι τῷ δικαίῳ προσκείσεται καὶ τῷ οὐ δικαίῳ, καὶ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ, ἀλλ’ οὐ τῷ οὐκ ἀνθρώπῳ. Or perhaps καὶ οὐ τῷ οὐκ ἀνθρώπῳ might suffice in the last clause (being a smaller change), though ἀλλ’ οὐ seem the proper terms to declare the meaning. In the reading which I propose, the sequence intended by Aristotle is clear and intelligible. Having first told us that ἔστιν and οὐκ ἔστι being joined alternately with δίκαιος and with οὐ δίκαιος and also with ἄνθρωπος and οὐκ ἄνθρωπος, make up two Quaternions, he proceeds to enunciate the distinctive character belonging to the first Quaternion of the two, viz., that in it ἔστι and οὐκ ἔστιν are joined both with δίκαιος and οὐ δίκαιος, and also with ἄνθρωπος but not with οὐκ ἄνθρωπος, This is exactly the truth.

Aristotle next proceeds to the second Quaternion, where he points out, as the characteristic distinction, that οὐκ ἄνθρωπος comes in and ἄνθρωπος disappears, while δίκαιος and οὐ δίκαιος remain included, as in the first. This is declared plainly by Aristotle in line 37:— αὗται μὲν οὖν δύο ἀντίκεινται (referring to the two pairs of antithetical propositions in the first Quaternion), ἄλλαι δὲ πρὸς τὸ οὐκ ἄνθρωπος ὡς ὑποκείμενόν τι προστεθέν· ἔστι δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος, ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος-οὐκ ἔστι δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος, ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος-οὐκ ἔστιν οὐ δίκαιος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος. When we read these words, ἄλλαι δὲ δύο πρὸς τὸ οὐκ ἄνθρωπος ὡς ὑποκείμενόν τι προστεθέν, as applied to the second Quaternion, we see that there must have been some words preceding which excluded οὐκ ἄνθρωπος from the first Quaternion. Waitz contends for the necessity of changing προστεθέν into προστεθέντος. I do not concur with his reasons for the change; the words that follow, p. 20, line 2, ὡς ὀνόματι τῷ οὐκ ἄνθρωπος χρώμεναι (προσχρώμεναἰ), are a reasonable justification of προστεθέν — οὐκ ἄνθρωπος ὡς ὑποκείμενόν τι προστεθέν being very analogous to οὐκ ἄνθρωπος ὡς ὄνομα.

This long note, for the purpose of restoring clearness to an obscure text, will appear amply justified if the reader will turn to the perplexities and complaints of the ancient Scholiasts, revealed by Ammonius and Boethius. Even earlier than the time of Alexander (Schol. p. 122, b. 47) there was divergence in the MSS. of Aristotle; several read τῷ δικαίῳ (p. 19, b. 25), several others read τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ. I think that all of them were right in what they retained, and wrong by omission only or mainly.

123After this very subtle and obscure distinction between propositions secundi adjacentis, and those tertii adjacentis, in respect to 124the application of the negative, Aristotle touches on the relation of contrariety between propositions. The universal affirmation Omne est animal justum has for its contrary Nullum est animal justum. It is plain that both these propositions will never be true at once. But the negatives or contradictories of both may well be true at once: thus, Non omne animal est justum (the contradictory of the first) and Est aliquid animal justum (the contradictory of the second) may be and are both alike true. If the affirmative proposition Omnis homo est non justus be true, the negative Nullus est homo justus must also be true; if the affirmative Est aliquis homo justus be true, the negative Non omnis homo est non justus must also be true. In singular propositions, wherever the negative or denial is true, the indefinite affirmative (ἐκ μεταθέσεως, in the language of Theophrastus) corresponding to it will also be true; in universal propositions, the same will not always hold. Thus, if you ask, Is Sokrates wise? and receive for answer No, you are warranted in affirming, Sokrates is not wise (the indefinite affirmation). But if you ask, Are all men wise? and the answer is No, you are not warranted in affirming, All men are not wise. This last is the contrary of the proposition, All men are wise; and two contraries may both be false. You are warranted in declaring only the contradictory negative, Not all men are wise.29

29 Aristot. De Interpet. p. 20, a. 16-30.

Neither the indefinite noun (οὐκ ἄνθρωπος) nor the indefinite verb (οὐ τρέχει — οὐ δίκαιος) is a real and true negation, though it appears to be such. For every negation ought to be either true or false; but non homo, if nothing be appended to it, is not more true or false (indeed less so) than homo.30

30 Ibid. a. 31, seq.

The transposition of substantive and adjective makes no difference in the meaning of the phrase; Est albus homo is equivalent to Est homo albus. If it were not equivalent, there would be two negations corresponding to the same affirmation; but we have shown that there can be only one negation corresponding to one affirmation, so as to make up an Antiphasis.31

31 Ibid. b. 1-12. That ἐστὶ λευκὸς ἄνθρωπος, and ἐστὶν ἄνθρωπος λευκός, mean exactly the same, neither more nor less — we might have supposed that Aristotle would have asserted without any proof; that he would have been content ἀπὸ τῶν πραγμάτων πιστοῦσθαι (to use the phrase of Ammonius in a portion of the Scholia, p. 121, a. 27). But he prefers to deduce it as a corollary from a general doctrine much less evident than the statement itself; and after all, his deduction is not conclusive, as Waitz has already remarked (ad Organ. I. p. 351).

In one and the same proposition, it is indispensable that the 125subject be one and the predicate one; if not, the proposition will not be one, but two or more. Both the subject and the predicate indeed may consist of several words; but in each case the several words must coalesce to make one total unity; otherwise the proposition will not be one. Thus, we may predicate of man — animal, bipes, mansuetum; but these three coalesce into one, so that the proposition will be a single one. On the other hand the three terms homo, albus, ambulans, do not coalesce into one; and therefore, if we predicate all respecting the same subject, or if we affirm the same predicate respecting all three, expressing them all by one word, the proposition will not be one, but several.32

32 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 20, b. 13-22.

Aristotle follows this up by a remark interesting to note, because we see how much his generalities were intended to bear upon the actual practice of his day, in regard to dialectical disputation. In dialectic exercise, the respondent undertook to defend a thesis, so as to avoid inconsistency between one answer and another, against any questions which might be put by the opponent. Both the form of the questions, and the form of the answers, were determined beforehand. No question was admissible which tended to elicit information or a positive declaration from the respondent. A proposition was tendered to him, and he was required to announce whether he affirmed or denied it. The question might be put in either one of two ways: either by the affirmative alone, or by putting both the affirmative and the negative; either in the form, Is Rhetoric estimable? or in the form, Is Rhetoric estimable or not? To the first form the respondent answered Yes or No: to the second form, he replied by repeating either the affirmative or the negative, as he preferred. But it was not allowable to ask him, What is Rhetoric? so as to put him under the necessity of enunciating an explanation of his own.33

33 See the Scholia of Ammonius, p. 127, Br.

Under these canons of dialectic debate, each question was required to be really and truly one, so as to admit of a definite answer in one word. The questioner was either unfair or unskilful, if he wrapped up two questions really distinct in the same word, and thus compelled the respondent either to admit them both, or to deny them both, at once. Against this inconvenience Aristotle seeks to guard, by explaining what are the conditions under which one and the same word does in fact include more than one question. He had before brought to view the case of an equivocal term, which involves such duplication: if himation means both horse and man, it will often happen that 126questions respecting himation cannot be truly answered either by Yes or No. He now brings to view a different case in which the like ambiguity is involved. To constitute one proposition, it is essential both that the subject should be one, and that the predicate should be one; either of them indeed may be called by two or three names, but these names must coalesce into one. Thus, animal, bipes, mansuetum, coalesce into homo, and may be employed either as one subject or as one predicate; but homo, albus, ambulans, do not coalesce into one; so that if we say, Kallias est homo, albus, ambulans, the proposition is not one but three.34 Accordingly, the respondent cannot make one answer to a question thus complicated. We thus find Aristotle laying down principles — and probably no one had ever attempted to do so before him — for the correct management of that dialectical debate which he analyses so copiously in the Topica.

34 Aristot. De Interpret. p. 20, b. 2. seq.; Ammonius, Schol. pp. 127-128, a. 21, Br. Compare De Sophist. Elench. p. 169, a. 6-15.

There are cases (he proceeds to state) in which two predicates may be truly affirmed, taken separately, respecting a given subject, but in which they cannot be truly affirmed, taken together.35 Kallias is a currier, Kallias is good — both these propositions may be true; yet the proposition, Kallias is a good currier, may not be true. The two predicates are both of them accidental co-inhering in the same individual; but do not fuse themselves into one. So, too, we may truly say, Homer is a poet; but we cannot truly say, Homer is.36 We see by this last remark,37 how distinctly Aristotle assigned a double meaning to est: first, per se, as meaning existence; next, relatively, as performing the function of copula in predication. He tells us, in reply either to Plato or to some other contemporaries, that though we may truly say, Non-Ens est opinabile, we cannot truly say Non-Ens est, because the real meaning of the first of these propositions is, Non-Ens est opinabile non esse.38

35 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 21, a. 7, seq.

36 Ibid. a. 27.

37 Compare Schol. (ad Anal. Prior. I.) p. 146, a. 19-27; also Eudemi Fragment. cxiv. p. 167, ed. Spengel.

Eudemus considered ἔστιν as one term in the proposition. Alexander dissented from this, and regarded it as being only a copula between the terms, συνθέσεως μηνυτικὸν μόριον τῶν ἐν τῇ προτάσει ὅρων.

38 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 21, a. 32; compare Rhetorica, ii. p. 1402, a. 5. The remark of Aristotle seems to bear upon the doctrine laid down by Plato in the Sophistes, p. 258 — the close of the long discussion which begins, p. 237, about τὸ μὴ ὄν, as Ammonius tells us in the Scholia, p. 112, b. 5, p. 129, b. 20, Br. Ammonius also alludes to the Republic; as if Plato had delivered the same doctrine in both; which is not the fact. See ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ vol. II. ch. xxvii. pp. 447-458, seq.

Aristotle now discusses the so-called MODAL Propositions — the Possible and the Necessary. What is the appropriate form of 127Antiphasis in the case of such propositions, where possible to be, or necessary to be, is joined to the simple is. After a chapter of some length, he declares that the form of Antiphasis suitable for the Simple proposition will not suit for a Modal proposition; and that in the latter the sign of negation must be annexed to the modal adjective — possible, not possible, &c. His reasoning here is not merely involved, but substantially incorrect; for, in truth, both in one and in the other, the sign of contradictory negation ought to be annexed to the copula.39 From the Antiphasis in Modals Aristotle proceeds to legitimate sequences admissible in such propositions, how far any one of them can be inferred from any other.40 He sets out four tables, each containing four modal determinations interchangeable with each other.

1. 3.
1. Possible (physically) to be. 1. Not possible (physically) to be.
2. Possible (logically) to be. 2. Not possible (logically) to be.
3. Not impossible to be. 3. Impossible to be.
4. Not necessary to be. 4. Necessary not to be.
2. 4.
1. Possible (physically) not to be. 1. Not possible (physically) not to be.
2. Possible (logically) not to be. 2. Not possible (logically) not to be.
3. Not impossible not to be. 3. Impossible not to be.
4. Not necessary not to be. 4. Necessary to be.

Aristotle canvasses these tables at some length, and amends them partly by making the fourth case of the second table change place with the fourth of the first.41 He then discusses whether we can correctly say that the necessary to be is also possible to be. If not, then we might say correctly that the necessary to be is not possible to be; for one side or other of a legitimate Antiphasis may always be truly affirmed. Yet this would be absurd: accordingly we must admit that the necessary to be is also possible to be. Here, however, we fall seemingly into a different absurdity; for the possible to be is also possible not to be; and how can we allow that what is necessary to be is at the same time possible not to be? To escape from such absurdities on both sides, we must distinguish two modes of the Possible: one, in 128which the affirmative and negative are alike possible; the other in which the affirmative alone is possible, because it is always and constantly realized. If a man is actually walking, we know that it is possible for him to walk; and even when he is not walking, we say the same, because we believe that he may walk if he chooses. He is not always walking; and in his case, as in all other intermittent realities, the affirmative and the negative are alike possible. But this is not true in the case of necessary, constant, and sempiternal realities. With them there is no alternative possibility, but only the possibility of their doing or continuing to do. The celestial bodies revolve, sempiternally and necessarily; it is therefore possible for them to revolve; but there is no alternative possibility; it is not possible for them not to revolve. Perpetual reality thus includes the unilateral, but not the bilateral, possibility.42

39 Aristot. De Interpret. p. 21, a. 34-p. 22, a. 13. See the note of Waitz, ad Organ. I. p. 359, who points out the error of Aristotle, partly indicated by Ammonius in the Scholia.

The rule does not hold in propositions with the sign of universality attached to the subject; but it is at least the same for Modals and Non-modals.

40 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 22, a. 14-b. 28.

41 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 22, b. 22, λείπεται τοίνυν &c.; Ammonius, Schol. p. 133, b. 5-27-36.

Aristotle also intimates (p. 23, a. 18) that it would be better to reverse the order of the propositions in the tables, and to place the Necessary before the Possible. M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire has inserted (in the note to his Translation, p. 197) tables with this reversed order.

42 Aristot. De Interpret. p. 22, b. 29-p. 23, a. 15.

Having thus stated that possible to be, in this unilateral and equivocal sense but in no other, is a legitimate consequence of necessary to be, Aristotle proceeds to lay down a tripartite distinction which surprises us in this place. “It is plain from what has been said that that which is by Necessity, is in Act or Actuality; so that if things sempiternal are prior, Actuality is prior to Possibility. Some things, like the first (or celestial) substances, are Actualities without Possibility; others (the generated and perishable substances) which are prior in nature but posterior in generation, are Actualities along with Possibility; while a third class are Possibilities only, and never come into Actuality” (such as the largest number, or the least magnitude).43

43 Ibid. p. 23, a. 21-26.

Now the sentence just translated (enunciating a doctrine of Aristotle’s First Philosophy rather than of Logic) appears decidedly to contradict what he had said three lines before, viz., that in one certain sense, the necessary to be included and implied the possible to be; that is, a possibility or potentiality unilateral only, not bilateral; for we are here told that the celestial substance is Actuality without Possibility (or Potentiality), so that the unilateral sense of this last term is disallowed. On the other hand, a third sense of the same term is recognized and distinguished; a sense neither bilateral nor unilateral, but the negation of both. This third sense is hardly intelligible, giving as it does an impossible Possible; it seems a self-contradictory description.44 At best, it can only be understood as a limit in 129the mathematical sense; a terminus towards which potentiality may come constantly nearer and nearer, but which it can never reach. The first, or bilateral potentiality, is the only sense at once consistent, legitimate, and conformable to ordinary speech. Aristotle himself admits that the second and third are equivocal meanings,45 departing from the first as the legitimate meaning; but if equivocal departure to so great an extent were allowed, the term, put to such multifarious service, becomes unfit for accurate philosophical reasoning. And we find this illustrated by the contradiction into which Aristotle himself falls in the course of a few lines. The sentence of First Philosophy (which I translated in the last page) is a correction of the logical statement immediately preceding it, in so far as it suppresses the necessary Possible, or the unilateral potentiality. But on the other hand the same sentence introduces a new confusion by its third variety — the impossible Potential, departing from all clear and consistent meaning of potentiality, and coinciding only with the explanation of Non-Ens, as given by Aristotle elsewhere.46

44 M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, in the note to his translation (p. 197) calls it justly — “le possible qui n’est jamais; et qui par cela même, porte en lui une sorte d’impossibilité.” It contradicts both the two explanations of δυνατὸν which Aristotle had given a few lines before. 1. δυνατὸν ὅτι ἐνεργεῖ. 2. δυνατὸν ὅτι ἐνεργήσειεν ἄν (p. 23, a. 10).

45 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 23, a. 5. τοῦτο μὲν τούτου χάριν εἴρηται, ὅτι οὐ πᾶσα δύναμις τῶν ἀντικειμένων, οὐδ’ ὅσαι λέγονται κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ εἶδος. ἔνιαι δὲ δυνάμεις ὁμώνυμοί εἰσιν· τὸ γὰρ δυνατὸν οὐχ ἁπλῶς λέγεται, ἀλλὰ τὸ μὲν ὅτι ἀληθὲς ὡς ἐνεργείᾳ ὄν, &c.

If we read the thirteenth chapter of Analytica Priora I. (p. 32, a. 18-29) we shall see that τὸ ἐνδεχόμενον is declared to be οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον, and that in the definition of τὸ ἐνδεχόμενον, the words οὗ μὴ ὄντος ἀναγκαίου are expressly inserted. When τὸ ἀναγκαῖον is said ἐνδέχεσθαι, this is said only in an equivocal sense of ἐνδέχεσθαι — τὸ γὰρ ἀναγκαῖον ὁμωνύμως ἐνδέχεσθαι λέγομεν.

On the meaning of τὸ ἐνδεχόμενον, translated above, in the table, “possible (logically) to be,” and its relation to τὸ δυνατόν, see Waitz, ad Organ. I. pp. 375-8. Compare Prantl. Gescht. der Logik, I. pp. 166-8.

46 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 21, a. 32: τὸ δὲ μὴ ὄν, ὅτι δοξαστόν, οὐκ ἀληθὲς εἰπεῖν ὄν τι· δόξα γὰρ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν ὅτι ἔστιν, ἀλλ’ ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν. Τὸ μὴ ὄν is the true description of that which Aristotle improperly calls δύναμις ἣ οὐδέποτε ἐνέργειά ἐστιν.

The triple enumeration given by Aristotle (1. Actuality without Potentiality. 2. Actuality with Potentiality. 3. Potentiality without Actuality) presents a neat symmetry which stands in the place of philosophical exactness.

The contrast of Actual and Potential stands so prominently forward in Aristotle’s First Philosophy, and is, when correctly understood, so valuable an element in First Philosophy generally, that we cannot be too careful against those misapplications of it into which he himself sometimes falls. The sense of Potentiality, as including the alternative of either affirmative or negative — may be or may not be — is quite essential in comprehending the ontological theories of Aristotle; and when he professes to drop the may not be and leave only the may be, this is not merely an equivocal sense of the word, but an entire renunciation of its genuine sense. In common parlance, indeed, 130we speak elliptically, and say, It may be, when we really mean, It may or may not be. But the last or negative half, though not expressly announced, is always included in the thought and belief of the speaker and understood by the hearer.47

47 See Trendelenburg ad Aristot. De Animâ, pp. 303-307.

Many logicians, and Sir William Hamilton very emphatically, have considered the Modality of propositions as improper to be included in the province of Logic, and have treated the proceeding of Aristotle in thus including it, as one among several cases in which he had transcended the legitimate boundaries of the science.48 This criticism, to which I cannot subscribe, is founded upon one peculiar view of the proper definition and limits of Logic. Sir W. Hamilton lays down the limitation peremptorily, and he is warranted in doing this for himself; but it is a question about which there has been great diversity of view among expositors, and he has no right to blame others who enlarge it. My purpose in the present volume is to explain how the subject presented itself to Aristotle. He was the first author that ever attempted to present Logic in a scientific aspect; and it is hardly fair to try him by restrictions emanating from critics much later. Yet, if he is to be tried upon this point, I think the latitude in which he indulges preferable to the restricted doctrine of Sir W. Hamilton.

48 See pp. 143-5 of the article, “Logic,” in Sir William Hamilton’s Discussions on Philosophy — a very learned and instructive article, even for those who differ from most of its conclusions. Compare the opposite view, as advocated by M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, Logique d’Aristote, Préface, pp. lxii.-lxviii.

In the treatise now before us (De Interpretatione) Aristotle announces his intention to explain the Proposition or Enunciative Speech, the conjunction of a noun and a verb; as distinguished, first, from its two constituents (noun and verb) separately taken; next, from other modes of speech, also combining the two (precative, interrogative, &c.). All speech (he says), the noun or verb separately, as well as the proposition conjointly, is, in the first instance, a sign of certain mental states common to the speaker with his hearers; and, in the second instance, a sign of certain things or facts, resembling (or correlating with) these mental states.49 The noun, pronounced separately, and the verb, pronounced separately, are each signs of a certain thought in the speaker’s mind, without 131either truth or falsehood; the Proposition, or conjunction of the two, goes farther and declares truth or falsehood. The words pronounced (he says) follow the thoughts in the mind, expressing an opinion (i.e. belief or disbelief) entertained in the mind; the verbal affirmation or negation gives utterance to a mental affirmation or negation — a feeling of belief or disbelief — that something is, or that something is not.50 Thus, Aristotle intends to give a theory of the Proposition, leaving other modes of speech to Rhetoric or Poetry:51 the Proposition he considers under two distinct aspects. In its first or subjective aspect, it declares the state of the speaker’s mind, as to belief or disbelief. In its second or objective aspect, it declares a truth or falsehood correlating with such belief or disbelief, for the information of the hearer. Now the Mode belonging to a proposition of this sort, in virtue of its form, is to be true or false. But there are also other propositions — other varieties of speech enunciative — which differ from the Simple or Assertory Proposition having the form is or is not, and which have distinct modes belonging to them, besides that of being true or false. Thus we have the Necessary Proposition, declaring that a thing is so by necessity, that it must be so, or cannot but be so; again, the Problematical Proposition, enunciating that a thing may or may not be so. These two modes attach to the form of the proposition, and are quite distinct from those which attach to its matter as simply affirmed or denied; as when, instead of saying, John is sick, we say, John is sick of a fever, John is dangerously sick, with a merely material modification. Such adverbs, modifying the matter affirmed or denied, are numerous, and may be diversified almost without limit. But they are not to be placed in the same category with the two just mentioned, which modify the form of the proposition, and correspond to a state of mind distinct from simple belief or disbelief, expressed by a simple affirmation or negation.52 In the case of each of the two, Aristotle has laid 132down rules (correct or incorrect) for constructing the legitimate Antiphasis, and for determining other propositions equipollent to, or following upon, the propositions given; rules distinct from those applying to the simple affirmation. When we say of anything, It may be or may not be, we enunciate here only one proposition, not two; we declare a state of mind which is neither belief nor disbelief, as in the case of the Simple Proposition, but something wavering between the two; yet which is nevertheless frequent, familiar to every one, and useful to be made known by a special form of proposition adapted to it — the Problematical. On the other hand, when we say, It is by necessity — must be — cannot but be — we declare our belief, and something more besides; we declare that the supposition of the opposite of what we believe, would involve a contradiction — I would contradict some definition or axiom to which we have already sworn adherence. This again is a state of mind known, distinguishable, and the same in all, subjectively; though as to 133the objective correlate — what constitutes the Necessary, several different opinions have been entertained.

49 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 16, a. 3-8: ἔστι μὲν οὖν τὰ ἐν τῇ φωνῇ τῶν ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ παθημάτων σύμβολα — ὧν μέντοι ταῦτα σημεῖα πρώτως, ταὐτὰ πᾶσι παθήματα τῆς ψυχῆς, καὶ ὧν ταῦτα ὁμοιώματα, πράγματα ἤδη ταὐτά. Ibid. a. 13: τὰ μὲν οὖν ὀνόματα αὐτὰ καὶ τὰ ῥήματα ἔοικε τῷ ἄνευ συνθέσεως καὶ διαιρέσεως νοήματι — οὔτε γὰρ ψεῦδος οὔτ’ ἀληθές πω. Ib. p. 17, a. 2: λόγος ἀποφαντικὸς, ἐν ᾧ τὸ ἀληθεύειν ἢ ψεύδεσθαι ὑπάρχει. Compare p. 20, a. 34.

50 Aristot. De Interpret. p. 23, a. 32: τὰ μὲν ἐν τῇ φωνῇ ἀκολουθεῖ τοῖς ἐν τῇ διανοίᾳ, ἐκεῖ δὲ ἐναντία δόξα ἡ τοῦ ἐναντίου, &c. Ib. p. 24, b. 1: ὥστε εἴπερ ἐπὶ δόξης οὕτως ἔχει, εἰσὶ δὲ αἱ ἐν τῇ φωνῇ καταφάσεις καὶ ἀποφάσεις σύμβολα τῶν ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ, δῆλον ὅτι καὶ καταφάσει ἐναντία μὲν ἀπόφασις ἥ περὶ τοῦ αὐτοῦ καθόλου, &c. Ib. p. 17, a. 22: ἔστι δὲ ἡ ἁπλῆ ἀπόφανσις φωνὴ σημαντικὴ περὶ τοῦ ὑπάρχειν τι ἢ μὴ ὑπάρχειν, &c.

51 Ibid. p. 17, a. 5. οἱ μὲν οὖν ἄλλοι (λόγοι) ἀφείσθωσαν· ῥητορικῆς γὰρ ἢ ποιητικῆς οἰκειοτέρα ἡ σκέψις· ὁ δὲ ἀποφαντικὸς τῆς νῦν θεωρίας.

52 Ammonius (in the Scholia on De Interpret. p. 130, a. 16, seq., Brand.) ranks all modal propositions under the same category, and considers the number of them to be, not indeed infinite, but very great. He gives as examples: “The moon changes fast; Plato loves Dion vehemently.” Sir W. Hamilton adopts the same view as Ammonius: “Modes may be conceived without end — all must be admitted, if any are; the line of distinction attempted to be drawn is futile.” (Discussions on Phil. ut sup. p. 145.) On the other hand, we learn from Ammonius that most of the Aristotelian interpreters preceding him reckoned the simple proposition τὸ ὑπάρχειν as a modal; and Aristotle himself seems so to mention it (Analytica Priora, I. ii. p. 25, a. 1); besides that he enumerates true and false, which undoubtedly attach to τὸ ὑπάρχειν, as examples of modes (De Interpet. c. 12, p. 22, a. 13). Ammonius himself protests against this doctrine of the former interpreters.

Mr. John Stuart Mill (System of Logic, Bk. I. ch. iv. s. 2) says:— “A remark of a similar nature may be applied to most of those distinctions among propositions which are said to have reference to their modality; as difference of tense or time; the sun did rise, is rising, will rise.… The circumstance of time is properly considered as attaching to the copula, which is the sign of predication, and not to the predicate. If the same cannot be said of such modifications as these, Cæsar is perhaps dead; it is possible that Cæsar is dead; it is only because these fall together under another head; being properly assertions not of anything relating to the fact itself, but of the state of our own mind in regard to it; namely, our absence of disbelief of it. Thus, Cæsar may be dead, means, I am not sure that Cæsar is alive.”

I do not know whether Mr. Mill means that the function of the copula is different in these problematical propositions, from what it is in the categorical propositions: I think there is no difference. But his remark that the problematical proposition is an assertion of the state of our minds in regard to the fact, appears to me perfectly just. Only, we ought to add, that this is equally true about the categorical proposition. It is equally true about all the three following propositions:— 1. The three angles of a triangle may or may not be equal to two right angles. 2. The three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles. 3. The three angles of a triangle are necessarily equal to two right angles. In each of these three propositions, an assertion of the state of our minds is involved, and a different state of mind in each. This is the subjective aspect of the proposition; it belongs to the form rather than to the matter, and may be considered as a mode. The commentators preceding Ammonius did so consider it, and said that the categorical proposition had its mode as well as the others. Ammonius differed from them, treating the categorical as having no mode — as the standard unit or point of departure.

The propositions now known as Hypothetical and Disjunctive, which may also be regarded as in a certain sense Modals, are not expressly considered by Aristotle. In the Anal. Prior. I. xliv. p. 50 a. 16-38, he adverts to hypothetical syllogisms, and intimates his intention of discussing them more at length: but this intention has not been executed, in the works that we possess.

In every complete theory of enunciative speech, these modal propositions deserve to be separately explained, both in their substantive meaning and in their relation to other propositions. Their characteristic property as Modals belongs to form rather than to matter; and Aristotle ought not to be considered as unphilosophical for introducing them into the Organon, even if we adopt the restricted view of Logic taken by Sir W. Hamilton, that it takes no cognizance of the matter of propositions, but only of their form. But though I dissent from Hamilton’s criticisms on this point, I do not concur with the opposing critics who think that Aristotle has handled the Modal Propositions in a satisfactory manner. On the contrary, I think that the equivocal sense which he assigns to the Potential or Possible, and his inconsistency in sometimes admitting, sometimes denying, a Potential that is always actual, and a Potential that is never actual — are serious impediments to any consistent Logic. The Problematical Proposition does not admit of being cut in half; and if we are to recognize a necessary Possible, or an impossible Possible, we ought to find different phrases by which to designate them.

We must observe that the distinction of Problematical and Necessary Propositions corresponds, in the mind of Aristotle, to that capital and characteristic doctrine of his Ontology and Physics, already touched on in this chapter. He thought, as we have seen, that in the vast circumferential region of the Kosmos, from the outer sidereal sphere down to the lunar sphere, celestial substance was a necessary existence and energy, sempiternal and uniform in its rotations and influence; and that through its beneficent influence, pervading the concavity between the lunar sphere and the terrestrial centre (which included the four elements with their compounds) there prevailed a regularizing tendency called Nature: modified, however, and partly counteracted by independent and irregular forces called Spontaneity and Chance, essentially unknowable and unpredictable. The irregular sequences thus named by Aristotle were the objective correlate of the Problematical Proposition in Logic. In these sublunary sequences, as to future time, may or may not was all that could be attained, even by the highest knowledge; certainty, either of affirmation or negation, was out of the question. On the other hand, the necessary and uniform energies of the celestial substance, formed the objective correlate of the Necessary Proposition in Logic; this substance was not 134merely an existence, but an existence necessary and unchangeable. I shall say more on this when I come to treat of Aristotle as a kosmical and physical philosopher; at present it is enough to remark that he considers the Problematical Proposition in Logic to be not purely subjective, as an expression of the speaker’s ignorance, but something more, namely, to correlate with an objective essentially unknowable to all.

The last paragraph of the treatise De Interpretatione discusses the question of Contraries and Contradictories, and makes out that the greatest breadth of opposition is that between a proposition and its contradictory (Kallias is just — Kallias is not just), not that between a proposition and what is called its contrary (Kallias is just — Kallias is unjust); therefore, that according to the definition of contrary, the true contrary of a proposition is its contradictory.53 This paragraph is not connected with that which precedes; moreover, both the reasoning and the conclusion differ from what we read as well in this treatise as in other portions of Aristotle. Accordingly, Ammonius in the Scholia, while informing us that Porphyry had declined to include it in his commentary, intimates also his own belief that it is not genuine, but the work of another hand. At best (Ammonius thinks), if we must consider it as the work of Aristotle, it has been composed by him only as a dialectical exercise, to debate an unsettled question.54 I think the latter hypothesis not improbable. The paragraph has certainly reference to discussions which we do not know, and it may have been composed when Aristotle had not fully made up his mind on the distinction between Contrary and Contradictory. Considering the difficult problems that he undertook to solve, we may be sure that he must have written down several trains of thought merely preliminary and tentative. Moreover, we know that he had composed a distinct treatise ‘De Oppositis,’55 which is unfortunately lost, but in which he must have included this very topic — the distinction between Contrary and Contradictory.

53 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 23, a. 27, seq.

54 Scholia ad Arist. pp. 135-139, Br. γυμνάσαι μόνον βουληθέντος τοὺς ἐντυγχάνοντας πρὸς τὴν ἐπίκρισιν τῶν πιθανῶς μὲν οὐ μέντοι ἀληθῶς λεγομένων λόγων &c. (p. 135, b. 15; also p. 136, a. 42).

55 Scholia ad Categorias, p. 83, a. 17-19, b. 10, p. 84, a. 29, p. 86, b. 42, p. 88, a. 30. It seems much referred to by Simplikius, who tells us that the Stoics adopted most of its principles (p. 83, a. 21, b. 7).

Whatever may have been the real origin and purpose of this last paragraph, I think it unsuitable as a portion of the treatise De Interpretatione. It nullifies, or at least overclouds, one of the best parts of that treatise, the clear determination of Anaphasis and its consequences.

135If, now, we compare the theory of the Proposition as given by Aristotle in this treatise, with that which we read in the Sophistes of Plato, we shall find Plato already conceiving the proposition as composed indispensably of noun and verb, and as being either affirmative or negative, for both of which he indicates the technical terms.56 He has no technical term for either subject or predicate; but he conceives the proposition as belonging to its subject:57 we may be mistaken in the predicates, but we are not mistaken in the subject. Aristotle enlarges and improves upon this theory. He not only has a technical term for affirmation and negation, and for negative noun and verb, but also for subject and predicate; again, for the mode of signification belonging to noun and verb, each separately, as distinguished from the mode of signification belonging to them conjointly, when brought together in a proposition. He follows Plato in insisting upon the characteristic feature of the proposition — aptitude for being true or false; but he gives an ampler definition of it, and he introduces the novel and important distribution of propositions according to the quantity of the subject. Until this last distribution had been made, it was impossible to appreciate the true value and bearing of each Antiphasis and the correct language for expressing it, so as to say neither more nor less. We see, by reading the Sophistes, that Plato did not conceive the Antiphasis correctly, as distinguished from Contrariety on the one hand, and from mere Difference on the other. He saw that the negative of any proposition does not affirm the contrary of its affirmative; but he knew no other alternative except to say, that it affirms only something different from the affirmative. His theory in the Sophistes recognizes nothing but affirmative propositions, with the predicate of contrariety on one hand, or of difference on the other;58 he ignores, or jumps over, the intermediate station of propositions affirming nothing at all, but simply denying a pre-understood affirmative. There were other contemporaries, Antisthenes among them, who declared contradiction136 to be an impossibility;59 an opinion coinciding at bottom with what I have just cited from Plato himself. We see, in the Theætêtus, the Euthydêmus, the Sophistes, and elsewhere, how great was the difficulty felt by philosophers of that age to find a proper locus standi for false propositions, so as to prove them theoretically possible, to assign a legitimate function for the negative, and to escape from the interdict of Parmenides, who eliminated Non-Ens as unmeaning and incogitable. Even after the death of Aristotle, the acute disputation of Stilpon suggested many problems, but yielded few solutions; and Menedêmus went so far as to disallow negative propositions altogether.60

56 Plato, Sophistes, pp. 261-262. φάσιν καὶ ἀπόφασιν. — ib. p. 263 E. In the so-called Platonic ‘Definitions,’ we read ἐν καταφάσει καὶ ἀποφάσει (p. 413 C); but these are probably after Aristotle’s time. In another of these Definitions (413 D.) we read ἀπόφασις, where the word ought to be ἀπόφανσις.

57 Plato, Sophist. p. 263 A-C.

58 Ibid. p. 257, B: Οὐκ ἀρ’, ἐναντίον ὅταν ἀπόφασις λέγηται σημαίνειν, συγχωρησόμεθα, τοσοῦτον δὲ μόνον, ὅτι τῶν ἄλλων τι μηνύει τὸ μὴ καὶ τὸ οὔ προτιθέμενα τῶν ἐπιόντων ὀνομάτων, μᾶλλον δὲ τῶν πραγμάτων, περὶ ἅττ’ ἂν κέηται τὰ ἐπιφθεγγόμενα ὕστερον τῆς ἀποφάσεως ὀνόματα.

The term ἀντίφασις, and its derivative ἀντιφατικῶς, are not recognized in the Platonic Lexicon. Compare the same dialogue, Sophistes, p. 263; also Euthydêmus, p. 298, A. Plato does not seem to take account of negative propositions as such. See ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ vol. II. ch. xxvii. pp. 446-455.

59 Aristot. Topica, I. xi. p. 104, b. 20; Metaphys. Δ. p. 1024, b. 32; Analytic. Poster. I. xxv. p. 86, b. 34.

60 Diogon. Laert. ii. 134-135. See the long discussion in the Platonic Theætêtus (pp. 187-196), in which Sokrates in vain endeavours to produce some theory whereby ψευδὴς δόξα may be rendered possible. Hobbes, also, in his Computation or Logic (De Corp. c. iii. § 6), followed by Destutt Tracy, disallows the negative proposition per se, and treats it as a clumsy disguise of the affirmative ἐκ μεταθέσεως, to use the phrase of Theophrastus. Mr. John Stuart Mill has justly criticized this part of Hobbes’s theory (System of Logic, Book I. ch. iv. § 2).

Such being the conditions under which philosophers debated in the age of Aristotle, we can appreciate the full value of a positive theory of propositions such as that which we read in his treatise De Interpretatione. It is, so far as we know, the first positive theory thereof that was ever set out; the first attempt to classify propositions in such a manner that a legitimate Antiphasis could be assigned to each; the first declaration that to each affirmative proposition there belonged one appropriate negative, and to each negative proposition one appropriate counter-affirmative, and one only; the earliest effort to construct a theory for this purpose, such as to hold ground against all the puzzling questions of acute disputants.61 The clear determination of the Antiphasis in each case — the distinction of Contradictory antithesis from Contrary antithesis between propositions — this was an important logical doctrine never advanced before Aristotle; and the importance of it becomes manifest when we read the arguments of Plato and Antisthenes, the former overleaping and ignoring the contradictory opposition, the latter maintaining that it was a process theoretically indefensible. But in order that these two modes of antithesis should be clearly contrasted, each with its proper characteristic, it was requisite that the distinction of quantity between different propositions should also be brought to view, and considered in conjunction with the distinction of quality. Until this was done, the Maxim 137of Contradiction, denied by some, could not be shown in its true force or with its proper limits. Now, we find it done,62 for the first time, in the treatise before us. Here the Contradictory antithesis (opposition both in quantity and quality) in which one proposition must be true and the other false, is contrasted with the Contrary (propositions opposite in quality, but both of them universal). Aristotle’s terminology is not in all respects fully developed; in regard, especially, to the quantity of propositions it is less advanced than in his own later treatises; but from the theory of the De Interpretatione all the distinctions current among later logicians, take their rise.

61 Aristot. De Interpr. p. 17, a. 36: πρὸς τὰς σοφιστικὰς ἐνοχλήσεις.

62 We see, from the argument in the Metaphysica of Aristotle, that there were persons in his day who denied or refused to admit the Maxim of Contradiction; and who held that contradictory propositions might both be true or both false (Aristot. Metaph. Γ. p. 1006, a. 1; p. 1009, a. 24). He employs several pages in confuting them.

See the Antinomies in the Platonic Parmenides (pp. 154-155), some of which destroy or set aside the Maxim of Contradiction (‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ vol. II. ch. xxv. p. 306).

The distinction of Contradictory and Contrary is fundamental in ratiocinative Logic, and lies at the bottom of the syllogistic theory as delivered in the Analytica Priora. The precision with which Aristotle designates the Universal proposition with its exact contradictory antithesis, is remarkable in his day. Some, however, of his observations respecting the place and functions of the negative particle (οὐ), must be understood with reference to the variable order of words in a Greek or Latin sentence; for instance, the distinction between Kallias non est justus and Kallias est non justus does not suggest itself to one speaking English or French.63 Moreover, the Aristotelian theory of the 138Proposition is encumbered with various unnecessary subtleties; and the introduction of the Modals (though they belong, in my opinion, legitimately to a complete logical theory) renders the doctrine so intricate and complicated, that a judicious teacher will prefer, in explaining the subject, to leave them for second or ulterior study, when the simpler relations between categorical propositions have been made evident and familiar. The force of this remark will be felt more when we go through the Analytica Priora. The two principal relations to be considered in the theory of Propositions — Opposition and Equipollence — would have come out far more clearly in the treatise De Interpretatione, if the discussion of the Modals had been reserved for a separate chapter.

63 The diagram or parallelogram of logical antithesis, which is said to have begun with Apuleius, and to have been transmitted through Boethius and the Schoolmen to modern times (Ueberweg, System der Logik, sect. 72, p. 174) is as follows:—

A. Omnis homo est justus. --- E. Nullus homo est justus.
I. Aliquis homo est justus. --- O. Aliquis homo non est justus.

But the parallelogram set out by Aristotle in the treatise De Interpretatione, or at least in the Analytica Priora, is different, and intended for a different purpose. He puts it thus:—

1. Omnis homo est justus … … … … 2. Non omnis homo est justus.
4. Non omnis homo est non justus … … … … 3. Omnis homo est non justus.

Here Proposition (1) is an affirmative, of which (2) is the direct and appropriate negative: also Proposition (3) is an affirmative (Aristotle so considers it), of which (4) is the direct and appropriate negative. The great aim of Aristotle is to mark out clearly what is the appropriate negative or Ἀπόφασις to each Κατάφασις (μία ἀπόφασις μιᾶς καταφάσεως, p. 17, b. 38), making up together the pair which he calls Ἀντίφασις, standing in Contradictory Opposition; and to distinguish this appropriate negative from another proposition which comprises the particle of negation, but which is really a new affirmative.

The true negatives of homo est justus — Omnis homo est justus are, Homo non est justus — Non omnis homo est justus. If you say, Homo est non justus — Omnis homo est non justus, these are not negative propositions, but new affirmatives (ἐκ μεταθέσεως in the language of Theophrastus).









Reviewing the treatise De Interpretatione, we have followed Aristotle in his first attempt to define what a Proposition is, to point out its constituent elements, and to specify some of its leading varieties. The characteristic feature of the Proposition he stated to be — That it declares, in the first instance, the mental state of the speaker as to belief or disbelief, and, in its ulterior or final bearing, a state of facts to which such belief or disbelief corresponds. It is thus significant of truth or falsehood; and this is its logical character (belonging to Analytic and Dialectic), as distinguished from its rhetorical character, with other aspects besides. Aristotle farther indicated the two principal discriminative attributes of propositions as logically regarded, passing under the names of quantity and quality. He took great pains, in regard to the quality, to explain what was the special negative proposition in true contradictory antithesis to each affirmative. He stated and enforced the important separation of contradictory propositions from contrary; and he even parted off (which the Greek and Latin languages admit, though the French and English will hardly do so) the true negative from the indeterminate affirmative. He touched also upon equipollent propositions, though he did not go far into them. Thus commenced with Aristotle the systematic study of propositions, classified according to their meaning and their various interdependences with each other as to truth and falsehood — their mutual consistency or incompatibility. Men who had long been talking good Greek fluently and familiarly, were taught to reflect upon the conjunctions of words that they habitually employed, and to pay heed to the conditions of correct speech in reference to its primary purpose of affirmation and denial, for the interchange of beliefs and disbeliefs, the communication of truth, and the rectification of falsehood. To many of Aristotle’s contemporaries this first attempt to theorize upon the forms of locution familiar to every one would probably appear hardly less strange than the interrogative 140dialectic of Sokrates, when he declared himself not to know what was meant by justice, virtue, piety, temperance, government, &c.; when he astonished his hearers by asking them to rescue him from this state of ignorance, and to communicate to him some portion of their supposed plenitude of knowledge.

Aristotle tells us expressly that the theory of the Syllogism, both demonstrative and dialectic, on which we are now about to enter, was his own work altogether and from the beginning; that no one had ever attempted it before; that he therefore found no basis to work upon, but was obliged to elaborate his own theory, from the very rudiments, by long and laborious application. In this point of view, he contrasts Logic pointedly with Rhetoric, on which there had been a series of writers and teachers, each profiting by the labours of his predecessors.1 There is no reason to contest the claim to originality here advanced by Aristotle. He was the first who endeavoured, by careful study and multiplied comparison of propositions, to elicit general truths respecting their ratiocinative interdependence, and to found thereupon precepts for regulating the conduct of demonstration and dialectic.2

1 See the remarkable passage at the close of the Sophistici Elenchi, p. 183, b. 34-p. 184, b. 9: ταύτης δὲ τῆς πραγματείας οὐ τὸ μὲν ἦν τὸ δὲ οὐκ ἦν προεξειργασμένον, ἀλλ’ οὐδὲν παντελῶς ὑπῆρχε — καὶ περὶ μὲν τῶν ῥητορικῶν ὑπῆρχε πολλὰ καὶ παλαιὰ τὰ λεγόμενα, περὶ δὲ τοῦ συλλογίζεσθαι παντελῶς οὐδὲν εἴχομεν πρότερον ἄλλο λέγειν, ἀλλ’ ἢ τριβῇ ζητοῦντες πολὺν χρόνον ἐπονοῦμεν.

2 Sir Wm. Hamilton, Lectures on Logic, Lect. v. pp. 87-91, vol. III.:— “The principles of Contradiction and Excluded Middle can both be traced back to Plato, by whom they were enounced and frequently applied; though it was not till long after, that either of them obtained a distinctive appellation. To take the principle of Contradiction first. This law Plato frequently employs, but the most remarkable passages are found in the Phædo (p. 103), in the Sophista (p. 252), and in the Republic (iv. 436, vii. 525). This law was however more distinctively and emphatically enounced by Aristotle.… Following Aristotle, the Peripatetics established this law as the highest principle of knowledge. From the Greek Aristotelians it obtained the name by which it has subsequently been denominated, the principle, or law, or axiom, of Contradiction (ἀξίωμα τῆς ἀντιφάσεως).… The law of Excluded Middle between two contradictories remounts, as I have said, also to Plato; though the Second Alcibiades, in which it is most clearly expressed (p. 139; also Sophista, p. 250), must be admitted to be spurious.… This law, though universally recognized as a principle in the Greek Peripatetic school, and in the schools of the middle ages, only received the distinctive appellation by which it is now known at a comparatively modern date.”

The passages of Plato, to which Sir W. Hamilton here refers, will not be found to bear out his assertion that Plato “enounced and frequently applied the principles of Contradiction and Excluded Middle.” These two principles are both of them enunciated, denominated, and distinctly explained by Aristotle, but by no one before him, as far as our knowledge extends. The conception of the two maxims, in their generality, depends upon the clear distinction between Contradictory Opposition and Contrary Opposition; which is fully brought out by Aristotle, but not adverted to, or at least never broadly and generally set forth, by Plato. Indeed it is remarkable that the word Ἀντίφασις, the technical term for Contradiction, never occurs in Plato; at least it is not recognized in the Lexicon Platonicum. Aristotle puts it in the foreground of his logical exposition; for, without it, he could not have explained what he meant by Contradictory Opposition. See Categoriæ, pp. 13-14, and elsewhere in the treatise De Interpretatione and in the Metaphysica. Respecting the idea of the Negative as put forth by Plato in the Sophistes (not coinciding either with Contradictory Opposition or with Contrary Opposition), see ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ vol. II. ch. xxvii. pp. 449-459. I have remarked in that chapter, and the reader ought to recollect, that the philosophical views set out by Plato in the Sophistes differ on many points from what we read in other Platonic dialogues.

141He begins the Analytica Priora by setting forth his general purpose, and defining his principal terms and phrases. His manner is one of geometrical plainness and strictness. It may perhaps have been common to him with various contemporary geometers, whose works are now lost; but it presents an entire novelty in Grecian philosophy and literature. It departed not merely from the manner of the rhetoricians and the physical philosophers (as far as we know them, not excluding even Demokritus), but also from Sokrates and the Sokratic school. For though Sokrates and Plato were perpetually calling for definitions, and did much to make others feel the want of such, they neither of them evinced aptitude or readiness to supply the want. The new manner of Aristotle is adapted to an undertaking which he himself describes as original, in which he has no predecessors, and is compelled to dig his own foundations. It is essentially didactic and expository, and contrasts strikingly with the mixture of dramatic liveliness and dialectical subtlety which we find in Plato.

The terminology of Aristotle in the Analytica is to a certain extent different from that in the treatise De Interpretatione. The Enunciation (Ἀπόφανις) appears under the new name of Πρότασις, Proposition (in the literal sense) or Premiss; while, instead of Noun and Verb, we have the word Term (Ὅρος), applied alike both to Subject and to Predicate.3 We pass now from the region of declared truth, into that of inferential or reasoned truth. We find the proposition looked at, not merely as communicating truth in itself, but as generating and helping to guarantee certain ulterior propositions, which communicate something additional or different. The primary purpose of the Analytica is announced to be, to treat of Demonstration and 142demonstrative Science; but the secondary purpose, running parallel with it and serving as illustrative counterpart, is, to treat also of Dialectic; both of them4 being applications of the inferential or ratiocinative process, the theory of which Aristotle intends to unfold.

3 Aristot. Analyt. Prior. I. i. p. 24, b. 16: ὅρον δὲ καλῶ εἰς ὃν διαλύεται ἡ πρότασις, οἷον τό τε κατηγορούμενον καὶ τὸ καθ’ οὗ κατηγορεῖται, &c.

Ὅρος — Terminus — seems to have been a technical word first employed by Aristotle himself to designate subject and predicate as the extremes of a proposition, which latter he conceives as the interval between the termini — διάστημα. (Analyt. Prior. I. xv. p. 35, a. 12. στερητικῶν διαστημάτων, &c. See Alexander, Schol. pp. 145-146.)

In the Topica Aristotle employs ὅρος in a very different sense — λόγος ὁ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι σημαίνων (Topic. I. v. p. 101, b. 39) — hardly distinguished from ὁρισμός. The Scholia take little notice of this remarkable variation of meaning, as between two treatises of the Organon so intimately connected (pp. 256-257, Br.).

4 Analyt. Prior. I. i. p. 24, a. 25.

The three treatises — 1, Analytica Priora, 2, Analytica Posteriora, 3, Topica with Sophistici Elenchi — thus belong all to one general scheme; to the theory of the Syllogism, with its distinct applications, first, to demonstrative or didactic science, and, next, to dialectical debate. The scheme is plainly announced at the commencement of the Analytica Priora; which treatise discusses the Syllogism generally, while the Analytica Posteriora deals with Demonstration, and the Topica with Dialectic. The first chapter of the Analytica Priora and the last chapter of the Sophistici Elenchi (closing the Topica), form a preface and a conclusion to the whole. The exposition of the Syllogism, Aristotle distinctly announces, precedes that of Demonstration (and for the same reason also precedes that of Dialectic), because it is more general: every demonstration is a sort of syllogism, but every syllogism is not a demonstration.5

5 Ibid. I. iv. p. 25, b. 30.

As a foundation for the syllogistic theory, propositions are classified according to their quantity (more formally than in the treatise De Interpretatione) into Universal, Particular, and Indefinite or Indeterminate;6 Aristotle does not recognize the Singular Proposition as a distinct variety. In regard to the Universal Proposition, he introduces a different phraseology according as it is looked at from the side of the Subject, or from that of the Predicate. The Subject is, or is not, in the whole Predicate; the Predicate is affirmed or denied respecting all or every one of the Subject.7 The minor term of the Syllogism (in the first mode of the first figure) is declared to be in the whole middle term; the major is declared to belong to, or to be predicable of, all and every the middle term. Aristotle says that the two are the same; we ought rather to say that each is the concomitant and correlate of the other, though his phraseology is such as to obscure the correlation.

6 Ibid. I. i. p. 24, a. 17. The Particular (ἐν μέρει), here for the first time expressly distinguished by Aristotle, is thus defined:— ἐν μέρει δὲ τὸ τινὶ ἢ μὴ τινὶ ἢ μὴ παντὶ ὑπάρχειν.

7 Ibid. b. 26: τὸ δ’ ἐν ὅλῳ εἰναι ἕτερον ἑτέρῳ, καὶ τὸ κατὰ παντὸς κατηγορεῖσθαι θατέρου θάτερον, ταὐτόν ἐστι — ταὐτὸν, i.e. ἀντεστραμμένως, as Waitz remarks in note. Julius Pacius says:— “Idem re, sed ratione differunt ut ascensus et descensus; nam subjectum dicitur esse vel non esse in toto attributo, quia attributum dicitur de omni vel de nullo subjecto” (p. 128).

143The definition given of a Syllogism is very clear and remarkable:— “It is a speech in which, some positions having been laid down, something different from these positions follows as a necessary consequence from their being laid down.” In a perfect Syllogism nothing additional is required to make the necessity of the consequence obvious as well as complete. But there are also imperfect Syllogisms, in which such necessity, though equally complete, is not so obviously conveyed in the premisses, but requires some change to be effected in the position of the terms in order to render it conspicuous.8

8 Aristot. Anal. Prior. I. i. p. 24, b. 18-26. The same, with a little difference of wording, at the commencement of Topica, p. 100, a. 25. Compare also Analyt. Poster. I. x. p. 76, b. 38: ὅσων ὄντων τῷ ἐκεῖνα εἶναι γίνεται τὸ συμπέρασμα.

The term Syllogism has acquired, through the influence of Aristotle, a meaning so definite and technical, that we do not easily conceive it in any other meaning. But in Plato and other contemporaries it bears a much wider sense, being equivalent to reasoning generally, to the process of comparison, abstraction, generalization.9 It was Aristotle who consecrated the word, so as to mean exclusively the reasoning embodied in propositions of definite form and number. Having already analysed propositions separately taken, and discriminated them into various classes according to their constituent elements, he now proceeds to consider propositions in combination. Two propositions, if properly framed, will conduct to a third, different from themselves, but which will be necessarily true if they are true. Aristotle calls the three together a Syllogism.10 He undertakes to shew how it must be framed in order that its conclusion shall be necessarily true, if the premisses are true. He furnishes schemes whereby the cast and arrangement of premisses, proper for attaining truth, may be recognized; together with the nature of the conclusion, warrantable under each arrangement.

9 See especially Plato, Theætêt. p. 186, B-D., where ὁ συλλογισμὸς and τὰ ἀναλογίσματα are equivalents.

10 Julius Pacius (ad Analyt. Prior. I. i.) says that it is a mistake on the part of most logicians to treat the Syllogism as including three propositions (ut vulgus logicorum putat). He considers the premisses alone as constituting the Syllogism; the conclusion is not a part thereof, but something distinct and superadded. It appears to me that the vulgus logicorum are here in the right.

In the Analytica Priora, we find ourselves involved, from and after the second chapter, in the distinction of Modal propositions, the necessary and the possible. The rules respecting the simple Assertory propositions are thus, even from the beginning, given in conjunction and contrast with those respecting the Modals. This is one among many causes of the difficulty and obscurity with which the treatise is beset. Theophrastus and Eudemus 144seem also to have followed their master by giving prominence to the Modals:11 recent expositors avoid the difficulty, some by omitting them altogether, others by deferring them until the simple assertory propositions have been first made clear. I shall follow the example of these last; but it deserves to be kept in mind, as illustrating Aristotle’s point of view, that he regards the Modals as principal varieties of the proposition, co-ordinate in logical position with the simple assertory.

11 Eudemi Fragmenta, cii.-ciii. p. 145, ed. Spengel.

Before entering on combinations of propositions, Aristotle begins by shewing what can be done with single propositions, in view to the investigation or proving of truth. A single proposition may be converted; that is, its subject and predicate may be made to change places. If a proposition be true, will it be true when thus converted, or (in other words) will its converse be true? If false, will its converse be false? If this be not always the case, what are the conditions and limits under which (assuming the proposition to be true) the process of conversion leads to assured truth, in each variety of propositions, affirmative or negative, universal or particular? As far as we know, Aristotle was the first person that ever put to himself this question; though the answer to it is indispensable to any theory of the process of proving or disproving. He answers it before he enters upon the Syllogism.

The rules which he lays down on the subject have passed into all logical treatises. They are now familiar; and readers are apt to fancy that there never was any novelty in them — that every one knows them without being told. Such fancy would be illusory. These rules are very far from being self-evident, any more than the maxims of Contradiction and of the Excluded Middle. Not one of the rules could have been laid down with its proper limits, until the discrimination of propositions, both as to quality (affirmative or negative), and as to quantity (universal or particular), had been put prominently forward and appreciated in all its bearings. The rule for trustworthy conversion is different for each variety of propositions. The Universal Negative may be converted simply; that is, the predicate may become subject, and the subject may become predicate — the proposition being true after conversion, if it was true before. But the Universal Affirmative cannot be thus converted simply. It admits of conversion only in the manner called by logicians per accidens: if the predicate change places with the subject, we cannot be sure that the proposition thus changed will be true, 145unless the new subject be lowered in quantity from universal to particular; e.g. the proposition, All men are animals, has for its legitimate converse not, All animals are men, but only, Some animals are men. The Particular Affirmative may be converted simply: if it be true that Some animals are men, it will also be true that Some men are animals. But, lastly, if the true proposition to be converted be a Particular Negative, it cannot be converted at all, so as to make sure that the converse will be true also.12

12 Aristot. Analyt. Prior. I. ii. p. 25, a. 1-26.

Here then are four separate rules laid down, one for each variety of propositions. The rules for the second and third variety are proved by the rule for the first (the Universal Negative), which is thus the basis of all. But how does Aristotle prove the rule for the Universal Negative itself? He proceeds as follows: “If A cannot be predicated of any one among the B’s, neither can B be predicated of any one among the A’s. For if it could be predicated of any one among them (say C), the proposition that A cannot be predicated of any B would not be true; since C is one among the B’s.”13 Here we have a proof given which is no proof at all. If I disbelieved or doubted the proposition to be proved, I should equally disbelieve or doubt the proposition given to prove it. The proof only becomes valid, when you add a farther assumption which Aristotle has not distinctly enunciated, viz.: That if some A (e.g. C) is B, then some B must also be A; which would be contrary to the fundamental supposition. But this farther assumption cannot be granted here, because it would imply that we already know the rule respecting the convertibility of Particular Affirmatives, viz., that they admit of being converted simply. Now the rule about Particular Affirmatives is afterwards itself proved by help of the preceding demonstration respecting the Universal Negative. As the proof stands, therefore, Aristotle demonstrates each of these by means of the other; which is not admissible.14

13 Ibid. p. 25, a. 15: εἰ οὖν μηδενὶ τῶν Β τὸ Ἀ ὑπάρχει, οὐδὲ τῶν Ἀ οὐδενὶ ὑπάρξει τὸ Β. εἰ γὰρ τινι, οἷον τῷ Γ, οὐκ ἀληθὲς ἔσται τὸ μηδενὶ τῶν Β τὸ Ἀ ὑπάρχειν· τὸ γὰρ Γ τῶν Β τί ἐστιν.

Julius Pacius (p. 129) proves the Universal Negative to be convertible simpliciter, by a Reductio ad Absurdum cast into a syllogism in the First figure. But it is surely unphilosophical to employ the rules of Syllogism as a means of proving the legitimacy of Conversion, seeing that we are forced to assume conversion in our process for distinguishing valid from invalid syllogisms. Moreover the Reductio ad Absurdum assumes the two fundamental Maxims of Contradiction and Excluded Middle, though these are less obvious, and stand more in need of proof than the simple conversion of the Universal Negative, the point that they are brought to establish.

14 Waitz, in his note (p. 374), endeavours, but I think without success, to show that Aristotle’s proof is not open to the criticism here advanced. He admits that it is obscurely indicated, but the amplification of it given by himself still remains exposed to the same objection.

146Even the friends and companions of Aristotle were not satisfied with his manner of establishing this fundamental rule as to the conversion of propositions. Eudêmus is said to have given a different proof; and Theophrastus assumed as self-evident, without any proof, that the Universal Negative might always be converted simply.15 It appears to me that no other or better evidence of it can be offered, than the trial upon particular cases, that is to say, Induction.16 Nothing is gained by dividing (as Aristotle does) the whole A into parts, one of which is C; nor can I agree with Theophrastus in thinking that every learner would assent to it at first hearing, especially at a time when no universal maxims respecting the logical value of propositions had ever been proclaimed. Still less would a Megaric dialectician, if he had never heard the maxim before, be satisfied to stand upon an alleged à priori necessity without asking for evidence. Now there is no other evidence except by exemplifying the formula, No A is B, in separate propositions already known to the learner as true or false, and by challenging him to produce any one case, in which, when it is true to say No A is B, it is not equally true to say, No B is A; the universality of the maxim being liable to be overthrown by any one contradictory instance.17 If this proof does not convince him, no better can be 147produced. In a short time, doubtless, he will acquiesce in the general formula at first hearing, and he may even come to regard it as self-evident. It will recall to his memory an aggregate of separate cases each individually forgotten, summing up their united effect under the same aspect, and thus impressing upon him the general truth as if it were not only authoritative but self-authorized.

15 See the Scholia of Alexander on this passage, p. 148, a. 30-45, Brandis; Eudemi Fragm. ci.-cv. pp. 145-149, ed. Spengel.

16 We find Aristotle declaring in Topica, II. viii. p. 113, b. 15, that in converting a true Universal Affirmative proposition, the negative of the Subject of the convertend is always true of the negative of the Predicate of the convertend; e.g. If every man is an animal, every thing which is not an animal is not a man. This is to be assumed (he says) upon the evidence of Induction — uncontradicted iteration of particular cases, extended to all cases universally — λαμβάνειν δ’ ἐξ ἐπαγωγῆς, οἷον εἰ ὁ ἄνθρωπος ζῷον, τὸ μὴ ζῷον οὐκ ἄνθρωπος· ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων.… ἐπὶ πάντων οὖν τὸ τοιοῦτον ἀξιωτέον.

The rule for the simple conversion of the Universal Negative rests upon the same evidence of Induction, never contradicted.

17 Dr. Wallis, in one of his acute controversial treatises against Hobbes, remarks upon this as the process pursued by Euclid in his demonstrations:— “You tell us next that an Induction, without enumeration of all the particulars, is not sufficient to infer a conclusion. Yes, Sir, if after the enumeration of some particulars, there comes a general clause, and the like in other cases (as here it doth), this may pass for a proofe till there be a possibility of giving some instance to the contrary, which here you will never be able to doe. And if such an Induction may not pass for proofe, there is never a proposition in Euclid demonstrated. For all along he takes no other course, or at least grounds his Demonstrations on Propositions no otherwise demonstrated. As, for instance, he proposeth it in general (i. c. 1.) — To make an equilateral triangle on a line given. And then he shows you how to do it upon the line A B, which he there shows you, and leaves you to supply: And the same, by the like means, may be done upon any other strait line; and then infers his general conclusion. Yet I have not heard any man object that the Induction was not sufficient, because he did not actually performe it in all lines possible.” — (Wallis, Due Correction to Mr. Hobbes, Oxon. 1656, sect. v. p. 42.) This is induction by parity of reasoning.

So also Aristot. Analyt. Poster. I. iv. p. 73, b. 32: τὸ καθόλου δὲ ὑπάρχει τότε, ὅταν ἐπὶ τοῦ τυχόντος καὶ πρώτου δεικνύηται.

Aristotle passes next to Affirmatives, both Universal and Particular. First, if A can be predicated of all B, then B can be predicated of some A; for if B cannot be predicated of any A, then (by the rule for the Universal Negative) neither can A be predicated of any B. Again, if A can be predicated of some B, in this case also, and for the same reason, B can be predicated of some A.18 Here the rule for the Universal Negative, supposed already established, is applied legitimately to prove the rules for Affirmatives. But in the first case, that of the Universal, it fails to prove some in the sense of not-all or some-at-most, which is required; whereas, the rules for both cases can be proved by Induction, like the formula about the Universal Negative. When we come to the Particular Negative, Aristotle lays down the position, that it does not admit of being necessarily converted in any way. He gives no proof of this, beyond one single exemplification: If some animal is not a man, you are not thereby warranted in asserting the converse, that some man is not an animal.19 It is plain that such an exemplification is only an appeal to Induction: you produce one particular example, which is entering on the track of Induction; and one example alone is sufficient to establish the negative of an universal proposition.20 The converse of a Particular Negative is not in all cases true, though it may be true in many cases.

18 Aristot. Analyt. Prior. I. ii. p. 25, a. 17-22.

19 Ibid. p. 25, a. 22-26.

20 Though some may fancy that the rule for converting the Universal Negative is intuitively known, yet every one must see that the rule for converting the Universal Affirmative is not thus self-evident, or derived from natural intuition. In fact, I believe that every learner at first hears it with great surprise. Some are apt to fancy that the Universal Affirmative (like the Particular Affirmative) may be converted simply. Indeed this error is not unfrequently committed in actual reasoning; all the more easily, because there is a class of cases (with subject and predicate co-extensive) where the converse of the Universal Affirmative is really true. Also, in the case of the Particular Negative, there are many true propositions in which the simple converse is true. A novice might incautiously generalize upon those instances, and conclude that both were convertible simply. Nor could you convince him of his error except by producing examples in which, when a true proposition of this kind is converted simply, the resulting converse is notoriously false. The appeal to various separate cases is the only basis on which we can rest for testing the correctness or incorrectness of all these maxims proclaimed as universal.

148From one proposition taken singly, no new proposition can be inferred; for purposes of inference, two propositions at least are required.21 This brings us to the rules of the Syllogism, where two propositions as premisses conduct us to a third which necessarily follows from them; and we are introduced to the well-known three Figures with their various Modes.22 To form a valid Syllogism, there must be three terms and no more; the two, which appear as Subject and Predicate of the conclusion, are called the minor term (or minor extreme) and the major term (or major extreme) respectively; while the third or middle term must appear in each of the premisses, but not in the conclusion. These terms are called extremes and middle, from the position which they occupy in every perfect Syllogism — that is in what Aristotle ranks as the First among the three figures. In his way of enunciating the Syllogism, this middle position formed a conspicuous feature; whereas the modern arrangement disguises it, though the denomination middle term is still retained. Aristotle usually employs letters of the alphabet, which he was the first to select as abbreviations for exposition;23 and he has two ways (conforming to what he had said in the first chapter of the present treatise) of enunciating the modes of the First figure. In one way, he begins with the major extreme (Predicate of the conclusion): A may be predicated of all B, B may be predicated of all C; therefore, A may be predicated of all C (Universal Affirmative). Again, A cannot be predicated of any B, B can be predicated of all C; therefore, A cannot be predicated of any C (Universal Negative). In the other way, he begins with the minor term (Subject of the conclusion): C is in the whole B, B is in the whole A; therefore, C is in the whole A (Universal Affirmative). And, C is in the whole B, B is not in the whole A; therefore, C is not in the whole A (Universal Negative). We see thus that in Aristotle’s way of enunciating the First figure, the middle 149term is really placed between the two extremes,24 though this is not so in the Second and Third figures. In the modern way of enunciating these figures, the middle term is never placed between the two extremes; yet the denomination middle still remains.

21 Analyt. Prior. I. xv. p. 34, a. 17; xxiii. p. 40, b. 35; Analyt. Poster. I. iii. p. 73, a. 7.

22 Aristot. Analyt. Prior. I. iv. p. 25, b. 26, seq.

23 M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire (Logique d’Aristote, vol. ii. p. 7, n.), referring to the examples of Conversion in chap. ii., observes:— “Voici le prémier usage des lettres représentant des idées; c’est un procédé tout à fait algébrique, c’est à dire, de généralisation. Déjà, dans l’Herméneia, ch. 13, § 1 et suiv., Aristote a fait usage de tableaux pour représenter sa pensée relativement à la consécution des modales. Il parle encore spécialement de figures explicatives, liv. 2. des Derniers Analytiques, ch. 17, § 7. Vingt passages de l’Histoire des Animaux attestent qu’il joignait des dessins à ses observations et à ses théories zoologiques. Les illustrations pittoresques datent donc de fort loin. L’emploi symbolique des lettres a été appliqué aussi par Aristote à la Physique. Il l’avait emprunté, sans doute, aux procédés des mathématiciens.”

We may remark, however, that when Aristotle proceeds to specify those combinations of propositions which do not give a valid conclusion, he is not satisfied with giving letters of the alphabet; he superadds special illustrative examples (Analyt. Prior. I. v. p. 27, a. 7, 12, 34, 38).

24 Aristot. Analyt. Prior. I. iv. p. 25, b. 35: καλῶ δὲ μέσον, ὃ καὶ αὐτὸ ἐν ἄλλῳ καὶ ἄλλο ἐν τούτῳ ἐστίν, ὃ καὶ τῇ θέσει γίνεται μέσον.

The Modes of each figure are distinguished by the different character and relation of the two premisses, according as these are either affirmative or negative, either universal or particular. Accordingly, there are four possible varieties of each, and sixteen possible modes or varieties of combinations between the two. Aristotle goes through most of the sixteen modes, and shows that in the first Figure there are only four among them that are legitimate, carrying with them a necessary conclusion. He shows, farther, that in all the four there are two conditions observed, and that both these conditions are indispensable in the First figure:— (1) The major proposition must be universal, either affirmative or negative; (2) The minor proposition must be affirmative, either universal or particular or indefinite. Such must be the character of the premisses, in the first Figure, wherever the conclusion is valid and necessary; and vice versâ, the conclusion will be valid and necessary, when such is the character of the premisses.25

25 Aristot. Analyt. Prior. I. iv. p. 26, b. 26, et sup.

In regard to the four valid modes (Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferio, as we read in the scholastic Logic) Aristotle declares at once in general language that the conclusion follows necessarily; which he illustrates by setting down in alphabetical letters the skeleton of a syllogism in Barbara. If A is predicated of all B, and B of all C, A must necessarily be predicated of all C. But he does not justify it by any real example; he produces no special syllogism with real terms, and with a conclusion known beforehand to be true. He seems to think that the general doctrine will be accepted as evident without any such corroboration. He counts upon the learner’s memory and phantasy for supplying, out of the past discourse of common life, propositions conforming to the conditions in which the symbolical letters have been placed, and for not supplying any contradictory examples. This might suffice for a treatise; but we may reasonably believe that Aristotle, when teaching in his school, would superadd illustrative examples; for the doctrine was then novel, and he is not unmindful of the errors into which learners often fall spontaneously.26

26 Analyt. Poster. I. xxiv. p. 85, b. 21.

150When he deals with the remaining or invalid modes of the First figure, his manner of showing their invalidity is different, and in itself somewhat curious. “If (he says) the major term is affirmed of all the middle, while the middle is denied of all the minor, no necessary consequence follows from such being the fact, nor will there be any syllogism of the two extremes; for it is equally possible, either that the major term may be affirmed of all the minor, or that it may be denied of all the minor; so that no conclusion, either universal or particular, is necessary in all cases.”27 Examples of such double possibility are then exhibited: first, of three terms arranged in two propositions (A and E), in which, from the terms specially chosen, the major happens to be truly affirmable of all the minor; so that the third proposition is an universal Affirmative:—

Major and
Animal is predicable of every Man;
Middle and
Man is not predicable of any Horse;
Major and
Animal is predicable of every Horse.

Next, a second example is set out with new terms, in which the major happens not to be truly predicable of any of the minor; thus exhibiting as third proposition an universal Negative:—

Major and
Animal is predicable of every Man;
Middle and
Man is not predicable of any Stone;
Major and
Animal is not predicable of any Stone.

Here we see that the full exposition of a syllogism is indicated with real terms common and familiar to every one; alphabetical symbols would not have sufficed, for the learner must himself recognize the one conclusion as true, the other as false. Hence we are taught that, after two premisses thus conditioned, if we venture to join together the major and minor so as to form a pretended conclusion, we may in some cases obtain a true proposition universally Affirmative, in other cases a true proposition universally Negative. Therefore (Aristotle argues) there is no one necessary conclusion, the same in all cases, derivable from such premisses; in other words, this mode of syllogism is invalid and proves nothing. He applies the like reasoning to all the other invalid modes of the first Figure; setting them aside in the same way, and producing examples wherein double and opposite conclusions (improperly so called), both true, are obtained in different cases from the like arrangement of premisses.

27 Analyt. Prior. I. iv. p. 26, a. 2, seq.

151This mode of reasoning plainly depends upon an appeal to prior experience. The validity or invalidity of each mode of the First figure is tested by applying it to different particular cases, each of which is familiar and known to the learner aliunde; in one case, the conjunction of the major and minor terms in the third proposition makes an universal Affirmative which he knows to be true; in another case, the like conjunction makes an universal Negative, which he also knows to be true; so that there is no one necessary (i.e. no one uniform and trustworthy) conclusion derivable from such premisses.28 In other words, these modes of the First figure are not valid or available in form; the negation being sufficiently proved by one single undisputed example.

28 Though M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire (note, p. 19) declares Aristotle’s exposition to be a model of analysis, it appears to me that the grounds for disallowing this invalid mode of the First figure (A — E — A, or A — E — E) are not clearly set forth by Aristotle himself, while they are rendered still darker by some of his best commentators. Thus Waitz says (p. 381): “Per exempla allata probat (Aristoteles) quod demonstrare debebat ex ipsâ ratione quam singuli termini inter se habeant: est enim proprium artis logicæ, ut terminorum rationem cognoscat, dum res ignoret. Num de Caio prædicetur animal nescit, scit de Caio prædicari animal, si animal de homine et homo de Caio prædicetur.”

This comment of Waitz appears to me founded in error. Aristotle had no means of shewing the invalidity of the mode A E in the First figure, except by an appeal to particular examples. The invalidity of the invalid modes, and the validity of the valid modes, rest alike upon this ultimate reference to examples of propositions known to be true or false, by prior experience of the learner. The valid modes are those which will stand this trial and verification; the invalid modes are those which will not stand it. Not till such verification has been made, is one warranted in generalizing the result, and enunciating a formula applicable to unknown particulars (rationem terminorum cognoscere, dum res ignoret). It was impossible for Aristotle to do what Waitz requires of him. I take the opposite ground, and regret that he did not set forth the fundamental test of appeal to example and experience, in a more emphatic and unmistakeable manner.

M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire (in the note to his translation, p. 14) does not lend any additional clearness, when he talks of the “conclusion” from the propositions A and E in the First figure. Julius Pacius says (p. 134): “Si tamen conclusio dici debet, quæ non colligitur ex propositionibus,” &c. Moreover, M. St. Hilaire (p. 19) slurs over the legitimate foundation, the appeal to experience, much as Aristotle himself does: “Puis prenant des exemples où la conclusion est de toute évidence, Aristote les applique successivement à chacune de ces combinaisons; celles qui donnent la conclusion fournie d’ailleurs par le bon sens, sont concluantes ou syllogistiques, les autres sont asyllogistiques.”

We are now introduced to the Second figure, in which each of the two premisses has the middle term as Predicate.29 To give a legitimate conclusion in this figure, one or other of the premisses must be negative, and the major premiss must be universal; moreover no affirmative conclusions can ever be obtained in it — none but negative conclusions, universal or particular. In this Second figure too, Aristotle recognizes four valid modes; setting 152aside the other possible modes as invalid30 (in the same way as he had done in the First figure), because the third proposition or conjunction of the major term with the minor, might in some cases be a true universal affirmative, in other cases a true universal negative. As to the third and fourth of the valid modes, he demonstrates them by assuming the contradictory of the conclusion, together with the major premiss, and then showing that these two premisses form a new syllogism, which leads to a conclusion contradicting the minor premiss. This method, called Reductio ad Impossibile, is here employed for the first time; and employed without being ushered in or defined, as if it were familiarly known.31

29 Analyt. Prior. I. v. p. 26, b. 34. As Aristotle enunciates a proposition by putting the predicate before the subject, he says that in this Second figure the middle term comes πρῶτον τῇ θέσει. In the Third figure, for the same reason, he calls it ἔσχατον τῇ θέσει, vi. p. 28, a. 15.

30 Analyt. Prior. I. v. p. 27, a. 18. In these invalid modes, Aristotle says there is no syllogism; therefore we cannot properly speak of a conclusion, but only of a third proposition, conjoining the major with the minor.

31 Ibid. p. 27, a. 15, 26, seq. It is said to involve ὑπόθεσις, p. 28, a. 7; to be ἐξ ὑποθέσεως xxiii. p. 41, a. 25; to be τοῦ ἐξ ὑποθέσεως, as opposed to δεικτικός, xxiii. p. 40, b. 25.

M. B. St. Hilaire remarks justly, that Aristotle might be expected to define or explain what it is, on first mentioning it (note, p. 22).

Lastly, we have the Third figure, wherein the middle term is the Subject in both premisses. Here one at least of the premisses must be universal, either affirmative or negative. But no universal conclusions can be obtained in this figure; all the conclusions are particular. Aristotle recognizes six legitimate modes; in all of which the conclusions are particular, four of them being affirmative, two negative. The other possible modes he sets aside as in the two preceding figures.32

32 Ibid. I. vi. p. 28, a. 10-p. 29, a. 18.

But Aristotle assigns to the First figure a marked superiority as compared with the Second and Third. It is the only one that yields perfect syllogisms; those furnished by the other two are all imperfect. The cardinal principle of syllogistic proof, as he conceives it, is — That whatever can be affirmed or denied of a whole, can be affirmed or denied of any part thereof.33 The major proposition affirms or denies something universally respecting a certain whole; the minor proposition declares a certain part to be included in that whole. To this principle the four modes of the First figure manifestly and unmistakably conform, without any transformation of their premisses. But in the other figures such conformity does not obviously appear, and 153must be demonstrated by reducing their syllogisms to the First figure; either ostensively by exposition of a particular case, and conversion of the premisses, or by Reductio ad Impossibile. Aristotle, accordingly, claims authority for the Second and Third figures only so far as they can be reduced to the First.34 We must, however, observe that in this process of reduction no new evidence is taken in; the matter of evidence remains unchanged, and the form alone is altered, according to laws of logical conversion which Aristotle has already laid down and justified. Another ground of the superiority and perfection which he claims for the First figure, is, that it is the only one in which every variety of conclusion can be proved; and especially the only one in which the Universal Affirmative can be proved — the great aim of scientific research. Whereas, in the Second figure we can prove only negative conclusions, universal or particular; and in the Third figure only particular conclusions, affirmative or negative.35

33 Ibid. I. xli. p. 49, b. 37: ὅλως γὰρ ὃ μή ἐστιν ὡς ὅλον πρὸς μέρος καὶ ἄλλο πρὸς τοῦτο ὡς μέρος πρὸς ὅλον, ἐξ οὐδενὸς τῶν τοιούτων δείκνυσιν ὁ δεικνύων, ὥστε οὐδὲ γίνεται συλλογισμός.

He had before said this about the relation of the three terms in the Syllogism, I. iv. p. 25, b. 32: ὅταν ὅροι τρεῖς οὕτως ἔχωσι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὥστε τὸν ἔσχατον ἐν ὅλῳ εἶναι τῷ μέσῳ καὶ τὸν μέσον ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ πρώτῳ ἢ εἶναι ἢ μὴ εἶναι, ἀνάγκη τῶν ἄκρων εἶναι συλλογισμὸν τέλειον (Dictum de Omni et Nullo).

34 Analyt. Prior. I. vii. p. 29, a. 30-b. 25.

35 Ibid. I. iv. p. 26, b. 30, p. 27, a. 1, p. 28, a. 9, p. 29, a. 15. An admissible syllogism in the Second or Third figure is sometimes called δυνατὸς as opposed to τέλειος, p. 41, b. 33. Compare Kampe, Die Erkenntniss-Theorie des Aristoteles, p. 245, Leipzig, 1870.

Such are the main principles of syllogistic inference and rules for syllogistic reasoning, as laid down by Aristotle. During the mediæval period, they were allowed to ramify into endless subtle technicalities, and to absorb the attention of teachers and studious men, long after the time when other useful branches of science and literature were pressing for attention. Through such prolonged monopoly — which Aristotle, among the most encyclopedical of all writers, never thought of claiming for them — they have become so discredited, that it is difficult to call back attention to them as they stood in the Aristotelian age. We have to remind the reader, again, that though language was then used with great ability for rhetorical and dialectical purposes, there existed as yet hardly any systematic or scientific study of it in either of these branches. The scheme and the terminology of any such science were alike unknown, and Aristotle was obliged to construct it himself from the foundation. The rhetorical and dialectical teaching as then given (he tells us) was mere unscientific routine, prescribing specimens of art to be committed to memory: respecting syllogism (or the conditions of legitimate deductive inference) absolutely nothing had been said.36 Under these circumstances,154 his theory of names, notions, and propositions as employed for purposes of exposition and ratiocination, is a remarkable example of original inventive power. He had to work it out by patient and laborious research. No way was open to him except the diligent comparison and analysis of propositions. And though all students have now become familiar with the various classes of terms and propositions, together with their principal characteristics and relations, yet to frame and designate such classes for the first time without any precedent to follow, to determine for each the rules and conditions of logical convertibility, to put together the constituents of the Syllogism, with its graduation of Figures and difference of Modes, and with a selection, justified by reasons given, between the valid and the invalid modes — all this implies a high order of original systematizing genius, and must have required the most laborious and multiplied comparisons between propositions in detail.

36 Aristot. Sophist. Elench. p. 184, a. 1, b. 2: διόπερ ταχεῖα μὲν ἄτεχνος δ’ ἦν ἡ διδασκαλία τοῖς μανθάνουσι παρ’ αὐτῶν· οὐ γὰρ τέχνην ἀλλὰ τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς τέχνης διδόντες παιδεύειν ὑπελάμβανον … περὶ δὲ τοῦ συλλογίζεσθαι παντελῶς οὐδὲν εἴχομεν πρότερον ἄλλο λέγειν, ἀλλ’ ἢ τριβῇ ζητοῦντες πολὺν χρόνον ἐπονοῦμεν.

The preceding abridgment of Aristotle’s exposition of the Syllogism applies only to propositions simply affirmative or simply negative. But Aristotle himself, as already remarked, complicates the exposition by putting the Modal propositions (Possible, Necessary) upon the same line as the above-mentioned Simple propositions. I have noticed, in dealing with the treatise De Interpretatione, the confusion that has arisen from thus elevating the Modals into a line of classification co-ordinate with propositions simply Assertory. In the Analytica, this confusion is still more sensibly felt, from the introduction of syllogisms in which one of the premisses is necessary, while the other is only possible. We may remark, however, that, in the Analytica, Aristotle is stricter in defining the Possible than he has been in the De Interpretatione; for he now disjoins the Possible altogether from the Necessary, making it equivalent to the Problematical (not merely may be, but may be or may not be).37 In the middle, too, of his diffuse exposition of the Modals, he inserts one important remark, respecting universal propositions generally,155 which belongs quite as much to the preceding exposition about propositions simply assertory. He observes that universal propositions have nothing to do with time, present, past, or future; but are to be understood in a sense absolute and unqualified.38

37 Analyt. Prior. I. viii. p. 29, a. 32; xiii. p. 32, a. 20-36: τὸ γὰρ ἀναγκαῖον ὁμωνύμως ἐνδέχεσθαι λέγομεν. In xiv. p. 33, b. 22, he excludes this equivocal meaning of τὸ ἐνδεχόμενον — δεῖ δὲ τὸ ἐνδέχεσθα λαμβάνειν μὴ ἐν τοῖς ἀναγκαίοις, ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸν εἰρημένον διορισμόν. See xiii. p. 32, a. 33, where τὸ ἐνδέχεσθαι ὑπάρχειν is asserted to be equivalent to or convertible with τὸ ἐνδέχεσθαι μὴ ὑπάρχειν; and xix. p. 38, a. 35: τὸ ἐξ ἀνάγκης οὐκ ἦν ἐνδεχόμενον. Theophrastus and Eudemus differed from Aristotle about his theory of the Modals in several points (Scholia ad Analyt. Priora, pp. 161, b. 30; 162, b. 23; 166, a. 12, b. 15, Brand.). Respecting the want of clearness in Aristotle about τὸ ἐνδεχόμενον, see Waitz’s note ad p. 32, b. 16. Moreover, he sometimes uses ὑπάρχον in the widest sense, including ἐνδεχόμενον and ἀναγκαῖον, xxiii. p. 40, b. 24.

38 Analyt. Prior. I. xv. p. 34, b. 7.

Having finished with the Modals, Aristotle proceeds to lay it down, that all demonstration must fall under one or other of the three figures just described; and therefore that all may be reduced ultimately to the two first modes of the First figure. You cannot proceed a step with two terms only and one proposition only. You must have two propositions including three terms; the middle term occupying the place assigned to it in one or other of the three figures.39 This is obviously true when you demonstrate by direct or ostensive syllogism; and it is no less true when you proceed by Reductio ad Impossibile. This last is one mode of syllogizing from an hypothesis or assumption:40 your conclusion being disputed, you prove it indirectly, by assuming its contradictory to be true, and constructing a new syllogism by means of that contradictory together with a second premiss admitted to be true; the conclusion of this new syllogism being a proposition obviously false or known beforehand to be false. Your demonstration must be conducted by a regular syllogism, as it is when you proceed directly and ostensively. The difference is, that the conclusion which you obtain is not that which you wish ultimately to arrive at, but something notoriously false. But as this false conclusion arises from your assumption or hypothesis that the contradictory of the conclusion originally disputed was true, you have indirectly made out your case that this contradictory must have been false, and therefore that the conclusion originally disputed was true. All this, however, has been demonstration by regular syllogism, but starting from an hypothesis assumed and admitted as one of the premisses.41

39 Ibid. xxiii. p. 40, b. 20, p. 41, a. 4-20.

40 Ibid. p. 40, b. 25: ἔτι ἢ δεικτικῶς ἢ ἐξ ὑποθέσεως· τοῦ δ’ ἐξ ὑποθέσεως μέρος τὸ διὰ τοῦ ἀδυνάτου.

41 Ibid. p. 41, b. 23: πάντες γὰρ οἱ διὰ τοῦ ἀδυνάτου περαίνοντες τὸ μὲν ψεῦδος συλλογίζονται, τὸ δ’ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἐξ ὑποθέσεως δεικνύουσιν, ὅταν ἀδύνατόν τι συμβαίνῃ τῆς ἀντιφάσεως τεθείσης.

It deserves to be remarked that Aristotle uses the phrase συλλογισμὸς ἐξ ὑποθέσεως, not συλλογισμὸς ὑποθετικός. This bears upon the question as to his views upon what subsequently received the title of hypothetical syllogisms; a subject to which I shall advert in a future note.

Aristotle here again enforces what he had before urged — that in every valid syllogism, one premiss at least must be affirmative, and one premiss at least must be universal. If the conclusion be universal, both premisses must be so likewise; 156if it be particular, one of the premisses may not be universal. But without one universal premiss at least, there can be no syllogistic proof. If you have a thesis to support, you cannot assume (or ask to be conceded to you) that very thesis, without committing petitio principii, (i.e. quæsiti or probandi); you must assume (or ask to have conceded to you) some universal proposition containing it and more besides; under which universal you may bring the subject of your thesis as a minor, and thus the premisses necessary for supporting it will be completed. Aristotle illustrates this by giving a demonstration that the angles at the base of an isosceles triangle are equal; justifying every step in the reasoning by an appeal to some universal proposition.42

42 Analyt. Prior. I. xxiv. p. 41, b. 6-31. The demonstration given (b. 13-22) is different from that which we read in Euclid, and is not easy to follow. It is more clearly explained by Waitz (p. 434) than either by Julius Pacius or by M. Barth. St. Hilaire (p. 108).

Again, every demonstration is effected by two propositions (an even number) and by three terms (an odd number); though the same proposition may perhaps be demonstrable by more than one pair of premisses, or through more than one middle term;43 that is, by two or more distinct syllogisms. If there be more than three terms and two propositions, either the syllogism will no longer be one but several; or there must be particulars introduced for the purpose of obtaining an universal by induction; or something will be included, superfluous and not essential to the demonstration, perhaps for the purpose of concealing from the respondent the real inference meant.44 In the case (afterwards called Sorites) where the ultimate conclusion is obtained through several mean terms in continuous series, the number of terms will always exceed by one the number of propositions; but the numbers may be odd or even, according to circumstances. As terms are added, the total of intermediate conclusions, if drawn out in form, will come to be far greater than that of the terms or propositions, multiplying as it will do in an increasing ratio to them.45

43 Ibid. I. xxv. p. 41, b. 36, seq.

44 Ibid. xxv. p. 42, a. 23: μάτην ἔσται εἰλημμένα, εἰ μὴ ἐπαγωγῆς ἢ κρύψεως ἤ τινος ἄλλου τῶν τοιούτων χάριν. Ib. a. 38: οὗτος ὁ λόγος ἢ οὐ συλλελόγισται ἢ πλείω τῶν ἀναγκαίων ἠρώτηκε πρὸς τὴν θέσιν.

45 Ibid. p. 42, b. 5-26.

It will be seen clearly from the foregoing remarks that there is a great difference between one thesis and another as to facility of attack or defence in Dialectic. If the thesis be an Universal Affirmative proposition, it can be demonstrated only in the First figure, and only by one combination of premisses; while, on the 157other hand, it can be impugned either by an universal negative, which can be demonstrated both in the First and Second figures, or by a particular negative, which can be demonstrated in all the three figures. Hence an Universal Affirmative thesis is at once the hardest to defend and the easiest to oppugn: more so than either a Particular Affirmative, which can be proved both in the First and Third figures; or a Universal Negative, which can be proved either in First or Second.46 To the opponent, an universal thesis affords an easier victory than a particular thesis; in fact, speaking generally, his task is easier than that of the defendant.

46 Analyt. Prior. I. xxvi. p. 42, b. 27, p. 43, a. 15.

In the Analytica Priora, Aristotle proceeds to tell us that he contemplates not only theory, but also practice and art. The reader must be taught, not merely to understand the principles of Syllogism, but likewise where he can find the matter for constructing syllogisms readily, and how he can obtain the principles of demonstration pertinent to each thesis propounded.47

47 Ibid. I. xxvii. p. 43, a. 20: πῶς δ’ εὐπορήσομεν αὐτοὶ πρὸς τὸ τιθέμενον ἀεὶ συλλογισμῶν, καὶ διὰ ποίας ὁδοῦ ληψόμεθα τὰς περὶ ἕκαστον ἀρχάς, νῦν ἤδη λεκτέον· οὐ γὰρ μόνον ἴσως δεῖ τὴν γένεσιν θεωρεῖν τῶν συλλογισμῶν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν δύναμιν ἔχειν τοῦ ποιεῖν. The second section of Book I. here begins.

A thesis being propounded in appropriate terms, with subject and predicate, how are you the propounder to seek out arguments for its defence? In the first place, Aristotle reverts to the distinction already laid down at the beginning of the Categoriæ.48 Individual things or persons are subjects only, never appearing as predicates — this is the lowest extremity of the logical scale: at the opposite extremity of the scale, there are the highest generalities, predicates only, and not subjects of any predication, though sometimes supposed to be such, as matters of dialectic discussion.49 Between the lowest and highest we have intermediate or graduate generalities, appearing sometimes as subjects, sometimes as predicates; and it is among these that the materials both of problems for debate, and of premisses for proof, are usually found.50

48 Ibid. I. xxvii. p. 43, a. 25, seq.

49 Ibid. p. 43, a. 39: πλὴν εἰ μὴ κατὰ δόξαν. Cf. Schol. of Alexander, p. 175, a. 44, Br.: ἐνδόξως καὶ διαλεκτικῶς, ὥσπερ εἶπεν ἐν τοῖς Τοπικοῖς, that even the principia of science may be debated; for example, in book B. of the Metaphysica. Aristotle does not recognize either τὸ ὄν or τὸ ἕν as true genera, but only as predicates.

50 Ibid. a. 40-43.

You must begin by putting down, along with the matter in hand itself, its definition and its propria; after that, its other predicates; next, those predicates which cannot belong to it; 158lastly, those other subjects, of which it may itself be predicated. You must classify its various predicates distinguishing the essential, the propria, and the accidental; also distinguishing the true and unquestionable, from the problematical and hypothetical.51 You must look out for those predicates which belong to it as subject universally, and not to certain portions of it only; since universal propositions are indispensable in syllogistic proof, and indefinite propositions can only be reckoned as particular. When a subject is included in some larger genus — as, for example, man in animal — you must not look for the affirmative or negative predicates which belong to animal universally (since all these will of course belong to man also) but for those which distinguish man from other animals; nor must you, in searching for those lower subjects of which man is the predicate, fix your attention on the higher genus animal; for animal will of course be predicable of all those of which man is predicable. You must collect what pertains to man specially, either as predicate or subject; nor merely that which pertains to him necessarily and universally, but also usually and in the majority of cases; for most of the problems debated belong to this latter class, and the worth of the conclusion will be co-ordinate with that of the premisses.52 Do not select predicates that are predicable53 both of the predicate and subject; for no valid affirmative conclusion can be obtained from them.

51 Analyt. Prior. I. xxvii. p. 43, b. 8: καὶ τούτων ποῖα δοξαστικῶς καὶ ποῖα κατ’ ἀλήθειαν.

52 Ibid. I. xxvii. p. 43, b. 10-35.

53 Ibid. b. 36: ἔτι τὰ πᾶσιν ἑπόμενα οὐκ ἐκλεκτέον· οὐ γὰρ ἔσται συλλογισμὸς ἐξ αὐτῶν. The phrase τὰ πᾶσιν ἑπόμενα, as denoting predicates applicable both to the predicate and to the subject, is curious. We should hardly understand it, if it were not explained a little further on, p. 44, b. 21. Both the Scholiast and the modern commentators understand τὰ πᾶσιν ἑπόμενα in this sense; and I do not venture to depart from them. At the same time, when I read six lines afterwards (p. 44, b. 26) the words οἷον εἰ τὰ ἑπόμενα ἑκατέρῳ ταὐτά ἐστιν — in which the same meaning as that which the commentators ascribe to τὰ πᾶσιν ἑπόμενα is given in its own special and appropriate terms, and thus the same supposition unnecessarily repeated — I cannot help suspecting that Aristotle intends τὰ πᾶσιν ἑπόμενα to mean something different; to mean such wide and universal predicates as τὸ ἓν and τὸ ὄν which soar above the Categories and apply to every thing, but denote no real genera.

Thus, when the thesis to be maintained is an universal affirmative (e.g. A is predicable of all E), you will survey all the subjects to which A will apply as predicate, and all the predicates applying to E as subject. If these two lists coincide in any point, a middle term will be found for the construction of a good syllogism in the First figure. Let B represent the list of predicates belonging universally to A; D, the list of predicates which cannot belong to it; C, the list of subjects to which A pertains universally as predicate. Likewise, let F represent the 159list of predicates belonging universally to E; H, the list of predicates that cannot belong to E; G, the list of subjects to which E is applicable as predicate. If, under these suppositions, there is any coincidence between the list C and the list F, you can construct a syllogism (in Barbara, Fig. 1), demonstrating that A belongs to all E; since the predicate in F belongs to all E, and A universally to the subject in C. If the list C coincides in any point with the list G, you can prove that A belongs to some E, by a syllogism (in Darapti, Fig. 3). If, on the other hand, the list F coincides in any point with the list D, you can prove that A cannot belong to any E: for the predicate in D cannot belong to any A, and therefore (by converting simply the universal negative) A cannot belong as predicate to any D; but D coincides with F, and F belongs to all E; accordingly, a syllogism (in Celarent, Fig. 1) may be constructed, shewing that A cannot belong to any E. So also, if B coincides in any point with H, the same conclusion can be proved; for the predicate in B belongs to all A, but B coincides with H, which belongs to no E; whence you obtain a syllogism (in Camestres, Fig. 2), shewing that no A belongs to E.54 In collecting the predicates and subjects both of A and of E, the highest and most universal expression of them is to be preferred, as affording the largest grasp for the purpose of obtaining a suitable middle term.55 It will be seen (as has been declared already) that every syllogism obtained will have three terms and two propositions; and that it will be in one or other of the three figures above described.56

54 Analyt. Prior. I. xxviii. p. 43, b. 39-p. 44, a. 35.

55 Ibid. p. 44, a. 39. Alexander and Philoponus (Scholia, p. 177, a. 19, 39, Brandis) point out an inconsistency between what Aristotle says here and what he had said in one of the preceding paragraphs, dissuading the inquirer from attending to the highest generalities, and recommending him to look only at both subject and predicate in their special place on the logical scale. Alexander’s way of removing the inconsistency is not successful: I doubt if there be an inconsistency. I understand Aristotle here to mean only that the universal expression KZ (τὸ καθόλου Ζ) is to be preferred to the indefinite or indeterminate (simply Z, ἀδιόριστον), also KΓ (τὸ καθόλου Γ) to simple Γ (ἀδιόριστον). This appears to me not inconsistent with the recommendation which Aristotle had given before.

56 Ibid. p. 44, b. 6-20.

The way just pointed out is the only way towards obtaining a suitable middle term. If, for example, you find some predicate applicable both to A and E, this will not conduct you to a valid syllogism; you will only obtain a syllogism in the Second figure with two affirmative premisses, which will not warrant any conclusion. Or if you find some predicate which cannot belong either to A or to E, this again will only give you a syllogism in 160the Second figure with two negative premisses, which leads to nothing. So also, if you have a term of which A can be predicated, but which cannot be predicated of E, you derive from it only a syllogism in the First figure, with its minor negative; and this, too, is invalid. Lastly, if you have a subject, of which neither A nor E can be predicated, your syllogism constructed from these conditions will have both its premisses negative, and will therefore be worthless.57

57 Analyt. Prior. I. xxviii. p. 44, b. 25-37.

In the survey prescribed, nothing is gained by looking out for predicates (of A and E) which are different or opposite: we must collect such as are identical, since our purpose is to obtain from them a suitable middle term, which must be the same in both premisses. It is true that if the list B (containing the predicates universally belonging to A) and the list F (containing the predicates universally belonging to E) are incompatible or contrary to each other, you will arrive at a syllogism proving that no A can belong to E. But this syllogism will proceed, not so much from the fact that B and F are incompatible, as from the other fact, distinct though correlative, that B will to a certain extent coincide with H (the list of predicates which cannot belong to E). The middle term and the syllogism constituted thereby, is derived from the coincidence between B and H, not from the opposition between B and F. Those who derive it from the latter, overlook or disregard the real source, and adopt a point of view merely incidental and irrelevant.58

58 Ibid. p. 44, b. 38-p. 45, a. 22. συμβαίνει δὴ τοῖς οὕτως ἐπισκοποῦσι προσεπιβλέπειν ἄλλην ὁδὸν τῆς ἀναγκαίας, διὰ τὸ λανθάνειν τὴν ταὐτότητα τῶν Β καὶ τῶν Θ.

The precept here delivered — That in order to obtain middle terms and good syllogisms, you must study and collect both the predicates and the subjects of the two terms of your thesis — Aristotle declares to be equally applicable to all demonstration, whether direct or by way of Reductio ad Impossibile. In both the process of demonstration is the same — involving two premisses, three terms, and one of the three a suitable middle term. The only difference is, that in the direct demonstration, both premisses are propounded as true, while in the Reductio ad Impossibile, one of the premisses is assumed as true though known to be false, and the conclusion also.59 In the other cases of hypothetical syllogism your attention must be directed, not to the original quæsitum, but to the condition annexed thereto; yet the search for predicates, subjects, and a middle term, must be conducted in the same manner.60 Sometimes, by the help 161of a condition extraneous to the premisses, you may demonstrate an universal from a particular: e.g., Suppose C (the list of subjects to which A belongs as predicate) and G (the list of subjects to which E belongs as predicate) to be identical; and suppose farther that the subjects in G are the only ones to which E belongs as predicate (this seems to be the extraneous or extra-syllogistic condition assumed, on which Aristotle’s argument turns); then, A will be applicable to all E. Or if D (the list of predicates which cannot belong to A) and G (the list of subjects to which E belongs as predicate) are identical; then, assuming the like extraneous condition, A will not be applicable to any E.61 In both these cases, the conclusion is more universal than the premisses; but it is because we take in an hypothetical assumption, in addition to the premisses.

59 Ibid. I. xxix. p. 45, a. 25-b. 15.

60 Ibid. I. xxix. p. 45, b. 15-20. This paragraph is very obscure. Neither Alexander, nor Waitz, nor St. Hilaire clears it up completely. See Schol. pp. 178, b., 179, a. Brandis.

Aristotle concludes by saying that syllogisms from an hypothesis ought to be reviewed and classified into varieties — ἐπισκέψασθαι δὲ δεῖ καὶ διελεῖν ποσαχῶς οἱ ἐξ ὑποθέσεως (b. 20). But it is doubtful whether he himself ever executed this classification. It was done in the Analytica of his successor Theophrastus (Schol. p. 179, a. 6, 24). Compare the note of M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, p. 140.

61 Analyt. Prior. I. xxix. p. 45, b. 21-30.

Aristotle has now shown a method of procedure common to all investigations and proper for the solution of all problems, wherever soluble. He has shown, first, all the conditions and varieties of probative Syllogism, two premisses and three terms, with the place required for the middle term in each of the three figures; next, the quarter in which we are to look for all the materials necessary or suitable for constructing valid syllogisms. Having the two terms of the thesis given, we must study the predicates and subjects belonging to both, and must provide a large list of them; out of which list we must make selection according to the purpose of the moment. Our selection will be different, according as we wish to prove or to refute, and according as the conclusion that we wish to prove is an universal or a particular. The lesson here given will be most useful in teaching the reasoner to confine his attention to the sort of materials really promising, so that he may avoid wasting his time upon such as are irrelevant.62

62 Ibid. b. 36-xxx. p. 46, a. 10.

This method of procedure is alike applicable to demonstration in Philosophy or in any of the special sciences,63 and to debate 162in Dialectic. In both, the premisses or principia of syllogisms must be put together in the same manner, in order to make the syllogism valid. In both, too, the range of topics falling under examination is large and varied; each topic will have its own separate premisses or principia, which must be searched out and selected in the way above described. Experience alone can furnish these principia, in each separate branch or department. Astronomical experience — the observed facts and phenomena of astronomy — have furnished the data for the scientific and demonstrative treatment of astronomy. The like with every other branch of science or art.64 When the facts in each branch are brought together, it will be the province of the logician or analytical philosopher to set out the demonstrations in a manner clear and fit for use. For if nothing in the way of true matter of fact has been omitted from our observation, we shall be able to discover and unfold the demonstration, on every point where demonstration is possible; and, wherever it is not possible, to make the impossibility manifest.65

63 Ibid. p. 46, a. 8: κατὰ μὲν ἀλήθειαν ἐκ τῶν κατ’ ἀλήθειαν διαγεγραμμένων ὑπάρχειν, εἰς δὲ τοὺς διαλεκτικοὺς συλλογισμοὺς ἐκ τῶν κατὰ δόξαν προτάσεων.

Julius Pacius (p. 257) remarks upon the word διαγεγραμμένων as indicating that Aristotle, while alluding to special sciences distinguishable from philosophy on one side, and from dialectic on the other, had in view geometrical demonstrations.

64 Analyt. Prior. I. xxx. p. 46, a. 10-20: αἱ δ’ ἀρχαὶ τῶν συλλογισμῶν καθόλου μὲν εἴρηνται — ἴδιαι δὲ καθ’ ἑκάστην αἱ πλεῖσται. διὸ τὰς μὲν ἀρχὰς τὰς περὶ ἕκαστον ἐμπειρίας ἔστι παραδοῦναι. λέγω δ’ οἷον τὴν ἀστρολογικὴν μὲν ἐμπειρίαν τῆς ἀστρολογικῆς ἐπιστήμης· ληφθέντων γὰρ ἱκανῶς τῶν φαινομένων οὕτως εὑρέθησαν αἱ ἀστρολογικαὶ ἀποδείξεις. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ περὶ ἄλλην ὁποιανοῦν ἔχει τέχνην τε καὶ ἐπιστήμην.

What Aristotle says here — of astronomical observation and experience as furnishing the basis for astronomical science — stands in marked contrast with Plato, who rejects this basis, and puts aside, with a sort of contempt, astronomical observation (Republic, vii. pp. 530-531); treating acoustics also in a similar way. Compare Aristot. Metaphys. Λ. p. 1073, a. 6, seq., with the commentary of Bonitz, p. 506.

65 Analyt. Prior. I. xxx. p. 46, a. 22-27: ὥστε ἂν ληφθῇ τὰ ὑπάρχοντα περὶ ἕκαστον, ἡμέτερον ἤδη τὰς ἀποδείξεις ἑτοίμως ἐμφανίζειν. εἰ γὰρ μηδὲν κατὰ τὴν ἱστορίαν παραλειφθείη τῶν ἀληθῶς ὑπαρχόντων τοῖς πράγμασιν, ἕξομεν περὶ ἅπαντος οὗ μὲν ἔστιν ἀπόδειξις, ταύτην εὑρεῖν καὶ ἀποδεικνύναι, οὗ δὲ μὴ πέφυκεν ἀπόδειξις, τοῦτο ποιεῖν φανερόν.

Respecting the word ἱστορία — investigation and record of matters of fact — the first sentence of Herodotus may be compared with Aristotle, Histor. Animal. p. 491, a. 12; also p. 757, b. 35; Rhetoric. p. 1359, b. 32.

For the fuller development of these important principles, the reader is referred to the treatise on Dialectic, entitled Topica, which we shall come to in a future chapter. There is nothing in all Aristotle’s writings more remarkable than the testimony here afforded, how completely he considered all the generalities of demonstrative science and deductive reasoning to rest altogether on experience and inductive observation.

We are next introduced to a comparison between the syllogistic method, as above described and systematized, and the process called logical Division into genera and species; a process much relied upon by other philosophers, and especially by Plato. This logical Division, according to Aristotle, is a 163mere fragment of the syllogistic procedure; nothing better than a feeble syllogism.66 Those who employed it were ignorant both of Syllogism and of its conditions. They tried to demonstrate — what never can be demonstrated — the essential constitution of the subject.67 Instead of selecting a middle term, as the Syllogism requires, more universal than the subject but less universal (or not more so) than the predicate, they inverted the proper order, and took for their middle term the highest universal. What really requires to be demonstrated, they never demonstrated but assume.68

66 Analyt. Prior. I. xxxi. p. 46, a. 33. Alexander, in Scholia, p. 180, a. 14. The Platonic method of διαίρεσις is exemplified in the dialogues called Sophistês and Politicus; compare also Philêbus, c. v., p. 15.

67 Ibid. p. 46, a. 34: πρῶτον δ’ αὐτὸ τοῦτο ἐλελήθει τοὺς χρωμένους αὐτῇ πάντας, καὶ πείθειν ἐπεχείρουν ὡς ὄντος δυνατοῦ περὶ οὐσίας ἀπόδειξιν γίνεσθαι καὶ τοῦ τί ἐστιν.

68 Ibid. p. 46, b. 1-12.

Thus, they take the subject man, and propose to prove that man is mortal. They begin by laying down that man is an animal, and that every animal is either mortal or immortal. Here, the most universal term, animal, is selected as middle or as medium of proof; while after all, the conclusion demonstrated is, not that man is mortal, but that man is either mortal or immortal. The position that man is mortal, is assumed but not proved.69 Moreover, by this method of logical division, all the steps are affirmative and none negative; there cannot be any refutation of error. Nor can any proof be given thus respecting genus, or proprium, or accidens; the genus is assumed, and the method proceeds from thence to species and differentia. No doubtful matter can be settled, and no unknown point elucidated by this method; nothing can be done except to arrange in a certain order what is already ascertained and unquestionable. To many investigations, accordingly, the method is altogether inapplicable; while even where it is applicable, it leads to no useful conclusion.70

69 Ibid. p. 46, b. 1-12.

70 Ibid. b. 26-37. Alexander in Schol. p. 180, b. 1.

We now come to that which Aristotle indicates as the third section of this First Book of the Analytica Priora. In the first section he explained the construction and constituents of Syllogism, the varieties of figure and mode, and the conditions indispensable to a valid conclusion. In the second section he tells us where we are to look for the premisses of syllogisms, and how we may obtain a stock of materials, apt and ready for use when required. There remains one more task to complete his plan — that he should teach the manner of reducing argumentation as it actually occurs (often invalid, and even when 164valid, often elliptical and disorderly), to the figures of syllogism as above set forth, for the purpose of testing its validity.71 In performing this third part (Aristotle says) we shall at the same time confirm and illustrate the two preceding parts; for truth ought in every way to be consistent with itself.72

71 Analyt. Prior. I. xxxii. p. 47, a. 2: λοιπὸν γὰρ ἔτι τοῦτο τῆς σκέψεως· εἰ γὰρ τήν τε γένεσιν τῶν συλλογισμῶν θεωροῖμεν καὶ τοῦ εὑρίσκειν ἔχοιμεν δύναμιν, ἔτι δὲ τοὺς γεγενημένους ἀναλύοιμεν εἰς τὰ προειρημένα σχήματα, τέλος ἂν ἔχοι ἡ ἐξ ἀρχῆς πρόθεσις.

72 Ibid. a. 8.

When a piece of reasoning is before us, we must first try to disengage the two syllogistic premisses (which are more easily disengaged than the three terms), and note which of them is universal or particular. The reasoner, however, may not have set out both of them clearly: sometimes he will leave out the major, sometimes the minor, and sometimes, even when enunciating both of them, he will join with them irrelevant matter. In either of these cases we must ourselves supply what is wanting and strike out the irrelevant. Without this aid, reduction to regular syllogism is impracticable; but it is not always easy to see what the exact deficiency is. Sometimes indeed the conclusion may follow necessarily from what is implied in the premisses, while yet the premisses themselves do not form a correct syllogism; for though every such syllogism carries with it necessity, there may be necessity without a syllogism. In the process of reduction, we must first disengage and set down the two premisses, then the three terms; out of which three, that one which appears twice will be the middle term. If we do not find one term twice repeated, we have got no middle and no real syllogism. Whether the syllogism when obtained will be in the first, second, or third figure, will depend upon the place of the middle term in the two premisses. We know by the nature of the conclusion which of the three figures to look for, since we have already seen what conclusions can be demonstrated in each.73

73 Ibid. a. 10-b. 14.

Sometimes we may get premisses which look like those of a true syllogism, but are not so in reality; the major proposition ought to be an universal, but it may happen to be only indefinite, and the syllogism will not in all cases be valid; yet the distinction between the two often passes unnoticed.74 Another source 165of fallacy is, that we may set out the terms incorrectly; by putting (in modern phrase) the abstract instead of the concrete, or abstract in one premiss and concrete in the other.75 To guard against this, we ought to use the concrete term in preference to the abstract. For example, let the major proposition be, Health cannot belong to any disease; and the minor. Disease can belong to any man; Ergo, Health cannot belong to any man. This conclusion seems valid, but is not really so. We ought to substitute concrete terms to this effect:— It is impossible that the sick can be well; Any man may be sick; Ergo, It is impossible that any man can be well. To the syllogism, now, as stated in these concrete terms, we may object, that the major is not true. A person who is at the present moment sick may at a future time become well. There is therefore no valid syllogism.76 When we take the concrete man, we may say with truth that the two contraries, health-sickness, knowledge-ignorance, may both alike belong to him; though not to the same individual at the same time.

74 Ibid. I. xxxiii. p. 47, b. 16-40: αὕτη μὲν οὖν ἡ ἀπάτη γίνεται ἐν τῷ παρὰ μικρόν· ὠς γὰρ οὐδὲν διαφέρον εἰπεῖν τόδε τῷδε ὑπάρχειν, ἢ τόδε τῷδε παντὶ ὑπάρχειν, συγχωροῦμεν.

M. B. St. Hilaire observes in his note (p. 155): “L’erreur vient uniquement de ce qu’on confond l’universel et l’indeterminé séparés par une nuance très faible d’expression, qu’on ne doit pas cependant negliger.” Julius Pacius (p. 264) gives the same explanation at greater length; but the example chosen by Aristotle (ὁ Ἀριστομένης ἐστὶ διανοητὸς Ἀριστομένης) appears open to other objections besides.

75 Analyt. Prior. I. xxxiv. p. 48, a. 1-28.

76 Ibid. a. 2-23. See the Scholion of Alexander, p. 181, b. 16-27, Brandis.

Again, we must not suppose that we can always find one distinct and separate name belonging to each term. Sometimes one or all of the three terms can only be expressed by an entire phrase or proposition. In such cases it is very difficult to reduce the reasoning into regular syllogism. We may even be deceived into fancying that there are syllogisms without any middle term at all, because there is no single word to express it. For example, let A represent equal to two right angles; B, triangle; C, isosceles. Then we have a regular syllogism, with an explicit and single-worded middle term; A belongs first to B, and then to C through B as middle term (triangle). But how do we know that A belongs to B? We know it by demonstration; for it is a demonstrable truth that every triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles. Yet there is no other more general truth about triangles from which it is a deduction; it belongs to the triangle per se, and follows from the fundamental properties of the figure.77 There is, however, a middle term in the demonstration, though it is not single-worded and explicit; it is a declaratory proposition or a fact. We must not suppose that there can be any demonstration without a middle term, either single-worded or many-worded.

77 Ibid. I. xxxv. p. 48, a. 30-39: φανερὸν ὅτι τὸ μέσον οὐχ οὕτως ἀεὶ ληπτέον ὡς τόδε τι, ἀλλ’ ἐνίοτε λόγον, ὅπερ συμβαίνει κἀπὶ τοῦ λεχθέντος. A good Scholion of Philoponus is given, p. 181, b. 28-45, Brand.

166When we are reducing any reasoning to a syllogistic form, and tracing out the three terms of which it is composed, we must expose or set out these terms in the nominative case; but when we actually construct the syllogism or put the terms into propositions, we shall find that one or other of the oblique cases, genitive, dative, &c., is required.78 Moreover, when we say, ‘this belongs to that,’ or ‘this may be truly predicated of that,’ we must recollect that there are many distinct varieties in the relation of predicate to subject. Each of the Categories has its own distinct relation to the subject; predication secundum quid is distinguished from predication simpliciter, simple from combined or compound, &c. This applies to negatives as well as affirmatives.79 There will be a material difference in setting out the terms of the syllogism, according as the predication is qualified (secundum quid) or absolute (simpliciter). If it be qualified, the qualification attaches to the predicate, not to the subject: when the major proposition is a qualified predication, we must consider the qualification as belonging, not to the middle term, but to the major term, and as destined to re-appear in the conclusion. If the qualification be attached to the middle term, it cannot appear in the conclusion, and any conclusion that embraces it will not be proved. Suppose the conclusion to be proved is. The wholesome is knowledge quatenus bonum or quod bonum est; the three terms of the syllogism must stand thus:—

MajorBonum is knowable, quatenus bonum or quod bonum est.

Minor — The wholesome is bonum.

Ergo — The wholesome is knowable, quatenus bonum, &c.

For every syllogism in which the conclusion is qualified, the terms must be set out accordingly.80

78 Analyt. Prior. I. xxxvi. p. 48, a. 40-p. 49, a. 5. ἁπλῶς λέγομεν γὰρ τοῦτο κατὰ πάντων, ὅτι τοὺς μὲν ὅρους ἄει θετέον κατὰ τὰς κλήσεις τῶν ὀνομάτων — τὰς δὲ προτάσεις ληπτέον κατὰ τὰς ἑκάστου πτώσεις. Several examples are given of this precept.

79 Ibid. I. xxxvii. p. 49, a. 6-10. Alexander remarks in the Scholia (p. 183, a. 2) that the distinction between simple and compound predication has already been adverted to by Aristotle in De Interpretatione (see p. 20, b. 35); and that it was largely treated by Theophrastus in his work, Περὶ Καταφάσεως, not preserved.

80 Ibid. I. xxxviii. p. 49, a. 11-b. 2. φανερὸν οὖν ὅτι ἐν τοῖς ἐν μέρει συλλογισμοῖς οὕτω ληπτέον τοὺς ὅρους. Alexander explains οἱ ἐν μέρει συλλογισμοί (Schol. p. 183, b. 32, Br.) to be those in which the predicate has a qualifying adjunct tacked to it.

We are permitted, and it is often convenient, to exchange one phrase or term for another of equivalent signification, and also one word against any equivalent phrase. By doing this, we often facilitate the setting out of the terms. We must carefully 167note the different meanings of the same substantive noun, according as the definite article is or is not prefixed. We must not reckon it the same term, if it appears in one premiss with the definite article, and in the other without the definite article.81 Nor is it the same proposition to say B is predicable of C (indefinite), and B is predicable of all C (universal). In setting out the syllogism, it is not sufficient that the major premiss should be indefinite; the major premiss must be universal; and the minor premiss also, if the conclusion is to be universal. If the major premiss be universal, while the minor premiss is only affirmative indefinite, the conclusion cannot be universal, but will be no more than indefinite, that is, counting as particular.82

81 Analyt. Prior. I. xxxix.-xl. p. 49, b. 3-13. οὐ ταὐτὸν ἐστι τὸ εἶναι τὴν ἡδονὴν ἀγαθὸν καὶ τὸ εἶναι τὴν ἡδονὴν τὸ ἀγαθόν, &c.

82 Ibid. I. xli. p. 49, b. 14-32. The Scholion of Alexander (Schol. p. 184, a. 22-40) alludes to the peculiar mode, called by Theophrastus κατὰ πρόσληψιν, of stating the premisses of the syllogism: two terms only, the major and the middle, being enunciated, while the third or minor was included potentially, but not enunciated. Theophrastus, however, did not recognize the distinction of meaning to which Aristotle alludes in this chapter. He construed as an universal minor, what Aristotle treats as only an indefinite minor. The liability to mistake the Indefinite for an Universal is here again adverted to.

There is no fear of our being misled by setting out a particular case for the purpose of the general demonstration; for we never make reference to the specialties of the particular case, but deal with it as the geometer deals with the diagram that he draws. He calls the line A B, straight, a foot long, and without breadth, but he does not draw any conclusion from these assumptions. All that syllogistic demonstration either requires or employs, is, terms that are related to each other either as whole to part or as part to whole. Without this, no demonstration can be made: the exposition of the particular case is intended as an appeal to the senses, for facilitating the march of the student, but is not essential to demonstration.83

83 Ibid. I. xli. p. 50, a. 1: τῷ δ’ ἐκτίθεσθαι οὕτω χρώμεθα ὥσπερ καὶ τῷ αἰσθάνεσθαι τὸν μανθάνοντα λέγοντες· οὐ γὰρ οὕτως ὡς ἄνευ τούτων οὐχ οἷόν τ’ ἀποδειχθῆναι, ὥσπερ ἐξ ὧν ὁ συλλογισμός.

This chapter is a very remarkable statement of the Nominalistic doctrine; perceiving or conceiving all the real specialties of a particular case, but attending to, or reasoning upon, only a portion of them.

Plato treats it as a mark of the inferior scientific value of Geometry, as compared with true and pure Dialectic, that the geometer cannot demonstrate through Ideas and Universals alone, but is compelled to help himself by visible particular diagrams or illustrations. (Plato, Repub. vi. pp. 510-511, vii. p. 533, C.)

Aristotle reminds us once more of what he had before said, that in the Second and Third figures, not all varieties of conclusion are possible, but only some varieties; accordingly, when we are reducing a piece of reasoning to the syllogistic form, the nature of the conclusion will inform us which of the three 168figures we must look for. In the case where the question debated relates to a definition, and the reasoning which we are trying to reduce turns upon one part only of that definition, we must take care to look for our three terms only in regard to that particular part, and not in regard to the whole definition.84 All the modes of the Second and Third figures can be reduced to the First, by conversion of one or other of the premisses; except the fourth mode (Baroco) of the Second, and the fifth mode (Bocardo) of the Third, which can be proved only by Reductio ad Absurdum.85

84 Analyt. Prior. I. xlii., xliii. p. 50, a. 5-15. I follow here the explanation given by Philoponus and Julius Pacius, which M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire adopts. But the illustrative example given by Aristotle himself (the definition of water) does not convey much instruction.

85 Ibid. xlv. p. 50, b. 5-p. 51, b. 2.

No syllogisms from an Hypothesis, however, are reducible to any of the three figures; for they are not proved by syllogism alone: they require besides an extra-syllogistic assumption granted or understood between speaker and hearer. Suppose an hypothetical proposition given, with antecedent and consequent: you may perhaps prove or refute by syllogism either the antecedent separately, or the consequent separately, or both of them separately; but you cannot directly either prove or refute by syllogism the conjunction of the two asserted in the hypothetical. The speaker must ascertain beforehand that this will be granted to him; otherwise he cannot proceed.86 The same is true about the procedure by Reductio ad Absurdum, which involves an hypothesis over and above the syllogism. In employing such Reductio ad Absurdum, you prove syllogistically a certain conclusion from certain premisses; but the conclusion is manifestly false; therefore, one at least of the premisses from which it follows must be false also. But if this reasoning is to have force, the hearer must know aliunde that the conclusion is false; your syllogism has not shown it to be false, but has shown it to be hypothetically true; and unless the hearer is prepared to grant the conclusion to be false, your purpose is not attained. Sometimes he will grant it without being expressly asked, when the falsity is glaring: e.g. you prove that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with the side, because if it were taken as commensurable, an odd number might be shown to be equal to an even number. Few disputants will hesitate to grant that this conclusion is false, and therefore that its contradictory is true; yet this last (viz. that the contradictory is true) has not been proved syllogistically; you 169must assume it by hypothesis, or depend upon the hearer to grant it.87

86 Ibid. xliv. p. 50, a. 16-28.

87 Analyt. Prior. I. xliv. p. 50, a. 29-38. See above, xxiii. p. 40, a. 25.

M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire remarks in the note to his translation of the Analytica Priora (p. 178): “Ce chapitre suffit à prouver qu’Aristote a distingué très-nettement les syllogismes par l’absurde, des syllogismes hypothétiques. Cette dernière dénomination est tout à fait pour lui ce qu’elle est pour nous.” Of these two statements, I think the latter is more than we can venture to affirm, considering that the general survey of hypothetical syllogisms, which Aristotle intended to draw up, either never was really completed, or at least has perished: the former appears to me incorrect. Aristotle decidedly reckons the Reductio ad Impossibile among hypothetical proofs. But he understands by Reductio ad Impossibile something rather wider than what the moderns understand by it. It now means only, that you take the contradictory of the conclusion together with one of the premisses, and by means of these two demonstrate a conclusion contradictory or contrary to the other premiss. But Aristotle understood by it this, and something more besides, namely, whenever, by taking the contradictory of the conclusion, together with some other incontestable premiss, you demonstrate, by means of the two, some new conclusion notoriously false. What I here say, is illustrated by the very example which he gives in this chapter. The incommensurability of the diagonal (with the side of the square) is demonstrated by Reductio ad Impossibile; because if it be supposed commensurable, you may demonstrate that an odd number is equal to an even number; a conclusion which every one will declare to be inadmissible, but which is not the contradictory of either of the premisses whereby the true proposition was demonstrated.

Here Aristotle expressly reserves for separate treatment the general subject of Syllogisms from Hypothesis.88

88 The expressions of Aristotle here are remarkable, Analyt. Prior. I. xliv. p. 50, a. 39-b. 3: πολλοὶ δὲ καὶ ἕτεροι περαίνονται ἐξ ὑποθέσεως, οὓς ἐπισκέψασθαι δεῖ καὶ διασημῆναι καθαρῶς. τίνες μὲν οὖν αἱ διαφοραὶ τούτων, καὶ ποσαχῶς γίνεται τὸ ἐξ ὑποθέσεως, ὕστερον ἐροῦμεν· νῦν δὲ τοσοῦντον ἡμῖν ἔστω φανερόν, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἀναλύειν εἰς τὰ σχήματα τοὺς τοιούτους συλλογισμούς. καὶ δι’ ἣν αἰτίαν, εἰρήκαμεν.

Syllogisms from Hypothesis were many and various, and Aristotle intended to treat them in a future treatise; but all that concerns the present treatise, in his opinion, is, to show that none of them can be reduced to the three Figures. Among the Syllogisms from Hypothesis, two varieties recognized by Aristotle (besides οἰ διὰ τοῦ ἀδυνάτου) were οἱ κατὰ μετάληψιν and οἱ κατὰ ποιότητα. The same proposition which Aristotle entitles κατὰ μετάληψιν, was afterwards designated by the Stoics κατὰ πρόσληψιν (Alexander ap. Schol. p. 178, b. 6-24).

It seems that Aristotle never realized this intended future treatise on Hypothetical Syllogisms; at least Alexander did not know it. The subject was handled more at large by Theophrastus and Eudêmus after Aristotle (Schol. p. 184, b. 45. Br.; Boethius, De Syllog. Hypothetico, pp. 606-607); and was still farther expanded by Chrysippus and the Stoics.

Compare Prantl, Geschichte der Logik, I. pp. 295, 377, seq. He treats the Hypothetical Syllogism as having no logical value, and commends Aristotle for declining to develop or formulate it; while Ritter (Gesch. Phil. iii. p. 93), and, to a certain extent, Ueberweg (System der Logik, sect. 121, p. 326), consider this to be a defect in Aristotle.

In the last chapter of the first book of the Analytica Priora, Aristotle returns to the point which we have already considered in the treatise De Interpretatione, viz. what is really a negative proposition; and how the adverb of negation must be placed in order to constitute one. We must place this adverb immediately before the copula and in conjunction with the copula: we must not place it after the copula and in conjunction with the predicate; for, if we do so, the proposition resulting will not be negative but affirmative (ἐκ μεταθέσεως, by transposition, according170 to the technical term introduced afterwards by Theophrastus). Thus of the four propositions:

1. Est bonum. 2. Non est bonum.
4. Non est non bonum. 3. Est non bonum.

No. 1 is affirmative; No. 3 is affirmative (ἐκ μεταθέσεως); Nos. 2 and 4 are negative. Wherever No. 1 is predicable, No. 4 will be predicable also; wherever No. 3 is predicable, No. 2 will be predicable also — but in neither case vice versâ.89 Mistakes often flow from incorrectly setting out the two contradictories.

89 Analyt. Prior. I. xlvi. p. 51, b. 5, ad finem. See above, Chap. IV. p. 118, seq.








The Second Book of the Analytica Priora seems conceived with a view mainly to Dialectic and Sophistic, as the First Book bore more upon Demonstration.1 Aristotle begins the Second Book by shortly recapitulating what he had stated in the First; and then proceeds to touch upon some other properties of the Syllogism. Universal syllogisms (those in which the conclusion is universal) he says, have always more conclusions than one; particular syllogisms sometimes, but not always, have more conclusions than one. If the conclusion be universal, it may always be converted — simply, when it is negative, or per accidens, when it is affirmative; and its converse thus obtained will be proved by the same premisses. If the conclusion be particular, it will be convertible simply when affirmative, and its converse thus obtained will be proved by the same premisses; but it will not be convertible at all when negative, so that the conclusion proved will be only itself singly.2 Moreover, in the universal syllogisms of the First figure (Barbara, Celarent), any of the particulars comprehended under the minor term may be substituted in place of the minor term as subject of the conclusion, and the proof will hold good in regard to them. So, again, all or any of the particulars comprehended in the middle term may be introduced as subject of the conclusion in place of the minor term; and the conclusion will still remain true. In the Second figure, the change is admissible only in regard to those particulars comprehended under the subject of the conclusion or minor term, and not (at least upon the strength of the syllogism) in regard to those comprehended under the middle term. Finally, wherever the conclusion is particular, the change is admissible, though not by reason of the syllogism in regard to particulars comprehended under the middle term; 172it is not admissible as regards the minor term, which is itself particular.3

1 This is the remark of the ancient Scholiasts. See Schol. p. 188, a. 44, b. 11.

2 Analyt. Prior. II. i. p. 53, a. 3-14.

3 Analyt. Prior. II. i. p. 53, a. 14-35. M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, following Pacius, justly remarks (note, p. 203 of his translation) that the rule as to particulars breaks down in the cases of Baroco, Disamis, and Bocardo.

On the chapter in general he remarks (note, p. 204):— “Cette théorie des conclusions diverses, soit patentes soit cachées, d’un même syllogisme, est surtout utile en dialectique, dans la discussion; où il faut faire la plus grande attention à ce qu’on accorde à l’adversaire, soit explicitement, soit implicitement.” This illustrates the observation cited in the preceding note from the Scholiasts.

Aristotle has hitherto regarded the Syllogism with a view to its formal characteristics: he now makes an important observation which bears upon its matter. Formally speaking, the two premisses are always assumed to be true; but in any real case of syllogism (form and matter combined) it is possible that either one or both may be false. Now, Aristotle remarks that if both the premisses are true (the syllogism being correct in form), the conclusion must of necessity be true; but that if either or both the premisses are false, the conclusion need not necessarily be false likewise. The premisses being false, the conclusion may nevertheless be true; but it will not be true because of or by reason of the premisses.4

4 Analyt. Prior. II. ii. p. 53, b. 5-10: ἐξ ἀληθῶν μὲν οὖν οὐκ ἔστι ψεῦδος συλλογίσασθαι, ἐκ ψευδῶν δ’ ἔστιν ἀληθές, πλὴν οὐ διότι ἀλλ’ ὅτι· τοῦ γὰρ διότι οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ ψευδῶν συλλογισμός· δι’ ἣν δ’ αἰτίαν, ἐν τοῖς ἑπομένοις λεχθήσεται.

The true conclusion is not true by reason of these false premisses, but by reason of certain other premisses which are true, and which may be produced to demonstrate it. Compare Analyt. Poster. I. ii. p. 71, b. 19.

First, he would prove that if the premisses be true, the conclusion must be true also; but the proof that he gives does not seem more evident than the probandum itself. Assume that if A exists, B must exist also: it follows from hence (he argues) that if B does not exist, neither can A exist; which he announces as a reductio ad absurdum, seeing that it contradicts the fundamental supposition of the existence of A.5 Here the probans is indeed equally evident with the probandum, but not at all more evident; one who disputes the latter, will dispute the former also. Nothing is gained in the way of proof by making either of them dependent on the other. Both of them are alike self-evident; that is, if a man hesitates to admit either of them, you have no means of removing his scruples except by inviting him to try the general maxim upon as many particular cases as he chooses, and to see whether it does not hold good without a single exception.

5 Ibid. II. ii. p. 53, b. 11-16.

In regard to the case here put forward as illustration, Aristotle has an observation which shows his anxiety to maintain 173the characteristic principles of the Syllogism; one of which principles he had declared to be — That nothing less than three terms and two propositions, could warrant the inferential step from premisses to conclusion. In the present case he assumed, If A exists, then B must exist; giving only one premiss as ground for the inference. This (he adds) does not contravene what has been laid down before; for A in the case before us represents two propositions conceived in conjunction.6 Here he has given the type of hypothetical reasoning; not recognizing it as a variety per se, nor following it out into its different forms (as his successors did after him), but resolving it into the categorical syllogism.7 He however conveys very clearly the cardinal principle of all hypothetical inference — That if the antecedent be true, the consequent must be true also, but not vice versâ; if the consequent be false, the antecedent must be false also, but not vice versâ.

6 Analyt. Prior. II. ii. p. 53, b. 16-25. τὸ οὖν Ἀ ὥσπερ ἓν κεῖται, δύο προτάσεις συλληφθεῖσαι.

7 Aristotle, it should be remarked, uses the word κατηγορικός, not in the sense which it subsequently acquired, as the antithesis of ὑποθετικός in application to the proposition and syllogism, but in the sense of affirmative as opposed to στερητικός.

Having laid down the principle, that the conclusion may be true, though one or both the premisses are false, Aristotle proceeds, at great length, to illustrate it in its application to each of the three syllogistic figures.8 No portion of the Analytica is traced out more perspicuously than the exposition of this most important logical doctrine.

8 Analyt. Prior. II. ii.-iv. p. 53, b. 26-p. 57, b. 17. At the close (p. 57, a. 36-b. 17), the general doctrine is summed up.

It is possible (he then continues, again at considerable length) to invert the syllogism and to demonstrate in a circle. That is, you may take the conclusion as premiss for a new syllogism, together with one of the old premisses, transposing its terms; and thus you may demonstrate the other premiss. You may do this successively, first with the major, to demonstrate the minor; next, with the minor, to demonstrate the major. Each of the premisses will thus in turn be made a demonstrated conclusion; and the circle will be complete. But this can be done perfectly only in Barbara, and when, besides, all the three terms of the syllogism reciprocate with each other, or are co-extensive in import; so that each of the two premisses admits of being simply converted. In all other cases, the process of circular demonstration, where possible at all, is more or less imperfect.9

9 Ibid. II. v.-viii. p. 57, b. 18-p. 59, a. 35.

Having thus shown under what conditions the conclusion 174can be employed for the demonstration of the premisses, Aristotle proceeds to state by what transformation it can be employed for the refutation of them. This he calls converting the syllogism; a most inconvenient use of the term convert (ἀντιστρέφειν), since he had already assigned to that same term more than one other meaning, distinct and different, in logical procedure.10 What it here means is reversing the conclusion, so as to exchange it either for its contrary, or for its contradictory; then employing this reversed proposition as a new premiss, along with one of the previous premisses, so as to disprove the other of the previous premisses — i.e. to prove its contrary or contradictory. The result will here be different, according to the manner in which the conclusion is reversed; according as you exchange it for its contrary or its contradictory. Suppose that the syllogism demonstrated is: A belongs to all B, B belongs to all C; Ergo, A belongs to all C (Barbara). Now, if we reverse this conclusion by taking its contrary, A belongs to no C, and if we combine this as a new premiss with the major of the former syllogism, A belongs to all B, we shall obtain as a conclusion B belongs to no C; which is the contrary of the minor, in the form Camestres. If, on the other hand, we reverse the conclusion by taking its contradictory, A does not belong to all C, and combine this with the same major, we shall have as conclusion, B does not belong to all C; which is the contradictory of the minor, and in the form Baroco: though in the one case as in the other the minor is disproved. The major is contradictorily disproved, whether it be the contrary or the contradictory of the conclusion that is taken along with the minor to form the new syllogism; but still the form varies from Felapton to Bocardo. Aristotle shows farther how the same process applies to the other modes of the First, and to the modes of the Second and Third figures.11 The new syllogism, obtained by this process of reversal, is always in a different figure from the syllogism reversed. Thus syllogisms in the First figure are reversed by the Second and Third; those in the second, by the First and Third; those in the Third, by the First and Second.12

10 Schol. (ad Analyt. Prior. p. 59, b. 1), p. 190, b. 20, Brandis. Compare the notes of M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, pp. 55, 242.

11 Analyt. Prior. II. viii.-x. p. 59, b. 1-p. 61, a. 4.

12 Ibid. x. p. 61, a. 7-15.

Of this reversing process, one variety is what is called the Reductio ad Absurdum; in which the conclusion is reversed by taking its contradictory (never its contrary), and then joining this last with one of the premisses, in order to prove the contradictory175 or contrary of the other premiss.13 The Reductio ad Absurdum is distinguished from the other modes of reversal by these characteristics: (1) That it takes the contradictory, and not the contrary, of the conclusion; (2) That it is destined to meet the case where an opponent declines to admit the conclusion; whereas the other cases of reversion are only intended as confirmatory evidence towards a person who already admits the conclusion; (3) That it does not appeal to or require any concession on the part of the opponent; for if he declines to admit the conclusion, you presume, as a matter of course, that he must adhere to the contradictory of the conclusion; and you therefore take this contradictory for granted (without asking his concurrence) as one of the bases of a new syllogism; (4) That it presumes as follows:— When, by the contradictory of the conclusion joined with one of the premisses, you have demonstrated the opposite of the other premiss, the original conclusion itself is shown to be beyond all impeachment on the score of form, i.e. beyond impeachment by any one who admits the premisses. You assume to be true, for the occasion, the very proposition which you mean finally to prove false; your purpose in the new syllogism is, not to demonstrate the original conclusion, but to prove it to be true by demonstrating its contradictory to be false.14

13 Analyt. Prior. II. xi. p. 61, a. 18, seq.

14 Ibid. p. 62, a. 11: φανερὸν οὖν ὅτι οὐ τὸ ἐναντίον, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἀντικείμενον, ὑποθετέον ἐν ἅπασι τοῖς συλλογισμοῖς. οὕτω γὰρ τὸ ἀναγκαῖον ἔσται καὶ τὸ ἀξίωμα ἔνδοξον. εἰ γὰρ κατὰ παντὸς ἢ κατάφασις ἢ ἀπόφασις, δειχθέντος ὅτι οὐχ ἡ ἀπόφασις, ἀνάγκη τὴν κατάφασιν ἀληθεύεσθαι. See Scholia, p. 190, b. 40, seq., Brand.

By the Reductio ad Absurdum you can in all the three figures demonstrate all the four varieties of conclusion, universal and particular, affirmative and negative; with the single exception, that you cannot by this method demonstrate in the First figure the Universal Affirmative.15 With this exception, every true conclusion admits of being demonstrated by either of the two ways, either directly and ostensively, or by reduction to the impossible.16

15 Ibid. p. 61, a. 35-p. 62, b. 10; xii. p. 62, a. 21. Alexander, ap. Schol. p. 191, a. 17-36, Brand.

16 Ibid. xiv. p. 63, b. 12-21.

In the Second and Third figures, though not in the First, it is possible to obtain conclusions even from two premisses which are contradictory or contrary to each other; but the conclusion will, as a matter of course, be a self-contradictory one. Thus if in the Second figure you have the two premisses — All Science is good; No Science is good — you get the conclusion (in Camestres), No Science is Science. In opposed propositions, 176the same predicate must be affirmed and denied of the same subject in one of the three different forms — All and None, All and Not All, Some and None. This shows why such conclusions cannot be obtained in the First figure; for it is the characteristic of that figure that the middle term must be predicate in one premiss, and subject in the other.17 In dialectic discussion it will hardly be possible to get contrary or contradictory premisses conceded by the adversary immediately after each other, because he will be sure to perceive the contradiction: you must mask your purpose by asking the two questions not in immediate succession, but by introducing other questions between the two, or by other indirect means as suggested in the Topica.18

17 Analyt. Prior. II. xv. p. 63, b. 22-p. 64, a. 32. Aristotle here declares Subcontraries (as they were later called), — Some men are wise, Some men are not wise, — to be opposed only in expression or verbally (κατὰ τὴν λέξιν μόνον).

18 Ibid. II. xv. p. 64, a. 33-37. See Topica, VIII. i. p. 155, a. 26; Julius Pacius, p. 372, note. In the Topica, Aristotle suggests modes of concealing the purpose of the questioner and driving the adversary to contradict himself: ἐν δὲ τῶς Τοπικοῖς παραδίδωσι μεθόδους τῶν κρύψεων δι’ ἃς τοῦτο δοθήσεται (Schol. p. 192, a. 18, Br.). Compare also Analyt. Prior. II. xix. p. 66, a. 33.

Aristotle now passes to certain general heads of Fallacy, or general liabilities to Error, with which the syllogizing process is beset. What the reasoner undertakes is, to demonstrate the conclusion before him, and to demonstrate it in the natural and appropriate way; that is, from premisses both more evident in themselves and logically prior to the conclusion. Whenever he fails thus to demonstrate, there is error of some kind; but he may err in several ways: (1) He may produce a defective or informal syllogism; (2) His premisses may be more unknowable than his conclusion, or equally unknowable; (3) His premisses, instead of being logically prior to the conclusion, may be logically posterior to it.19

19 Ibid. II. xvi. p. 64, b. 30-35: καὶ γὰρ εἰ ὅλως μὴ συλλογίζεται, καὶ εἰ δι’ ἀγνωστοτέρων ἢ ὁμοίως ἀγνώστων, καὶ εἰ διὰ τῶν ὑστέρων τὸ πρότερον· ἡ γὰρ ἀπόδειξις ἐκ πιστοτέρων τε καὶ προτέρων ἐστιν.… τὰ μὲν δι’ αὑτῶν πέφυκε γνωρίζεσθαι, τὰ δὲ δι’ ἄλλων.

Distinct from all these three, however, Aristotle singles out and dwells upon another mode of error, which he calls Petitio Principii. Some truths, the principia, are by nature knowable through or in themselves, others are knowable only through other things. If you confound this distinction, and ask or assume something of the latter class as if it belonged to the former, you commit a Petitio Principii. You may commit it either by assuming at once that which ought to be demonstrated, or by assuming, as if it were a principium, something else among those matters which in natural propriety would be demonstrated 177by means of a principium. Thus, there is (let us suppose) a natural propriety that C shall be demonstrated through A; but you, overlooking this, demonstrate B through C, and A through B. By thus inverting the legitimate order, you do what is tantamount to demonstrating A through itself; for your demonstration will not hold unless you assume A at the beginning, in order to arrive at C. This is a mistake made not unfrequently, and especially by some who define parallel lines; for they give a definition which cannot be understood unless parallel lines be presupposed.20

20 Analyt. Prior. II. xvi. p. 64, b. 33-p. 65, a. 9. Petere principium is, in the phrase of Aristotle, not τὴν ἀρχὴν αἰτεῖσθαι, but τὸ ἐν ἀρχῇ αἰτεῖσθαι or τὸ ἐξ ἀρχῆς αἰτεῖσθαι (xvi. p. 64, b. 28, 34).

When the problem is such, that it is uncertain whether A can be predicated either of C or of B, if you then assume that A is predicable of B, you may perhaps not commit Petitio Principii, but you certainly fail in demonstrating the problem; for no demonstration will hold where the premiss is equally uncertain with the conclusion. But if, besides, the case be such, that B is identical with C, that is, either co-extensive and reciprocally convertible with C, or related to C as genus or species, — in either of these cases you commit Petitio Principii by assuming that A may be predicated of B.21 For seeing that B reciprocates with C, you might just as well demonstrate that A is predicable of B, because it is predicable of C; that is, you might demonstrate the major premiss by means of the minor and the conclusion, as well as you can demonstrate the conclusion by means of the major and the minor premiss. If you cannot so demonstrate the major premiss, this is not because the structure of the syllogism forbids it, but because the predicate of the major premiss is more extensive than the subject thereof. If it be co-extensive and convertible with the subject, we shall have a circular proof of three propositions in which each may be alternately premiss and conclusion. The like will be the case, if the Petitio Principii is in the minor premiss and not in the major. In the First syllogistic figure it may be in either of the premisses; in the Second figure it can only be in the minor premiss, and that only in one mode (Camestres) of the figure.22 178The essence of Petitio Principii consists in this, that you exhibit as true per se that which is not really true per se.23 You may commit this fault either in Demonstration, when you assume for true what is not really true, or in Dialectic, when you assume as probable and conformable to authoritative opinion what is not really so.24

21 Ibid. p. 65, a. 1-10.

22 Ibid. p. 65, a. 10: εἰ οὖν τις, ἀδήλου ὄντος ὅτι τὸ Ἀ ὑπάρχει τῷ Γ, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ὅτι τῷ Β, αἰτοῖτο τῷ Β ὑπάρχειν τὸ Ἀ, οὕπω δῆλον εἰ τὸ ἐν ἀρχῇ αἰτεῖται, ἀλλ’ ὅτι οὐκ ἀποδείκνυσι, δῆλον· οὐ γὰρ ἀρχὴ ἀποδείξεως τὸ ὁμοίως ἄδηλον. εἰ μέντοι τὸ Β πρὸς τὸ Γ οὕτως ἔχει ὥστε ταὐτὸν εἶναι, ἢ δῆλον ὅτι ἀντιστρέφουσιν, ἢ ὑπάρχει θάτερον θατέρῳ, τὸ ἐν ἀρχῇ αἰτεῖται. καὶ γὰρ ἄν, ὅτι τῷ Β τὸ Ἀ ὑπάρχει, δι’ ἐκείνων δεικνύοι, εἰ ἀντιστρέφοι. νῦν δὲ τοῦτο κωλύει, ἀλλ’ οὐχ ὁ τρόπος. εἰ δὲ τοῦτο ποιοῖ, τὸ εἰρημένον ἂν ποιοῖ καὶ ἀντιστρέφοι ὡς διὰ τριῶν.

This chapter, in which Aristotle declares the nature of Petitio Principii, is obscure and difficult to follow. It has been explained at some length, first by Philoponus in the Scholia (p. 192, a. 35, b. 24), afterwards by Julius Pacius (p. 376, whose explanation is followed by M. B. St. Hilaire, p. 288), and by Waitz, (I. p. 514). But the translation and comment given by Mr. Poste appear to me the best: “Assuming the conclusion to be affirmative, let us examine a syllogism in Barbara:—

    All B is A.
    All C is B.
∴  All C is A.

And let us first suppose that the major premiss is a Petitio Principii; i.e. that the proposition All B is A is identical with the proposition All C is A. This can only be because the terms B and C are identical. Next, let us suppose that the minor premiss is a Petitio Principii: i.e. that the proposition All C is B is identical with the proposition All C is A. This can only be because B and A are identical. The identity of the terms is, their convertibility or their sequence (ὑπάρχει, ἕπεται). This however requires some limitation; for as the major is always predicated (ὑπάρχει, ἕπεται) of the middle, and the middle of the minor, if this were enough to constitute Petitio Principii, every syllogism with a problematical premiss would be a Petitio Principii.” (See the Appendix A, pp. 178-183, attached to Mr. Poste’s edition of Aristotle’s Sophistici Elenchi.)

Compare, about Petitio Principii, Aristot. Topic. VIII. xiii. p. 162, b. 34, in which passage Aristotle gives to the fallacy called Petitio Principii a still larger sweep than what he assigns to it in the Analytica Priora. Mr. Poste’s remark is perfectly just, that according to the above passage in the Analytica, every syllogism with a problematical (i.e. real as opposed to verbal) premiss would be a Petitio Principii; that is, all real deductive reasoning, in the syllogistic form, would be a Petitio Principii. To this we may add, that, from the passage above referred to in the Topica, all inductive reasoning also (reasoning from parts to whole) would involve Petitio Principii.

Mr. Poste’s explanation of this difficult passage brings into view the original and valuable exposition made by Mr. John Stuart Mill of the Functions and Logical Value of the Syllogism. — System of Logic, Book II. ch. iii. sect 2:— ”It must be granted, that in every syllogism, considered as an argument to prove the conclusion, there is a Petitio Principii,” &c.

Petitio Principii, if ranked among the Fallacies, can hardly be extended beyond the first of the five distinct varieties enumerated in the Topica, VIII. xiii.

23 Analyt. Prior. II. xvi. p. 65, a. 23-27: τὸ γὰρ ἐξ ἀρχῆς τί δύναται, εἴρηται ἡμῖν, ὅτι τὸ δι’ αὑτοῦ δεικνύναι τὸ μὴ δι’ αὑτοῦ δῆλον. — τοῦτο δ’ ἔστι, τὸ μὴ δεικνύναι.

The meaning of some lines in this chapter (p. 65, a. 17-18) is to me very obscure, after all the explanations of commentators.

24 Ibid. p. 65, a. 35; Topic. VIII. xiii. p. 162, b. 31.

We must be careful to note, that when Aristotle speaks of a principium as knowable in itself, or true in itself, he does not mean that it is innate, or that it starts up in the mind ready made without any gradual building up or preparation. What he means is, that it is not demonstrable deductively from anything else prior or more knowable by nature than itself. He declares (as we shall see) that principia are acquired, and mainly by Induction.

Next to Petitio Principii, Aristotle indicates another fallacious or erroneous procedure in dialectic debate; misconception or 179misstatement of the real grounds on which a conclusion rests — Non per Hoc. You may impugn the thesis (set up by the respondent) directly, by proving syllogistically its contrary or contradictory; or you may also impugn it indirectly by Reductio ad Absurdum; i.e. you prove by syllogism some absurd conclusion, which you contend to be necessarily true, if the thesis is admitted. Suppose you impugn it in the first method, or directly, by a syllogism containing only two premisses and a conclusion: Non per Hoc is inapplicable here, for if either premiss is disallowed, the conclusion is unproved; the respondent cannot meet you except by questioning one or both of the premisses of your impugning syllogism.25 But if you proceed by the second method or indirectly, Non per Hoc may become applicable; for there may then be more than two premisses, and he may, while granting that the absurd conclusion is correctly made out, contend that the truth or falsehood of his thesis is noway implicated in it. He declares (in Aristotle’s phrase) that the absurdity or falsehood just made out does not follow as a consequence from his thesis, but from other premisses independent thereof; that it would stand equally proved, even though his thesis were withdrawn.26 In establishing the falsehood or absurdity you must take care that it shall be one implicated with or dependent upon his thesis. It is this last condition that he (the respondent) affirms to be wanting.27

25 Analyt. Prior. II. xvii. p. 65, b. 4: ὅταν ἀναιρέθῃ τι δεικτικως διὰ τῶν Α, Β, Γ, &c.; xviii. 66, a. 17: ἢ γὰρ ἐκ τῶν δύο προτάσεων ἢ ἐκ πλειόνων πᾶς ἐστὶ συλλογισμός· εἰ μὲν οὖν ἐκ τῶν δύο, τούτων ἀνάγκη τὴν μὲν ἑτέραν ἢ καὶ ἀμφοτέρας εἶναι ψευδεῖς· &c. Whoever would understand this difficult chapter xvii., will do well to study it with the notes of Julius Pacius (p. 360), and also the valuable exposition of Mr. Poste, who has extracted and illustrated it in Appendix B. (p. 190) of the notes to his edition of the Sophistici Elenchi. The six illustrative diagrams given by Julius Pacius afford great help, though the two first of them appear to me incorrectly printed, as to the brackets connecting the different propositions.

26 Ibid. II. xvii. p. 65, b. 38, b. 14, p. 66, a. 2, 7: τὸ μὴ παρὰ τοῦτο συμβαίνειν τὸ ψεῦδος — τοῦ μὴ παρὰ τὴν θέσιν εἶναι τὸ ψεῦδος — οὐ παρὰ τὴν θέσιν συμβαίνει τὸ ψεῦδος — οὐκ ἂν εἴη παρὰ τὴν θέσιν.

Instead of the preposition παρά, Aristotle on two occasions employs διά — οὕτω γὰρ ἔσται διὰ τὴν ὑπόθεσιν — p. 65, b. 33, p. 66, a. 3.

The preposition παρά, with acc. case, means on account of, owing to, &c. See Matthiæ and Kühner’s Grammars, and the passage of Thucydides i. 141; καὶ ἕκαστος οὐ παρὰ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀμέλειαν οἰεται βλάψειν, μέλειν δέ τινι καὶ ἄλλῳ ὑπὲρ ἑαυτοῦ τι προϊδεῖν, &c., which I transcribe partly on account of Dr. Arnold’s note, who says about παρὰ here:— “This is exactly expressed in vulgar English, all along of his own neglect, i. e. owing to his own neglect.”

27 Ibid. II. xvii. p. 65, b. 33: δεῖ πρὸς τοὺς ἐξ ἀρχῆς ὅρους συνάπτειν τὸ ἀδύνατον· οὕτω γὰρ ἔσται διὰ τὴν ὑπόθεσιν.

Aristotle tells us that this was a precaution which the defender of a thesis was obliged often to employ in dialectic debate, in order to guard against abuse or misapplication of Reductio ad Absurdum on the part of opponents, who (it appears) sometimes 180took credit for success, when they had introduced and demonstrated some absurd conclusion that had little or no connection with the thesis.28 But even when the absurd conclusion is connected with the thesis continuously, by a series of propositions each having a common term with the preceding, in either the ascending or the descending scale, we have here more than three propositions, and the absurd conclusion may perhaps be proved by the other premisses, without involving the thesis. In this case the respondent will meet you with Non per Hoc:29 he will point out that his thesis is not one of the premisses requisite for demonstrating your conclusion, and is therefore not overthrown by the absurdity thereof. Perhaps the thesis may be false, but you have not shown it to be so, since it is not among the premisses necessary for proving your absurdum. An absurdum may sometimes admit of being demonstrated by several lines of premisses,30 each involving distinct falsehood. Every false conclusion implies falsity in one or more syllogistic or prosyllogistic premisses that have preceded it, and is owing to or occasioned by this first falsehood.31

28 Analyt. Prior. II. xvii. p. 65, a. 38: ὃ πολλάκις ἐν τοῖς λόγοις εἰώθαμεν λέγειν, &c. That the Reductio ad Absurdum was sometimes made to turn upon matters wholly irrelevant, we may see from the illustration cited by Aristotle, p. 65, b. 17.

29 In this chapter of the Analytica, Aristotle designates the present fallacy by the title, Non per Hoc, οὐ παρὰ τοῦτο — οὐ παρὰ τὴν θέσιν συμβαίνει τὸ ψεῦδος. He makes express reference to the Topica (i.e. to the fifth chapter of Sophist. Elenchi, which he regards as part of the Topica), where the same fallacy is designated by a different title, Non Causa pro Causâ, τὸ ἀναίτιον ὡς αἴτιον τιθέναι. We see plainly that this chapter of the Anal. Priora was composed later than the fifth chapter of Soph. El.; whether this is true of the two treatises as wholes is not so certain. I think it probable that the change of designation for the same fallacy was deliberately adopted. It is an improvement to dismiss the vague term Cause.

30 Ibid. II. xvii. p. 66, a. 11: ἐπεὶ ταὐτό γε ψεῦδος συμβαίνειν διὰ πλειόνων ὑποθέσεων οὐδὲν ἴσως ἄτοπον, οἷον τὰς παραλλήλους συμπίπτειν, &c.

31 Ibid. II. xviii. p. 66, a. 16-24: ὁ δὲ ψευδὴς λόγος γίνεται παρὰ τὸ πρῶτον ψεῦδος, &c.

In impugning the thesis and in extracting from your opponent the proper concessions to enable you to do so, you will take care to put the interrogations in such form and order as will best disguise the final conclusion which you aim at establishing. If you intend to arrive at it through preliminary syllogisms (prosyllogisms), you will ask assent to the necessary premisses in a confused or inverted order, and will refrain from enunciating at once the conclusion from any of them. Suppose that you wish to end by showing that A may be predicated of F, and suppose that there must be intervening steps through B, C, D, E. You will not put the questions in this regular order, but will first ask him to grant that A may be predicated 181of B; next, that D may be predicated of E; afterwards, that B may be predicated of C, &c. You will thus try to obtain all the concessions requisite for your final conclusion, before he perceives your drift. If you can carry your point by only one syllogism, and have only one middle term to get conceded, you will do well to put the middle term first in your questions. This is the best way to conceal your purpose from the respondent.32

32 Analyt. Prior. II. xix. p. 66, a. 33-b. 3: χρὴ δ’ ὅπερ φιλάττεσθαι παραγγέλλομεν ἀποκρινομένους, αὐτοὺς ἐπιχειροῦντας πειρᾶσθαι λανθάνειν. — κἂν δι’ ἑνὸς μέσου γίνηται ὁ συλλογισμός, ἀπὸ τοῦ μέσου ἄρχεσθαι· μάλιστα γὰρ ἂν οὕτω λάνθανοι τὸν ἀποκρινόμενον. See the explanation of Pacius, p. 385. Since the middle term does not appear in the conclusion, the respondent is less likely to be prepared for the conclusion that you want to establish. To put the middle term first, in enunciating the Syllogism, is regarded by Aristotle as a perverted and embarrassing order, yet it is the received practice among modern logicians.

It will be his business to see that he is not thus tripped up in the syllogistic process.33 If you ask the questions in the order above indicated, without enunciating your preliminary conclusions, he must take care not to concede the same term twice, either as predicate, or as subject, or as both; for you can arrive at no conclusion unless he grants you a middle term; and no term can be employed as middle, unless it be repeated twice. Knowing the conditions of a conclusion in each of the three figures, he will avoid making such concessions as will empower you to conclude in any one of them.34 If the thesis which he defends is affirmative, the elenchus by which you impugn it must be a negative; so that he will be careful not to concede the premisses for a negative conclusion. If his thesis be negative, your purpose will require you to meet him by an affirmative; accordingly he must avoid granting you any sufficient premisses for an affirmative conclusion. He may thus make it impossible for you to prove syllogistically the contrary or contradictory of his thesis; and it is in proving this that the elenchus or refutation consists. If he will not grant you any affirmative proposition, nor any universal proposition, you know, by the rules previously laid down, that no valid syllogism can be constructed; since nothing can be inferred either from two premisses both negative, or from two premisses both particular.35

33 Analyt Prior. II. xix. p. 66, a. 25-32: πρὸς δὲ τὸ μὴ κατασυλλογίζεσθαι παρατηρητέον, ὅταν ἄνευ τῶν συμπερασμάτων ἐρωτᾷ τὸν λόγον, &c.

Waitz (p. 520) explains κατασυλλογίζεσθαι, “disputationum et interrogationum laqueis aliquem irretire.” This is, I think, more correct than the distinction which M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire seeks to draw, “entre le Catasyllogisme et la Réfutation,” in the valuable notes to his translation of the Analytica Priora, p. 303.

34 Ibid. II. xix. p. 66, a. 25-32.

35 Ibid. xx. p. 66, b. 4-17. The reader will observe how completely this advice given by Aristotle is shaped for the purpose of obtaining victory in the argument and how he leaves out of consideration both the truth of what the opponent asks to be conceded, and the belief entertained by the defendant. This is exactly the procedure which he himself makes a ground of contemptuous reproach against the Sophists.

182We have already seen that error may arise by wrong enunciation or arrangement of the terms of a syllogism, that is, defects in its form; but sometimes also, even when the form is correct, error may arise from wrong belief as to the matters affirmed or denied.36 Thus the same predicate may belong, immediately and essentially, alike to several distinct subjects; but you may believe (what is the truth) that it belongs to one of them, and you may at the same time believe (erroneously) that it does not belong to another. Suppose that A is predicable essentially both of B and C, and that A, B, and C, are all predicable essentially of D. You may know that A is predicable of all B, and that B is predicable of all D; but you may at the same time believe (erroneously) that A is not predicable of any C, and that C is predicable of all D. Under this state of knowledge and belief, you may construct two valid syllogisms; the first (in Barbara, with B for its middle term) proving that A belongs to all D; the second (in Celarent, with C for its middle term) proving that A belongs to no D. The case will be the same, even if all the terms taken belong to the same ascending or descending logical series. Here, then, you know one proposition; yet you believe the proposition contrary to it.37 How can such a mental condition be explained? It would, indeed, be an impossibility, if the middle term of the two syllogisms were the same, and if the premisses of the one syllogism thus contradicted directly and in terms, the premisses of the other: should that happen, you cannot know one side of the alternative and believe the other. But if the middle term be different, so that the contradiction between the premisses of the one syllogism and those of the other, is not direct, there is no impossibility. Thus, you know that A is predicable of all B, and B of all D; while you believe at the same time that A is predicable of no C, and C of all D; the middle term being in one syllogism B, in the other, C.38 This last form of error is analogous to what often occurs in respect to our knowledge of particulars. You know that A belongs to all B, and B to all C; you know, therefore, that A belongs to all C. Yet you may 183perhaps be ignorant of the existence of C. Suppose A to denote equal to two right angles; B, to be the triangle generally; C, a particular visible triangle. You know A B the universal proposition; yet you may at the same time believe that C does not exist; and thus it may happen that you know, and do not know, the same thing at the same time. For, in truth, the knowledge, that every triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles, is not (as a mental fact) simple and absolute, but has two distinct aspects; one as concerns the universal, the other as concerns the several particulars. Now, assuming the case above imagined, you possess the knowledge in the first of these two aspects, but not in the second; so that the apparent contrariety between knowledge and no knowledge is not real.39 And in this sense the doctrine of Plato in the Menon is partially true — that learning is reminiscence. We can never know beforehand particular cases per se; but in proportion as we extend our induction to each case successively, we, as it were, recognize that, which we knew beforehand as a general truth, to be realized in each. Thus when we ascertain the given figure before us to be a triangle, we know immediately that its three angles are equal to two right angles.40

36 Analyt. Prior. II. xxi. p. 66, b. 18: συμβαίνει δ’ ἐνίοτε, καθάπερ ἐν τῇ θέσει τῶν ὅρων ἀπατώμεθα, καὶ κατὰ τὴν ὑπόληψιν γίνεσθαι τὴν ἀπάτην.

The vague and general way in which Aristotle uses the term ὑπόληψις, seems to be best rendered by our word belief. See Trendelenburg ad Aristot. De Animâ, p. 469; Biese, Philos. des Aristot. i. p. 211.

37 Ibid. II. xxi. p. 66, b. 33: ὥστε ὅ πως ἐπίσταται, τοῦτο ὅλως ἀξιοῖ μὴ ὑπολαμβάνειν· ὅπερ ἀδύνατον.

38 Ibid. II. xxi. p. 67, a. 5-8.

39 Analyt. Prior. II. xxi. p. 67, a. 19: οὕτω μὲν οὖν ὡς τῇ καθόλου οὖδε το Γ ὅτι δύο ὀρθαί, ὡς δὲ τῇ καθ’ ἕκαστον οὐκ οἶδεν, ὥστ’ οὐχ ἕξει τὰς ἐναντίας (sc. ἐπιστήμος).

40 Ibid. a. 22: οὐδαμοῦ γὰρ συμβαίνει προεπίστασθαι τὸ καθ’ ἕκαστον, ἀλλ’ ἅμα τῇ ἐπαγωγῇ λαμβάνειν τὴν τῶν κατὰ μέρος ἐπιστήμην ὥσπερ ἀναγνωρίζοντας, &c. Cf. Anal. Post. I. ii. p. 71, b. 9, seq.; Plato, Menon, pp. 81-82.

We thus, by help of the universal, acquire a theoretical knowledge of particulars, but we do not know them by the special observation properly belonging to each particular case: so that we may err in respect to them without any positive contrariety between our cognition and our error; since what we know is the universal, while what we err in is the particular. We may even know that A is predicable of all B, and that B is predicable of all C; and yet we may believe that A is not predicable of C. We may know that every mule is barren, and that the animal before us is a mule, yet still we may believe her to be in foal; for perhaps we may never have combined in our minds the particular case along with the universal proposition.41 A fortiori, therefore, we may make the like mistake, if we know the universal only, and do not know the particular. And this is perfectly possible. For take any one of the visible particular instances, even one which we have already inspected, so soon as it is out of sight we do not know it by actual and present 184cognition; we only know it, partly from the remembrance of past special inspection, partly from the universal under which it falls.42 We may know in one, or other, or all, of these three distinct ways: either by the universal; or specially (as remembered): or by combination of both — actual and present cognition, that is, by the application of a foreknown generality to a case submitted to our senses. And as we may know in each of these three ways, so we may also err or be deceived in each of the same three ways.43 It is therefore quite possible that we may know, and that we may err or be deceived about the same thing, and that, too, without any contrariety. This is what happens when we know both the two premisses of the syllogism, but have never reflected on them before, nor brought them into conjunction in our minds. When we believe that the mule before us is in foal, we are destitute of the actual knowledge; yet our erroneous belief is not for that reason contrary to knowledge; for an erroneous belief, contrary to the universal proposition, must be represented by a counter-syllogism.44

41 Ibid. II. xxi. p. 67, a. 36: οὐ γὰρ ἐπίσταται ὅτι τὸ Α τῷ Γ, μὴ συνθεωρῶν τὸ καθ’ ἑκάτερον.

42 Analyt. Prior. II. xxi. p. 67, a. 39: οὐδὲν γὰρ τῶν αἰσθητῶν ἔξω τῆς αἰσθήσεως γενόμενον ἴσμεν, οὔδ’ ἂν ᾐσθημένοι τυγχάνωμεν, εἰ μὴ ὡς τῷ καθόλου καὶ τῷ ἔχειν τὴν οἰκείαν ἐπιστήμην, ἀλλ’ οὐχ ὡς τῷ ἐνεργεῖν.

Complete cognition (τὸ ἐνεργεῖν, according to the view here set forth) consists of one mental act corresponding to the major premiss; another corresponding to the minor; and a third including both the two in conscious juxta-position. The third implies both the first and the second; but the first and the second do not necessarily imply the third, nor does either of them imply the other; though a person cognizant of the first is in a certain way, and to a certain extent, cognizant of all the particulars to which the second applies. Thus the person who knows Ontology (the most universal of all sciences, τοῦ ὄντος ᾗ ὄν), knows in a certain way all scibilia. Metaphys. A., p. 982, a. 21: τούτων δὲ τὸ μὲν πάντα ἐπίστασθαι τῷ μάλιστα ἔχοντι τὴν καθόλου ἐπιστήμην ἀναγκαῖον ὑπάρχειν· οὕτος γὰρ οἶδέ πως πάντα τὰ ὑποκείμενα. Ib. a. 8: ὑπολαμβάνομεν δὴ πρῶτον μὲν ἐπίστασθαι πάντα τὸν σοφὸν ὡς ἐνδέχεται, μὴ καθ’ ἕκαστον ἔχοντα ἐπιστήμην αὐτῶν. See the Scholia of Alexander on these passages, pp. 525, 526, Brandis; also Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. xxiv. p. 86, a. 25; Physica, VII. p. 247, a. 5. Bonitz observes justly (Comm. ad Metaphys. p. 41) as to the doctrine of Aristotle: “Scientia et ars versatur in notionibus universalibus, solutis ac liberis à conceptu singularum rerum; ideoque, etsi orta est à principio et experientiâ, tradi tamen etiam iis potest qui careant experientiâ.”

43 Analyt. Prior. II. xxi. p. 67, b. 3: τὸ γὰρ ἐπίστασθαι λέγεται τριχῶς, ἢ ὡς τῇ καθόλου, ἢ ὡς τῇ οἰκείᾳ, ἢ ὡς τῷ ἐνεργεῖν· ὥστε καὶ τὸ ἠπατῆσθαι τοσαυταχῶς.

44 Ibid. b. 5: οὐδὲν οὖν κωλύει καὶ εἰδέναι καὶ ἠπατῆσθαι περὶ αὐτό, πλὴν οὐκ ἐναντίως. ὅπερ συμβαίνει καὶ τῷ καθ’ ἑκατέραν εἰδότι τὴν πρότασιν καὶ μὴ ἐπεσκεμμένῳ πρότερον. ὑπολαμβάνων γὰρ κύειν τὴν ἡμίονον οὐκ ἔχει τὴν κατὰ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν ἐπιστήμην, οὐδ’ αὖ διὰ τὴν ὑπόληψιν ἐναντίαν ἀπάτην τῇ ἐπιστήμῃ· συλλογισμὸς γὰρ ἡ ἐναντία ἀπάτη τῇ καθόλου. About erroneous belief, where a man believes the contrary of a true conclusion, adopting a counter-syllogism, compare Analyt. Post. I. xvi. p. 79, b. 23: ἄγνοια κατὰ διάθεσιν.

It is impossible, however, for a man to believe that one contrary is predicable of its contrary, or that one contrary is identical with its contrary, essentially and as an universal proposition; though he may believe that it is so by accident (i.e. in some particular case, by reason of the peculiarities of that 185case). In various ways this last is possible; but this we reserve for fuller examination.45

45 Analyt. Prior. II. xxi. p. 67, b. 23: ἀλλ’ ἴσως ἐκεῖνο ψεῦδος, τὸ ὑπολαβεῖν τινὰ κακῷ εἶναι τὸ ἀγαθῷ εἶναι, εἰ μὴ κατὰ συμβεβηκός· πολλαχῶς γὰρ ἐγχωρεῖ τοῦθ’ ὑπολαμβάνειν. ἐπισκεπτέον δὲ τοῦτο βέλτιον. This distinction is illustrated by what we read in Plato, Republic, v. pp. 478-479. The impossibility of believing that one contrary is identical with its contrary, is maintained by Sokrates in Plato, Theætetus, p. 190, B-D, as a part of the long discussion respecting ψευδὴς δόξα: either there is no such thing as ψευδὴς δόξα, or a man may know, and not know, the same thing, ibid. p. 196 C. Aristotle has here tried to show in what sense this last-mentioned case is possible.

Whenever (Aristotle next goes on to say) the extremes of a syllogism reciprocate or are co-extensive with each other (i.e. when the conclusion being affirmative is convertible simply), the middle term must reciprocate or be co-extensive with both.46 If there be four terms (A, B, C, D), such that A reciprocates with B, and C with D, and if either A or C must necessarily be predicable of every subject; then it follows that either B or D must necessarily also be predicable of every subject. Again, if either A or B must necessarily be predicable of every subject, but never both predicable of the same at once; and if, either C or D must be predicable of every subject, but never both predicable of the same at once; then, if A and C reciprocate, B and D will also reciprocate.47 When A is predicable of all B and all C, but of no other subject besides, and when B is predicable of all C, then A and B must reciprocate with each other, or be co-extensive with each other; that is, B may be predicated of every subject of which A can be predicated, though B cannot be predicated of A itself.48 Again, when A and B are predicable of all C, and when C reciprocates with B, then A must also be predicable of all B.49

46 Ibid. II. xxii. p. 67, b. 27, seq. In this chapter Aristotle introduces us to affirmative universal propositions convertible simpliciter; that is, in which the predicate must be understood to be distributed as well as the subject. Here, then, the quantity of the predicate is determined in thought. This is (as Julius Pacius remarks, p. 371) in order to lay down principles for the resolution of Induction into Syllogism, which is to be explained in the next chapter. In these peculiar propositions, the reason urged by Sir W. Hamilton for his favourite precept of verbally indicating the quantity of the predicate, is well founded as a fact: though he says that in all propositions the quantity of the predicate is understood in thought, which I hold to be incorrect.

We may remark that this recognition by Aristotle of a class of universal affirmative propositions in which predicate and subject reciprocate, contrived in order to force Induction into the syllogistic framework, is at variance with his general view both of reciprocating propositions and of Induction. He tells us (Analyt. Post. I. iii. p. 73, a. 18) that such reciprocating propositions are very rare, which would not be true if they are taken to represent every Induction; and he forbids us emphatically to annex the mark of universality to the predicate; which he has no right to do, if he calls upon us to reason on the predicate as distributed (Analyt. Prior. I. xxvii., p. 43, b. 17; De Interpret. p. 17, b. 14).

47 Ibid. II. xxii. p. 68, a. 2-15.

48 Ibid. a. 16-21. πλὴν αὐτοῦ τοῦ A. Waitz explains these words in his note (p. 531): yet I do not clearly make them out; and Alexander of Aphrodisias declared them to assert what was erroneous (ἐσφάλθαι λέγει, Schol. p. 194, a. 40, Brandis).

49 Ibid. II. xxii. p. 68, a. 21-25.

186Lastly, suppose two pairs of opposites, A and B, C and D; let A be more eligible than B, and D more eligible than C. Then, if A C is more eligible than B D, A will also be more eligible than D. For A is as much worthy of pursuit as B is worthy of avoidance, they being two opposites; the like also respecting C and D. If then A and D are equally worthy of pursuit, B and C are equally worthy of avoidance; for each is equal to each. Accordingly the two together, A C, will be equal to the two together, B D. But this would be contrary to the supposition; since we assumed A to be more eligible than B, and D to be more eligible than C. It will be seen that on this supposition A is more worthy of pursuit than D, and that C is less worthy of avoidance than B; the greater good and the lesser evil being more eligible than the lesser good and the greater evil. Now apply this to a particular case of a lover, so far forth as lover. Let A represent his possession of those qualities which inspire reciprocity of love towards him in the person beloved; B, the absence of those qualities; D, the attainment of actual sexual enjoyment; C, the non-attainment thereof. In this state of circumstances, it is evident that A is more eligible or worthy of preference than D. The being loved is a greater object of desire to the lover qua lover than sexual gratification; it is the real end or purpose to which love aspires; and sexual gratification is either not at all the purpose, or at best only subordinate and accessory. The like is the case with our other appetites and pursuits.50

50 Analyt. Prior. II. xxii. p. 68, a. 25-b. 17. Aristotle may be right in the conclusion which he here emphatically asserts; but I am surprised that he should consider it to be proved by the reasoning that precedes.

It is probable that Aristotle here understood the object of ἔρως (as it is conceived through most part of the Symposion of Plato) to be a beautiful youth: (see Plato, Sympos. pp. 218-222; also Xenophon, Sympos. c. viii., Hiero, c. xi. 11, Memorab. I. ii. 29, 30). Yet this we must say — what the two women said when they informed Simætha of the faithlessness of Delphis (Theokrit. Id. ii. 149) —

Κᾖπέ μοι ἄλλα τε πολλά, καὶ ὡς ἄρα Δέλφις ἔραται·
Κᾔτε μιν αὖτε γυναικὸς ἔχει πόθος, εἴτε καὶ ἀνδρός,
Οὐκ ἔφατ’ ἀτρεκὲς ἴδμεν.

Such is the relation of the terms of a syllogism in regard to reciprocation and antithesis. Let it next be understood that the canons hitherto laid down belong not merely to demonstrative and dialectic syllogisms, but to rhetorical and other syllogisms also; all of which must be constructed in one or other of the three figures. In fact, every case of belief on evidence, whatever be the method followed, must be tested by these same canons. We believe everything either through Syllogism or upon Induction.51

51 Ibid. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 13: ἅπαντα γὰρ πιστεύομεν ἢ διὰ συλλογισμοῦ ἢ ἐξ ἐπαγωγῆς.

187Though Aristotle might seem, even here, to have emphatically contrasted Syllogism with Induction as a ground of belief, he proceeds forthwith to indicate a peculiar form of Syllogism which may be constructed out of Induction. Induction, and the Syllogism from or out of Induction (he says) is a process in which we invert the order of the terms. Instead of concluding from the major through the middle to the minor (i.e. concluding that the major is predicable of the minor), we now begin from the minor and conclude from thence through the middle to the major (i.e. we conclude that the major is predicable of the middle).52 In Syllogism as hitherto described, we concluded that A the major was predicable of C the minor, through the middle B; in the Syllogism from Induction we begin by affirming that A the major is predicable of C the minor; next, we affirm that B the middle is also predicable of C the minor. The two premisses, standing thus, correspond to the Third figure of the Syllogism (as explained in the preceding pages) and would not therefore by themselves justify anything more than a particular affirmative conclusion. But we reinforce them by introducing an extraneous assumption:— That the minor C is co-extensive with the middle B, and comprises the entire aggregate of individuals of which B is the universal or class-term. By reason of this assumption the minor proposition becomes convertible simply, and we are enabled to infer (according to the last preceding chapter) an universal affirmative conclusion, that the major term A is predicable of the middle term B. Thus, let A (the major term) mean the class-term, long-lived; let B (the middle term) mean the class-term, bile-less, or the having no bile; let C (the minor term) mean the individual animals — man, horse, mule, &c., coming under the class-term B, bile-less.53 We are supposed to 188know, or to have ascertained, that A may be predicated of all C; (i.e. that all men, horses, mules, &c., are long-lived); we farther 189know that B is predicable of all C (i.e. that men, horses, mules, &c., belong to the class bile-less). Here, then, we have two premisses in the Third syllogistic figure, which in themselves would warrant us in drawing the particular affirmative conclusion, that A is predicable of some B, but no more. Accordingly, Aristotle directs us to supplement these premisses54 by the extraneous 190assumption or postulate, that C the minor comprises all the individual animals that are bile-less, or all those that correspond to the class-term B; in other words, the assumption, that B the middle does not denote any more individuals than those which are covered by C the minor — that B the middle does not stretch beyond or overpass C the minor.55 Having the two premisses, and this postulate besides, we acquire the right to conclude that A is predicable of all B. But we could not draw that conclusion from the premisses alone, or without the postulate which declares B and C to be co-extensive. The conclusion, then, becomes a particular exemplification of the general doctrine laid down in the last chapter, respecting the reciprocation of extremes and the consequences thereof. We thus see that this very peculiar Syllogism from Induction is (as indeed Aristotle himself remarks) the opposite or antithesis of a genuine Syllogism. It has no proper middle term; the conclusion in which it results is 191the first or major proposition, the characteristic feature of which it is to be immediate, or not to be demonstrated through a middle term. Aristotle adds that the genuine Syllogism, which demonstrates through a middle term, is by nature prior and more effective as to cognition; but that the Syllogism from Induction is to us plainer and clearer.56

52 Analyt. Prior. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 15: ἐπαγωγὴ μὲν οὖν ἐστὶ καὶ ὁ ἐξ ἐπαγωγῆς συλλογισμὸς τὸ διὰ τοῦ ἑτέρου θάτερον ἄκρον τῷ μέσῳ συλλογίσασθαι· οἷον εἰ τῶν ΑΓ μέσον τὸ Β, διὰ τοῦ Γ δεῖξαι τὸ Α τῷ Β ὑπάρχον· οὕτω γὰρ ποιούμεθα τὰς ἐπαγωγάς.

Waitz in his note (p. 532) says: “Fit Inductio, cum per minorem terminum demonstratur medium prædicari de majore.” This is an erroneous explanation. It should have been: “demonstratur majorem prædicari de medio.” Analyt. Prior. II. xxiii. 68, b. 32: καὶ τρόπον τινὰ ἀντικεῖται ἡ ἐπαγωγὴ τῷ συλλογισμῷ· ὁ μὲν γὰρ διὰ τοῦ μέσου τὸ ἄκρον τῷ τρίτῳ δείκνυσιν, ἡ δὲ διὰ τοῦ τρίτου τὸ ἄκρον τῷ μέσῳ.

53 Ibid. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 18: οἷον ἔστω τὸ Α μακρόβιον, τὸ δ’ ἐφ’ ᾧ Β, τὸ χολὴν μὴ ἔχον, ἐφ’ ᾧ δὲ Γ, τὸ καθ’ ἕκαστον μακρόβιον, οἷον ἄνθρωπος καὶ ἵππος καὶ ἡμίονος. τῷ δὴ Γ ὅλῳ ὑπάρχει τὸ Α· πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον· ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ Β, τὸ μὴ ἔχειν χολήν, παντὶ ὑπάρχει τῷ Γ. εἰ οὖν ἀντιστρέφει τὸ Γ τῷ Β καὶ μὴ ὑπερτείνει τὸ μέσον, ἀνάγκη τὸ Α τῷ Β ὑπάρχειν.

I have transcribed this Greek text as it stands in the editions of Buhle, Bekker, Waitz, and F. Didot. Yet, notwithstanding these high authorities, I venture to contend that it is not wholly correct; that the word μακρόβιον, which I have emphasized, is neither consistent with the context, nor suitable for the point which Aristotle is illustrating. Instead of μακρόβιον, we ought in that place to read ἄχολον; and I have given the sense of the passage in my English text as if it did stand ἄχολον in that place.

I proceed to justify this change. If we turn back to the edition by Julius Pacius (1584, p. 377), we find the text given as follows after the word ἡμίονος (down to that word the text is the same): τῷ δὴ Γ ὅλῳ ὑπάρχει τὸ Α· πᾶν γὰρ τὸ Γ μακρόβιον· ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ Β, τὸ μὴ ἔχον χολήν, παντὶ ὑπάρχει τῷ Γ. εἰ οὖν ἀντιστρέφει τὸ Γ τῷ Β, καὶ μὴ ὑπερτείνει τὸ μέσον, ἀνάγκη τὸ Α τῷ Β ὑπάρχειν. Earlier than Pacius, the edition of Erasmus (Basil. 1550) has the same text in this chapter.

Here it will be seen that in place of the words given in Waitz’s text, πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον, Pacius gives πᾶν γὰρ τὸ Γ μακρόβιον: annexing however to the letter Γ an asterisk referring to the margin, where we find the word ἄχολον inserted in small letters, seemingly as a various reading not approved by Pacius. And M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire has accommodated his French translation (p. 328) to the text of Pacius: “Donc A est à C tout entier, car tout C est longève.” Boethius in his Latin translation (p. 519) recognizes as his original πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον, but he alters the text in the words immediately preceding:— “Ergo toti B (instead of toti C) inest A, omne enim quod sine cholera est, longævum,” &c. (p. 519). The edition of Aldus (Venet. 1495) has the text conformable to the Latin of Boethius: τῷ δὴ Β ὅλῳ ὑπάρχει τὸ Α· πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον. Three distinct Latin translations of the 16th century are adapted to the same text, viz., that of Vives and Valentinus (Basil. 1542); that published by the Junta (Venet. 1552); and that of Cyriacus (Basil. 1563). Lastly, the two Greek editions of Sylburg (1587) and Casaubon (Lugduni 1590), have the same text also: τῷ δὴ Β ὅλῳ ὑπάρχει τὸ Α· πᾶν γὰρ [τὸ Γ] τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον. Casaubon prints in brackets the words [τὸ Γ] before τὸ ἄχολον.

Now it appears to me that the text of Bekker and Waitz (though Waitz gives it without any comment or explanation) is erroneous; neither consisting with itself, nor conforming to the general view enunciated by Aristotle of the Syllogism from Induction. I have cited two distinct versions, each different from this text, as given by the earliest editors; in both the confusion appears to have been felt, and an attempt made to avoid it, though not successfully.

Aristotle’s view of the Syllogism from Induction is very clearly explained by M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire in the instructive notes of his translation, pp. 326-328; also in his Preface, p. lvii.:— “L'induction n’est au fond qu’un syllogisme dont le mineur et le moyen sont d’extension égale. Du reste, il n’est qu’une seule manière dont le moyen et le mineur puissent être d’égale extension; c’est que le mineur se compose de toutes les parties dont le moyen représente la totalité. D’une part, tous les individus: de l’autre, l’espèce totale qu’ils forment. L’intelligence fait aussitôt équation entre les deux termes égaux.”

According to the Aristotelian text, as given both by Pacius and the others, A, the major term, represents longævum (long-lived, the class-term or total); B, the middle term, represents vacans bile (bile-less, the class-term or total); C, the minor term, represents the aggregate individuals of the class longævum, man, horse, mule, &c.

Julius Pacius draws out the Inductive Syllogism, thus:—

1. Omnis homo, equus, asinus, &c., est longævus.
2. Omnis homo, equus, asinus, &c., vacat bile.
3. Quicquid vacat bile, est longævum.

Convertible into a Syllogism in Barbara:—

1. Omnis homo, equus, asinus, &c., est longævus.
2. Quicquid vacat bile, est homo, equus, asinus, &c.
3. Quicquid vacat bile, est longævum.

Here the force of the proof (or the possibility, in this exceptional case, of converting a syllogism in the Third figure into another in Barbara of the First figure) depends upon the equation or co-extensiveness (not enunciated in the premisses, but assumed in addition to the premisses) of the minor term C with the middle term B. But I contend that this is not the condition peremptorily required, or sufficient for proof, if we suppose C the minor term to represent omne longævum. We must understand C the minor term to represent omne vacans bile, or quicquid vacat bile: and unless we understand this, the proof fails. In other words, homo, equus, asinus, &c. (the aggregate of individuals), must be co-extensive with the class-term bile-less or vacans bile: but they need not be co-extensive with the class-term long-lived or longævum. In the final conclusion, the subject vacans bile is distributed; but the predicate longævum is not distributed; this latter may include, besides all bile-less animals, any number of other animals, without impeachment of the syllogistic proof.

Such being the case, I think that there is a mistake in the text as given by all the editors, from Pacius down to Bekker and Waitz. What they give, in setting out the terms of the Aristotelian Syllogism from Induction, is: ἔστω τὸ Α μακρόβιον, τὸ δ’ ἐφ’ ᾧ Β, τὸ χολην μὴ ἔχον, ἐφ’ ᾧ δὲ Γ, τὸ καθ’ ἕκαστον μακρόβιον, οἷον ἄνθρωπος καὶ ἵππος καὶ ἡμίονος. Instead of which the text ought to run, ἐφ’ ᾧ δὲ Γ, τὸ καθ’ ἕκαστον ἄχολον, οἷον ἄνθρ. κ. ἵπ. κ. ἡμί. That these last words were the original text, is seen by the words immediately following: τῷ δὴ Γ ὅλῳ ὑπάρχει τὸ Α. πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον. For the reason thus assigned (in the particle γάρ) is irrelevant and unmeaning if Γ designates τὸ καθ’ ἕκαστον μακρόβιον, while it is pertinent and even indispensable if Γ designates τὸ καθ’ ἕκαστον ἄχολον. Pacius (or those whose guidance he followed in his text) appears to have perceived the incongruity of the reason conveyed in the words πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον; for he gives, instead of these words, πᾶν γὰρ τὸ Γ μακρόβιον. In this version the reason is indeed no longer incongruous, but simply useless and unnecessary; for when we are told that A designates the class longævum, and that Γ designates the individual longæva, we surely require no reason from without to satisfy us that A is predicable of all Γ. The text, as translated by Boethius and others, escapes that particular incongruity, though in another way, but it introduces a version inadmissible on other grounds. Instead of τῷ δὴ Γ ὅλῳ ὑπάρχει τὸ Α, πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον, Boethius has τῷ δὴ Β ὅλῳ ὑπάρχει τὸ Α, πᾶν γὰρ τὸ ἄχολον μακρόβιον. This cannot be accepted, because it enunciates the conclusion of the syllogism as if it were one of the premisses. We must remember that the conclusion of the Aristotelian Syllogism from Induction is, that A is predicable of B, one of the premisses to prove it being that A is predicable of the minor term C. But obviously we cannot admit as one of the premisses the proposition that A may be predicated of B, since this proposition would then be used as premiss to prove itself as conclusion.

If we examine the Aristotelian Inductive Syllogism which is intended to conduct us to the final probandum, we shall see that the terms of it are incorrectly set out by Bekker and Waitz, when they give the minor term Γ as designating τὸ καθ’ ἕκαστον μακρόβιον. This last is not one of the three terms, nor has it any place in the syllogism. The three terms are:

1. A — major — the class-term or class μακρόβιον — longævum.
2. B — middle — the class term or class ἄχολον — bile-less.
3. C — minor — the individual bile-less animals, man, horse, &c.

There is no term in the syllogism corresponding to the individual longæva or long-lived animals; this last (I repeat) has no place in the reasoning. We are noway concerned with the totality of long-lived animals; all that the syllogism undertakes to prove is, that in and among that totality all bile-less animals are included; whether there are or are not other long-lived animals besides the bile-less, the syllogism does not pretend to determine. The equation or co-extensiveness required (as described by M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire in his note) is not between the individual long-lived animals and the class, bile-less animals (middle term), but between the aggregate of individual animals known to be bile-less and the class, bile-less animals. The real minor term, therefore, is (not the individual long-lived animals, but) the individual bile-less animals. The two premisses of the Inductive Syllogism will stand thus:—

Men, Horses, Mules, &c., are long-lived (major).
Men, Horses, Mules, &c., are bile-less (minor).

And, inasmuch as the subject of the minor proposition is co-extensive with the predicate (which, if quantified according to Hamilton’s phraseology, would be, All bile-less animals), so that the proposition admits of being converted simply, — the middle term will become the subject of the conclusion, All bileless animals are long-lived.

54 Analyt. Prior. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 27: δεῖ δὲ νοεῖν τὸ Γ τὸ ἐξ ἁπάντων τῶν καθ’ ἕκαστον συγκείμενον· ἡ γὰρ ἐπαγωγὴ διὰ πάντων.

55 Analyt. Prior. II. xxiii. p. 68, p. 23: εἰ οὖν ἀντιστρέφει τὸ Γ τῷ Β, καὶ μὴ ὑπερτείνει τὸ μέσον, ἀνάγκη τὸ Α τῷ Β ὑπάρχειν.

Julius Pacius translates this: “Si igitur convertatur τὸ Γ cum B, nec medium excedat, necesse est τὸ Α τῷ Β inesse.” These Latin words include the same grammatical ambiguity as is found in the Greek original: medium, like τὸ μέσον, may be either an accusative case governed by excedat, or a nominative case preceding excedat. The same may be said of the other Latin translations, from Boethius downwards.

But M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire in his French translation, and Sir W. Hamilton in his English translation (Lectures on Logic, Vol. II. iv. p. 358, Appendix), steer clear of this ambiguity. The former says: “Si donc C est réciproque à B, et qu’il ne dépasse pas le moyen, il est nécessaire alors que A soit à B:” to the same purpose, Hamilton, l. c. These words are quite plain and unequivocal. Yet I do not think that they convey the meaning of Aristotle. In my judgment, Aristotle meant to say: “If then C reciprocates with B, and if the middle term (B) does not stretch beyond (the minor C), it is necessary that A should be predicable of B.” To show that this must be the meaning, we have only to reflect on what C and B respectively designate. It is assumed that C designates the sum of individual bile-less animals; and that B designates the class or class-term bile-less, that is, the totality thereof. Now the sum of individuals included in the minor (C) cannot upon any supposition overpass the totality: but it may very possibly fall short of totality; or (to state the same thing in other words) the totality may possibly surpass the sum of individuals under survey, but it cannot possibly fall short thereof. B is here the limit, and may possibly stretch beyond C; but cannot stretch beyond B. Hence I contend that the translations, both by M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire and Sir W. Hamilton, take the wrong side in the grammatical alternative admissible under the words καὶ μὴ ὑπερτείνει τὸ μέσον. The only doubt that could possibly arise in the case was, whether the aggregate of individuals designated by the minor did, or did not, reach up to the totality designated by the middle term; or (changing the phrase) whether the totality designated by the middle term did, or did not, stretch beyond the aggregate of individuals designated by the minor. Aristotle terminates this doubt by the words: “And if the middle term does not stretch beyond (the minor).” Of course the middle term does not stretch beyond, when the terms reciprocate; but when they do not reciprocate, the middle term must be the more extensive of the two; it can never be the less extensive of the two, since the aggregate of individuals cannot possibly exceed totality, though it may fall short thereof.

I have given in the text what I think the true meaning of Aristotle, departing from the translations of M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire and Sir W. Hamilton.

56 Analyt. Prior. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 30-38: ἔστι δ’ ὁ τοιοῦτος συλλογισμὸς τῆς πρώτης καὶ ἀμέσου προτάσεως· ὧν μὲν γάρ ἐστι μέσον, διὰ τοῦ μέσου ὁ συλλογισμός, ὧν δὲ μή ἐστι, δι’ ἐπαγωγῆς. — φύσει μὲν οὖν πρότερος καὶ γνωριμώτερος ὁ διὰ τοῦ μέσου συλλογισμός, ἡμῖν δ’ ἐναργέστερος ὁ διὰ τῆς ἐπαγωγῆς.

From Induction he proceeds to Example. You here take in (besides the three terms, major, middle, and minor, of the Syllogism) a fourth term; that is, a new particular case analogous to the minor. Your purpose here is to show — not, as in the ordinary Syllogism, that the major term is predicable of the minor, but, as in the Inductive Syllogism — that the major term is predicable of the middle term; and you prove this conclusion, not (as in the Inductive Syllogism) through the minor term, but through the new case or fourth term analogous to the minor.57 Let A represent evil or mischievous; B, war against neighbours, generally; C, war of Athens against Thebes, an event to come and under deliberation; D, war of Thebes against Phokis, a past event of which the issue is known to have been signally mischievous. You assume as known, first, that A is predicable of D, i.e. that the war of Thebes against Phokis has been disastrous; next, that B is predicable both of C and of D, i.e. that each of the two wars, of Athens against Thebes, and of Thebes against Phokis, is a war of neighbours against neighbours, or a conterminous war. Now from the premiss that A is predicable of D, along with the premiss that B is predicable of D, you infer that A is predicable of the class B, or of conterminous wars generally; and hence you draw the farther inference, that A is also predicable of C, another particular case under the same class B. The inference here is, in the first instance, from part to whole; and finally, through that whole, from the one part to another part of the same whole. Induction includes in its major premiss all the particulars, declaring all of them to be severally subjects of the major as predicate; hence it infers as conclusion, that the major is also predicable of the middle or class-term comprising all these particulars, but comprising no others. Example includes not all, but only one or a few particulars; inferring from it or them, first, to the entire 192class, next, to some new analogous particular belonging to the class.58

57 Ibid. II. xxiv. p. 68, b. 38: παραδεῖγμα δ’ ἐστὶν ὅταν τῷ μέσῳ τὸ ἄκρον ὑπάρχον δειχθῇ διὰ τοῦ ὁμοίου τῷ τρίτῳ.

58 Analyt. Prior. II. xxiv. p. 69, a. 1-19. Julius Pacius (p. 400) notes the unauthorized character of this so-called Paradeigmatic Syllogism, contradicting the rules of the figures laid down by Aristotle, and also the confused manner in which the scope of it is described: first, to infer from a single example to the universal; next, to infer from a single example through the universal to another parallel case. To which we may add the confused description in p. 69, a. 17, 18, where τὸ ἄκρον in the first of the two lines signifies the major extreme — in the second of the two the minor extreme. See Waitz’s note, p. 533.

If we turn to ch. xxvii. p. 70, a. 30-34, we shall find Aristotle on a different occasion disallowing altogether this so-called Syllogism from Example.

These chapters respecting Induction and Example are among the most obscure and perplexing in the Aristotelian Analytica. The attempt to throw both Induction and Example into the syllogistic form is alike complicated and unfortunate; moreover, the unsatisfactory reading and diversities in the text, among commentators and translators, show that the reasoning of Aristotle has hitherto been imperfectly apprehended.59 From some of his phrases, we see that he was aware of the essential antithesis between Induction and Syllogism; yet the syllogistic forms appear to have exercised such fascination over his mind, that he could not be satisfied without trying to find some abnormal form of Syllogism to represent and give validity to Induction. In explaining generally what the Syllogism is, and 193what Induction is, he informs us that the Syllogism presupposes and rests upon the process of Induction as its postulate. For there can be no valid Syllogism without an universal proposition in one (at least) of the premisses; and he declares, unequivocally, that universal propositions are obtained only through Induction. How Induction operates through the particular facts of sense, remembered, compared, and coalescing into clusters held together by associating similarity, he has also told us; it is thus that Experience, with its universal notions and conjunctions, is obtained. But this important process is radically distinct from that of syllogizing, though it furnishes the basis upon which all syllogizing is built.

59 Sir W. Hamilton (Lectures on Logic, vol. i. p. 319) says justly, that Aristotle has been very brief and unexplicit in his treatment of Induction. Yet the objections that Hamilton makes to Aristotle are very different from those which I should make. In the learned and valuable Appendix to his Lectures (vol. iv. pp. 358-369), he collects various interesting criticisms of logicians respecting Induction as handled by Aristotle. Ramus (in his Scholæ Dialecticæ, VIII. xi.) says very truly:— “Quid vero sit Inductio, perobscure ab Aristotele declaratur; nec ab interpretibus intelligitur, quo modo syllogismus per medium concludat majus extremum de minore; inductio, majus de medio per minus.”

The Inductive Syllogism, as constructed by Aristotle, requires a reciprocating minor premiss. It may, indeed, be cited (as I have already remarked) in support of Hamilton’s favourite precept of quantifying the predicate. The predicate of this minor must be assumed as quantified in thought, the subject being taken as co-extensive therewith. Therefore Hamilton’s demand that it shall be quantified in speech has really in this case that foundation which he erroneously claims for it in all cases. He complains that Lambert and some other logicians dispense with the necessity of quantifying the predicate of the minor by making it disjunctive; and adds the remarkable statement that “the recent German logicians, Herbart, Twesten, Drobisch, &c., following Lambert, make the Inductive Syllogism a byeword” (p. 366). I agree with them in thinking the attempted transformation of Induction into Syllogism very unfortunate, though my reasons are probably not the same as theirs.

Trendelenburg agrees with those who said that Aristotle’s doctrine about the Inductive Syllogism required that the minor should be disjunctively enunciated (Logische Untersuchungen, xiv. p. 175, xvi. pp. 262, 263; also Erläuterungen zu den Elementen der Aristotelischen Logik, ss. 34-36, p. 71). Ueberweg takes a similar view (System der Logik, sect. 128, p. 367, 3rd ed.). If the Inductive Inference is to be twisted into Syllogism, it seems more naturally to fall into an hypothetical syllogism, e. g.:—

If this, that, and the other magnet attract iron, all magnets attract iron;
But this, that, and the other magnet do attract iron: Ergo, &c.

The central idea of the Syllogism, as defined by Aristotle, is that of a conclusion following from given premisses by necessary sequence;60 meaning by the term necessary thus much and no more — that you cannot grant the premisses, and deny the conclusion, without being inconsistent with yourself, or falling into contradiction. In all the various combinations of propositions, set forth by Aristotle as the different figures and modes of Syllogism, this property of necessary sequence is found. But it is a property which no Induction can ever possess.61 When Aristotle professes to point out a particular mode of Syllogism to which Induction conforms, he can only do so by falsifying the process of Induction, and by not accurately distinguishing between what is observed and what is inferred. In the case which he takes to illustrate the Inductive Syllogism — the inference from all particular bile-less animals to the whole class bile-less — he assumes that we have ascertained the attribute to belong to all the particulars, and that the inductive inference consists in passing from all of them to the class-term; the passage from premisses to conclusion being here necessary, and thus falling under the definition of Syllogism; since, to grant the premisses, and yet to deny the conclusion, involves a contradiction. But this doctrine misconceives what the inductive inference really is. We never can observe all the particulars of a class, which is indefinite as to number of particulars, and definite only in respect of the attributes connoted by the class-term. We can only observe some 194of the particulars, a greater or smaller proportion. Now it is in the transition from these to the totality of particulars, that the real inductive inference consists; not in the transition from the totality to the class-term which denotes that totality and connotes its determining common attribute. In fact, the distinction between the totality of particulars and the meaning of the class-term, is one not commonly attended to; though it is worthy of note in an analysis of the intellectual process, and is therefore brought to view by Aristotle. But he employs it incorrectly as an intermediate step to slur over the radical distinction between Induction and Syllogism. He subjoins:62— “You must conceive the minor term C (in the Inductive Syllogism) as composed of all the particulars; for Induction is through all of them.” You may say that Induction is through all the particulars, if you distinguish this totality from the class-term, and if you treat the class-term as the ultimate terminus ad quem. But the Induction must first travel to all the particulars; being forced to take start from a part only, and then to jump onward far enough to cover the indefinite unobserved remainder. This jump is the real Induction; and this can never be brought under the definition of Syllogism; for in the best and most certain Induction the sequence is never a necessary one: you may grant the premisses and deny the conclusion without contradicting yourself.

60 Alexander intimates that Aristotle enunciated “necessary sequence” as a part of his definition of Syllogism, for the express purpose of distinguishing it from Induction, which is a sequence not necessary (Schol. ad Top. p. 253, a. 19, Br.): τὸ δ’ ἐξ ἀνάγκης προσκείμενον ἐν τῷ ὅρῳ, τῆς ἐπαγωγῆς χωρίζει τὸν συλλογισμόν· ἔστι μὲν γὰρ καὶ ἐπαγωγὴ λόγος ἐν ᾧ τεθέντων τινῶν ἕτερόν τι τῶν κειμένων συμβαίνει, ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐξ ἀνάγκης.

61 Alexander (in his Scholia on the Metaphysica, E. i. p. 406, ed. Bonitz) observes truly: ἀλλ’ εἰ ἐκ τῆς αἰσθήσεως καὶ τῆς ἐπαγωγῆς πίστις, οὐκ ἔστιν ἀπόδειξις, πρὸς πᾶσαν γὰρ ἐπαγωγὴν δύναταί τις ἐνίστασθαι καὶ μὴ ἐᾷν τὸ καθόλου συμπεραίνειν.

62 Analyt. Prior. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 27: δεῖ δὲ νοεῖν τὸ Γ τὸ ἐξ ἁπάντων τῶν καθ’ ἕκαστον συγκείμενον· ἡ γὰρ ἐπαγωγὴ διὰ πάντων. See Professor Bain’s ‘Inductive Logic,’ chap. i. s. 2, where this process is properly criticised.

Aristotle states very clearly:— “We believe everything either through Syllogism, or from Induction.”63 Here, as well as in several other passages, he notes the two processes as essentially distinct. The Syllogism requires in its premisses at least one general proposition; nor does Aristotle conceive the “generalities as the original data:”64 he derives them from antecedent Induction. The two processes are (as he says) opposite in a certain way; that is, they are complementary halves of the same whole; Induction being the establishment of those universals which are essential for the deductive march of the Syllogism; while the two together make up the entire process of scientific reasoning. But he forgets or relinquishes this antithesis, when he presents to us the Inductive process as a given variety of Syllogism. And the objection to such a doctrine becomes the more manifest, 195since in constructing his Inductive Syllogism, he is compelled to admit either that there is no middle term, or that the middle term is subject of the conclusion, in violation of the syllogistic canons.65

63 Ibid. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 13: ἅπαντα γὰρ πιστεύομεν ἢ διὰ συλλογισμοῦ ἢ ἐξ ἐπαγωγῆς. Here Induction includes Example, though in the next stage he puts the two apart. Compare Anal. Poster. I. i. p. 71, a. 9.

64 See Mr. John Stuart Mill’s System of Logic, Bk. II. ch. iii. a. 4, p. 219, 5th ed.

65 Aldrich (Artis Log. Rudim. ch. iii. 9, 2, p. 175) and Archbishop Whately (Elem. of Logic, ch. i. p. 209) agree in treating the argument of Induction as a defective or informal Syllogism: see also to the same purpose Sir W. Hamilton, Lectures on Logic, vol. i. p. 322. Aldrich treats it as a Syllogism in Barbara, with the minor suppressed; but Whately rejects this, because the minor necessary to be supplied is false. He maintains that the premiss suppressed is the major, not the minor. I dissent from both. It appears to me that the opinion which Whately pronounces to be a fallacy is the real truth: “Induction is a distinct kind of argument from the Syllogism” (p. 208). It is the essential property of the Syllogism, as defined by Aristotle and by every one after him, that the truth of the conclusion follows necessarily from the truth of its premisses: that you cannot admit the premisses and reject the conclusion without contradicting yourself. Now this is what the best Induction never attains; and I contend that the presence or absence of this important characteristic is quite enough to constitute “two distinct kinds of argument.” Whately objects to Aldrich (whom Hamilton defends) for supplying a suppressed minor, because it is “manifestly false” (p. 209). I object to Whately’s supplied major, because it is uncertified, and therefore cannot be used to prove any conclusion. By clothing arguments from Induction in syllogistic form, we invest them with a character of necessity which does not really belong to them. The establishment of general propositions, and the interpretation of them when established (to use the phraseology of Mr. Mill), must always be distinct mental processes; and the forms appropriate to the latter, involving necessary sequence, ought not to be employed to disguise the want of necessity — the varying and graduated probability, inherent in the former. Mr. Mill says (Syst. Log. Bk. III. ch. iii. s. 1, p. 343, 5th ed.:) — “As Whately remarks, every induction is a syllogism with the major premiss suppressed; or (as I prefer expressing it) every induction may be thrown into the form of a syllogism, by supplying a major premiss.” Even in this modified phraseology, I cannot admit the propriety of throwing Induction into syllogistic forms of argument. By doing this we efface the special character of Induction, as the jump from particular cases, more or fewer, to an universal proposition comprising them and an indefinite number of others besides. To state this in forms which imply that it is a necessary step, involving nothing more than the interpretation of a higher universal proposition, appears to me unphilosophical. Mr. Mill says with truth (in his admirable chapter explaining the real function of the major premiss in a Syllogism, p. 211), that the individual cases are all the evidence which we possess; the step from them to universal propositions ought not to be expressed in forms which suppose universal propositions to be already attained.

I will here add that, though Aldrich himself (as I stated at the beginning of this note) treats the argument from Induction as a defective or informal Syllogism, his anonymous Oxonian editor and commentator takes a sounder view. He says (pp. 176, 177, 184, ed. 1823. Oxon.):—

“The principles acquired by human powers may be considered as twofold. Some are intuitive, and are commonly called Axioms; the other class of general principles are those acquired by Induction. But it may be doubted whether this distinction is correct. It is highly probable, if not certain, that those primary Axioms generally esteemed intuitive, are in fact acquired by an inductive process; although that process is less discernible, because it takes place long before we think of tracing the actings of our own minds. It is often found necessary to facilitate the understanding of those Axioms, when they are first proposed to the judgment, by illustrations drawn from individual cases. But whether it is, as is generally supposed, the mere enunciation of the principle, or the principle itself, which requires the illustration, may admit of a doubt. It seems probable, however that, such illustrations are nothing more than a recurrence to the original method by which the knowledge of those principles was acquired. Thus, the repeated trial or observation of the necessary connection between mathematical coincidence and equality, first authorizes the general position or Axiom relative to that subject. If this conjecture is founded in fact, it follows that both primary and ultimate principles have the same nature and are alike acquired by the exercise of the inductive faculty.” “Those who acquiesce in the preceding observations will feel a regret to find Induction classed among defective or informal Syllogisms. It is in fact prior in its order to Syllogism; nor can syllogistic reasoning he carried on to any extent without previous Induction” (p. 184).

196We must presume Syllogisms without a middle term, when we read:— “The Syllogism through a middle term is by nature prior, and of greater cognitive efficacy; but to us the Syllogism through Induction is plainer and clearer.”66 Nor, indeed, is the saying, when literally taken, at all well-founded; for the pretended Syllogisms from Induction and Example, far from being clear and plain, are more involved and difficult to follow than Barbara and Celarent. Yet the substance of Aristotle’s thought is true and important, when considered as declaring the antithesis (not between varieties of Syllogisms, but) between Induction and Example on the one part, and Syllogism (Deduction) on the other. It is thus that he sets out the same antithesis elsewhere, both in the Analytica Posteriora and the Topica.67 Prior and more cognizable by nature or absolutely, prior and more cognizable to us or in relation to us — these two are not merely distinct, but the one is the correlate and antithesis of the other.

66 Analyt. Prior. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 35: φύσει μὲν οὖν πρότερος καὶ γνωριμώτερος ὁ διὰ τοῦ μέσου συλλογισμός, ἡμῖν δ’ ἐναργέστερος ὁ διὰ τῆς ἐπαγωγῆς.

67 Analyt. Post. I. ii. p. 72, a. 2, b. 29; Ethic. Nik. VI. iii. p. 1139, b. 28: ἡ μὲν δὴ ἐπαγωγὴ ἀρχή ἐστι καὶ τοῦ καθόλοῦ, ὁ δὲ συλλογισμὸς ἐκ τῶν καθόλου. εἰσὶν ἄρα ἀρχαὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ συλλογισμός, ὧν οὐκ ἔστι συλλογισμός· ἐπαγωγὴ ἄρα. Compare Topica, I. xii. p. 105, a. 11; VI. iv. pp. 141, 142; Physica, I. i. p. 184, a. 16; Metaphysic. E. iv. p. 1029, b. 4-12. Compare also Trendelenburg’s explanation of this doctrine, Erläuterungen zu den Elementen der Aristotelischen Logik, sects. 18, 19, 20, p. 33, seq.

To us the particulars of sense stand first, and are the earliest objects of knowledge. To us, means to the large variety of individual minds, which grow up imperceptibly from the simple capacities of infancy to the mature accomplishments of adult years; each acquiring its own stock of sensible impressions, remembered, compared, associated; and each learning a language, which both embodies in general terms and propositions the received classification of objects, and communicates the current emotional beliefs. We all begin by being learners; and we ascend by different paths to those universal notions and beliefs which constitute the common fund of the advanced intellect; developed in some minds into principia of philosophy with their consequences. By nature, or absolutely, these principia are considered as prior, and as forming the point of departure: the advanced position is regarded as gained, and the march taken is not that of the novice, but that of the trained adult, who having already learnt much, is doubly equipped either for learning more or for teaching others; who thus stands on a summit 197from whence he surveys nature as a classified and coherent whole, manifesting herself in details which he can interpret and sometimes predict. The path of knowledge, seen relatively to us, is one through particulars, by way of example to fresh particulars, or by way of induction to universals. The path of knowledge, by nature or absolutely, is from universals by way of deduction either to new universals or to new particulars. By the cognitive nature of man, Aristotle means the full equipment, of and for cognition, which our mature age exhibits; notiora naturâ are the acquisitions, points of view, and processes, familiar in greater or less perfection to such mature individuals and societies. Notiora nobis are the facts and processes with which all of us begin, and which belong to the intellect in its highest as well as its lowest stage; though, in the higher stages, they are employed, directed, and modified, by an acquired intellectual capital, and by the permanent machinery of universal significant terms in which that capital is invested.

Such is the antithesis between notiora naturâ (or simpliciter) and notiora nobis (or quoad nos), which Aristotle recognizes as a capital point in his philosophy, and insists upon in many of his writings. The antithesis is represented by Example and Induction, in the point of view — quoad nos — last mentioned; by Syllogism or Deduction, in the other point of view — naturâ. Induction (he says),68 or the rising from particulars to universals, is plainer, more persuasive, more within the cognizance of sensible perception, more within the apprehension of mankind generally, than Syllogism; but Syllogism is more cogent and of greater efficacy against controversial opponents. What he affirms here about Induction is equally true about the inference from Example, that is, the inference from one or some particulars, to other analogous particulars; the rudimentary intellectual process, common to all human and to many animal minds, of which Induction is an improvement and an exaltation. While Induction will be more impressive, and will carry assent more easily with an ordinary uncultivated mind, an acute disputant may always deny the ultimate inference, for the denial 198involves no contradiction. But the rightly constructed Syllogism constrains assent;69 the disputant cannot grant the premisses and deny the conclusion without contradicting himself. The constraining force, however, does not come into accurate and regulated working until the principles and conditions of deductive reasoning have been set forth — until the Syllogism has been analysed, and the characteristics of its validity, as distinguished from its invalidity, have been marked out. This is what Aristotle teaches in the Analytica and Topica. It admits of being set out in regular figure and mode — forms of premisses with the conclusion appropriate to each; and the lesson must be learnt before we can know how far the force of deductive reasoning, which begins with the notiora naturâ, is legitimately binding and trustworthy.

68 Aristot. Topica, I. xii. p. 105, a. 13-19: ἐπαγωγὴ δὲ ἡ ἀπὸ τῶν καθ’ ἕκαστον ἐπὶ τὰ καθόλου ἔφοδος· οἷον εἰ ἔστι κυβερνήτης ὁ ἐπιστάμενος κράτιστος καὶ ἡνίοχος, καὶ ὅλως ἐστὶν ὁ ἐπιστάμενος περὶ ἕκαστον ἄριστος. ἔστι δ’ ἡ μὲν ἐπαγωγὴ πιθανώτερον καὶ σαφέστερον καὶ κατὰ τὴν αἴσθησιν γνωριμώτερον, καὶ τοῖς πολλοῖς κοινόν· ὁ δὲ συλλογισμὸς βιαστικώτερον καὶ πρὸς τοὺς ἀντιλογικοὺς ἐνεργέστερον. Also the same treatise. VI. iv. p. 141, b. 17.

The inductive interrogations of Sokrates relating to matters of common life, and the way in which they convinced ordinary hearers, are strikingly illustrated in the Memorabilia of Xenophon, especially IV. vi.: πολὺ μάλιστα ὧν ἐγὼ οἶδα, ὅτε λέγοι, τοὺς ἀκούοντας ὁμολογοῦντας παρεῖχεν (15). The same can hardly be said of the Platonic dialogues.

69 Bacon, Novum Organ. I. Aphor. 13:— “Syllogismus assensum constringit, non res.”

Both the two main points of Aristotle’s doctrine — the antithesis between Induction and Deduction, and the dependence of the latter process upon premisses furnished by the former, so that the two together form the two halves of complete ratiocination and authoritative proof — both these two are confused and darkened by his attempt to present the Inductive inference and the Analogical or Paradeigmatic inference as two special forms of Syllogistic deduction.70 But when we put aside this attempt, and adhere to Aristotle’s main doctrine — of Induction as a process antithetical to and separate from Deduction, yet as an essential preliminary thereto, — we see that it forms the basis of that complete and comprehensive System of Logic, recently elaborated in the work of Mr. John Stuart Mill. The inference from Example (i.e. from some particulars to other similar particulars) is distinguished by Aristotle from Induction, and is recognized by him as the primitive intellectual energy, common to all men, through which Induction is reached; its results he calls Experience (ἐμπειρία), and he describes it as the real guide, more essential than philosophical generalities, to exactness of 199performance in detail.71 Mr. John Mill has been the first to assign to Experience, thus understood, its full value and true position in the theory of Ratiocination; and to show that the Paradeigmatic process exhibits the prime and ultimate reality of all Inference, the real premisses and the real conclusion which Inference connects together. Between these two is interposed the double process of which Induction forms the first half and Deduction the second; neither the one nor the other being indispensable to Inference, but both of them being required as securities for Scientific inference, if we desire to have its correctness tested and its sufficiency certified; the real evidence, whereby the conclusion of a Syllogism is proved, being the minor premiss, together with (not the major premiss itself, but) the assemblage of particular facts from which by Induction the major premiss is drawn. Now Aristotle had present to his mind the conception of Inference as an entire process, enabling us from some particular truths to discover and prove other particular truths: he considers it as an unscientific process, of which to a limited extent other animals besides man are capable, and which, as operative under the title of Experience in mature practical men, is a safer guide than Science amidst the doubts and difficulties of action. Upon this foundation he erects the superstructure of Science; the universal propositions acquired through Induction, and applied again to particulars or to lower generalities, through the rules of the deductive Syllogism. He signalizes, with just emphasis, the universalizing point of view called Science or Theory; but he regards it as emerging from particular facts, and as travelling again downwards towards particular facts. The misfortune is, that he contents himself with barely recognizing, though he distinctly proclaims the necessity of, the inductive part of this complex operation; while he bestows elaborate care upon the analysis of the deductive part, and of the rules for conducting it. From this disproportionate treatment, one half of Logic is made to look like the whole; Science is disjoined from Experience, and is presented as consisting in Deduction alone; every thing which is not Deduction, is degraded into unscientific Experience; the major premiss of the Syllogism being considered as part of the proof of the conclusion, and the conclusion being necessarily connected 200therewith, we appear to have acquired a locus standi and a binding cogency such as Experience could never supply; lastly, when Aristotle resolves Induction into a peculiar variety of the Syllogism, he appears finally to abolish all its separate dignity and jurisdiction. This one-sided view of Logic has been embraced and perpetuated by the Aristotelian expositors, who have carefully illustrated, and to a certain extent even amplified, the part which was already in comparative excess, while they have added nothing to the part that was in defect, and have scarcely even preserved Aristotle’s recognition of it as being not merely legitimate but essential. The vast body of Inductive Science, accumulated during the last three centuries, has thus, until recently, been allowed to grow up, as if its proofs and processes had nothing to do with Logic.

70 Heyder (in his learned treatise, Darstellung der Aristotelischen und Hegelschen Dialektik, p. 226), after having considered the unsatisfactory process whereby Aristotle attempts to resolve Induction into a variety of Syllogism, concludes by a remark which I think just:— “Aus alle dem erhellt zur Genüge, dass sich Aristoteles bei dem Versuch die Induction auf eine Schlussform zurückzuführen, selbst sich nicht recht befriedigt fühlte, und derselbe wohl nur aus seinem durchgängigen Bestreben zu erklären ist, alles wissenschaftliche Verfahren in die Form des Schlusses zu bringen; dass dagegen, seiner eigentlichen Meinung und der strengen Consequenz seiner Lehre zu Folge, die Induction zum syllogistischen und beweisenden Verfahren einen in dem Begriff der beiden Verfahrungsweisen liegenden Gegensatz bildete, was sich ihm dann auch auf das Verhältniss der Induction zur Begriffsbestimmung ausdehnen musste.”

71 Aristot. Analyt. Prior. II. xxiii. p. 68, b. 12; xxvi. p. 69, a. 17. Analyt. Post. II. xix. p. 99, b. 30, seq.; xiii. p. 97, b. 7. Topica, VIII. i. p. 155, b. 35; p. 156, b. 10; p. 157, a. 14-23; p. 160, a. 36. Metaphys. A. i. p. 980, b. 25-p. 981, a. 30. This first chapter of the Metaphysica is one of the most remarkable passages of Aristotle, respecting the analytical philosophy of mind.

But though this restricted conception of Logic or the theory of Reasoning has arisen naturally from Aristotle’s treatment, I maintain that it does not adequately represent his view of that theory. In his numerous treatises on other subjects, scarcely any allusion is made to the Syllogism; nor is appeal made to the rules for it laid down in the Analytica. His conviction that the formalities of Deduction were only one part of the process of general reasoning, and that the value of the final conclusion depended not merely upon their being correctly performed, but also upon the correctness of that initial part whereby they are supplied with matter for premisses — is manifested as well by his industry (unrivalled among his contemporaries) in collecting multifarious facts, as by his specific declarations respecting Induction. Indeed, a recent most erudite logician, Sir William Hamilton, who insists upon the construction of Logic in its strictest sense as purely formal, blames Aristotle72 for having transgressed this boundary, and for introducing other considerations bearing on diversities of matter and of material evidence. The charge so made, to whatever extent it is well-founded, does rather partake of the nature of praise; inasmuch as it evinces Aristotle’s larger views of the theory of Inference, and confirms his own statement that the Deductive process was only the last half of it, presupposing a prior Induction. It is only this last half that Aristotle has here analysed, setting forth its formal conditions with precepts founded thereupon; while he claims to have accomplished the work by long and patient investigation, having found not the smallest foundation laid by others, and 201bespeaks indulgence73 as for a first attempt requiring to be brought to completion by others. He made this first step for himself; and if any one would make a second step, so as to apply the same analysis to the other half, and to bring out in like manner the formal conditions and principles of Induction, we may fairly believe that Aristotle would have welcomed the act, as filling up what he himself recognized to be a gap in the entire compass of Reasoning. As to his own achievement, it is certain that he could not have composed the Analytica and Topica, if he had not had before him many specimens of the deductive process to study and compare. Neither could the inductive process have been analysed, until after the examples of successful advance in inductive science which recent years have furnished. Upon these examples, mainly, has been based the profound System of Mr. John Stuart Mill, analysing and discriminating the formalities of Induction in the same way as those of Deduction had before been handled by Aristotle; also fusing the two together as co-operative towards one comprehensive scheme of Logic — the Logic of Evidence generally, or of Truth as discoverable and proveable. In this scheme the Syllogistic Theory, or Logic of Consistency between one proposition and others, is recognized as an essential part, but is no longer tolerated as an independent whole.74

72 See his Discussions on Philosophy, p. 139, seq.; Lectures on Logic, vol. i. p. 27.

73 See the remarkable paragraph at the close of the Sophistici Elenchi, already quoted (supra, p. 140, note).

74 Mr. John Stuart Mill says (Bk. II. ch. i. sect. 3): “Induction is inferring a proposition from premisses less general than itself, and Ratiocination is inferring a proposition from premisses equally or more general.” Again in another passage: “We have found that all Inference, consequently all Proof, and all discovery of truths not self-evident, consists of inductions, and the interpretation of inductions; that all our knowledge, not intuitive, comes to us exclusively from that source. What Induction is, therefore, and what conditions render it legitimate, cannot but be deemed the main question of logic — the question which includes all others. It is however one which professed writers on logic have almost entirely passed over. The generalities of the subject, indeed, have not been altogether neglected by metaphysicians; but, for want of sufficient acquaintance with the processes by which science has actually succeeded in establishing general truths, their analysis of the inductive operation, even when unexceptionable as to correctness, has not been specific enough to be made the foundation of practical rules, which might be for Induction itself what the rules of the Syllogism are for interpretation of Induction” (Bk. III. ch. i. s. 1. p. 313.) — “The business of Inductive Logic is to provide rules and models (such as the Syllogism and its rules are for ratiocination) to which if inductive arguments conform, those arguments are conclusive, and not otherwise. This is what the Four Methods profess to be, and what I believe they are universally considered to be by experimental philosophers, who had practised all of them long before any one sought to reduce the practice to theory” (Bk. III. ch. ix. s. 5, p. 471, 5th ed.) — See also the same point of view more copiously set forth, in Mr. Mill’s later work, ‘Examination of Sir W. Hamilton’s Philosophy’ (ch. xx. pp. 454-462, 3rd ed.): “It is only as a means to material truth that the formal (or to speak more clearly, the conditional) validity of an operation of thought is of any value; and even that value is only negative: we have not made the smallest positive advance towards right thinking, by merely keeping ourselves consistent in what is perhaps systematic error. This by no means implies that Formal Logic, even in its narrowest sense, is not of very great, though purely negative value.” — “Not only however is it indispensable that the larger Logic, which embraces all the general conditions of the ascertainment of truth, should be studied in addition to the smaller Logic, which only concerns itself with the conditions of consistency; but the smaller Logic ought to be (at least, finally) studied as part of the greater — as a portion of the means to the same end; and its relation to the other parts — to the other means — should be distinctly displayed.”

202After adverting to another variety of ratiocinative procedure, which he calls Apagoge or Abduction (where the minor is hardly more evident than the conclusion, and might sometimes conveniently become a conclusion first to be proved),75 Aristotle goes on to treat of Objection generally — the function of the dialectical respondent. The Enstasis or Objection is a proposition opposed not to a conclusion, but to the proposition set up by the defendant. When the proposition set up by him is universal, as it must be if he seeks to establish an universal conclusion, your objection may be either universal or particular: you may deny either the whole of his proposition, or only one portion of the particulars contained under it; the denial of one single particular, when substantiated, being enough to overthrow his universal. Accordingly, your objection, being thus variously opposed to the proposition, will lie in the syllogistic figures which admit opposite conclusions; that is, either in the First or Third; for the Second figure admits only negative conclusions not opposed to each other. If the defendant has set up an Universal Affirmative, you may deny the whole and establish a contrary negative, in the First figure; or you may deny a part only, and establish a contradictory negative, in the Third figure. The like, if he has set up an Universal Negative: you may impugn it either by an universal contrary affirmative, in the First figure; or by a particular contradictory affirmative, in the Third figure.76

75 Analyt. Prior. II. xxv. p. 69, a. 20-36.

76 Ibid. II. xxvi. p. 69, a. 37-b. 37.

In objecting to A universally, you take a term comprehending the original subject; in objecting particularly, a term comprehended by it. Of the new term in each case you deny the original predicate, and have thus, as a major premiss, E. For a minor premiss, you affirm, in the first case, the new term as predicate of the original subject (less comprehensive); in the second case, the original subject (more comprehensive) as predicate of the new term. This gives you, in the first case, a conclusion in Celarent (Fig. I.), and, in the second, a conclusion in Felapton (Fig. III.); opposed, the one universally or contrarily, the other particularly or contradictorily, to the original proposition.

The Enthymeme is a syllogism from Probabilities or Signs;77 the two being not exactly the same. Probabilities are propositions commonly accepted, and true in the greater number of cases; such as, Envious men hate those whom they envy, Persons who are beloved look with affection on those who love 203them. We call it a Sign, when one fact is the antecedent or consequent of another, and therefore serves as mark or evidence thereof. The conjunction may be either constant, or frequent, or merely occasional: if constant, we obtain for the major premiss of our syllogism a proposition approaching that which is universally or necessarily true; if not constant but only frequent or occasional, the major premiss of our syllogism will at best only be probable. The constant conjunction will furnish us with a Syllogism or Enthymeme in the First figure; the significant mark being here a genuine middle term — subject in the major premiss, and predicate in the minor. We can then get a conclusion both affirmative and universally true. In other cases, we cannot obtain premisses for a syllogism in the First figure, but only for a syllogism in the Second or Third. In the Third figure, since we get by right no universal conclusions at all, but only particular conclusions, the conclusion of the Enthymeme, though it may happen to be true, is open to refutation. Where by the laws of Syllogism no affirmative conclusion whatever is possible, as in the Second figure, the conclusion obtained by Enthymeme is altogether suspicious. In contrast with the Sign in these figures, that which enters as an effective middle term into the First figure, should be distinguished under the name of Proof (τεκμήριον.)78

77 Ibid. II. xxvii. p. 70, a. 10: ἐνθύμημα μὲν οὖν ἐστὶ συλλογισμὸς ἐξ εἰκότων ἢ σημείων· λαμβάνεται δὲ τὸ σημεῖον τριχῶς, ὁσαχῶς καὶ τὸ μέσον ἐν τοῖς σχήμασι.

78 Analyt. Prior. II. xxvii. p. 70, a. 31-b. 6.

Aristotle throws in the remark (a. 24), that, when one premiss only of the Enthymeme is enunciated, it is a Sign; when the other is added, it becomes a Syllogism. In the examples given to illustrate the description of the Enthymeme, that which belongs to the First figure has its three terms and two propositions specified like a complete and regular Syllogism; but when we come to the Third and Second figures, Aristotle gives two alternate ways of stating each: one way in full, with both premisses enunciated, constituting a normal, though invalid, Syllogism; the other way, with only one of the premisses enunciated, the other being suppressed as well-known and familiar.

Among logicians posterior to Aristotle, the definition given of the Enthymeme, and supposed to be derived from Aristotle was, that it was a Syllogism with one of the premisses suppressed — μονολήμματος. Sir W. Hamilton has impugned this doctrine, and has declared the definition to be both absurd in itself, and not countenanced by Aristotle. (Lectures on Logic, Vol. I. Lect. xx. p. 386, seq.) I think Hamilton is mistaken on this point. (See Mr. Cope’s Introd. to Arist. Rhetoric, p. 103, seq.) Even in the present chapter Aristotle distinctly alludes to the monolemmatic enunciation of the Enthymeme as one mode of distinguishing it from a full Syllogism; and in the Rhetorica he brings out this characteristic still more forcibly. The distinction is one which belongs to Rhetoric more than to Logic; the rhetor, in enunciating his premisses, must be careful not to weary his auditors; he must glance at or omit reasons that are familiar to them; logical fulness and accuracy would be inconsistent with his purpose. The writers subsequent to Aristotle, who think much of the rhetorical and little of the logical point of view, bring out the distinction yet more forcibly. But the rhetorical mode of stating premisses is often not so much an omission either of major or minor, as a confused blending or packing up of both into one.

Aristotle concludes his Analytica Priora by applying this doctrine of Signs to determine the limits within which Physiognomy204 as a science is practicable. The basis upon which it rests is this general fact or postulate: That in all natural affections of the animal, bodily changes and mental changes accompany each other. The former, therefore, may become signs or proofs of the latter,79 if, in each class of animals, we can discriminate the one specific bodily phenomenon which attaches to each mental phenomenon. Thus, the lion is a courageous animal. What is the bodily sign accompanying a courageous disposition? It is (we assume here) the having extremities of great size. This belongs to all lions, as a proprium; in the sense that, though it may or does belong also to some individuals of other races (as men), it does not belong to any other entire race. Physiognomy as a science will, then, be possible, if we can find races of animals which have only one characteristic mental attribute, and if we can discover what is the physical attribute correlating with it.80 But the difficulties are greater when the same race has two characteristic mental attributes (e.g. lions are both courageous and generous), each with its correlative physical attribute; for how can we tell which belongs to which? We have then to study individuals of other races possessing one of these attributes without the other; thus, if we find that courageous men, who are not generous, agree in having large extremities, we may infer that this last circumstance is, in the lion, the correlative mark of his courage and not of his generosity. The physiognomonic inference will be expressed by a syllogism in the First figure, in which the major term (A) reciprocates and is convertible with the middle term (B), while B stretches beyond (or is more extensive than) the minor (C); this relation of the terms being necessary, if there is to be a single mark for a particular attribute.81

79 Analyt. Prior. II. xxvii. p. 70, b. 7-16: εἴ τις δίδωσιν ἅμα μεταβάλλειν τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὴν ψυχήν, ὅσα φυσικά ἐστι παθήματα· — συμπάσχειν γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ὑποκεῖται. See the Aristotelian treatise entitled Φυσιογνωμονικά, pp. 808-809, Bekk.

80 Ibid. II. xxvii. p. 70, b. 22. About the characteristics of the lion see Aristot. Physiognom. p. 809, b. 14-36: τὰ περὶ τὴν ψυχὴν δοτικὸν καὶ ἐλεύθερον, μεγαλόψυχον καὶ φιλόνικον, καὶ πραῢ καὶ δίκαιον καὶ φιλόστοργον πρὸς ἃ ἂν ὁμιλήσῃ.

81 Ibid. II. xxvii. p. 70, b. 31-36.

Here the treatise ends; but the reader will remember that, in describing the canons laid down by Aristotle for the Syllogism with its three Figures and the Modes contained therein, I confined myself to the simple Assertory syllogism, postponing for the moment the long expositions added by him about Modal syllogisms, involving the Possible and the Necessary. What is proper to be said about this complicated and useless portion of the Analytica Priora, may well come in here; for, in truth, 205the doctrines just laid down about Probabilities, Signs, and Proofs, bring us back to the Modals under a different set of phrases. The Possible or Problematical is that, of the occurrence or reality of which we doubt, neither believing nor disbelieving it, not being prepared to assert either that it is, or that it is not; that which may be or may not be. It is our manner of speaking, when we have only signs or probabilities to guide us, and not certain proofs. The feeling of doubt is, as a psychological phenomenon, essentially distinct from the feeling of belief which, in its objective aspect, correlates with certainty or matter of fact; as well as from the feeling of disbelief, the correlate of which can only be described negatively. Every man knows these feelings by his own mental experience. But in describing the feeling of doubt, as to its matter or in its objective aspect, we must take care to use phrases which declare plainly both sides of its disjunctive or alternative character. The Possible is, That which either may be or may not be. As That which may be, it stands opposed to the Impossible; as That which may not be, it stands opposed to the Necessary. It thus carries with it negation both of impossibility and of necessity; but, in common parlance, the first half of this meaning stands out prominently, and is mistaken for the whole. Aristotle, as we saw previously, speaks equivocally on this point, recognizing a double signification of the term: he sometimes uses it in the sense opposed only to impossible, maintaining that what is necessary must also be possible; sometimes in the truer sense, opposed both to necessity and to impossibility.82

82 Aristot. De Interpret. xiii. p. 22. Analyt. Prior. I. xiii. p. 32, a. 21, 29, 36, xiv. p. 33, b. 22; xix. p. 38, a. 35.

The Possible or Problematical, however, in this latter complete sense — What may or may not be — exhibits various modifications or gradations. 1. The chances on either side may be conceived as perfectly equal, so that there is no probability, and we have no more reason for expecting one side of the alternative than the other; the sequence or conjunction is indeterminate. Aristotle construes this indeterminateness in many cases (not as subjective, or as depending upon our want of complete knowledge and calculating power, but) as objective, insuperable, and inherent in many phenomenal agencies; characterizing it, under the names of Spontaneity and Chance, as the essentially unpredictable. 2. The chances on both sides may be conceived as unequal and the ratio between them as varying infinitely: the usual and ordinary tendency of phenomena — what Aristotle calls 206Nature — prevails in the majority of cases, but not in all; being liable to occasional counteraction from Chance and other forces. Thus, between Necessity and perfect constancy at one extreme (such as the rotation of the sidereal sphere), and Chance at the other, there may be every shade of gradation; from natural agency next below the constant, down to the lowest degree of probability.83

83 Analyt. Prior. I. xiii. p. 32, b. 5-19. τὸ δ’ ἀόριστον τῷ μηδὲν μᾶλλον οὕτως ἢ ἐκείνως. Compare Metaphys. K. p. 1064, b. 32.

Now, within the range of these limits lie what Aristotle describes as Signs and Probabilities; in fact, all the marks which we shall presently come to as distinguishing the dialectical syllogism from the demonstrative. But here is involved rather the matter of the Syllogism than its form. The form indeed is so far implicated, that (as Aristotle justly remarks at the end of the Analytica Priora84), the First figure is the only one that will prove both conjunctions and disjunctions, as well constant as occasional; the Third figure proves only occasional conjunctions and occasional disjunctions, not constant; the Second figure will prove no conjunctions at all, but only disjunctions, constant as well as occasional. Here a difference of form is properly pointed out as coupled with and founded on a difference of matter. But the special rules given by Aristotle, early in the present treatise, for the conversion of Modal Propositions, and the distinctions that he draws as to the modal character of the conclusion according as one or other of the premisses belongs to one or other of the different modes, — are both prolix and of little practical value.85

84 Analyt. Prior. II. xxvii. p. 70, a. 2-38. Compare what is said here about εἰκός, σημεῖον, τεκμήριον, with the first chapter of the Topica, and the dialectic syllogism as there described: ὁ ἐξ ἐνδόξων συλλογιζόμενος.

85 Ibid. I. viii.-xxii. p. 29, b. 29-p. 40, b. 16.

What he calls the Necessary might indeed, from the point of view now reached, cease to be recognized as a separate mode at all. The Certain and the Problematical are real modes of the Proposition; objective correlates to the subjective phases called Belief and Doubt. But no proposition can be more than certain: the word necessary, in strictness, implies only a peculiarity of the evidence on which our belief is grounded. Granting certain given premisses to be true, a given conclusion must be true also, if we would avoid inconsistency and contradiction.









In the two books of Analytica Priora, Aristotle has carried us through the full doctrine of the functions and varieties of the Syllogism; with an intimation that it might be applied to two purposes — Demonstration and Dialectic. We are now introduced to these two distinct applications of the Syllogism: first, in the Analytica Posteriora, to Demonstration; next, in the Topica, to Dialectic. We are indeed distinctly told that, as far as the forms and rules of Syllogism go, these are alike applicable to both;1 but the difference of matter and purpose in the two cases is so considerable as to require a distinct theory and precepts for the one and for the other.

1 Analyt. Prior. I. xxx. p. 46, a. 4-10; Analyt. Post. I. ii. p. 71, a. 23.

The contrast between Dialectic (along with Rhetoric) on the one hand and Science on the other is one deeply present to the mind of Aristotle. He seems to have proceeded upon the same fundamental antithesis as that which appears in the Platonic dialogues; but to have modified it both in meaning and in terminology, dismissing at the same time various hypotheses with which Plato had connected it.

The antithesis that both thinkers have in view is Opinion or Common Sense versus Science or Special Teaching and Learning; those aptitudes, acquirements, sentiments, antipathies, &c., which a man imbibes and appropriates insensibly, partly by his own doing and suffering, partly by living amidst the drill and example of a given society — as distinguished from those accomplishments which he derives from a teacher already known to possess them, and in which both the time of his apprenticeship and the steps of his progress are alike assignable.

Common Sense is the region of Opinion, in which there is diversity of authorities and contradiction of arguments without any settled truth; all affirmations being particular and relative, true at one time and place, false at another. Science, on the contrary, deals with imperishable Forms and universal truths, 208which Plato regards, in their subjective aspect, as the innate, though buried, furniture of the soul, inherited from an external pre-existence, and revived in it out of the misleading data of sense by a process first of the cross-examining Elenchus, next of scientific Demonstration. Plato depreciates altogether the untaught, unexamined, stock of acquirements which passes under the name of Common Sense, as a mere worthless semblance of knowledge without reality; as requiring to be broken up by the scrutinizing Elenchus, in order to impress a painful but healthy consciousness of ignorance, and to prepare the mind for that process of teaching whereby alone Science or Cognition can be imparted.2 He admits that Opinion may be right as well as wrong. Yet even when right, it is essentially different from Science, and is essentially transitory; a safe guide to action while it lasts, but not to be trusted for stability or permanence.3 By Plato, Rhetoric is treated as belonging to the province of Opinion, Dialectic to that of Science. The rhetor addresses multitudes in continuous speech, appeals to received common places, and persuades: the dialectician, conversing only with one or a few, receives and imparts the stimulus of short question and answer; thus awakening the dormant capacities of the soul to the reminiscence of those universal Forms or Ideas which are the only true Knowable.

2 Plato, Sophistes, pp. 228-229; Symposion, pp. 203-204; Theætetus, pp. 148, 149, 150. Compare also ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ Vol. I. chs. vi.-vii. pp. 245-288; II. ch. xxvi. p. 376, seq.

3 Plato, Republic, v. pp. 477-478; Menon, pp. 97-98.

Like Plato, Aristotle distinguishes the region of Common Sense or Opinion from that of Science, and regards Universals as the objects of Science. But his Universals are very different from those of Plato: they are not self-existent realities, known by the mind from a long period of pre-existence, and called up by reminiscence out of the chaos of sensible impressions. To operate such revival is the great function that Plato assigns to Dialectic. But in the philosophy of Aristotle Dialectic is something very different. It is placed alongside of Rhetoric in the region of Opinion. Both the rhetor and the dialectician deal with all subjects, recognizing no limit; they attack or defend any or all conclusions, employing the process of ratiocination which Aristotle has treated under the name of Syllogism; they take up as premisses any one of the various opinions in circulation, for which some plausible authority may be cited; they follow out the consequences of one opinion in its bearing upon others, favourable or unfavourable, and thus become well furnished209 with arguments for and against all. The ultimate foundation here supposed is some sort of recognized presumption or authoritative sanction4 — law, custom, or creed, established among this or that portion of mankind, some maxim enunciated by an eminent poet, some doctrine of the Pythagoreans or other philosophers, current proverb, answer from the Delphian oracle, &c. Any one of these may serve as a dialectical authority. But these authorities, far from being harmonious with each other, are recognized as independent, discordant, and often contradictory. Though not all of equal value,5 each is sufficient to warrant the setting up of a thesis for debate. In Dialectic, one of the disputants undertakes to do this, and to answer all questions that may be put to him respecting the thesis, without implicating himself in inconsistencies or contradiction. The questioner or assailant, on the other hand, shapes his questions with a view to refute the thesis, by eliciting answers which may furnish him with premisses for some syllogism in contradiction thereof. But he is tied down by the laws of debate to syllogize only from such premisses as the respondent has expressly granted; and to put questions in such manner that the respondent is required only to give or withhold assent, according as he thinks right.

4 Aristot. Topica, I. x. p. 104, a. 8, xi. p. 104, b. 19. Compare Metaphysica, A. p. 995, a. 1-10.

5 Analyt. Post. I. xix. p. 81, b. 18: κατὰ μὲν οὖν δόξαν συλλογιζομένοις καὶ μόνον διαλεκτικῶς δῆλον ὅτι τοῦτο μόνον σκεπτέον, εἰ ἐξ ὧν ἐνδέχεται ἐνδοξοτάτων γίνεται ὁ συλλογισμός, ὥστ’ εἰ καὶ ἔστι τι τῇ ἀληθείᾳ τῶν ΑΒ μέσον, δοκεῖ δὲ μή, ὁ διὰ τούτου συλλογιζόμενος συλλελόγισται διαλεκτικῶς, πρὸς δ’ ἀλήθειαν ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων δεῖ σκοπεῖν. Compare Topica, VIII. xii. p. 162, b. 27.

We shall see more fully how Aristotle deals with Dialectic, when we come to the Topica: here I put it forward briefly, in order that the reader may better understand, by contrast, its extreme antithesis, viz., Demonstrative Science and Necessary Truth as conceived by Aristotle. First, instead of two debaters, one of whom sets up a thesis which he professes to understand and undertakes to maintain, while the other puts questions upon it, — Demonstrative Science assumes a teacher who knows, and a learner conscious of ignorance but wishing to know. The teacher lays down premisses which the learner is bound to receive; or if they are put in the form of questions, the learner must answer them as the teacher expects, not according to his own knowledge. Secondly, instead of the unbounded miscellany of subjects treated in Dialectic, Demonstrative Science is confined to a few special subjects, in which alone appropriate premisses can be obtained, and definitions framed. Thirdly, instead 210of the several heterogeneous authorities recognized in Dialectic, Demonstrative Science has principia of its own, serving as points of departure; some principia common to all its varieties, others special or confined to one alone. Fourthly, there is no conflict of authorities in Demonstrative Science; its propositions are essential, universal, and true per se, from the commencement to the conclusion; while Dialectic takes in accidental premisses as well as essential. Fifthly, the principia of Demonstrative Science are obtained from Induction only; originating in particulars which are all that the ordinary growing mind can at first apprehend (notiora nobis), but culminating in universals which correspond to the perfection of our cognitive comprehension (notiora naturâ.)6

6 Aristot. Topica, VI. iv. p. 141, b. 3-14. οἱ πολλοὶ γὰρ τὰ τοιαῦτα προγνωρίζουσιν· τὰ μὲν γὰρ τῆς τυχούσης, τὰ δ’ ἀκριβοῦς καὶ περιττῆς διανοίας καταμαθεῖν ἐστίν. Compare in Analyt. Post. I. xii. pp. 77-78, the contrast between τὰ μαθήματα and οἱ διάλογοι.

Amidst all these diversities, Dialectic and Demonstrative Science have in common the process of Syllogism, including such assumptions as the rules of syllogizing postulate. In both, the conclusions are hypothetically true (i.e. granting the premisses to be so). But, in demonstrative syllogism, the conclusions are true universally, absolutely, and necessarily; deriving this character from their premisses, which Aristotle holds up as the cause, reason, or condition of the conclusion. What he means by Demonstrative Science, we may best conceive, by taking it as a small τέμενος or specially cultivated enclosure, subdivided into still smaller separate compartments — the extreme antithesis to the vast common land of Dialectic. Between the two lies a large region, neither essentially determinate like the one, nor essentially indeterminate like the other; an intermediate region in which are comprehended the subjects of the treatises forming the very miscellaneous Encyclopædia of Aristotle. These subjects do not admit of being handled with equal exactness; accordingly, he admonishes us that it is important to know how much exactness is attainable in each, and not to aspire to more.7

7 Aristot. Ethic. Nikom. I. p. 1094, b. 12-25; p. 1098, a. 26-b. 8; Metaphys. A. p. 995, a. 15; Ethic. Eudem. I. p. 1216, b. 30-p. 1217, a. 17; Politic. VII. p. 1328, a. 19; Meteorolog. I. p. 338, a. 35. Compare Analyt. Post. I. xiii. p. 78, b. 32 (with Waitz’s note, II. p. 335); and I. xxvii. p. 87, a. 31.

The passages above named in the Nikomachean Ethica are remarkable: λέγοιτο δ’ ἂν ἱκανῶς, εἰ κατὰ τὴν ὑποκειμένην ὕλην διασαφηθείη· τὸ γὰρ ἀκριβὲς οὐχ ὁμοίως ἐν ἅπασι τοῖς λόγοις ἐπιζητητέον, ὥσπερ οὐδ’ ἐν τοῖς δημιουργουμένοις. τὴν ἀκρίβειαν μὴ ὁμοίως ἐν ἅπασιν ἐπιζητεῖν (χρή), ἀλλ’ ἐν ἑκάστοις κατὰ τὴν ὑποκειμένην ὕλην, καὶ ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον ἐφ’ ὅσον οἰκεῖον τῇ μεθοδῷ. Compare Metaphys. E. p. 1025, b. 13: ἀποδεικνύουσιν ἢ ἀναγκαίοτερον ἢ μαλακώτερον.

The different degrees of exactness attainable in different departments of science, and the reasons upon which such difference depends are well explained in the sixth book of Mr. John Stuart Mill’s System of Logic, vol. II. chap. iii. pp. 422-425, 5th ed. Aristotle says that there can be no scientific theory or cognition about τὸ συμβεβηκός which he defines to be that which belongs to a subject neither necessarily, nor constantly, nor usually, but only on occasion (Metaphys. E. p. 1026, b. 3, 26, 33; K. p. 1065, a. 1, meaning τὸ συμβεβηκὸς μὴ καθ’ αὑτό, — Analyt. Post. I. 6, 75, a. 18; for he uses the term in two different senses — Metaph. Δ. p. 1025, a. 31). In his view, there can be no science except about constant conjunctions; and we find the same doctrine in the following passage of Mr. Mill:— “Any facts are fitted, in themselves, to be a subject of science, which follow one another according to constant laws; although those laws may not have been discovered, nor even be discoverable by our existing resources. Take, for instance, the most familiar class of meteorological phenomena, those of rain and sunshine. Scientific inquiry has not yet succeeded in ascertaining the order of antecedence and consequence among these phenomena, so as to be able, at least in our regions of the earth, to predict them with certainty, or even with any high degree of probability. Yet no one doubts that the phenomena depend on laws.… Meteorology not only has in itself every requisite for being, but actually is, a science; though from the difficulty of observing the facts upon which the phenomena depend (a difficulty inherent in the peculiar nature of those phenomena), the science is extremely imperfect; and were it perfect, might probably be of little avail in practice, since the data requisite for applying its principles to particular instances would rarely be procurable.

“A case may be conceived of an intermediate character between the perfection of science, and this its extreme imperfection. It may happen that the greater causes, those on which the principal part of the phenomena depends, are within the reach of observation and measurement; so that, if no other causes intervened, a complete explanation could be given, not only of the phenomenon in general, but of all the variations and modifications which it admits of. But inasmuch as other, perhaps many other, causes, separately insignificant in their effects, co-operate or conflict in many or in all cases with those greater causes, the effect, accordingly, presents more or less of aberration from what would be produced by the greater causes alone. Now if these minor causes are not so constantly accessible, or not accessible at all, to accurate observation, the principal mass of the effect may still, as before, be accounted for, and even predicted; but there will be variations and modifications which we shall not be competent to explain thoroughly, and our predictions will not be fulfilled accurately, but only approximately.

“It is thus, for example, with the theory of the Tides.… And this is what is or ought to be meant by those who speak of sciences which are not exact sciences. Astronomy was once a science, without being an exact science. It could not become exact until not only the general course of the planetary motions, but the perturbations also, were accounted for and referred to their causes. It has become an exact science because its phenomena have been brought under laws comprehending the whole of the causes by which the phenomena are influenced, whether in a great or only in a trifling degree, whether in all or only in some cases, and assigning to each of those causes the share of effect that really belongs to it.… The science of human nature falls far short of the standard of exactness now realized in Astronomy; but there is no reason that it should not be as much a science as Tidology is, or as Astronomy was when its calculations had only mastered the main phenomena, but not the perturbations.”

211In setting out the process of Demonstration, Aristotle begins from the idea of teaching and learning. In every variety thereof some præcognita must be assumed, which the learner must know before he comes to be taught, and upon which the teacher must found his instruction.8 This is equally true, whether we proceed (as in Syllogism) from the more general to the less general, or (as in Induction) from the particular to the general. He who comes to learn Geometry must know beforehand the figures called circle and triangle, and must have a triangular figure drawn to 212contemplate; he must know what is a unit or monad, and must have, besides, exposed before him what is chosen as the unit for the reasoning on which he is about to enter. These are the præcognita required for Geometry and Arithmetic. Some præcognita are also required preparatory to any and all reasoning: e.g., the maxim of Identity (fixed meaning of terms and propositions), and the maxims of Contradiction and of Excluded Middle (impossibility that a proposition and its contradictory can either be both true or both false.)9 The learner must thus know beforehand certain Definitions and Axioms, as conditions without which the teacher cannot instruct him in any demonstrative science.

8 Analyt. Post. I. i. pp. 71-72; Metaphys. A. IX. p. 992, b. 30.

9 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I, i. p. 71, a. 11-17. ἅπαν ἢ φῆσαι ἢ ἀποφῆσαι ἀληθές.

Aristotle, here at the beginning, seeks to clear up a difficulty which had been raised in the time of Plato as between knowledge and learning. How is it possible to learn at all? is a question started in the Menon.10 You either know a thing already, and, on this supposition, you do not want to learn it; or you do not know it, and in this case you cannot learn it, because, even when you have learnt, you cannot tell whether the matter learnt is what you were in search of. To this difficulty, the reply made in the Menon is, that you never do learn any thing really new. What you are said to learn, is nothing more than reminiscence of what had once been known in an anterior life, and forgotten at birth into the present life; what is supposed to be learnt is only the recall of that which you once knew, but had forgotten. Such is the Platonic doctrine of Reminiscence. Aristotle will not accept that doctrine as a solution; but he acknowledges the difficulty, and intimates that others had already tried to solve it without success. His own solution is that there are two grades of cognition: (1) the full, complete, absolute; (2) the partial, incomplete, qualified. What you already know by the first of these grades, you cannot be said to learn; but you may learn that which you know only by the second grade, and by such learning you bring your incomplete cognition up to completeness.

10 Plato, Menon. p. 80.

Thus, you have learnt, and you know, the universal truth, that every triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles; but you do not yet know that A B C, D E F, G H I, &c., have their two angles equal to two right angles; for you have not yet seen any of these figures, and you do not know that they are triangles. The moment that you see A B C, or hear what 213figure it is, you learn at one and the same time two facts: first, that it is a triangle; next, by virtue of your previous cognition, that it possesses the above-mentioned property. You knew this in a certain way or incompletely before, by having followed the demonstration of the universal truth, and by thus knowing that every triangle had its three angles equal to two right angles; but you did not know it absolutely, being ignorant that A B C was a triangle.11

11 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. i. p. 71, a. 17-b. 8: ἔστι δὲ γνωρίζειν τὰ μὲν πρότερον γνωρίζοντα, τῶν δὲ καὶ ἄμα λαμβάνοντα τὴν γνῶσιν, οἷον ὅσα τυγχάνει ὄντα ὑπὸ τὸ καθόλου, ὧν ἔχει τὴν γνῶσιν. ὅτι μὲν γὰρ πᾶν τρίγωνον ἔχει δυσὶν ὀρθαῖς ἴσας, προῄδει· ὅτι δὲ τόδε τὸ ἐν τῷ ἡμικυκλίῳ τρίγωνόν ἐστιν, ἅμα ἐπαγόμενος ἐγνώρισεν. — πρὶν δ’ ἐπαχθῆναι ἢ λαβεῖν συλλογισμόν, τρόπον μέν τινα ἴσως φατέον ἐπίστασθαι, τρόπον δ’ ἄλλον οὔ. ὃ γὰρ μὴ ᾔδει εἰ ἔστιν ἁπλῶς, τοῦτο πῶς ᾔδει ὅτι δύο ὀρθὰς ἔχει ἁπλῶς; ἀλλὰ δῆλον ὡς ὡδὶ μὲν ἐπίσταται., ὅτι καθόλου ἐπίσταται, ἁπλῶς δ’ οὐκ ἐπίσταται. — οὐδὲν (οἶμαι) κωλύει, ὃ μανθάνει, ἔστιν ὡς ἐπίστασθαι, ἔστι δ’ ὡς ἀγνοεῖν· ἄτοπον γὰρ οὐκ εἰ οἶδέ πως ὃ μανθάνει, ἀλλ’ εἰ ὡδί, οἷον ᾗ μανθάνει καὶ ὥς. Compare also Anal. Post. I. xxiv. p. 86, a. 23, and Metaph. A. ii. p. 982, a. 8; Anal. Prior. II. xxi. p. 67, a. 5-b. 10.)

Aristotle reports the solution given by others, but from which he himself dissented, of the Platonic puzzle. The respondent was asked, Do you know that every Dyad is even? — Yes. Some Dyad was then produced, which the respondent did not know to be a Dyad; accordingly he did not know it to be even. Now the critics alluded to by Aristotle said that the respondent made a wrong answer; instead of saying I know every Dyad is even, he ought to have said, Every Dyad which I know to be a Dyad is even. Aristotle pronounces that this criticism is incorrect. The respondent knows the conclusion which had previously been demonstrated to him; and that conclusion was, Every triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles; it was not, Every thing which I know to be a triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles. This last proposition had never been demonstrated, nor even stated: οὐδεμία γὰρ πρότασις λαμβάνεται τοιαύτη, ὅτι ὃν σὺ οἶδας ἀριθμόν, ἢ ὃ σὺ οἶδας εὐθύγραμμον, ἀλλὰ κατὰ παντός (b. 3-5).

This discussion, in the commencement of the Analytica Posteriora (combined with Analyt. Priora, II. xxi.), is interesting, because it shows that even then the difficulties were felt, about the major proposition of the Syllogism, which Mr. John Stuart Mill has so ably cleared up, for the first time, in his System of Logic. See Book II. ch. iii. of that work, especially as it stands in the sixth edition, with the note there added, pp. 232-233. You affirm, in the major proposition of the Syllogism, that every triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles; does not this include the triangle A, B, C, and is it not therefore a petitio principii? Or, if it be not so, does it not assert more than you know? The Sophists (upon whom both Plato and Aristotle are always severe, but who were valuable contributors to the theory of Logic by fastening upon the weak points) attacked it on this ground, and raised against it the puzzle described by Aristotle (in this chapter), afterwards known as the Sophism entitled ὁ ἐγκεκαλυμμένος (see Themistius Paraphras. I. i.; also ‘Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates,’ Vol. III. ch. xxxviii. p. 489). The critics whom Aristotle here cites and disapproves, virtually admitted the pertinence of this puzzle by modifying their assertion, and by cutting it down to “Everything which we know to be a triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles.” Aristotle finds fault with this modification, which, however, is one way of abating the excess of absolute and peremptory pretension contained in the major, and of intimating the want of a minor to be added for interpreting and supplementing the major; while Aristotle himself arrives at the same result by admitting that the knowledge corresponding to the major proposition is not yet absolute, but incomplete and qualified; and that it is only made absolute when supplemented by a minor.

The very same point, substantially, is raised in the discussion between Mr. John Stuart Mill and an opponent, in the note above referred to. “A writer in the ‘British Quarterly Review’ endeavours to show that there is no petitio principii in the Syllogism, by denying that the proposition All men are mortal, asserts or assumes that Socrates is mortal. In support of this denial, he argues that we may, and in fact do, admit the general proposition without having particularly examined the case of Socrates, and even without knowing whether the individual so named is a man or something else. But this of course was never denied. That we can and do draw inferences concerning cases specifically unknown to us, is the datum from which all who discuss this subject must set out. The question is, in what terms the evidence or ground on which we draw these conclusions may best be designated — whether it is most correct to say that the unknown case is proved by known cases, or that it is proved by a general proposition including both sets of cases, the known and the unknown? I contend for the former mode of expression. I hold it an abuse of language to say, that the proof that Socrates is mortal, is that all men are mortal. Turn it in what way we will, this seems to me asserting that a thing is the proof of itself. Whoever pronounces the words, All men are mortal, has affirmed that Socrates is mortal, though he may never have heard of Socrates; for since Socrates, whether known to be a man or not, really is a man, he is included in the words, All men, and in every assertion of which they are the subject.… The reviewer acknowledges that the maxim (Dictum de Omni et Nullo) as commonly expressed — ‘Whatever is true of a class is true of everything included in the class,’ is a mere identical proposition, since the class is nothing but the things included in it. But he thinks this defect would be cured by wording the maxim thus: ‘Whatever is true of a class is true of everything which can be shown to be a member of the class:’ as if a thing could be shown to be a member of the class without being one.”

The qualified manner in which the maxim is here enunciated by the reviewer (what can be shown to be a member of the class) corresponds with the qualification introduced by those critics whom Aristotle impugns (λύουσι γὰρ οὐ φάσκοντες εἰδέναι πᾶσαν δυάδα ἀρτίαν οὖσαν, ἀλλ’ ἣν ἴσασιν ὅτι δυάς); and the reply of Mr. Mill would have suited for these critics as well as for the reviewer. The puzzle started in the Platonic Menon is, at bottom, founded on the same view as that of Mr. Mill, when he states that the major proposition of the Syllogism includes beforehand the conclusion. “The general principle, (says Mr. Mill, p. 205), instead of being given as evidence of the particular case, cannot itself be taken for true without exception, until every shadow of doubt which could affect any case comprised in it is dispelled by evidence aliunde; and then what remains for the syllogism to prove? From a general principle we cannot infer any particulars but those which the principle itself assumes as known.”

To enunciate this in the language of the Platonic Menon, we learn nothing by or through the evidence of the Syllogism, except a part of what we have already professed ourselves to know by asserting the major premiss.

214Aristotle proceeds to tell us what is meant by knowing a thing absolutely or completely (ἁπλῶς). It is when we believe ourselves to know the cause or reason through which the matter known exists, so that it cannot but be as it is. That is what Demonstration, or Scientific Syllogism, teaches us;12 a Syllogism derived from premisses true, immediate, prior to, and more knowable than the conclusion — causes of the conclusion, and specially appropriate thereto. These premisses must be known beforehand without being demonstrated (i.e. known not through a middle term); and must be known not merely in the sense of 215understanding the signification of the terms, but also in that of being able to affirm the truth of the proposition. Prior or more knowable is understood here as prior or more knowable by nature (not relatively to us, according to the antithesis formerly explained); first, most universal, undemonstrable principia are meant. Some of these are Axioms, which the learner must “bring with him from home,” or know before the teacher can instruct him in any special science; some are Definitions of the name and its essential meaning; others, again, are Hypotheses or affirmations of the existence of the thing defined, which the learner must accept upon the authority of the teacher.13 As these are the principia of Demonstration, so it is necessary that the learner should know them, not merely as well as the conclusions demonstrated, but even better; and that among matters contradictory to the principia there should be none that he knows better or trusts more.14

12 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. ii. p. 71, b. 9-17. Julius Pacius says in a note, ad c. ii. p. 394: “Propositio demonstrativa est prima, immediata, et indemonstrabilis. His tribus verbis significatur una et eadem conditio; nam propositio prima est, quæ, quod medio caret, demonstrari nequit.”

So also Zabarella (In lib. I. Post. Anal. Comm., p. 340, Op. ed. Venet. 1617): “Duæ illæ dictiones (primis et immediatis) unam tantum significant conditionem ordine secundam, non duas; idem namque est, principia esse medio carentia, ac esse prima.”

13 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. ii. p. 72, a. 1-24; Themistius, Paraphr. I. ii. p. 10, ed. Spengel; Schol. p. 199, b. 44. Themistius quotes the definition of an Axiom as given by Theophrastus: Ἀξίωμά ἐστι δόξα τις, &c. This shows the difficulty of adhering precisely to a scientific terminology. Theophrastus explains an axiom to be a sort of δόξα, thus lapsing into the common loose use of the word. Yet still both he and Aristotle declare δόξα to be of inferior intellectual worth as compared with ἐπιστήμη (Anal. Post. I. xxiii.), while at the same time they declare the Axiom to be the very maximum of scientific truth. Theophrastus gave, as examples of Axioms, the maxim of Contradiction, universally applicable, and, “If equals be taken from equals the remainders will be equal,” applicable to homogeneous quantities. Even Aristotle himself sometimes falls into the same vague employment of δόξα, as including the Axioms. See Metaphys. B. ii. p. 996, b. 28; Γ. iii. p. 1005, b. 33.

14 Aristot. Anal. Post. I. ii. p. 72, a. 25, b. 4. I translate these words in conformity with Themistius, pp. 12-13, and with Mr. Poste’s translation, p. 43. Julius Pacius and M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire render them somewhat differently. They also read ἀμετάπτωτος, while Waitz and Firmin Didot read ἀμετάπειστος, which last seems preferable.

In Aristotle’s time two doctrines had been advanced, in opposition to the preceding theory: (1) Some denied the necessity of any indemonstrable principia, and affirmed the possibility of, demonstrating backwards ad infinitum; (2) Others agreed in denying the necessity of any indemonstrable principia, but contended that demonstration in a circle is valid and legitimate — e.g. that A may be demonstrated by means of B, and B by means of A. Against both these doctrines Aristotle enters his protest. The first of them — the supposition of an interminable regress — he pronounces to be obviously absurd: the second he declares tantamount to proving a thing by itself; the circular demonstration, besides, having been shown to be impossible, except in the First figure, with propositions in which the predicate reciprocates or is co-extensive with the subject — a very small proportion among propositions generally used in demonstrating.15

15 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. iii. p. 72, b. 5-p. 73, a. 20: ὥστ’ ἐπειδὴ ὀλίγα τοιαῦτα ἐν ταῖς ἀποδείξεσιν, &c.

216Demonstrative Science is attained only by syllogizing from necessary premisses, such as cannot possibly be other than they are. The predicate must be (1) de omni, (2) per se, (3) quatenus ipsum, so that it is a Primum Universale; this third characteristic not being realized without the preceding two. First, the predicate must belong, and belong at all times, to everything called by the name of the subject. Next, it must belong thereunto per se, or essentially; that is, either the predicate must be stated in the definition declaring the essence of the subject, or the subject must be stated in the definition declaring the essence of the predicate. The predicate must not be extra-essential to the subject, nor attached to it as an adjunct from without, simply concomitant or accidental. The like distinction holds in regard to events: some are accidentally concomitant sequences which may or may not be realized (e.g., a flash of lightning occurring when a man is on his journey); in others, the conjunction is necessary or causal (as when an animal dies under the sacrificial knife).16 Both these two characteristics (de omni and per se) are presupposed in the third (quatenus ipsum); but this last implies farther, that the predicate is attached to the subject in the highest universality consistent with truth; i.e., that it is a First Universal, a primary predicate and not a derivative predicate. Thus, the predicate of having its three angles equal to two right angles, is a characteristic not merely de omni and per se, but also a First Universal, applied to a triangle. It is applied to a triangle, quatenus triangle, as a primary predicate. If applied to a subject of higher universality (e.g., to every geometrical figure), it would not be always true. If applied to a subject of lower universality (e.g., to a right-angled triangle or an isosceles triangle), it would be universally true and would be true per se, but it would be a derivative predicate and not a First Universal; it would not be applied to the isosceles quatenus isosceles, for there is a still higher Universal of which it is predicable, being true respecting any triangle you please. Thus, the properties with which Demonstration, or full and absolute217 Science, is conversant, are de omni, per se, and quatenus ipsum, or Universalia Prima;17 all of them necessary, such as cannot but be true.

16 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. iv. p. 73, a. 21, b. 16.

Τὰ ἄρα λεγόμενα ἐπὶ τῶν ἁπλῶς ἐπιστητῶν καθ’ αὑτὰ οὕτως ὡς ἐνυπάρχειν τοῖς κατηγορουμένοις ἢ ἐνυπάρχεσθαι δι’ αὑτά τέ ἐστι καὶ ἐξ ἀνάγκης (b. 16, seq.). Line must be included in the definition of the opposites straight or curve. Also it is essential to every line that it is either straight or curve. Number must be included in the definition of the opposites odd or even; and to be either odd or even is essentially predicable of every number. You cannot understand what is meant by straight or curve unless you have the notion of a line.

The example given by Aristotle of causal conjunction (the death of an animal under the sacrificial knife) shows that he had in his mind the perfection of Inductive Observation, including full application of the Method of Difference.

17 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. iv. p. 73, b. 25-p. 74, a. 3. ὃ τοίνυν τὸ τυχὸν πρῶτον δείκνυται δύο ὀρθὰς ἔχον ἢ ὁτιοῦν ἄλλο, τούτῳ πρώτῳ ὑπάρχει καθόλου, καὶ ἡ ἀπόδειξις καθ’ αὑτὸ τούτου καθόλου ἐστὶ, τῶν δ’ ἄλλων τρόπον τινὰ οὐ καθ’ αὑτό· οὐδὲ τοῦ ἰσοσκέλους οὐκ ἔστι καθόλου ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ πλέον.

About the precise signification of καθόλου in Aristotle, see a valuable note of Bonitz (ad Metaphys. Z. iii.) p. 299; also Waitz (ad Aristot. De Interpr. c. vii.) I. p. 334. Aristotle gives it here, b. 26: καθόλου δὲ λέγω ὃ ἂν κατὰ παντός τε ὑπάρχῃ καὶ καθ’ αὑτὸ καὶ ᾗ αὐτό. Compare Themistius, Paraphr. p. 19, Spengel. Τὸ καθ’ αὑτό is described by Aristotle confusedly. Τὸ καθόλου, is that which is predicable of the subject as a whole or summum genus: τὸ κατὰ παντός, that which is predicable of every individual, either of the summum genus or of any inferior species contained therein. Cf. Analyt. Post. I. xxiv. p. 85, b. 24: ᾧ γὰρ καθ’ αὑτὸ ὑπάρχει τι, τοῦτο αὐτὸ αὑτῷ αἴτιον — the subject is itself the cause or fundamentum of the properties per se. See the explanation and references in Kampe, Die Erkenntniss-theorie des Aristoteles, ch. v. pp. 160-165.

Aristotle remarks that there is great liability to error about these Universalia Prima. We sometimes demonstrate a predicate to be true, universally and per se, of a lower species, without being aware that it might also be demonstrated to be true, universally and per se, of the higher genus to which that species belongs; perhaps, indeed, that higher genus may not yet have obtained a current name. That proportions hold by permutation, was demonstrated severally for numbers, lines, solids, and intervals of time; but this belongs to each of them, not from any separate property of each, but from what is common to all: that, however, which is common to all had received no name, so that it was not known that one demonstration might comprise all the four.18 In like manner, a man may know that an equilateral and an isosceles triangle have their three angles equal to two right angles, and also that a scalene triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles; yet he may not know (except sophistically and by accident19) that a triangle in genere has its three angles equal to two right angles, though there be no other triangles except equilateral, isosceles, and scalene. He does not know that this may be demonstrated of every triangle quatenus triangle. The only way to obtain a 218certain recognition of Primum Universale, is, to abstract successively from the several conditions of a demonstration respecting the concrete and particular, until the proposition ceases to be true. Thus, you have before you a brazen isosceles triangle, the three angles whereof are equal to two right angles. You may eliminate the condition brazen, and the proposition will still remain true. You may also eliminate the condition isosceles; still the proposition is true. But you cannot eliminate the condition triangle, so as to retain only the higher genus, geometrical figure; for the proposition then ceases to be always true. Triangle is in this case the Primum Universale.20

18 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. v. p. 74, a. 4-23. ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸ μὴ εἶναι ὠνομασμένον τι πάντα ταῦτα ἕν, ἀριθμοί, μήκη, χρόνος, στερεά, καὶ εἴδει διαφέρειν ἀλλήλων, χωρὶς ἐλαμβάνετο. What these four have in common is that which he himself expresses by Ποσόν — Quantum — in the Categoriæ and elsewhere. (Categor. p. 4, b. 20, seq.; Metaph. Δ. p. 1020, a. 7, seq.)

19 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. v. p. 74, a. 27: οὔπω οἶδε τὸ τρίγωνον ὅτι δύο ὀρθαῖς, εἰ μὴ τὸν σοφιστικὸν τρόπον οὐδὲ καθόλου τρίγωνον, οὔδ’ εἰ μηδέν ἐστι παρὰ ταῦτα τρίγωνον ἕτερον. The phrase τὸν σοφιστικὸν τρόπον is equivalent to τὸν σοφιστικὸν τρόπον τὸν κατὰ συμβεβηκός, p. 71, b. 10. I see nothing in it connected with Aristotle’s characteristic of a Sophist (special professional life purpose — τοῦ βίου τῇ προαιρέσει, Metaphys. Γ. p. 1004, b. 24): the phrase means nothing more than unscientific.

20 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. v. p. 74, a. 32-b. 4.

In every demonstration the principia or premisses must be not only true, but necessarily true; the conclusion also will then be necessarily true, by reason of the premisses, and this constitutes Demonstration. Wherever the premisses are necessarily true, the conclusion will be necessarily true; but you cannot say, vice versâ, that wherever the conclusion is necessarily true, the syllogistic premisses from which it follows must always be necessarily true. They may be true without being necessarily true, or they may even be false: if, then, the conclusion be necessarily true, it is not so by reason of these premisses; and the syllogistic proof is in this case no demonstration. Your syllogism may have true premisses and may lead to a conclusion which is true by reason of them; but still you have not demonstrated, since neither premisses nor conclusion are necessarily true.21 When an opponent contests your demonstration, he succeeds if he can disprove the necessity of your conclusion; if he can show any single case in which it either is or may be false.22 It is not enough to proceed upon a premiss which is either probable or simply true: it may be true, yet not appropriate to the case: you must take your departure from the first or highest universal of the genus about which you attempt to demonstrate.23 Again, unless you can state the why of your conclusion; that is to say, unless the middle term, by reason of which the conclusion is necessarily true, be itself necessarily true, — you have not demonstrated it, nor do you know it absolutely. Your 219middle term not being necessary may vanish, while the conclusion to which it was supposed to lead abides: in truth no conclusion was known through that middle.24 In the complete demonstrative or scientific syllogism, the major term must be predicable essentially or per se of the middle, and the middle term must be predicable essentially or per se of the minor; thus alone can you be sure that the conclusion also is per se or necessary. The demonstration cannot take effect through a middle term which is merely a Sign; the sign, even though it be a constant concomitant, yet being not, or at least not known to be, per se, will not bring out the why of the conclusion, nor make the conclusion necessary. Of non-essential concomitants altogether there is no demonstration; wherefore it might seem to be useless to put questions about such; yet, though the questions cannot yield necessary premisses for a demonstrative conclusion, they may yield premisses from which a conclusion will necessarily follow.25

21 Ibid. vi. p. 74, b. 5-18. ἐξ ἀληθῶν μὲν γὰρ ἔστι καὶ μὴ ἀποδεικνύντα συλλογίσθαι, ἐξ ἀναγκαίων δ’ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλλ’ ἢ ἀποδεικνύντα· τοῦτο γὰρ ἤδη ἀποδείξεώς ἐστιν. Compare Analyt. Prior. I. ii. p. 53, b. 7-25.

22 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. vi. p. 74, b. 18: σημεῖον δ’ ὅτι ἡ ἀπόδειξις ἐξ ἀναγκαίων, ὅτι καὶ τὰς ἐνστάσεις οὕτω φέρομεν πρὸς τοὺς οἰομένους ἀποδεικνύναι, ὅτι οὐκ ἀνάγκη, &c.

23 Ibid. vi. p. 74, b. 21-26: δῆλον δ’ ἐκ τούτων καὶ ὅτι εὐήθεις οἱ λαμβάνειν οἰόμενοι καλῶς τὰς ἀρχάς, ἐὰν ἔνδοξος ᾖ ἡ πρότασις καὶ ἀληθής, οἷον οἱ σοφισταὶ ὅτι τὸ ἐπίστασθαι τὸ ἐπιστήμην ἔχειν·, &c.

24 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. vi. p. 74, b. 26-p. 75, a. 17.

25 Ibid. vi. p. 75, a. 8-37.

On the point last mentioned, M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire observes in his note, p. 41: “Dans les questions de dialectique, la conclusion est nécessaire en ce sens, qu’elle suit nécessairement des prémisses; elle n’est pas du tout nécessaire en ce sens, que la chose qu’elle exprime soit nécessaire. Ainsi il faut distinguer la nécessité de la forme et la nécessité de la matière: ou comme disent les scholastiques, necessitas illationis et necessitas materiæ. La dialectique se contente de la première, mais la demonstration a essentiellement besoin des deux.”

In every demonstration three things may be distinguished: (1) The demonstrated conclusion, or Attribute essential to a certain genus; (2) The Genus, of which the attributes per se are the matter of demonstration; (3) The Axioms, out of which, or through which, the demonstration is obtained. These Axioms may be and are common to several genera: but the demonstration cannot be transferred from one genus to another; both the extremes as well as the middle term must belong to the same genus. An arithmetical demonstration cannot be transferred to magnitudes and their properties, except in so far as magnitudes are numbers, which is partially true of some among them. The demonstrations in arithmetic may indeed be transferred to harmonics, because harmonics is subordinate to arithmetic; and, for the like reason, demonstrations in geometry may be transferred to mechanics and optics. But we cannot introduce into geometry any property of lines, which does not belong to them quâ lines; such, for example, as that a straight line is the most beautiful of all lines, or is the contrary of a circular line; for these predicates belong to it, not quâ line, but quâ member of a different or more extensive genus.26 There can be no 220complete demonstration about perishable things, or about any individual line, except in regard to its attributes as member of the genus line. Where the conclusion is not eternally true, but true at one time and not true at another, this can only be because one of its premisses is not universal or essential. Where both premisses are universal and essential, the conclusion must be eternal or eternally true. As there is no demonstration, so also there can be no definition, of perishable attributes.27

26 Ibid. vii. p. 75, a. 38-b. 20. Mr. Poste, in his translation, here cites (p. 50) a good illustrative passage from Dr. Whewell’s Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, Book II. ii.:— “But, in order that we may make any real advance in the discovery of truth, our ideas must not only be clear; they must also be appropriate. Each science has for its basis a different class of ideas; and the steps which constitute the progress of one science can never be made by employing the ideas of another kind of science. No genuine advance could ever be obtained in Mechanics by applying to the subject the ideas of space and time merely; no advance in Chemistry by the use of mere mechanical conceptions; no discovery in Physiology by referring facts to mere chemical and mechanical principles.” &c.

27 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. viii. p. 75, b. 21-36. Compare Metaphys. Z. p. 1040, a. 1: δῆλον ὅτι οὐκ ἂν εἴη αὐτῶν (τῶν φθαρτῶν) οὔθ’ ὁρισμὸς οὔτ’ ἀπόδειξις. Also Biese, Die Philosophie des Aristoteles, ch. iv. p. 249.

For complete demonstration, it is not sufficient that the premisses be true, immediate, and undemonstrable; they must, furthermore, be essential and appropriate to the class in hand. Unless they be such, you cannot be said to know the conclusion absolutely; you know it only by accident. You can only know a conclusion when demonstrated from its own appropriate premisses; and you know it best when it is demonstrated from its highest premisses. It is sometimes difficult to determine whether we really know or not; for we fancy that we know, when we demonstrate from true and universal principia, without being aware whether they are, or are not, the principia appropriate to the case.28 But these principia must always be assumed without demonstration — the class whose essential constituent properties are in question, the universal Axioms, and the Definition or meaning of the attributes to be demonstrated. If these definitions and axioms are not always formally enunciated, it is because we tacitly presume them to be already known and admitted by the learner.29 He may indeed always refuse to grant them in express words, but they are such that he cannot help granting them by internal assent in his mind, to which every syllogism must address itself. When you assume a premiss without demonstrating it, though it be really demonstrable, this, if the learner is favourable and willing to grant it, is an assumption or Hypothesis, valid relatively to him alone, but not valid absolutely: if he is reluctant or adverse, it is a Postulate, which 221you claim whether he is satisfied or not.30 The Definition by itself is not an hypothesis; for it neither affirms nor denies the existence of anything. The pupil must indeed understand the terms of it; but this alone is not an hypothesis, unless you call the fact that the pupil comes to learn, an hypothesis.31 The Hypothesis or assumption is contained in the premisses, being that by which the reason of the conclusion comes to be true. Some object that the geometer makes a false hypothesis or assumption, when he declares a given line drawn to be straight, or to be a foot long, though it is neither one nor the other. But this objection has no pertinence, since the geometer does not derive his conclusions from what is true of the visible lines drawn before his eyes, but from what is true of the lines conceived in his own mind, and signified or illustrated by the visible diagrams.32

28 Ibid. ix. p. 75, b. 37-p. 76, a. 30.

29 Ibid. x. p. 76, a. 31-b. 22.

30 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. x. p. 76, b. 29-34: ἐὰν μὲν δοκοῦντα λαμβάνῃ τῷ μανθάνοντι, ὑποτίθεται, καὶ ἔστιν οὔχ ἁπλῶς ὑπόθεσις, ἀλλὰ πρὸς ἐκεῖνον μόνον, ἂν δὲ ἢ μηδεμίᾶς ἐνούσης δόξης ἢ καὶ ἐναντίας ἐνούσης λαμβάνῃ τὸ αὐτό, αἰτεῖται. καὶ τούτῳ διαφέρει ὑπόθεσις καὶ αἴτημα, &c. Themistius, Paraphras. p. 37, Spengel.

31 Ibid. p. 76, b. 36: τοῦτο δ’ οὐχ ὑπόθεσις, εἰ μὴ καὶ τὸ ἀκούειν ὑπόθεσίν τις εἶναι φήσει. For the meaning of τὸ ἀκούειν, compare ὁ ἀκούων, infra, Analyt. Post. I. xxiv. p. 85, b. 22.

32 Ibid. p. 77, a. 1: ὁ δὲ γεωμέτρης οὐδὲν συμπεραίνεται τῷ τήνδε εἶναι τὴν γραμμὴν ἣν αὐτὸς ἔφθεγκται, ἀλλὰ τὰ διὰ τούτων δηλούμενα.

Themistius, Paraphr. p. 37: ὥσπερ οὐδ’ οἱ γεωμέτραι κέχρηνται ταῖς γραμμαῖς ὑπὲρ ὧν διαλέγονται καὶ δεικνύουσιν, ἀλλ’ ἃς ἔχουσιν ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ, ὧν εἰσὶ σύμβολα αἱ γραφόμεναι.

A similar doctrine is asserted, Analyt. Prior. I. xli. p. 49, b. 35, and still more clearly in De Memoria et Reminiscentia, p. 450, a. 2-12.

The process of Demonstration neither requires, nor countenances, the Platonic theory of Ideas — universal substances beyond and apart from particulars. But it does require that we should admit universal predications; that is, one and the same predicate truly applicable in the same sense to many different particulars. Unless this be so, there can be no universal major premiss, nor appropriate middle term, nor valid demonstrative syllogism.33

33 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. xi. p. 77, a. 5-9.

The Maxim or Axiom of Contradiction, in its most general enunciation, is never formally enunciated by any special science; but each of them assumes the Maxim so far as applicable to its own purpose, whenever the Reductio ad Absurdum is introduced.34 It is in this and the other common principles or Axioms that all the sciences find their point of contact and communion; and that Dialectic also comes into communion with all of them, as also the science (First Philosophy) that scrutinizes the validity or demonstrability of the Axioms.35 The dialectician is not confined222 to any one science, or to any definite subject-matter. His liberty of interrogation is unlimited; but his procedure is essentially interrogatory, and he is bound to accept the answer of the respondent — whatever it be, affirmative or negative — as premiss for any syllogism that he may construct. In this way he can never be sure of demonstrating any thing; for the affirmative and the negative will not be equally serviceable for that purpose. There is indeed also, in discussions on the separate sciences, a legitimate practice of scientific interrogation. Here the questions proper to be put are limited in number, and the answers proper to be made are determined beforehand by the truths of the science — say Geometry; still, an answer thus correctly made will serve to the interrogator as premiss for syllogistic demonstration.36 The respondent must submit to have such answer tested by appeal to geometrical principia and to other geometrical propositions already proved as legitimate conclusions from the principia; if he finds himself involved in contradictions, he is confuted quâ geometer, and must correct or modify his answer. But he is not bound, quâ geometer, to undergo scrutiny as to the geometrical principia themselves; this would carry the dialogue out of the province of Geometry into that of First Philosophy and Dialectic. Care, indeed, must be taken to keep both questions and answers within the limits of the science. Now there can be no security for this restriction, except in the scientific competence of the auditors. Refrain, accordingly, from all geometrical discussions among men ignorant of geometry and confine yourself to geometrical auditors, who alone can distinguish what questions and answers are really appropriate. And what is here said about geometry, is equally true about the other special sciences.37 Answers may be improper either as foreign to the science under debate, or as appertaining to the science, yet false as to the matter, or as equivocal in middle term; though this last is less likely to occur in Geometry, since the demonstrations are accompanied by diagrams, which help 223to render conspicuous any such ambiguity.38 To an inductive proposition, bringing forward a single case as contributory to an ultimate generalization, no general objection should be offered; the objection should be reserved until the generalization itself is tendered.39 Sometimes the mistake is made of drawing an affirmative conclusion from premisses in the Second figure; this is formally wrong, but the conclusion may in some cases be true, if the major premiss happens to be a reciprocating proposition, having its predicate co-extensive with its subject. This, however, cannot be presumed; nor can a conclusion be made to yield up its principles by necessary reciprocation; for we have already observed that, though the truth of the premisses certifies the truth of the conclusion, we cannot say vice versâ that the truth of the conclusion certifies the truth of the premisses. Yet propositions are more frequently found to reciprocate in scientific discussion than in Dialectic; because, in the former, we take no account of accidental properties, but only of definitions and what follows from them.40

34 Ibid. a. 10, seq.

35 Ibid. a. 26-30: καὶ εἴ τις καθόλου πειρῷτο δεικνύναι τὰ κοινά, οἷον ὅτι ἅπαν φάναι ἢ ἀποφάναι, ἢ ὅτι ἴσα ἀπὸ ἴσων, ἢ τῶν τοιούτων ἄττα. Compare Metaph. K. p. 1061, b. 18.

36 Aristot. Analyt. Post. I. xii, p. 77, a. 36-40; Themistius, p. 40.

The text is here very obscure. He proceeds to distinguish Geometry especially (also other sciences, though less emphatically) from τὰ ἐν τοῖς διαλόγοις (I. xii. p. 78, a. 12).

Julius Pacius, ad Analyt. Post. I. viii. (he divides the chapters differently), p. 417, says:— “Differentia interrogationis dialecticæ et demonstrativæ hæc est. Dialecticus ita interrogat, ut optionem det adversario, utrum malit affirmare an negare. Demonstrator vero interrogat ut rem evidentiorem faciat; id est, ut doceat ex principiis auditori notis.”

37 Ibid. I. xii. p. 77, b. 1-15; Themistius, p. 41: οὐ γὰρ ὥσπερ τῶν ἐνδόξων οἱ πολλοὶ κριταί, οὕτω καὶ τῶν κατ’ ἐπιστήμην οἱ ἀνεπιστήμονες.

38 Analyt. Post. I. xii. p. 77, b. 16-33. Propositions within the limits of the science, but false as to matter, are styled by Aristotle ψευδογραφήματα. See Aristot. Sophist. Elench. xi. p. 171, b. 14; p. 172, a. 1.

“L’interrogation syllogistique se confondant avec la proposition, il s’ensuit que l’interrogation doit être, comme la proposition, propre à la science dont il s’agit.” (Barthélemy St Hilaire, note, p. 70). Interrogation here has a different meaning from that which it bears in Dialectic.

39 Ibid. I. xii. p. 77, b. 34 seq. This passage is to me hardly intelligible. It is differently understood by commentators and translators. John Philoponus in the Scholia (p. 217, b. 17-32, Brandis), cites the explanation of it given by Ammonius, but rejects that explanation, and waits for others to supply him with a better. Zabarella (Comm. in Analyt. Post. pp. 426, 456, ed. Venet 1617) admits that as it stands, and where it stands, it is unintelligible, but transposes it to another part of the book (to the end of cap. xvii., immediately before the words φανερὸν δὲ καὶ ὅτι, &c., of c. xviii.), and gives an explanation of it in this altered position. But I do not think he has succeeded in clearing it up.

40 Ibid. I. xii. p. 77, b. 40-p. 78, a. 13.

Knowledge of Fact and knowledge of the Cause must be distinguished, and even within the same Science.41 In some syllogisms the conclusion only brings out τὸ ὅτι — the reality of certain facts; in others, it ends in τὸ διότι — the affirmation of a cause, or of the Why. The syllogism of the Why is, where the middle term is not merely the cause, but the proximate cause, of the conclusion. Often, however, the effect is more notorious, so that we employ it as middle term, and conclude from it to its reciprocating cause; in which case our syllogism is only of the ὅτι; and so it is also when we employ as middle term a cause not proximate but remote, concluding from that to the effect.42 Sometimes224 the syllogisms of the ὅτι may fall under one science, those of the διότι under another, namely, in the case where one science is subordinate to another, as optics to geometry, and harmonics to arithmetic; the facts of optics and harmonics belonging to sense and observation, the causes thereof to mathematical reasoning. It may happen, then, that a man knows τὸ διότι well, but is comparatively ignorant τοῦ ὅτι: the geometer may have paid little attention to optical facts.43 Cognition of the διότι is the maximum, the perfection, of all cognition; and this, comprising arithmetical and geometrical theorems, is almost always attained by syllogisms in the First figure. This figure is the most truly scientific of the three; the other two figures depend upon it for expansion and condensation. It is, besides, the only one in which universal affirmative conclusions can be obtained; for in the Second figure we get only negative conclusions; in the Third, only particular. Accordingly, propositions declaring Essence or Definition, obtained only through universal affirmative conclusions, are yielded in none but the First figure.44

41 Ibid. I. xiii. p. 77, a. 22 seq.

42 Themistius, p. 45: πολλάκις συμβαίνει καὶ ἀντιστρέφειν ἀλλήλοις τὸ αἰτιον καὶ τὸ σημεῖον καὶ ἄμφω δείκνυσθαι δι’ ἀλλήλων, διὰ τοῦ σημείου μὲν ὡς τὸ ὅτι, διὰ θατέρου δὲ ὡς τὸ διότι.

“Cum enim vera demonstratio, id est τοῦ διότι, fiat per causam proximam, consequens est, ut demonstratio vel per effectum proximum, vel per causam remotam, sit demonstratio τοῦ ὅτι” (Julius Pacius, Comm. p. 422).

M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire observes (Note, p. 82):— “La cause éloignée non immédiate, donne un syllogisme dans la seconde figure. — Il est vrai qu’Aristote n’appelle cause que la cause immédiate; et que la cause éloignée n’est pas pour lui une véritable cause.”

See in Schol. p. 188, a. 19, the explanation given by Alexander of the syllogism τοῦ διότι.

43 Analyt. Post. I. xiii. p. 79, a. 2, seq.: ἐνταῦθα γὰρ τὸ μὲν ὅτι τῶν αἰσθητικῶν εἰδέναι, τὸ δὲ διότι τῶν μαθηματικῶν, &c. Compare Analyt. Prior. II. xxi. p. 67, a. 11; and Metaphys. A. p. 981, a. 15.

44 Analyt. Post. I. xiv. p. 79, a. 17-32.

As there are some affirmative propositions that are indivisible, i.e., having affirmative predicates which belong to a subject at once, directly, immediately, indivisibly, — so there are also some indivisible negative propositions, i.e., with predicates that belong negatively to a subject at once, directly, &c. In all such there is no intermediate step to justify either the affirmation of the predicate, or the negation of the predicate, respecting the given subject. This will be the case where neither the predicate nor the subject is contained in any higher genus.45

45 Ibid. I. xv. p. 79, a. 33-b. 22. The point which Aristotle here especially insists upon is, that there may be and are immediate, undemonstrable, negative (as well as affirmative) predicates: φανερὸν οὖν ὅτι ἐνδέχεταί τε ἄλλο ἄλλῳ μὴ ὑπάρχειν ἀτόμως. (Themistius, Paraphr. p. 48, Spengel: ἄμεσοι δὲ προτάσεις οὐ καταφάσεις μόνον εἰσίν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀποφάσεις ὁμοίως αἳ μὴ δύνανται διὰ συλλογισμοῦ δειχθῆναι, αὗται δ’ εἰσὶν ἐφ’ ὧν οὐδετέρου τῶν ὅρων ἄλλος τις ὅλου κατηγορεῖται.) It had been already shown, in an earlier chapter of this treatise (p. 72, b. 19), that there were affirmative predicates immediate and undemonstrable. This may be compared with that which Plato declares in the Sophistes (pp. 253-254, seq.) about the intercommunion τῶν γενῶν καὶ τῶν εἰδῶν with each other. Some of them admit such intercommunion, others repudiate it.

225In regard both to these propositions immediate and indivisible, and to propositions mediate and deducible, there are two varieties of error.46 You may err simply, from ignorance, not knowing better, and not supposing yourself to know at all; or your error may be a false conclusion, deduced by syllogism through a middle term, and accompanied by a belief on your part that you do know. This may happen in different ways. Suppose the negative proposition, No B is A, to be true immediately or indivisibly. Then, if you conclude the contrary of this47 (All B is A) to be true, by syllogism through the middle term C, your syllogism must be in the First figure; it must have the minor premiss false (since B is brought under C, when it is not contained in any higher genus), and it may have both premisses false. Again, suppose the affirmative proposition, All B is A, to be true immediately or indivisibly. Then if you conclude the contrary of this (No B is A) to be true, by syllogism through the middle term C, your syllogism may be in the First figure, but it may also be in the Second figure, your false conclusion being negative. If it be in the First figure, both its premisses may be false, or one of them only may be false, either indifferently.48 If it be in the Second figure, either premiss singly may be wholly false, or both may be partly false.49

46 Analyt. Post. I. xvi. p. 79, b. 23: ἄγνοια κατ’ ἀπόφασιν — ἄγνοια κατὰ διάθεσιν. See Themistius, p. 49, Spengel. In regard to simple and uncombined ideas, ignorance is not possible as an erroneous combination, but only as a mental blank. You either have the idea and thus know so much truth, or you have not the idea and are thus ignorant to that extent; this is the only alternative. Cf. Aristot. Metaph. Θ. p. 1051, a. 34; De Animâ, III. vi. p. 430, a. 26.

47 Analyt. Post. I. xvi. p. 79, b. 29. M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire remarks (p. 95, n.):— “Il faut remarquer qu’Aristote ne s’occupe que des modes universels dans la première et dans la seconde figure, parceque, la démonstration étant toujours universelle, les propositions qui expriment l’erreur opposée doivent l’être comme elle. Ainsi ce sont les propositions contraires, et non les contradictoires, dont il sera question ici.”

For the like reason the Third figure is not mentioned here, but only the First and Second: because in the Third figure no universal conclusion can be proved (Julius Pacius, p. 431).

48 Analyt. Post. I. xvi. p. 80, a. 6-26.

49 Ibid. a. 27-b. 14: ἐν δὲ τῷ μέσῳ σχήματι ὅλας μὲν εἶναι τὰς προτάσεις ἀμφοτέρας ψευδεῖς οὐκ ἐνδέχεται — ἐπί τι δ’ ἑκατέραν οὐδὲν κωλύει ψευδῆ εἶναι.

Let us next assume the affirmative proposition, All B is A, to be true, but mediate and deducible through the middle term C. If you conclude the contrary of this (No B is A) through the same middle term C, in the First figure, your error cannot arise from falsity in the minor premiss, because your minor (by the laws of the figure) must be affirmative; your error must arise from a false major, because a negative major is not inconsistent with the laws of the First figure. On the other hand, if you conclude the contrary in the First figure through a different 226middle term, D, either both your premisses will be false, or your minor premiss will be false.50 If you employ the Second figure to conclude your contrary, both your premisses cannot be false, though either one of them singly may be false.51

50 Analyt. Post. I. xvi. p. 80, b. 17-p. 81, a. 4.

51 Ibid. p. 81, a. 5-14.

Such will be the case when the deducible proposition assumed to be true is affirmative, and when therefore the contrary conclusion which you profess to have proved is negative. But if the deducible proposition assumed to be true is negative, and if consequently the contrary conclusion must be affirmative, — then, if you try to prove this contrary through the same middle term, your premisses cannot both be false, but your major premiss must always be false.52 If, however, you try to prove the contrary through a different and inappropriate middle term, you cannot convert the minor premiss to its contrary (because the minor premiss must continue affirmative, in order that you may arrive at any conclusion at all), but the major can be so converted. Should the major premiss thus converted be true, the minor will be false; should the major premiss thus converted be false, the minor may be either true or false. Either one of the premisses, or both the premisses, may thus be false.53

52 Ibid. xvii. p. 81, a. 15-20.

53 Ibid. a. 20-34. Mr. Poste’s translation (pp. 65-70) is very perspicuous and instructive in regard to these two difficult chapters.

Errors of simple ignorance (not concluded from false syllogism) may proceed from defect or failure of sensible perception, in one or other of its branches. For without sensation there can be no induction; and it is from induction only that the premisses for demonstration by syllogism are obtained. We cannot arrive at universal propositions, even in what are called abstract sciences, except through induction of particulars; nor can we demonstrate except from universals. Induction and Demonstration are the only two ways of learning; and the particulars composing our inductions can only be known through sense.54

54 Analyt. Post. I. xviii. p. 81, a. 38-b. 9. In this important chapter (the doctrines of which are more fully expanded in the last chapter of the Second Book of the Analyt. Post.), the text of Waitz does not fully agree with that of Julius Pacius. In Firmin Didot’s edition the text is the same as in Waitz; but his Latin translation remains adapted to that of Julius Pacius. Waitz gives the substance of the chapter as follows (ad Organ. II. p. 347):— “Universales propositiones omnes inductione comparantur, quum etiam in iis, quæ a sensibus maxime aliena videntur et quæ, ut mathematica (τὰ ἐξ ἀφαιρέσεως), cogitatione separantur à materia quacum conjuncta sunt, inductione probentur ea quæ de genero (e.g., de linea vel de corpore mathematico), ad quod demonstratio pertineat, prædicentur καθ’ αὑτά et cum ejus natura conjuncta sint. Inductio autem iis nititur quæ sensibus percipiuntur; nam res singulares sentiuntur, scientia vero rerum singularium non datur sine inductione, non datur inductio sine sensu.”

Aristotle next proceeds to show (what in previous passages he 227had assumed)55 that, if Demonstration or the syllogistic process be possible — if there be any truths supposed demonstrable, this implies that there must be primary or ultimate truths. It has been explained that the constituent elements assumed in the Syllogism are three terms and two propositions or premisses; in the major premiss, A is affirmed (or denied) of all B; in the minor, B is affirmed of all C; in the conclusion, A is affirmed (or denied) of all C.56 Now it is possible that there may be some one or more predicates higher than A, but it is impossible that there can be an infinite series of such higher predicates. So also there may be one or more subjects lower than C, and of which C will be the predicate; but it is impossible that there can be an infinite series of such lower subjects. In like manner there may perhaps be one or more middle terms between A and B, and between B and C; but it is impossible that there can be an infinite series of such intervening middle terms. There must be a limit to the series ascending, descending, or intervening.57 These remarks have no application to reciprocating propositions, in which the predicate is co-extensive with the subject.58 But they apply alike to demonstrations negative and affirmative, and alike to all the three figures of Syllogism.59

55 Analyt. Prior. I. xxvii. p. 43, a. 38; Analyt. Post. I. ii. p. 71, b. 21.

56 Analyt. Post. I. xix. p. 81, b. 10-17.

57 Ibid. p. 81, b. 30-p. 82, a. 14.

58 Ibid. p. 82, a. 15-20. M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, p. 117:— “Ceci ne saurait s’appliquer aux termes réciproques, parce que dans les termes qui peuvent être attribués réciproquement l’un à l’autre, on ne peut pas dire qu’il y ait ni premier ni dernier rélativement à l’attribution.”

59 Analyt. Post. I. xx., xxi. p. 82, a. 21-b. 36.

In Dialectical Syllogism it is enough if the premisses be admitted or reputed as propositions immediately true, whether they are so in reality or not; but in Scientific or Demonstrative Syllogism they must be so in reality: the demonstration is not complete unless it can be traced up to premisses that are thus immediately or directly true (without any intervening middle term).60 That there are and must be such primary or immediate premisses, Aristotle now undertakes to prove, by some dialectical reasons, and other analytical or scientific reasons.61 He himself 228thus distinguishes them; but the distinction is faintly marked, and amounts, at most, to this, that the analytical reasons advert only to essential predication, and to the conditions of scientific demonstration, while the dialectical reasons dwell upon these, but include something else besides, viz., accidental predication. The proof consists mainly in the declaration that, unless we assume some propositions to be true immediately, indivisibly, undemonstrably, — Definition, Demonstration, and Science would be alike impossible. If the ascending series of predicates is endless, so that we never arrive at a highest generic predicate; if the descending series of subjects is endless, so that we never reach a lowest subject, — no definition can ever be attained. The essential properties included in the definition, must be finite in number; and the accidental predicates must also be finite in number, since they have no existence except as attached to some essential subject, and since they must come under one or other of the nine later Categories.62 If, then, the two extremes are thus fixed and finite — the highest predicate and the lowest subject — it is impossible that there can be an infinite series of terms between the two. The intervening terms must be finite in number. The Aristotelian theory therefore is, that there are certain propositions directly and immediately true, and others derived from them by demonstration through middle terms.63 It is alike an error to assert that every thing can be demonstrated, and that nothing can be demonstrated.

60 Ibid. xix. p. 81, b. 18-29.

61 Ibid. xxi. p. 82, b. 35; xxii. p. 84, a. 7: λογικῶς μὲν οὖν ἐκ τούτων ἄν τις πιστεύσειε περὶ τοῦ λεχθέντος, ἀναλυτικῶς δὲ διὰ τῶνδε φανερὸν συντομώτερον. In Scholia, p. 227, a. 42, the same distinction is expressed by Philoponus in the terms λογικώτερα and πραγματωδέστερα. Compare Biese, Die Philosophie des Aristoteles, pp. 134, 261; Bassow, De Notionis Definitione, pp. 19, 20; Heyder, Aristot. u. Hegel. Dialektik, pp. 316, 317.

Aristotle, however, does not always adhere closely to the distinction. Thus, if we compare the logical or dialectical reasons given, p. 82, b. 37, seq., with the analytical, announced as beginning p. 84, a. 8, seq., we find the same main topic dwelt upon in both, namely, that to admit an infinite series excludes the possibility of Definition. Both Alexander and Ammonius agree in announcing this as the capital topic on which the proof turned; but Alexander inferred from hence that the argument was purely dialectical (λογικὸν ἐπιχείρημα), while Ammonius regarded it as a reason thoroughly convincing and evident: ὁ μέντοι φιλόσοφος (Ammonius) ἔλεγε μὴ διὰ τοῦτο λέγειν λογικὰ τὰ ἐπιχειρήματα· ἐναργὲς γὰρ ὅτι εἰσὶν ὁρισμοί, εἰ μὴ ἀκαταληψίαν εἰσαγάγωμεν (Schol. p. 227, a. 40, seq., Brand.).

62 Analyt. Post. I. xxii. p. 83, a. 20, b. 14. Only eight of the ten Categories are here enumerated.

63 Ibid. I. xxii. p. 84, a. 30-35. The paraphrase of Themistius (pp. 55-58, Spengel) states the Aristotelian reasoning in clearer language than Aristotle himself. Zabarella (Comm. in Analyt. Post. I. xviii.; context. 148, 150, 154) repeats that Aristotle’s proof is founded upon the undeniable fact that there are definitions, and that without them there could be no demonstration and no science. This excludes the supposition of an infinite series of predicates and of middle terms:— “Sumit rationem à definitione; si in predicatis in quid procederetur ad infinitum, sequeretur auferri definitionem et omnino essentiæ cognitionem; sed hoc dicendum non est, quum omnium consensioni adversetur” (p. 466, Ven. 1617).

It is plain from Aristotle’s own words64 that he intended these four chapters (xix.-xxii.) as a confirmation of what he had already asserted in chapter iii. of the present treatise, and as farther refutation of the two distinct classes of opponents there indicated: (1) those who said that everything was demonstrable, demonstration in a circle being admissible; (2) those who said that nothing was demonstrable, inasmuch as the train of predication229 upwards, downwards, and intermediate, was infinite. Both these two classes of opponents agreed in saying, that there were no truths immediate and indemonstrable; and it is upon this point that Aristotle here takes issue with them, seeking to prove that there are and must be such truths. But I cannot think the proof satisfactory; nor has it appeared so to able commentators either of ancient or modern times — from Alexander of Aphrodisias down to Mr. Poste.65 The elaborate amplification 230added in these last chapters adds no force to the statement already given at the earlier stage; and it is in one respect a change for the worse, inasmuch as it does not advert to the important distinction announced in chapter iii., between universal truths known by Induction (from sense and particulars), and universal truths known by Deduction from these. The truths immediate and indemonstrable (not known through a middle term) are the inductive truths, as Aristotle declares in many places, and most emphatically at the close of the Analytica Posteriora. But in these chapters, he hardly alludes to Induction. Moreover, while trying to prove that there must be immediate universal truths, he neither gives any complete list of them, nor assigns any positive characteristic whereby to identify them. Opponents might ask him whether these immediate universal truths were not ready-made inspirations of the mind; and if so, what better authority they had than the Platonic Ideas, which are contemptuously dismissed.

64 Analyt. Post. I. xxii. p. 84, a. 32: ὅπερ ἔφαμέν τινας λέγειν κατ’ ἀρχάς, &c.

65 See Mr. Poste’s note, p. 77, of his translation of this treatise. After saying that the first of Aristotle’s dialectical proofs is faulty, and that the second is a petitio principii, Mr. Poste adds, respecting the so-called analytical proof given by Aristotle:— “It is not so much a proof, as a more accurate determination of the principle to be postulated. This postulate, the existence of first principles, as concerning the constitution of the world, appears to belong properly to Metaphysics, and is merely borrowed by Logic. See Metaph. ii. 2, and Introduction.” In the passage of the Metaphysica (α. p. 994) here cited the main argument of Aristotle is open to the same objection of petitio principii which Mr. Poste urges against Aristotle’s second dialectical argument in this place.

Mr. John Stuart Mill, in his System of Logic, takes for granted that there must be immediate, indemonstrable truths, to serve as a basis for deduction; “that there cannot be a chain of proof suspended from nothing;” that there must be ultimate laws of nature, though we cannot be sure that the laws now known to us are ultimate.

On the other hand, we read in the recent work of an acute contemporary philosopher, Professor Delbœuf (Essai de Logique Scientifique, Liège, 1865, Pref. pp. v, vii, viii, pp. 46, 47:) — “Il est des points sur lesquels je crains de ne m’être pas expliqué assez nettement, entre autres la question du fondement de la certitude. Je suis de ceux qui repoussent de toutes leurs forces l’axiome si spécieux qu’on ne peut tout démontrer; cette proposition aurait, à mes yeux, plus besoin que toute autre d’une démonstration. Cette démonstration ne sera en partie donnée que quand on aura une bonne fois énuméré toutes les propositions indémontrables; et quand on aura bien défini le caractère auquel on les reconnait. Nulle part on ne trouve ni une semblable énumération, ni une semblable définition. On reste à cet égard dans une position vague, et par cela même facile à défendre.”

It would seem, by these words, that M. Delbœuf stands in the most direct opposition to Aristotle, who teaches us that the ἀρχαὶ or principia from which demonstration starts cannot be themselves demonstrated. But when we compare other passages of M. Delbœuf’s work, we find that, in rejecting all undemonstrable propositions, what he really means is to reject all self-evident universal truths, “C’est donc une véritable illusion d’admettre des vérités évidentes par elles-mêmes. Il n’y a pas de proposition fausse que nous ne soyons disposés d’admettre comme axiome, quand rien ne nous a encore autorisés à la repousser” (p. ix.). This is quite true in my opinion; but the immediate indemonstrable truths for which Aristotle contends as ἀρχαὶ of demonstration, are not announced by him as self-evident, they are declared to be results of sense and induction, to be raised from observation of particulars multiplied, compared, and permanently formularized under the intellectual habitus called Noûs. By Demonstration Aristotle means deduction in its most perfect form, beginning from these ἀρχαὶ which are inductively known but not demonstrable (i. e. not knowable deductively). And in this view the very able and instructive treatise of M. Delbœuf mainly coincides, assigning even greater preponderance to the inductive process, and approximating in this respect to the important improvements in logical theory advanced by Mr. John Stuart Mill.

Among the universal propositions which are not derived from Induction, but which serve as ἀρχαὶ for Deduction and Demonstration, we may reckon the religious, ethical, æsthetical, social, political, &c., beliefs received in each different community, and impressed upon all newcomers born into it by the force of precept, example, authority. Here the major premiss is felt by each individual as carrying an authority of its own, stamped and enforced by the sanction of society, and by the disgrace or other penalties in store for those who disobey it. It is ready to be interpreted and diversified by suitable minor premisses in all inferential applications. But these ἀρχαὶ for deduction, differing widely at different times and places, though generated in the same manner and enforced by the same sanction, would belong more properly to the class which Aristotle terms τὰ ἔνδοξα.

We have thus recognized that there exist immediate (ultimate or primary) propositions, wherein the conjunction between predicate and subject is such that no intermediate term can be assigned between them. When A is predicated both of B and C, this may perhaps be in consequence of some common property possessed by B and C, and such common property will form a middle term. For example, equality of angles to two right angles belongs both to an isosceles and to a scalene triangle, and it belongs to them by reason of their common property — triangular figure; which last is thus the middle term. But this need not be always the case.66 It is possible that the two propositions — A predicated of B, A predicated of C — may both of them be immediate propositions; and that there may be no community of nature between B and C. Whenever a middle term can be found, demonstration is possible; but where no middle term can be found, demonstration is impossible. The proposition, whether affirmative or negative, is then an immediate or indivisible one. Such propositions, and the terms of which they are composed, are the ultimate elements or principia of Demonstration. Predicate and subject are brought constantly into closer and closer conjunction, until at last they become one and indivisible.67 Here we reach the unit or element 231of the syllogizing process. In all scientific calculations there is assumed an unit to start from, though in each branch of science it is a different unit; e.g. in barology, the pound-weight; in harmonics, the quarter-tone; in other branches of science, other units.68 Analytical research teaches us that the corresponding unit in Syllogism is the affirmative or negative proposition which is primary, immediate, indivisible. In Demonstration and Science it is the Noûs or Intellect.69

66 Analyt. Post. I. xxiii. p. 84, b. 3-18. τοῦτο δ’ οὐκ ἀεὶ οὕτως ἔχει.

67 Ibid. b. 25-37. ἀεὶ τὸ μέσον πυκνοῦται, ἕως ἀδιαίρετα γένηται καὶ ἕν. ἔστι δ’ ἕν, ὅταν ἄμεσον γένηται καὶ μία πρότασις ἁπλῶς ἡ ἄμεσος.

68 Analyt. Post. I. xxiii. p. 84, b. 37: καὶ ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις ἡ ἀρχὴ ἁπλοῦν, τοῦτο δ’ οὐ ταὐτὸ πανταχοῦ, ἀλλ’ ἐν βαρεῖ μὲν μνᾶ, ἐν δὲ μέλει δίεσις, ἄλλο δ’ ἐν ἄλλῳ, οὕτως ἐν συλλογισμῷ τὸ ἓν πρότασις ἄμεσος, ἐν δ’ ἀποδείξει καὶ ἐπιστήμῃ ὁ νοῦς.

69 Ibid. b. 35-p. 85, a. 1.

Having thus, in the long preceding reasoning, sought to prove that all demonstration must take its departure from primary undemonstrable principia — from some premisses, affirmative and negative, which are directly true in themselves, and not demonstrable through any middle term or intervening propositions, Aristotle now passes to a different enquiry. We have some demonstrations in which the conclusion is Particular, others in which it is Universal: again, some Affirmative, some Negative, Which of the two, in each of these alternatives, is the best? We have also demonstrations Direct or Ostensive, and demonstrations Indirect or by way of Reductio ad Absurdum. Which of these two is the best? Both questions appear to have been subjected to debate by contemporary philosophers.70

70 Ibid. xxiv. p. 85, a. 13-18. ἀμφισβητεῖται ποτέρα βελτίων· ὡς δ’ αὕτως καὶ περὶ τῆς ἀποδεικνύναι λεγομένης καὶ τῆς εἰς τὸ ἀδύνατον ἀγούσης ἀποδείξεως.

Aristotle discusses these points dialectically (as indeed he points out in the Topica that the comparison of two things generally, as to better and worse, falls under the varieties of dialectical enquiry71), first stating and next refuting the arguments on the weaker side. Some persons may think (he says) that demonstration of the Particular is better than demonstration of the Universal: first, because it conducts to fuller cognition of that which the thing is in itself, and not merely that which it is quatenus member of a class; secondly, because demonstrations of the Universal are apt to generate an illusory belief, that the Universal is a distinct reality apart from and independent of all its particulars (i.e., that figure in general has a real existence apart from all particular figures, and number in general apart from all particular numbers, &c.), while demonstrations of the Particular do not lead to any such illusion.72

71 Aristot. Topic. III. i. p. 116, a. 1, seq.

72 Analyt. Post. I. xxiv. p. 85, a. 20-b. 3. Themistius, pp. 58-59, Spengel: οὐ γὰρ ὁμώνυμον τὸ καθόλου ἐστίν, οὐδὲ φωνὴ μόνον, ἀλλ’ ὑπόστασις, οὐ χωριστὴ μὲν ὥσπερ οὐδὲ τὰ συμβεβηκότα, ἐναργῶς δ’ οὖν ἐμφαινομένη τοῖς πράγμασιν. The Scholastic doctrine of Universalia in re is here expressed very clearly by Themistius.

232To these arguments Aristotle replies:— 1. It is not correct to say that cognition of the Particular is more complete, or bears more upon real existence, than cognition of the Universal. The reverse would be nearer to the truth. To know that the isosceles, quatenus triangle, has its three angles equal to two right angles, is more complete cognition than knowing simply that the isosceles has its three angles equal to two right angles. 2. If the Universal be not an equivocal term — if it represents one property and one definition common to many particulars, it then has a real existence as much or more than any one or any number of the particulars. For all these particulars are perishable, but the class is imperishable. 3. He who believes that the universal term has one meaning in all the particulars, need not necessarily believe that it has any meaning apart from all particulars; he need not believe this about Quiddity, any more than he believes it about Quality or Quantity. Or if he does believe so, it is his own individual mistake, not imputable to the demonstration. 4. We have shown that a complete demonstration is one in which the middle term is the cause or reason of the conclusion. Now the Universal is most of the nature of Cause; for it represents the First Essence or the Per Se, and is therefore its own cause, or has no other cause behind it. The demonstration of the Universal has thus more of the Cause or the Why, and is therefore better than the demonstration of the Particular. 5. In the Final Cause or End of action, there is always some ultimate end for the sake of which the intermediate ends are pursued, and which, as it is better than they, yields, when it is known, the only complete explanation of the action. So it is also with the Formal Cause: there is one highest form which contains the Why of the subordinate forms, and the knowledge of which is therefore better; as when, for example, the exterior angles of a given isosceles triangle are seen to be equal to four right angles, not because it is isosceles or triangle, but because it is a rectilineal figure. 6. Particulars, as such, fall into infinity of number, and are thus unknowable; the Universal tends towards oneness and simplicity, and is thus essentially knowable, more fully demonstrable than the infinity of particulars. The demonstration thereof is therefore better. 7. It is also better, on another ground; for he that knows the Universal does in a certain sense know also the Particular;73 but he that knows the Particular cannot be said in any sense to 233know the Universal. 8. The principium or perfection of cognition is to be found in the immediate proposition, true per se. When we demonstrate, and thus employ a middle term, the nearer the middle term approaches to that principium, the better the demonstration is. The demonstration of the Universal is thus better and more accurate than that of the Particular.74

73 Compare Analyt. Post. I. i. p. 71, a. 25; also Metaphys. A. p. 981, a. 12.

74 Analyt. Post. I. xxiv. p. 85, b. 4-p. 86, a. 21. Schol. p. 233, b. 6: ὁμοίως δὲ ὄντων γνωρίμων, ἡ δι’ ἐλαττόνων μέσων αἱρετωτέρα· μᾶλλον γὰρ ἐγγυτέρω τῆς τοῦ νοῦ ἐνεργείας.

Such are the several reasons enumerated by Aristotle in refutation of the previous opinion stated in favour of the Particular. Evidently he does not account them all of equal value: he intimates that some are purely dialectical (λογικά); and he insists most upon the two following:— 1. He that knows the Universal knows in a certain sense the Particular; if he knows that every triangle has its three angles equal to two right angles, he knows potentially that the isosceles has its three angles equal to the same, though he may not know as yet that the isosceles is a triangle. But he that knows the Particular does not in any way know the Universal, either actually or potentially.75 2. The Universal is apprehended by Intellect or Noûs, the highest of all cognitive powers; the Particular terminates in sensation. Here, I presume, he means, that, in demonstration of the Particular, the conclusion teaches you nothing more than you might have learnt from a direct observation of sense; whereas in that of the Universal the conclusion teaches you more than you could have learnt from direct sensation, and comes into correlation with the highest form of our intellectual nature.76

75 Analyt. Post. I. xxiv. p. 86, a. 22: ἀλλὰ τῶν μὲν εἰρημένων ἔνια λογικά ἐστι· μάλιστα δὲ δῆλον ὅτι ἡ καθόλου κυριωτέρα, ὅτι — ὁ δὲ ταύτην ἔχων τὴν πρότασιν (the Particular) τὸ καθόλου οὐδαμῶς οἶδεν, οὔτε δυνάμει οὔτ’ ἐνεργείᾳ.

76 Ibid. a. 29: καὶ ἡ μὲν καθόλου νοητή, ἡ δὲ κατὰ μέρος εἰς αἴσθησιν τελευτᾷ. Compare xxiii. p. 84, b. 39, where we noticed the doctrine that Νοῦς is the unit of scientific demonstration.

Next, Aristotle compares the Affirmative with the Negative demonstration, and shows that the Affirmative is the better. Of two demonstrations (he lays it down) that one which proceeds upon a smaller number of postulates, assumptions, or propositions, is better than the other; for, to say nothing of other reasons, it conducts you more speedily to knowledge than the other, and that is an advantage. Now, both in the affirmative and in the negative syllogism, you must have three terms and two propositions; but in the affirmative you assume only that something is; while in the negative you assume both that something is, and that something is not. Here is a double assumption instead of a single; therefore the negative is the worse or 234inferior of the two.77 Moreover, for the demonstration of a negative conclusion, you require one affirmative premiss (since from two negative premisses nothing whatever can be concluded); while for the demonstration of an affirmative conclusion, you must have two affirmative premisses, and you cannot admit a negative. This, again, shows that the affirmative is logically prior, more trustworthy, and better than the negative.78 The negative is only intelligible and knowable through the affirmative, just as Non-Ens is knowable only through Ens. The affirmative demonstration therefore, as involving better principles, is, on this ground also, better than the negative.79 A fortiori, it is also better than the demonstration by way of Reductio ad Absurdum, which was the last case to be considered. This, as concluding only indirectly and from impossibility of the contradictory, is worse even than the negative; much more therefore is it worse than the direct affirmative.80

77 Analyt. Post. I. xxv. p. 86, a. 31-b. 9.

78 Ibid. b. 10-30.

79 Ibid. b. 30-39.

80 Ibid. I. xxvi. p. 87, a. 2-30. Waitz (II. p. 370), says: “deductio (ad absurdum), quippe quæ per ambages cogat, post ponenda, est demonstrationi rectæ.”

Philoponus says (Schol. pp. 234-235, Brand.) that the Commentators all censured Aristotle for the manner in which he here laid out the Syllogism δι’ ἀδυνάτου. I do not, however, find any such censure in Themistius. Philoponus defends Aristotle from the censure.

If we next compare one Science with another, the prior and more accurate of the two is, (1) That which combines at once the ὅτι and the διότι; (2) That which is abstracted from material conditions, as compared with that which is immersed therein — for example, arithmetic is more accurate than harmonics; (3) The more simple as compared with the more complex: thus, arithmetic is more accurate than geometry, a monad or unit is a substance without position, whereas a point (more concrete) is a substance with position.81 One and the same science is that which belongs to one and the same generic subject-matter. The premisses of a demonstration must be included in the same genus with the conclusion; and where the ultimate premisses are heterogeneous, the cognition derived from them must be considered as not one but a compound of several.82 You may find two or more distinct middle terms for demonstrating the same conclusion; sometimes out of the same logical series or table, sometimes out of different tables.83

81 Analyt. Post. I. xxvii. p. 87, a. 31-37. Themistius, Paraphras. p. 60, ed. Speng.: κατ’ ἄλλον δὲ (τρόπον), ἐὰν ἡ μὲν περὶ ὑποκείμενά τινα καὶ αἰσθητὰ πραγματεύηται, ἡ δὲ περὶ νοητὰ καὶ καθόλου.

Philoponus illustrates this (Schol. p. 235, b. 41, Br.): οἷον τὰ Θεοδοσίου σφαιρικὰ ἀκριβέστερά ἐστιν ἐπιστήμῃ τῆς τῶν Αὐτολύκου περὶ κινουμένης σφαίρας. &c.

82 Analyt. Post. I. xxviii. p. 87, a. 38-b. 5. Themistius, p. 61: δῆλον δὲ τοῦτο γίνεται προϊοῦσιν ἐπὶ τὰς ἀναποδείκτους ἀρχάς· αὗται γὰρ εἰ μηδεμίαν ἔχοιεν συγγένειαν, ἕτεραι αἱ ἐπιστῆμαι.

83 Analyt. Post. I. xxix. p. 87, b. 5-18. Aristotle gives an example to illustrate this general doctrine: ἥδεσθαι, τὸ κινεῖσθαι, τὸ ἠρεμίζεσθαι, τὸ μεταβάλλειν. As he includes these terms and this subject among the topics for demonstration, it is difficult to see where he would draw a distinct line between topics for Demonstration and topics for Dialectic.

235There cannot be demonstrative cognition of fortuitous events,84 for all demonstration is either of the necessary or of the customary. Nor can there be demonstrative cognition through sensible perception. For though by sense we perceive a thing as such and such (through its sensible qualities), yet we perceive it inevitably as hoc aliquid, hic, et nunc. But the Universal cannot be perceived by sense; for it is neither hic nor nunc, but semper et ubique.85 Now demonstrations are all accomplished by means of the Universal, and demonstrative cognition cannot therefore be had through sensible perception. If the equality of the three angles of a triangle to two right angles were a fact directly perceivable by sense, we should still have looked out for a demonstration thereof: we should have no proper scientific cognition of it (though some persons contend for this): for sensible perception gives us only particular cases, and Cognition or Science proper comes only through knowing the Universal.86 If, being on the surface of the moon, we had on any one occasion seen the earth between us and the sun, we could not have known from that single observation that such interposition is the cause universally of eclipses. We cannot directly by sense perceive the Universal, though sense is the principium of the Universal. By multiplied observation of sensible particulars, we can hunt out and elicit the Universal, enunciate it clearly and separately, and make it serve for demonstration.87 The Universal is precious, because it reveals the Cause or διότι, and is therefore more precious, not merely than sensible observation, but also than intellectual conception of the ὅτι only, where the Cause or διότι lies apart, and is derived from a higher genus. Respecting First Principles or Summa Genera, we must speak elsewhere.88 236It is clear, therefore, that no demonstrable matter can be known, properly speaking, from direct perception of sense; though there are cases in which nothing but the impossibility of direct observation drives us upon seeking for demonstration. Whenever we can get an adequate number of sensible observations, we can generalize the fact; and in some instances we may perhaps not seek for any demonstrative knowledge (i.e. to explain it by any higher principle). If we could see the pores in glass and the light passing through them, we should learn through many such observations why combustion arises on the farther side of the glass; each of our observations would have been separate and individual, but we should by intellect generalize the result that all the cases fall under the same law.89

84 Analyt. Post. I. xxx. p. 87, b. 19-27.

85 Ibid. xxxi. p. 87, b. 28: εἰ γὰρ καὶ ἔστιν ἡ αἴσθησις τοῦ τοιοῦδε καὶ μὴ τοῦδέ τινος, ἀλλ’ αἰσθάνεσθαί γε ἀναγκαῖον τόδε τι καὶ ποῦ καὶ νῦν.

86 Ibid. b. 35: δῆλον ὅτι καὶ εἰ ἦν αἰσθάνεσθαι τὸ τρίγωνον ὅτι δυσὶν ὀρθαῖς ἴσας ἔχει τὰς γωνίας, ἐζητοῦμεν ἂν ἀπόδειξιν, καὶ οὐχ (ὥσπερ φασί τινες) ἠπιστάμεθα· αἰσθάνεσθαι μὲν γὰρ ἀνάγκη καθ’ ἕκαστον, ἡ δ’ ἐπιστήμη τῷ τὸ καθόλου γνωρίζειν ἐστίν.

Euclid, in the 20th Proposition of his first Book, demonstrates that any two sides of a triangle are together greater than the third side. According to Proklus, the Epikureans derided the demonstration of such a point as absurd; and it seems that some contemporaries of Aristotle argued in a similar way, judging by the phrase ὥσπερ φασί τινες.

87 Analyt. Post. I. xxxi. p. 88, a. 2: οὐ μὴν ἀλλ’ ἐκ τοῦ θεωρεῖν τοῦτο πολλάκις συμβαῖνον, τὸ καθόλου ἂν θηρεύσαντες ἀπόδειξιν εἴχομεν· ἐκ γὰρ τῶν καθ’ ἕκαστα πλειόνων τὸ καθόλου δῆλον. Themistius, p. 62, Sp.: ἀρχὴ μὲν γὰρ ἀποδείξεως αἴσθησις, καὶ τὸ καθόλου ἐννοοῦμεν διὰ τὸ πολλάκις αἰσθέσθαι.

88 Analyt. Post. I. xxxi. p. 88, a. 6: τὸ δὲ καθόλου τίμιον, ὅτι δηλοῖ τὸ αἴτιον· ὥστε περὶ τῶν τοιούτων ἡ καθόλου τιμιωτέρα τῶν αἰσθήσεων καὶ τῆς νοήσεως, ὅσων ἕτερον τὸ αἴτιον· περὶ δὲ τῶν πρώτων ἄλλος λόγος.

By τὰ πρῶτα, he means the ἀρχαὶ of Demonstration, which are treated especially in II. xix. See Biese, Die Philos. des Aristoteles, p. 277.

89 Analyt. Post. I. xxxi. p. 88, a. 9-17. ἔστι μέντοι ἔνια ἀναγόμενα εἰς αἰσθήσεως ἔκλειψιν ἐν τοῖς προβλήμασιν· ἔνια γὰρ εἰ ἑώρωμεν, οὐκ ἂν ἐζητοῦμεν, οὐχ ὡς εἰδότες τῷ ὁρᾷν, ἀλλ’ ὡς ἔχοντες τὸ καθόλου ἐκ τοῦ ὁρᾷν.

The text of this and the succeeding words seems open to doubt, as well as that of Themistius (p. 63). Waitz in his note (p. 374) explains the meaning clearly:— “non ita quidem ut ipsa sensuum perceptio scientiam afferat; sed ita ut quod in singulis accidere videamus, idem etiam in omnibus accidere coniicientes universe intelligamus.”

Aristotle next proceeds to refute, at some length, the supposition, that the principia of all syllogisms are the same. We see at once that this cannot be so, because some syllogisms are true, others false. But, besides, though there are indeed a few Axioms essential to the process of demonstration, and the same in all syllogisms, yet these are not sufficient of themselves for demonstration. There must farther be other premisses or matters of evidence — propositions immediately true (or established by prior demonstrations) belonging to each branch of Science specially, as distinguished from the others. Our demonstration relates to these special matters or premisses, though it is accomplished out of or by means of the common Axioms.90

90 Analyt. Post. I. xxxii. p. 88, a. 18-b. 29. αἱ γὰρ ἀρχαὶ διτταί, ἐξ ὧν τε καὶ περὶ ὃ· αἱ μὲν οὖν ἐξ ὧν κοιναί, αἱ δὲ περὶ ὅ ἴδιαι, οἷον ἀριθμός, μέγεθος. Compare xi. p. 77, a. 27. See Barthélemy St. Hilaire, Plan Général des Derniers Analytiques, p. lxxxi.

Science or scientific Cognition differs from true Opinion, and the cognitum from the opinatum, herein, that Science is of the Universal, and through necessary premisses which cannot be otherwise; while Opinion relates to matters true, yet which at the same time may possibly be false. The belief in a proposition which is immediate (i. e., undemonstrable) yet not necessary, is Opinion; it is not Science, nor is it Noûs or Intellect — the principium of Science or scientific Cognition. Such beliefs are 237fluctuating, as we see every day; we all distinguish them from other beliefs, which we cannot conceive not to be true and which we call cognitions.91 But may there not be Opinion and Cognition respecting the same matters? There may be (says Aristotle) in different men, or in the same man at different times; but not in the same man at the same time. There may also be, respecting the same matter, true opinion in one man’s mind, and false opinion in the mind of another.92

91 Analyt. Post. I. xxxiii. p. 88, b. 30-p. 89, a. 10.

92 Ibid. p. 89, a. 11-b. 6. That eclipse of the sun is caused by the interposition of the moon was to the astronomer Hipparchos scientific Cognition; for he saw that it could not be otherwise. To the philosopher Epikurus it was Opinion; for he thought that it might be otherwise (Themistius, p. 66, Spengel).

With some remarks upon Sagacity, or the power of divining a middle term in a time too short for reflection (as when the friendship of two men is on the instant referred to the fact of their having a common enemy), the present book is brought to a close.93

93 Ibid. xxxiv. p. 89, b. 10-20.









Aristotle begins the Second Book of the Analytica Posteriora by an enumeration and classification of Problems or Questions suitable for investigation. The matters knowable by us may be distributed into four classes:—

Ὅτι. Διότι. Εἰ ἔστι. Τί ἐστι.
1. Quod. 2. Cur. 3. An sit. 4. Quid sit.

Under the first head come questions of Fact; under the second head, questions of Cause or Reason; under the third, questions of Existence; under the fourth, questions of Essence. Under the first head we enquire, Whether a fact or event is so or so? Whether a given subject possesses this or that attribute, or is in this or that condition? enumerating in the question the various supposable alternatives. Under the second head, we assume the first question to have been affirmatively answered, and we proceed to enquire, What is the cause or reason for such fact, or such conjunction of subject and attribute? Under the third head, we ask, Does a supposed subject exist? And if the answer be in the affirmative, we proceed to enquire, under the fourth head, What is the essence of the subject?1

1 Analyt. Post. II. i. p. 89, b. 23, seq. Themistius observes, p. 67, Speng.: ζητοῦμεν τίνυν ἢ περὶ ἁπλοῦ τινὸς καὶ ἀσυνθέτου, ἢ περὶ συνθέτου καὶ ἐν προτάσει. Themistius has here changed Aristotle’s order, and placed the third and fourth heads before the first and second. Compare Schol. p. 240, b. 30; p. 241, a. 18. The Scholiast complains of the enigmatical style of Aristotle: τῇ γριφώδει τοῦ ῥητοῦ ἐπαγγελία (p. 240, b. 25).

We have here two distinct pairs of Quæsita: Obviously the second head presupposes the first, and is consequent thereupon; while the fourth also presupposes the third. But it might seem a more suitable arrangement (as Themistius and other expositors have conceived) that the third and fourth heads should come first in the list, rather than the first and second; since the third and fourth are simpler, and come earlier in the order of philosophical exposition, while the first and second are more complicated, and cannot be expounded philosophically until after 239the philosophical exposition of the others. This is cleared up by adverting to the distinction, so often insisted on by Aristotle, between what is first in order of cognition relatively to us (nobis notiora), and what is first in order of cognition by nature (naturâ notiora). To us (that is to men taken individually and in the course of actual growth) the phenomena of nature2 present themselves as particulars confused and complicated in every way, with attributes essential and accidental implicated together: we gradually learn first to see and compare them as particulars, next to resolve them into generalities, bundles, classes, and partially to explain the Why of some by means of others. Here we start from facts embodied in propositions, that include subjects clothed with their attributes. But in the order of nature (that is, in the order followed by those who know the scibile as a whole, and can expound it scientifically) that which comes first is the Universal or the simple Subject abstracted from its predicates or accompaniments: we have to enquire, first, whether a given subject exists; next, if it does exist, what is its real constituent essence or definition. We thus see the reason for the order in which Aristotle has arranged the two co-ordinate pairs of Quæsita or Problems, conformable to the different processes pursued, on the one hand, by the common intellect, growing and untrained — on the other, by the mature or disciplined intellect, already competent for philosophical exposition and applying itself to new incognita.

2 Schol. Philopon. p. 241, a. 18-24: τούτων τὸ εἰ ἔστι καὶ τὸ τί ἐστιν εἰσὶν ἁπλᾶ, τὸ δὲ ὅτι καὶ τὸ διότι σύνθετα — πρότερα γὰρ ἡμῖν καὶ γνωριμώτερα τὰ σύνθετα, ὡς τῇ φύσει τὰ ἁπλᾶ.

Mr. Poste observes upon this quadruple classification by Aristotle (p. 96):— “The two last of these are problems of Inductive, but first principles of Deductive, Science; the one being the hypothesis, the other the definition. The attribute as well as the subject must be defined (I. x.), so that to a certain degree the second problem also is assumed among the principles of Demonstration.”

Comparing together these four Quæsita, it will appear that in the first and third (Quod and An), we seek to find out whether there is or is not any middle term. In the second and fourth (Cur and Quid), we already know or assume that there is a middle term; and we try to ascertain what that middle term is.3 The enquiry Cur, is in the main analogous to the enquiry Quid; in both cases, we aim at ascertaining what the cause or middle term is. But, in the enquiry Cur, what we discover is perhaps some independent fact or event, which is the cause of the event quæsitum; while, in the enquiry Quid, what we seek is the real 240essence or definition of the substance — the fundamental, generating, immanent cause of its concomitant attributes. Sometimes, however, the Quid and the Cur are only different ways of stating the same thing. E.g., Quid est eclipsis lunæ? Answer: The essence of an eclipse is a privation of light from the moon, through intervention of the earth between her and the sun. Cur locum habet eclipsis lunæ? Answer: Because the light of the sun is prevented from reaching the moon by intervention of the earth. Here it is manifest that the answers to the enquiries Quid and Cur are really and in substance the same fact, only stated in different phrases.4

3 Analyt. Post. II. i. p. 889, b. 37-p. 90, a. 7. συμβαίνει ἄρα ἐν ἁπάσαις ταῖς ζητήσεσι ζητεῖν ἢ εἰ ἔστι μέσον, ἢ τί ἐστι τὸ μέσον· τὸ μὲν γὰρ αἴτιον τὸ μέσον, ἐν ἅπασι δὲ τοῦτο ζητεῖται. Compare Schol. p. 241, b. 10, Br.

4 Analyt. Post. II. ii. p. 90, a. 14-23, 31: τὸ τί ἐστιν εἰδέναι ταὐτό ἐστι καὶ διὰ τί ἐστιν.

That the quæsitum in all these researches is a middle term or medium, is plain from those cases wherein the medium is perceivable by sense; for then we neither require nor enter upon research. For example, if we were upon the moon, we should see the earth coming between us and the sun, now and in each particular case of eclipse. Accordingly, after many such observations, we should affirm the universal proposition, that such intervention of the earth was the cause of eclipses; the universal becoming known to us through induction of particular cases.5 The middle term, the Cause, the Quid, and the Cur, are thus all the same enquiry, in substance; though sometimes such quæsitum is the quiddity or essential nature of the thing itself (as the essence of a triangle is the cause or ground of its having its three angles equal to two right angles, as well as of its other properties), sometimes it is an extraneous fact.6

5 Ibid. a. 24-30. ἐκ γὰρ τοῦ αἰσθέσθαι καὶ τὸ καθόλου ἐγένετο ἂν ἡμῖν εἰδέναι· ἡ μὲν γὰρ αἴσθησις ὅτι νῦν ἀντιφράττει· καὶ γὰρ δῆλον ὅτι νῦν ἐκλείπει· ἐκ δὲ τούτου τὸ καθόλου ἂν ἐγένετο.

The purport and relation of this quadruple classification of problems is set forth still more clearly in the sixth book of the Metaphysica (Z. p. 1041) with the explanations of Bonitz, Comm. pp. 358, 359.

6 Analyt. Post. II. ii. p. 90, a. 31.

But how or by what process is this quæsitum obtained and made clear? Is it by Demonstration or by Definition? What is Definition, and what matters admit of Definition?7 Aristotle begins by treating the question dialectically; by setting out a series of doubts and difficulties. First, Is it possible that the same cognition, and in the same relation, can be obtained both by Definition and by Demonstration? No; it is not possible. It is plain that much that is known by Demonstration cannot be known by Definition; for we have seen that conclusions both particular and negative are established by Demonstration (in 241the Third and Second figures), while every Definition is universal and affirmative. But we may go farther and say, that even where a conclusion universal and affirmative is established (in the First figure) by Demonstration, that same conclusion can never be known by Definition; for if it could be known by Definition, it might have been known without Demonstration. Now we are assured, by an uncontradicted induction, that this is not the fact; for that which we know by Demonstration is either a proprium of the subject per se, or an accident or concomitant; but no Definition ever declares either the one or the other: it declares only the essence.8

7 Ibid. iii. p. 90, a. 37: τί ἐστιν ὁρισμός, καὶ τίνων, εἴπωμεν, διαπορήσαντες πρῶτον περὶ αὐτῶν.

8 Analyt. Post. II. iii. p. 90, b. 13: ἱκανὴ δὲ πίστις καὶ ἐκ τῆς ἐπαγωγῆς· οὐδὲν γὰρ πώποτε ὁρισάμενοι ἔγνωμεν, οὔτε τῶν καθ’ αὑτὸ ὑπαρχόντων οὔτε τῶν συμβεβηκότων. ἔτι εἰ ὁ ὁρισμὸς οὐσίας τις γνωρισμός, τὰ γε τοιαῦτα φανερὸν ὅτι οὐκ οὐσίαι.

Again, let us ask, vice versâ, Can everything that is declared by Definition, or indeed anything that is declared by Definition, be known also by Demonstration? Neither is this possible. One and the same cognitum can be known only by one process of cognition. Definitions are the principia from which Demonstration departs; and we have already shown that in going back upon demonstrations, we must stop somewhere, and must recognize some principia undemonstrable.9 The Definition can never be demonstrated, for it declares only the essence of the subject, and does not predicate anything concerning the subject; whereas Demonstration assumes the essence to be known, and deduces from such assumption an attribute distinct from the essence.10

9 Ibid. b. 18-27.

10 Ibid. b. 33, seq.: ἔτι πᾶσα ἀπόδειξις τὶ κατά τινος δείκνυσιν, οἷον ὅτι ἔστιν ἢ οὐκ ἔστιν· ἐν δὲ τῷ ὁρισμῷ οὐδὲν ἕτερον ἑτέρου κατηγορεῖται, οἷον οὔτε τὸ ζῷον κατὰ τοῦ δίποδος οὐδὲ τοῦτο κατὰ τοῦ ζῷου — ὁ μὲν οὖν ὁρισμὸς τί ἐστι δηλοῖ, ἡ δὲ ἀπόδειξις ὅτι ἢ ἔστι τόδε κατὰ τοῦδε ἢ οὐκ ἔστιν.

Themistius (p. 71, Speng.) distinguishes the ὁρισμός itself from ἡ πρότασις ἡ τὸν ὁρισμὸν κατηγορούμενον ἔχουσα.

Prosecuting still farther the dialectical and dubitative treatment,11 Aristotle now proceeds to suggest, that the Essence (that is, the entire Essence or Quiddity), which is declared by Definition, can never be known by Demonstration. To suppose that it could be so known, would be inconsistent with the conditions of the syllogistic proof used in demonstrating. You prove by syllogism, through a middle term, some predicate or attribute; e.g. because A is predicable of all B, and B is predicable of all C, therefore A is predicable of all C. But you cannot prove, through the middle term B, that A is the essence or quiddity 242of C, unless by assuming in the premisses that B is the essence of C, and that A is the essence of B; accordingly, that the three propositions, AB, BC, AC, are all co-extensive and reciprocate with each other. Here, then, you have assumed as your premisses two essential propositions, AB, BC, in order to prove as an essential proposition the conclusion AC. But this is inadmissible; for your premisses require demonstration as much as your conclusion. You have committed a Petitio Principii;12 you have assumed in your minor premiss the very point to be demonstrated.

11 Analyt. Post. II. iv. p. 91, a. 12: ταῦτα μὲν οὖν μέχρι τούτου διηπορήσθω. One would think, by these words, that τὸ διαπορεῖν (or the dubitative treatment) finished here. But the fact is not so: that treatment is continued for four chapters more, to the commencement of ch. viii. p. 93.

12 Analyt. Post. II. iv. p. 91, a. 12-32: ταῦτα δ’ ἀνάγκη ἀντιστρέφειν· εἰ γὰρ τὸ Α τοῦ Γ ἴδιον, δῆλον ὅτι καὶ τοῦ Β καὶ τοῦτο τοῦ Γ, ὥστε πάντα ἀλλήλων. — λαμβάνει οὖν ὃ δεῖ δεῖξαι· καὶ γὰρ τὸ Β ἔστι τί ἐστιν ἄνθρωπος. Themistius, pp. 72, 73: τὸν ἀποδεικνύντα τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἄλλο τι δεῖ προλαβεῖν τοῦ αὐτοῦ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι. — οὗ γὰρ βούλεται τὸν ὁρισμὸν ἀποδεῖξαι, τούτου προλαμβάνει τινὰ ὁρισμὸν εἶναι χωτὶς ἀποδείξεως.

M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, notes, p. 205:— “Il faut donc, pour conclure par syllogisme que A est la définition essentielle de C, que A soit la définition essentielle de B, et que B soit lui-même la définition essentielle de C. Mais alors la définition de la chose sera dans le moyen terme lui-même, avant d’être dans la conclusion; en effet, la mineure: B est la définition essentielle de C, donne la définition essentielle de C, sans qu’il soit besoin d’aller jusqu’à la conclusion. Donc la démonstration de l’essence ainsi entendue est absurde.”

If you cannot obtain Definition as the conclusion of syllogistic Demonstration, still less can you obtain it through the method of generic and specific Division; which last method (as has been already shown in the Analytica Priora) is not equal even to the Syllogism in respect of usefulness and efficacy.13 You cannot in this method distinguish between propositions both true and essential, and propositions true but not essential; you never obtain, by asking questions according to the method of generic subdivision, any premisses from which the conclusion follows by necessity. Yet this is what you ought to obtain for the purpose of Demonstration; for you are not allowed to enunciate the full actual conclusion among the premisses, and require assent to it. Division of a genus into its species will often give useful information, as Induction also will;14 but neither the one nor the other will be equivalent to a demonstration. A definition obtained only from subdivisions of a genus, may always be challenged, like a syllogism without its middle term.

13 Analyt. Post. II. v. p. 91, b. 12, seq.; Analyt. Prior. I. xxxi. p. 46, a. 31. Aristotle here alludes to the method pursued by Plato in the Sophistes and Politicus, though he does not name Plato: ἡ διὰ τῶν διαιρέσεων ὁδός, &c.

14 Analyt. Post. II. v. p. 91, b. 15-33: οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁ ἐπάγων ἴσως ἀποδείκνυσιν, ἀλλ’ ὅμως δηλοῖ τι. Compare Themistius, p. 74.

Again, neither can you arrive at the definition of a given subject, by assuming in general terms what a definition ought to be, and then declaring a given form of words to be conformable to such assumption; because your minor premiss must involve 243Petitio Principii. The same logical fault will be committed, if you take your departure from an hypothesis in which you postulate the definition of a certain subject, and then declare inferentially what the definition of its contrary must be. The definition which you here assume requires proof as much as that which you infer from it.15 Moreover, neither by this process, nor by that of generic subdivision, can you show any reason why the parts of the definition should coalesce into one essential whole. If they do not thus coalesce — if they be nothing better than distinct attributes conjoined in the same subject, like musicus and grammaticus — the real essence is not declared, and the definition is not a good one.16

15 Analyt. Post. II. vi. p. 92, a. 6-28. Themist. p. 76.

Rassow renders ἐξ ὑποθέσεως — “assumptâ generali definitionis notione;” and also says: “τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι — generalem definitionis notionem; τὸ τί ἐστιν — certam quandam definitionem, significare perspicuum est.” (Aristotelis de Notionis Definitione Doctrina, p. 65).

16 Analyt. Post. II. vi. p. 92, a. 32. That the parts of the definition must coalesce into one unity is laid down again in the Metaphysica, Z. pp. 1037, 1038, where Aristotle makes reference to the Analytica as haying already treated the same subject, and professes an intention to complete what has been begun in the Analytica; ἐφ’ ὅσον ἐν τοῖς Ἀναλυτικοῖς περὶ ὁρισμοῦ μὴ εἴρηται.

After stating some other additional difficulties which seem to leave the work of Definition inexplicable, Aristotle relinquishes the dubitative treatment, and looks out for some solution of the puzzle: How may it be possible that the Definition shall become known?17 He has already told us that to know the essence of a thing is the same as to know the cause or reason of its existence; but we must first begin by knowing that the definiendum exists; for there can be no definition of a non-entity, except a mere definition of the word, a nominal or verbal definition. Now sometimes we know the existence of the subject by one or other of its accidental attributes; but this gives us no help towards finding the definition.18 Sometimes, however, we obtain a partial knowledge of its essence along with the knowledge of its existence; when we know it along with some constant antecedent, or through some constant, though derivative, consequent. Knowing thus much, we can often discover the cause or fundamental condition thereof, which is the essence or definition of 244the subject.19 Indeed, it may happen that the constant derivative, and the fundamental essence on which it depends, become known both together; or, again, the cause or fundamental condition may perhaps not be the essence of the subject alone, but some fact including other subjects also; and this fact may then be stated as a middle term. Thus, in regard to eclipse of the moon, we know the constant phenomenal fact about it, that, on a certain recurrence of the time of full moon, the moon casts no light and makes no shadow. Hence we proceed to search out the cause. Is it interposition of the earth, or conversion of the moon’s body, or extinction of her light, &c.? The new fact when shown, must appear as a middle term, throwing into syllogistic form (in the First figure) the cause or rational explanation of a lunar eclipse; showing not merely that there is an eclipse, but what an eclipse is, or what is its definition.20

17 Analyt. Post. II. vii. p. 92, a. 34, seq. The ἀπόριαι continue to the end of ch. vii. He goes on, ch. viii. p. 93, a. 1-2: πάλιν δὲ σκεπτέον τί τούτων λέγεται καλῶς, καὶ τί οὐ καλῶς, &c. “Tout ce qui précède ne représente pas la théorie proprement dite; ce n’est qu’une discussion préliminaire” (Barth. St. Hilaire, not. p. 222). These difficult chapters are well illustrated by Hermann Rassow, ch. i. pp. 9-14.

18 Analyt. Post. II. viii. p. 93, a. 3: ἐπεὶ δ’ ἐστίν, ὡς ἔφαμεν, ταὐτὸν τὸ εἰδέναι τί ἐστι καὶ τὸ εἰδέναι τὸ αἴτιον τοῦ εἰ ἔστι· Ibid. a. 24: ὅσα μὲν οὖν κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἔστιν, ἀναγκαῖον μηδαμῶς ἔχειν πρὸς τὸ τί ἐστιν· οὐδὲ γὰρ ὅτι ἔστιν ἴσμεν· τὸ δὲ ζητεῖν τί ἐστι μὴ ἔχοντας ὅτι ἔστι, μηδὲν ζητεῖν ἐστίν. καθ’ ὅσων δ’ ἔχομέν τι, ῥᾷον· ὥστε ὡς ἔχομεν ὅτι ἔστιν, οὕτως ἔχομεν καὶ πρὸς τὸ τί ἐστιν. Compare Brentano, Ueber die Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles, p. 17.

19 Analyt. Post. II. viii. p. 93, a. 21. Themistius, p. 79, Speng.: ὅσα δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν οἰκείων τε καὶ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τοῦ πράγματος, ἀπὸ τούτων ἤδη ῥᾷον εἰς τὸ τί ἐστι μεταβαίνομεν.

20 Ibid. p. 93, a. 30-b. 14.

Aristotle has thus shown how the Essence or Quiddity (τί ἐστι) may become known in this class of cases. There is neither syllogism nor demonstration thereof, yet it is declared through syllogism and demonstration: though no demonstration thereof is possible, yet you cannot know it without demonstration, wherever there is an extraneous cause.21

21 Ibid. b. 15-20: ὥστε συλλογισμὸς μὲν τοῦ τί ἐστιν οὐ γίνεται οὐδ’ ἀπόδειξις, δῆλον μέντοι διὰ συλλογισμοῦ καὶ δι’ ἀποδείξεως.

Mr. Poste translates an earlier passage (p. 93, a. 5) in this very difficult chapter as follows (p. 107): “If one cause is demonstrable, another indemonstrable cause must be the intermediate; and the proof is in the first figure, and the conclusion affirmative and universal. In this mode of demonstrating the essence, we prove one definition by another, for the intermediate that proves an essence or a peculiar predicate must itself be an essence or a peculiar predicate. Of two definitions, then, one is proved and the other assumed; and, as we said before, this is not a demonstration but a dialectical proof of the essence.” Mr. Poste here translates λογικὸς συλλογισμός “dialectical proof.” I understand it rather as meaning a syllogism, τοῦ ὑπάρχειν simply (Top. I. v. p. 102, b. 5), in which all that you really know is that the predicate belongs to the subject, but in which you assume besides that it belongs to the subject essentially. It is not a demonstration because, in order to obtain Essence in the conclusion, you are obliged to postulate Essence in your premiss. (See Alexander ad Topic. I. p. 263, Br.). You have therefore postulated a premiss which required proof as much as the conclusion.

But the above doctrine will hold only in cases where there is a distinct or extraneous cause; it will not hold in cases where there is none. It is only in the former (as has been said) that a middle term can be shown; rendering it possible that Quiddity or Essence should be declared by a valid formal syllogism, though it cannot be demonstrated by syllogism. In the latter, where there is no distinct cause, no such middle term can be enunciated: the Quiddity or Essence must be assumed as an 245immediate or undemonstrable principium, and must be exposed or set out in the best manner practicable as an existent reality, on Induction or on some other authority. The arithmetician makes his first steps by assuming both what a monad is and that there exists such a monad.22

22 Analyt. Post. II. ix. p. 93, b. 21. ἔστι δὲ τῶν μὲν ἕτερόν τι αἴτιον, τῶν δ’ οὐκ ἔστιν. ὥστε δῆλον ὅτι καὶ τῶν τί ἐστι τὰ μὲν ἄμεσα καὶ ἀρχαί εἰσιν, ἃ καὶ εἶναι καὶ τί ἐστιν ὑποθέσθαι δεῖ ἢ ἄλλον τρόπον φανερὰ ποιῆσαι. ὅπερ ὁ ἀριθμητικὸς ποιεῖ· καὶ γὰρ τί ἐστι τὴν μονάδα ὑποτίθεται, καὶ ὅτι ἔστιν.

Themistius, p. 80: ἃ καὶ εἶναι καὶ τί ἐστιν ὑποθέσθαι δεῖ, ἢ ἄλλον τρόπον φανερὰ ποιῆσαι ἐξ ἐπαγωγῆς ἢ πίστεως ἢ ἐμπειρίας. Rassow, De Notionis Definitione, pp. 18-22.

We may distinguish three varieties of Definition. 1. Sometimes it is the mere explanation what a word signifies; in this sense, it has nothing to do with essence or existence; it is a nominal definition and nothing more.23 2. Sometimes it enunciates the Essence, cause, or reason of the definitum; this will happen where the cause is distinct or extraneous, and where there is accordingly an intervening middle term: the definition will then differ from a demonstration only by condensing into one enunciation the two premisses and the conclusion which together constitute the demonstration.24 3. Sometimes it is an immediate proposition, an indemonstrable hypothesis, assuming Essence or Quiddity; the essence itself being cause, and no extraneous cause — no intervening middle term — being obtainable.25

23 Analyt. Post. II. x. p. 93, b. 29-37.

24 Ibid. p. 93, b. 38, seq. οἷον ἀπόδειξις τοῦ τί ἐστιν, τῇ θέσει διαφέρων τῆς ἀποδείξεως· — συλλογισμὸς τοῦ τί ἐστι, πτώσει διαφέρων τῆς ἀποδείξεως — differing “situ et positione terminorum” (Julius Pacius, p. 493).

25 Ibid. p. 94, a. 9: ὁ δὲ τῶν ἀμέσων ὁρισμός, θέσις ἐστὶ τοῦ τί ἐστιν ἀναπόδεικτος. Compare I. xxiv. p. 85, b. 24: ᾧ γὰρ καθ’ αὑτὸ ὑπάρχει τι, τοῦτο αὐτὸ αὑτῷ αἴτιον. See Kampe, Die Erkenntniss-theorie des Aristoteles, p. 212, seq.

To know or cognize is, to know the Cause; when we know the Cause, we are satisfied with our cognition. Now there are four Causes, or varieties of Cause:—

1. The Essence or Quiddity (Form) — τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι.

2. The necessitating conditions (Matter) — τό τίνων ὄντων ἀνάγκη τοῦτ’ εἶναι.

3. The proximate mover or stimulator of change (Efficient) — ἡ τί πρῶτον ἐκίνησε.

4. That for the sake of which (Final Cause or End) — τὸ τίνος ἕνεκα.

All these four Causes (Formal, Material, Efficient, Final) appear as middle terms in demonstrating. We can proceed through the medium either of Form, or of Matter, or of Efficient, or of End. The first of the four has already been exemplified — the demonstration246 by Form. The second appears in demonstrating that the angle in a semi-circle is always a right angle; where the middle term (or matter of the syllogism, (τὸ ἐξ οὗ) is, that such angle is always the half of two right angles.26 The Efficient is the middle term, when to the question, Why did the Persians invade Athens? it is answered that the Athenians had previously invaded Persia along with the Eretrians. (All are disposed to attack those who have attacked them first; the Athenians attacked the Persians first; ergo, the Persians were disposed to attack the Athenians.) Lastly, the Final Cause serves as middle term, when to the question, Why does a man walk after dinner? the response is, For the purpose of keeping up his health. In another way, the middle term here is digestion: walking after dinner promotes digestion; digestion is the efficient cause of health.27

26 Analyt. Post. II. xi. p. 94, a. 21-36. Themistius, p. 83: μάλιστα μὲν γὰρ ἐπὶ πάσης ἀποδείξεως ὁ μέσος ἔστιν οἷον ἡ ὕλη τῷ συλλογισμῷ· οὕτος γὰρ ὁ ποιῶν τὰς δύο προτάσεις, ἐφ’ αἷς τὸ συμπέρασμα.

27 Analyt. Post. II. xi. p. 94, a. 36-b. 21.

The Final Cause or End is prior in the order of nature, but posterior to the terms of the conclusion in the order of time or generation; while the Efficient is prior in the order of time or generation. The Formal and Material are simultaneous with the effect, neither prior nor posterior.28 Sometimes the same fact may proceed both from a Final cause, and from a cause of Material Necessity; thus the light passes through our lantern for the purpose of guiding us in the dark, but also by reason that the particles of light are smaller than the pores in the glass. Nature produces effects of finality, or with a view to some given end; and also effects by necessity, the necessity being either inherent in the substance itself, or imposed by extraneous force. Thus a stone falls to the ground by necessity of the first kind, but ascends by necessity of the second kind. Among products of human intelligence some spring wholly from design without necessity; but others arise by accident or chance and have no final cause.29

28 Analyt. Post. II. xi. p. 94, a. 21-26. Themistius, p. 83: ἡ γένεσις οὖν τοῦ μέσου καὶ αἰτίου τὴν αὐτὴν οὐκ ἔχει τάξιν ἐφ’ ἁπάντων, ἀλλ’ οὗ μὲν πρώτην ὡς ἐπὶ τῶν κινητικῶν, οὗ δὲ τελευταίαν ὡς ἐπὶ τῶν τελῶν καὶ ὧν ἕνεκα, οὗ δ’ ἅμα ὡς ἐπὶ τῶν ὁρισμῶν καὶ τοῦ τί ἦν εἶναι.

29 Analyt. Post. II. p. 94, b. 27-p. 95, a. 9.

That the middle term is the Cause, is equally true in respect to Entia, Fientia, Præterita, and Futura; only that in respect to Entia, the middle term or Cause must be an Ens; in respect to Fientia it must be a Fiens; in respect to Præterita, a Præteritum; and in respect to Futura, a Futurum; that is, in each case, it must be generated at the corresponding time 247with the major and minor terms in the conclusion.30 What is the cause of an eclipse of the moon? The cause is, that the earth intervenes between moon and sun; and this is true alike of eclipses past, present, and future. Such an intervention is the essence or definition of a lunar eclipse: the cause is therefore Formal, and cause and effect are simultaneous, occurring at the same moment of time. But in the other three Causes — Material, Efficient, Final — where phenomena are successive and not simultaneous, can we say that the antecedent is cause and the consequent effect, time being, as seems to us, a continuum? In cases like this, we can syllogize from the consequent backward to the antecedent; but not from the antecedent forward to the consequent. If the house has been built, we can infer that the foundations have been laid; but, if the foundations have been laid, we cannot infer that the house has been built.31 There must always be an interval of time during which inference from the antecedent will be untrue; perhaps, indeed, it may never become true. Cause and causatum in these three last varieties of Cause, do not universally and necessarily reciprocate with each other, as in the case of the Formal cause. Though time is continuous, events or generations are distinct points marked in a continuous line, and are not continuous with each other.32 The number of these points that may be taken is indeed infinite; yet we must assume some of them as ultimate and immediate principia, in order to construct our syllogism, and provide our middle term.33 Where the middle term reciprocates and is co-extensive with the major and the minor, in such cases we have generation of phenomena in a cycle; e.g., after the earth has been made wet, vapour rises of necessity: hence comes a cloud, hence water; which again falls, and the earth again becomes wet.34 Finally, wherever our conclusion is not universally and necessarily true, but true only in most cases, our immediate principia must also be of the same character, true in most cases, but in most cases only.35

30 Analyt. Post. II. xii. p. 95, a. 10, 36: τὸ γὰρ μέσον ὁμόγονον δεῖ εἶναι, &c.

31 Ibid. a. 24 seq., b. 32; Julius Pacius, ad loc.; Biese, Die Philosophie des Aristot. pp. 302-303.

32 Analyt. Post. II. xii. p. 95, a. 39-b. 8; Themistius, p. 86.

33 Analyt. Post. II. xii. p. 95, b. 14-31: ἀρχὴ δὲ καὶ ἐν τούτοις ἄμεσος ληπτέα.

34 Ibid. b. 38-p. 96, a. 7.

35 Ibid. p. 96, a. 8-19.

How are we to proceed in hunting out those attributes that are predicated in Quid,36 as belonging to the Essence of the subject? The subject being a lowest species, we must look out for such attributes as belong to all individuals thereof, but which belong 248also to individuals of other species under the same genus. We shall thus find one, two, three, or more, attributes, each of which, separately taken, belongs to various individuals lying out of the species; but the assemblage of which, collectively taken, does not belong to any individual lying out of the species. The Assemblage thus found is the Essence; and the enunciation thereof is the Definition of the species. Thus, the triad is included in the genus number; in searching for its definition, therefore, we must not go beyond that genus, nor include any attributes (such as ens, &c.) predicable of other subjects as well as numbers. Keeping within the limits of the genus, we find that every triad agrees in being an odd number. But this oddness belongs to other numbers also (pentad, heptad, &c.). We therefore look out for other attributes, and we find that every triad agrees in being a prime number, in two distinct senses; first, that it is not measured by any other number; secondly, that it is not compounded of any other numbers. This last attribute belongs to no other odd number except the triad. We have now an assemblage of attributes, which belong each of them to every triad, universally and necessarily, and which, taken all together, belong exclusively to the triad, and therefore constitute its essence or definition. The triad is a number, odd, and prime in the two senses.37 The definitum and the definition are here exactly co-extensive.

36 Ibid. xiii. p. 96, a. 22: πῶς δεῖ θηρεύειν τὰ ἐν τῷ τί ἐστι κατηγορούμενα;

37 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 96, a. 24-b. 14. εἰ τοίνυν μηδενὶ ὑπάρχει ἄλλῳ ἢ ταῖς ἀτόμοις τριάσι, τοῦτ’ ἂν εἴη τὸ τριάδι εἶναι. ὑποκείσθω γὰρ καὶ τοῦτο, ἡ οὐσία ἡ ἑκάστου εἶναι ἡ ἐπὶ ταῖς ἀτόμοις ἔσχατος τοιαύτη κατηγορία. ὥστε ὁμοίως καὶ ἄλλῳ ὁτῳοῦν τῶν οὕτω δειχθέντων τὸ αὐτῷ εἶναι ἔσται.

Where the matter that we study is the entire genus, we must begin by distributing it into its lowest species; e.g. number into dyad, triad, &c.; in like manner, taking straight line, circle, right angle, &c.38 We must first search out the definitions of each of these lowest species; and these having been ascertained, we must next look above the genus, to the Category in which it is itself comprised, whether Quantum, Quale, &c. Having done thus much we must study the derivative attributes or propria of the lowest species through the common generalities true respecting the larger. We must recollect that these derivative attributes are derived from the essence and definition of the lowest species, the complex flowing from the simple as its principium: they belong per se only to the lowest species thus 249defined; they belong to the higher genera only through those species.39 It is in this way, and not in any other, that the logical Division of genera, according to specific differences, can be made serviceable for investigation of essential attributes; that is, it can only be made to demonstrate what is derivative from the essence. We have shown already that it cannot help in demonstrating essence or Definition itself. We learn to marshal in proper order the two constituent elements of our definition, and to attach each specific difference to the genus to which it properly belongs. Thus we must not attempt to distribute the genus animal according to the difference of having the wing divided or undivided: many animals will fall under neither of the two heads; the difference in question belongs to the lower genus winged animal, and distributes the same into two species. The characteristic or specific difference must be enunciated and postulated by itself, and must be attached to its appropriate genus in order to form the definition. It is only by careful attention to the steps of legitimate logical Division that we can make sure of including all the particulars and leaving out none.40

38 Ibid. b. 18. The straight line is the first or lowest of all lines: no other line can be understood, unless we first understand what is meant by a straight line. In like manner the right angle is the first of all angles, the circle the first of all curvilinear figures (Julius Pacius, ad loc. p. 504).

39 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 96, b. 19-25: μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο, λάβόντα τί τὸ γένος, οἷον πότερον τῶν ποσῶν ἢ τῶν ποιῶν, τὰ ἴδια πάθη θεωρεῖν διὰ τῶν κοινῶν πρώτων. τοῖς γὰρ συντιθεμένοις ἐκ τῶν ἀτόμων (speciebus infimis) τὰ συμβαίνοντα ἐκ τῶν ὁρισμῶν ἔσται δῆλα, διὰ τὸ ἀρχὴν εἶναι πάντων τὸν ὁρισμόν καὶ τὸ ἁπλοῦν, καὶ τοῖς ἁπλοῖς καθ’ αὑτὰ ὑπάρχειν τὰ συμβαίνοντα μόνοις, τοῖς δ’ ἄλλοις κατ’ ἐκεῖνα.

Themistius illustrates this obscure passage, p. 89. The definitions of εὐθεῖα γραμμή, κεκλασμένη γραμμή, περιφερὴς γραμμή, must each of them contain the definition of γραμμή (= μῆκος ἀπλατές), since it is in the Category Ποσόν (ποσὸν μῆκος ἀπλατές). But the derivative properties of the circle (περιφερὴς γραμμή) are deduced from the definition of a circle, and belong to it in the first instance quâ περιφερὴς γραμμή, in a secondary way quâ γραμμή.

40 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 96, b. 25-p. 97, a. 6.

Some contemporaries of Aristotle, and among them Speusippus, maintained that it was impossible either to define, or to divide logically, unless you knew all particulars without exception. You cannot (they said) know any one thing, except by knowing its differences from all other things; which would imply that you knew also all these other things.41 To these reasoners Aristotle replies: It is not necessary to know all the differences of every thing; you know a thing as soon as you know its essence, with the properties per se which are derivative therefrom. There are many differences not belonging to the essence, but distinguishing from each other two things having the same essence: you may know the thing, without knowing these accidental 250differences.42 When you divide a genus into two species, distinguished by one proximate specific difference, such that there cannot be any thing that does not fall under one or other of these membra condividentia, and when you have traced the subject investigated under one or other of these members, you can always follow this road until no lower specific difference can be found, and you have then the final essence and definition of the subject; even though you may not know how many other subjects each of the two members may include.43 Thus does Aristotle reply to Speusippus, showing that it is not necessary, for the definition of one thing, that you should know all other things. His reply, as in many other cases, is founded on the distinction between the Essential and the Accidental.

41 Ibid. p. 97, a. 6-10; Themistius, p. 92. Aristotle does not here expressly name Speusippus, but simply says φασί τινες. It is Themistius who names Speusippus; and one of the Scholiasts refers to Eudemus as having expressly indicated Speusippus (Schol. p. 248, a. 24, Br.).

42 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 97, a. 12: πολλαὶ γὰρ διαφοραὶ ὑπάρχουσι τοῖς αὐτοῖς τῷ εἴδει, ἀλλ’ οὐ κατ’ οὐσίαν οὐδὲ καθ’ αὑτά.

43 Ibid. a. 18-22: φανερὸν γὰρ ὅτι ἂν οὕτω βαδίζων ἔλθῃ εἰς ταῦτα ὧν μηκέτι ἐστὶ διαφορά, ἕξει τὸν λόγον τῆς οὐσίας.

To obtain or put together a definition through logical Division, three points are to be attended to.44 Collect the predicates in Quid; range them in the proper order; make sure that there are no more, or that you have collected all. The essential predicates are genera, to be obtained not otherwise than by the method (dialectical) used in concluding accidents. As regards order, you begin with the highest genus, that which is predicable of all the others, while none of these is predicable of it, determining in like fashion the succession of the rest respectively. The collection will be complete, if you divide the highest genus by an exhaustive specific difference, such that every thing must be included in one or other of the two proximate and opposed portions; and then taking the species thus found as your dividendum, subdivide it until no lower specific difference can be found, or you obtain from the elements an exact equivalent to the subject.45

44 Ibid. a. 23: εἰς δὲ τὸ κατασκευάζειν ὅρον διὰ διαιρέσεων. The Scholiast, p. 248, a. 41, explains κατασκευάζειν by εὑρεῖν, συνθεῖναι, ἀποδοῦναι. He distinguishes it from ἀποδεικνύναι; demonstration of the definition being impracticable.

45 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 97, a. 23 seq. See Waitz, Comm. p. 418.

When the investigation must proceed by getting together a group of similar particulars, you compare them, and note what is the same in all; then turn to another group which are the same in genere yet differ in specie from the first group, and have a different point of community among themselves. You next compare the point of community among the members of the first group, and that among the members of the second group. If the two points of community can be brought under one 251rational formula, that will be the definition of the subject; but if at the end of the process, the distinct points of community are not found resolvable into any final one, this proves that the supposed definiendum is not one but two or more.46 For example, suppose you are investigating, What is the essence or definition of magnanimity? You must study various magnanimous individuals, and note what they have in common quâ magnanimous.47 Thus, Achilles, Ajax, Alkibiades were all magnanimous. Now, that which the three had in common was, that they could not endure to be insulted; on that account Alkibiades went to war with his countrymen, Achilles was angry and stood aloof from the Greeks, Ajax slew himself. But, again, you find two other magnanimous men, Sokrates and Lysander. These two had in common the quality, that they maintained an equal and unshaken temper both in prosperity and adversity. Now when you have got thus far, the question to be examined is, What is the point of identity between the temper that will not endure insult, and the temper that remains undisturbed under all diversities of fortune? If an identity can be found, this will be the essence or definition of magnanimity; to which will belong equanimity as one variety, and intolerance of insult as another. If, on the contrary, no identity can be found, you will then have two distinct mental dispositions, without any common definition.48

46 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 97, b. 7-15. πάλιν σκοπεῖν εἰ ταὐτὸν ἕως ἂν εἰς ἕνα ἔλθῃ λόγον· οὗτος γὰρ ἔσται τοῦ πράγματος ὁρισμός. ἐὰν δὲ μὴ βαδίζῃ εἰς ἕνα ἀλλ’ εἰς δύο ἢ πλείω, δῆλον ὅτι οὐκ ἂν εἴη ἕν τι εἶναι τὸ ζητούμενον, ἀλλὰ πλείω.

47 Ibid. b. 16: σκεπτέον ἐπί τινων μεγαλοψύχων, οὓς ἴσμεν, τί ἔχουσιν ἓν πάντες ᾗ τοιοῦτοι.

48 Ibid. b. 17-25. ταῦτα δύο λαβὼν σκοπῶ τί τὸ αὐτὸ ἔχουσιν ἥ τε ἀπάθεια ἡ περὶ τὰς τύχας καὶ ἡ μὴ ὑπομονὴ ἀτιμαζομένων. εἰ δὲ μηδέν, δύο εἴδη ἂν εἴη τῆς μεγαλοψυχίας.

Æquam memento rebus in arduis
Servare mentem: non secus in bonis
    Ab insolenti temperatam
        Lætitiâ. — HORACE. Ode, ii. 3.

Aristotle says that there will be two species of magnanimity. But surely if the two so-called species connote nothing in common they are not rightly called species, nor is magnanimity rightly called a genus. Equanimity would be distinct from magnanimity; Sokrates and Lysander would not properly be magnanimous but equanimous.

Every definition must be an universal proposition, applicable, not exclusively to one particular object, but to a class of greater or less extent. The lowest species is easier to define than the higher genus; this is one reason why we must begin with particulars, and ascend to universals. It is in the higher genera that equivocal terms most frequently escape detection.49 When you are demonstrating, what you have first to attend to is, the completeness of the form of syllogizing: when you are defining, 252the main requisite is to be perspicuous and intelligible; i.e. to avoid equivocal or metaphorical terms.50 You will best succeed in avoiding them, if you begin with the individuals, or with examples of the lowest species, and then proceed to consider not their resemblances generally, but their resemblances in certain definite ways, as in colour or figure. These more definite resemblances you will note first; upon each you will found a formula of separate definition; after which you will ascend to the more general formula of less definite resemblance common to both. Thus, in regard to the acute or sharp, you will consider the acute in sound, and in other matters (tastes, pains, weapons, angles, &c.), and you will investigate what is the common point of identity characterizing all. Perhaps there may be no such identity; the transfer of the term from one to the other may be only a metaphor: you will thus learn that no common definition is attainable. This is an important lesson; for as we are forbidden to carry on a dialectical debate in metaphorical terms, much more are we forbidden to introduce metaphorical terms in a definition.51

49 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 97, b. 29: καὶ γὰρ αἱ ὁμωνυμίαι λανθάνουσι μᾶλλον ἐν τοῖς καθόλου ἢ ἐν τοῖς ἀδιαφόροις.

50 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 97, b. 31: ὥσπερ δε ἐν ταῖς ἀποδείξεσι δεῖ τό γε συλλελογίσθαι ὑπάρχειν, οὕτω καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὅροις τὸ σαφές.

By τὸ σαφές, he evidently means the avoidance of equivocal or metaphorical terms, and the adherence to true genera and species. Compare Biese, Die Philosophie des Aristot. pp. 308-310.

51 Analyt. Post. II. xiii. p. 97, b. 35-39. — (διαλέγεσθαί φησι, τὸ διαλεκτικῶς ὁμιλεῖν. — Schol. p. 248, b. 23, Brand.). Aristotle considers it metaphorical when the term acute is applied both to a sound and to an angle.

The treatment of this portion of the Aristotelian doctrine by Prantl (Geschichte der Logik, vol. I. ch. iv. pp. 246, 247, 338), is instructive. He brings out, in peculiar but forcible terms, the idea of “notional causality” which underlies Aristotle’s Logic. “So also ist die Definition das Aussprechen des schöpferischen Wesensbegriffes.… Soweit der schöpferische Wesensbegriff erreicht werden kann, ist durch denselben die begriffliche Causalität erkannt; und die Einsicht in diese primitive Ursächlichkeit wird in dem Syllogismus vermittelst des Mittelbegriffes erreicht. Ueber den schöpferischen Wesensbegriff hinauszugehen, ist nicht möglich.… Sobald die Definition mehr als eine blosse Namenserklärung ist — und sie muss mehr seyn — erkennt sie den Mittelbegriff als schöpferische Causalität.… Die ontologische Bedeutung des Mittelbegriffes ist, dass er schöpferischer Wesensbegriff ist.” Rassow (pp. 51, 63, &c.) adopts a like metaphorical phrase:— “Definitionem est, explicare notionem; quæ quidem est creatrix rerum causa.”

To obtain and enunciate correctly the problems suitable for discussion in each branch of science, you must have before you tables of dissection and logical division, and take them as guides;52 beginning with the highest genus and proceeding downward253 through the successively descending scale of sub-genera and species. If you are studying animals, you first collect the predicates belonging to all animals; you then take the highest subdivision of the genus animal, such as bird, and you collect the predicates belonging to all birds; and so on to the next in the descending scale. You w