Lecture 2: The Universal and the Predicables



Supplementary Text


I.    Introduction.

    A. Order of the Second Lecture.
    B. What the Logic of the First Operation is About.

II.    The Necessity of Definition
    A. Difficulty: it seems that the first operation does not need logic.
    B. Plato explains the need for a logic of the first operation.
        1. Progress from vague to distinct in the first operation.
        2. That process called definition.
        3. We look to Meno for lessons in defining.
            a. Meno's first definition of virtue and its defect: no common nature.
            b. Meno's second definition of virtue and its defect: does not apply to everything defined.
            c. Meno's last definition and its defect: it applies to more than thing defined.
            d. Summing up lessons learned from Meno.

III.    The Isogoge of Porphyry
    A. Need for tools: comparison to building.
    B. The predicables are ways of being universal, tools for definition.
        1. Universal: Definition and Examples.
        2. Plato on the Universal.
        3. Problem of the Universal in Porphyry.
    C. Discussion of individual predicables.
        1. Three main predicables.
            a. Genus.
                (1)    Genus: through etymology and comparison to family.
                (2)    Genus: strictly logical definition.
            b. Species.
                (1)    Species: through etymology.
                (2)    Species: strictly logical definition. 
                    (a)    Both genus and species are concerned with what a thing is.
                (3)    Genus cannot be whole definition: it includes more than the species.
            c. Difference.
                (1)    Difference: through etymology.
                (2)    Strictly logical definition of difference and examples to illustrate it.
            d. Summing up: how these three tools make good definitions. Every and no more.
                (1)    The Tree of Porphyry.
                    (a)    Summa genera, intermediate genera, infima species.
                    (b)    Tree of Porphyry itself.
        2. Property: basic account.
        3. Accident: basic account.

IV.    Conclusion: the need for more tools of definition.


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