I consider the proper interpretation of the process of ecthesis which Aristotle uses several times in the Prior analytics for completing a syllogistic mood, i.e., showing how to produce a deduction of a conclusion of a certain form from premisses of certain forms. I consider two interpretations of the process which have been advocated by recent scholars and show that one seems better suited to most passages while the other best fits a single remaining passage. I also argue that ecthesis (...) for Aristotle really means ?setting out? the case to be proved using letters. Aristotle?s remarks about the use of letters in mathematical proofs suggest that he had some understanding of rules equivalent to universal generalization and existential instantiation; the ?proofs through ecthesis? are so called because they rest on the latter rule, with which use of letters is involved in a special way. (shrink)
In 1928, Friedrich Solmsen argued that Aristotle's Posterior Analytics was largely composed before the Prior Analytics. Ross rejected Solmsen's position in 1939, and a rather lengthy series of rebuttals and counter-attacks between the two scholars followed. Quite recently, Jonathan Barnes has revived this issue with arguments in favour of something very close to Solmsen's thesis: that Aristotle first developed a theory of demonstration before he had worked out the syllogistic, and that the Posterior Analytics was originally conceived against this background. (...) Subsequently, when Aristotle formulated a syllogistic, he is supposed by Barnes to have revised or added to the contents of the Posterior Analytics so as to make syllogistic the logic of Aristotelian science. Thus, Barnes says: ‘the syllogism is in fact an incidental adjunct to the theory of demonstration: the theory can be formulated without reference, explicit or implicit, to Syllogistic, and it could have been discovered by someone who knew nothing whatever about the Syllogism’. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Necessity and Predication “Through Itself” Demonstrations, Universals, and the Objects of Scientific Knowledge The Route to the Principles Axioms, Common Principles, and Self‐evidence Demonstration and Analysis Bibliography.
In his 1961 paper "Tithenai ta Phainomena",1 G. E. L. Owen addressed the problem of the relationship between science as preached in the Analytics and the practice of the Aristotelian treatises. However, he gave this venerable crux a novel twist by focusing on a different aspect of the issue. According to the Prior Analytics , it appears that the first premises of scientific demonstrations must be obtained from collections (historiai) of facts derived from empirical observation. However, many of the treatises (...) seem to make little use of empirical inquiry and instead concern themselves more with 'conceptual analysis.' This is especially true in the Metaphysics and the ethical treatises, but it is also very much characteristic of the Physics. How are these two kinds of inquiry related? (shrink)
This book is devoted to the reintroduction of the remarkable approach to sociological inquiry developed by Harvey Sacks. Sacks's original analyses - concerned with the lived detail of action and language-in-interaction, discoverable in members' actual activities - demonstrated a means of doing sociology that had previously seemed impossible. In so doing, Sacks provided for highly technical, detailed, yet stunningly simple solutions to some of the most trenchant troubles for the social sciences relating to language, culture, meaning, knowledge, action, and social (...) organisation. In this original collection, scholars working in a range of different fields, including sociology, human geography, communication and media studies, social psychology, and linguistics, outline the ways in which their work has been inspired, influenced, and shaped by Sacks's approach, as well as how their current research is taking Sacks's legacy forward in new directions. As such, the collection is intended to provide both an introduction to, and critical exploration of, the work of Harvey Sacks and its continued relevance for the analysis of contemporary society. (shrink)
I argue that Prior analyticsII.5?7, 8?10, and 1.45 actually contain studies of processes for transforming arguments into other arguments which Aristotle carried out before having completed the theory of perfecting syllogisms by reduction to first-figure moods as presented in Prior analytics1.4?7. This position rejects Ross's opinion that these passages are ?mental gymnastics?, and Patzig's view that some of these texts contain studies of alternative axiomatizations or other logical studies posterior to the completion of the basic theory of syllogisms.
Scholars of classical philosophy have long disputed whether Aristotle was a dialectical thinker. Most agree that Aristotle contrasts dialectical reasoning with demonstrative reasoning, where the former reasons from generally accepted opinions and the latter reasons from the true and primary. Starting with a grasp on truth, demonstration never relinquishes it. Starting with opinion, how could dialectical reasoning ever reach truth, much less the truth about first principles? Is dialectic then an exercise that reiterates the prejudices of one's times and at (...) best allows one to persuade others by appealing to these prejudices, or is it the royal road to first principles and philosophical wisdom? In From Puzzles to Principles? May Sim gathers experts to argue both these positions and offer a variety of interpretive possibilities. The contributors' thoughtful reflections on the nature and limits of dialectic should play a crucial role in Aristotelian scholarship. (shrink)
Modern interpreters have often regarded Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics as a mystery, or even a bit of an embarrassment. In his treatises on natural science and ethics, Aristotle is constantly concerned to review the opinions of his predecessors and of people in general; where appropriate, he also takes note of experiential observations, some of them highly specialized. However, the traditional view of the Posterior Analytics is that it advances an almost Cartesian picture of sciences as deductive systems founded on intuitively evident (...) first premises. How are these to be reconciled? (shrink)
This study of three central themes in the logic of Alexander of Aphrodisias, the greatest of the ancient Aristotelian commentators, provides insight not only into Aristotle's logical writings but also into the tradition of scholarship which they spawned.
MEDIEVAL LOGICS LAMBERT MARIE DE RIJK (ed.), Die mittelalterlichen Traktate De mod0 opponendiet respondendi, Einleitung und Ausgabe der einschlagigen Texte. (Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters, Neue Folge Band 17.) Miinster: Aschendorff, 1980. 379 pp. No price stated. THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY MARTA FATTORI, Lessico del Novum Organum di Francesco Bacone. Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo 1980. Two volumes, il + 543, 520 pp. Lire 65.000. VIVIAN SALMON, The study of language in 17th century England. (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory (...) and History of Linguistic Science, Series 111: Studies in theHistory of Linguistics, Volume 17.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V., 1979.x + 218 pp. Dfl. 65. Theoria cum Praxi. Zum Verhaltnis von Theorie und Praxis im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. (Akten des 111. Internationalen Leibnizkongress, Hannover, 12. bis 17.November 1977, Band 111: Logik, Erkenntnistheorie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Metaphysik, Theologie.) Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1980. vii + 269 pp. DM 48. CLASSICAL AND NON-CLASSICAL LOGICS MICHAEL CLARK, The place of syllogistic in logical theory. Nottingham: University of Nottingham Press, 1980. ix + 151 pp. £3.00. A.F. PARKER-RHODES, The theory of indistinguishables. Dordrecht, Boston and London: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1981. xvii + 216 pp. Dfl.90.00/$39.50. NICHOLAS RESCHER and ROBERT BRANDOM, The logic of inconsistency. Oxford:Basil Blackwell, 1980. x + 174 pp. f 11.50. MISCELLANEOUS J. ZELENY, The logic of Marx. Translated from the German by T. Carver. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. xcii + 247 pp. £12.50. FELIX KAUFMANN, The infinite in mathematics. Edited by Brian McGuinness. Introduction by E. Nagel. Translation from the German by Paul Foulkes. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1978. xvii + 235 pp. Dfl 85/$39.50 (cloth); Dfl 45/$19.95 (paper). PAMELA MCCORDUCK, Machines who think. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1979. xiv + 275 pp. $14.95. J. MITTELSTRASS (ed.), Enzyklopadie Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie Bd. 1 : A-G. Mannheim, Wien, Ziirich: Bibliographisches Institut, 1980. 835 pp. DM 128. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: The Origins: Parmenides and Zeno Dialectic and the Beginnings of Logical Theory Aristotle and the Theory of Demonstration The Regress Argument of Posterior Analytics I.3 Time and Modality: The Sea‐Battle and the Master Argument Sentential Logic in Aristotle and Afterwards.
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Book Reviews Die Megariker: Kommentierte Sammlung der Testimonien. By Klaus D~ring. (Amsterdam : Verlag B. R. Griiner N.V., 1972. Pp. xii q- 185) D~Sring has assembled the first complete collection of textual fragments concerning the Megarian philosophers of the fourth and third centuries B.c., together with a commentary. The fragments are divided by the author into four groups, each centered around one of the better-known figures of the school: (...) Euclid, Eubulides, Diodorus Cronus, Stilpo. Evidences concerning lesser-known personalities are included under the figure to whose "circle" they belonged. A fifth group of texts appears in an Anhang devoted to the sophist Bryson (often mistakenly associated with the Megarians) and his student Polyxenus. Divisions in the commentary parallel those in the text. The author also adds a stemma summarizing his conclusions about teacher-pupil relationships within the school, and there is a selective bibliography and a SteUenregister. An index, which in view of the work's organization would be helpful, is not included. Simply as a collection of texts, this is a major addition to the scholarship in its field; with the author's commentary, it is the most important work on the Megarians since Kurt von Fritz's Real-Encyclopiidie article.1 D~Sringpresents convincing evidence that some widely disseminated opinions about the school have little or no foundation. Some of his alternative views have important consequences, and not only for the history of the Megarians. DSring rejects the dates customarily assigned to the school's founder Euclid (ca. 450ca. 380), pointing out that there is actually no good evidence for them (pp. 73-74). His own figures (ca. 435-ca. 365) rely on the evidence of Plato's Theaetetus to give the year 369 as a terminus post quem for Euclid's death. The first consequence of this chronology is that the story of Euclid stealing into Athens disguised as a woman in order to avoid the anti-Megarian decree of 432 must be rejected; Dfiring feels that it is probably one of a family of tales elaborated by later writers "urn die Macht der Philosophie zu demonstrieren " (p. 74). A more important consequence is in store when this chronology is combined with a reassessment of the evidence relating to Euclid's philosophical position. D6ring rejects the traditional description of Euclid as a "neo-Eleatic" who attempted to combine a strict Parmenidean monism with Socrates' ethical views by identifying the "One" with the "Good." Following yon Fritz, he sees this as "eine ziemlich gewaltsame antike Doxographenkonstruktion" (p. 83). His own view reverses the importance of Socratic and Eleatic elements in Euclid's thought, making him "[ein] Sokratiker, der die dem Sokratischen Denken inh~ente eleatische Komponente weiterentwickelt hat" (p. 87). Together with the revision of Euclid's dates, this would appear to eliminate decisively Kr~imer's thesis that Euclid originated the "Gleichsetzung ontologischer und axiologischer Momente''e fundamental to Platonic metaphysics. First, Euclid was only a few years older than Plato (not "at least two decades," as KrOner requires); second, there is no evidence whatever that he had studied the Eleatic doctrines before meeting Socrates; and finally, the purported "Gleichsetzung" appears to be rather the work of doxographers (pp. 87-89). When we add DSring's skeptical assessment of the story of Plato's Megarian period (p. 76), there remains little evidence to support the theory that Euclid was the ultimate source of Plato'S metaphysics. The most famous achievements of the M~garians were in the sphere of logic. Here, x Suppl. V (1931), s. v. "Megariker." H. J. Kr~mer, Arete bei Platon und Aristoteles (Heidelberg, 1959), p. 506. [52H 522 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Dtring's work should provide the impetus for further research; his collection of texts is much more comprehensive than anything previously available, and his commentary, although deliberately limited to an overview, at least provides a good account of the status quaestionis. The material on the paradoxes attributed to the Megarians (pp. 106-114) is particularly valuable; he gives a good conspectus of the extensive literature on the "Liar" and "sorites," and his remarks on the lesser-known paradoxes (the "Man Who Escapes Notice," the "Electra," the "Hooded... (shrink)