**Readings 8**

**PRIOR ANALYTICS**

by Aristotle

translated by A. J. Jenkinson

Book I

2

Every premiss states that something either is or must be or may be the attribute of something else; of premisses of these three kinds some are affirmative, others negative, in respect of each of the three modes of attribution; again some affirmative and negative premisses are universal, others particular, others indefinite. It is necessary then that in universal attribution the terms of the negative premiss should be convertible, e.g. if no pleasure is good, then no good will be pleasure; the terms of the affirmative must be convertible, not however, universally, but in part, e.g. if every pleasure,is good, some good must be pleasure; the particular affirmative must convert in part (for if some pleasure is good, then some good will be pleasure); but the particular negative need not convert, for if some animal is not man, it does not follow that some man is not animal. First then take a universal negative with the terms A and B. If no B is A, neither can any A be B. For if some A (say C) were B, it would not be true that no B is A; for C is a B. But if every B is A then some A is B. For if no A were B, then no B could be A. But we assumed that every B is A. Similarly too, if the premiss is particular. For if some B is A, then some of the As must be B. For if none were, then no B would be A. But if some B is not A, there is no necessity that some of the As should not be B; e.g. let B stand for animal and A for man. Not every animal is a man; but every man is an animal.

4

After these distinctions we now state by what means, when, and how every syllogism is produced; subsequently we must speak of demonstration. Syllogism should be discussed before demonstration because syllogism is the general: the demonstration is a sort of syllogism, but not every syllogism is a demonstration.

Whenever three terms are so related to one another that the last is contained in the middle as in a whole, and the middle is either contained in, or excluded from, the first as in or from a whole, the extremes must be related by a perfect syllogism. I call that term middle which is itself contained in another and contains another in itself: in position also this comes in the middle. By extremes I mean both that term which is itself contained in another and that in which another is contained. If A is predicated of all B, and B of all C, A must be predicated of all C: we have already explained what we mean by 'predicated of all'. Similarly also, if A is predicated of no B, and B of all C, it is necessary that no C will be A. But if the first term belongs to all the middle, but the middle to none of the last term, there will be no syllogism in respect of the extremes; for nothing necessary follows from the terms being so related; for it is possible that the first should belong either to all or to none of the last, so that neither a particular nor a universal conclusion is necessary. But if there is no necessary consequence, there cannot be a syllogism by means of these premisses. As an example of a universal affirmative relation between the extremes we may take the terms animal, man, horse; of a universal negative relation, the terms animal, man, stone. Nor again can syllogism be formed when neither the first term belongs to any of the middle, nor the middle to any of the last. As an example of a positive relation between the extremes take the terms science, line, medicine: of a negative relation science, line, unit.

If then the terms are universally related, it is clear in this figure when a syllogism will be possible and when not, and that if a syllogism is possible the terms must be related as described, and if they are so related there will be a syllogism.

But if one term is related universally, the other in part only, to its subject, there must be a perfect syllogism whenever universality is posited with reference to the major term either affirmatively or negatively, and particularity with reference to the minor term affirmatively: but whenever the universality is posited in relation to the minor term, or the terms are related in any other way, a syllogism is impossible. I call that term the major in which the middle is contained and that term the minor which comes under the middle. Let all B be A and some C be B. Then if 'predicated of all' means what was said above, it is necessary that some C is A. And if no B is A but some C is B, it is necessary that some C is not A. The meaning of 'predicated of none' has also been defined. So there will be a perfect syllogism. This holds good also if the premiss BC should be indefinite, provided that it is affirmative: for we shall have the same syllogism whether the premiss is indefinite or particular. But if the universality is posited with respect to the minor term either affirmatively or negatively, a syllogism will not be possible, whether the major premiss is positive or negative, indefinite or particular: e.g. if some B is or is not A, and all C is B. As an example of a positive relation between the extremes take the terms good, state, wisdom: of a negative relation, good, state, ignorance. Again if no C is B, but some B is or is not A or not every B is A, there cannot be a syllogism. Take the terms white, horse, swan: white, horse, raven. The same terms may be taken also if the premiss BA is indefinite.

Nor when the major premiss is universal, whether affirmative or negative, and the minor premiss is negative and particular, can there be a syllogism, whether the minor premiss be indefinite or particular: e.g. if all B is A and some C is not B, or if not all C is B. For the major term may be predicable both of all and of none of the minor, to some of which the middle term cannot be attributed. Suppose the terms are animal, man, white: next take some of the white things of which man is not predicated-swan and snow: animal is predicated of all of the one, but of none of the other. Consequently there cannot be a syllogism. Again let no B be A, but let some C not be B. Take the terms inanimate, man, white: then take some white things of which man is not predicated-swan and snow: the term inanimate is predicated of all of the one, of none of the other. Further since it is indefinite to say some C is not B, and it is true that some C is not B, whether no C is B, or not all C is B, and since if terms are assumed such that no C is B, no syllogism follows (this has already been stated) it is clear that this arrangement of terms will not afford a syllogism: otherwise one would have been possible with a universal negative minor premiss. A similar proof may also be given if the universal premiss is negative.

Nor can there in any way be a syllogism if both the relations of subject and predicate are particular, either positively or negatively, or the one negative and the other affirmative, or one indefinite and the other definite, or both indefinite. Terms common to all the above are animal, white, horse: animal, white, stone.

It is clear then from what has been said that if there is a syllogism in this figure with a particular conclusion, the terms must be related as we have stated: if they are related otherwise, no syllogism is possible anyhow. It is evident also that all the syllogisms in this figure are perfect (for they are all completed by means of the premisses originally taken) and that all conclusions are proved by this figure, viz. universal and particular, affirmative and negative. Such a figure I call the first.

5

Whenever the same thing belongs to all of one subject, and to none of another, or to all of each subject or to none of either, I call such a figure the second; by middle term in it I mean that which is predicated of both subjects, by extremes the terms of which this is said, by major extreme that which lies near the middle, by minor that which is further away from the middle. The middle term stands outside the extremes, and is first in position. A syllogism cannot be perfect anyhow in this figure, but it may be valid whether the terms are related universally or not.

If then the terms are related universally a syllogism will be possible, whenever the middle belongs to all of one subject and to none of another (it does not matter which has the negative relation), but in no other way. Let M be predicated of no N, but of all O. Since, then, the negative relation is convertible, N will belong to no M: but M was assumed to belong to all O: consequently N will belong to no O. This has already been proved. Again if M belongs to all N, but to no O, then N will belong to no O. For if M belongs to no O, O belongs to no M: but M (as was said) belongs to all N: O then will belong to no N: for the first figure has again been formed. But since the negative relation is convertible, N will belong to no O. Thus it will be the same syllogism that proves both conclusions.

It is possible to prove these results also by reductio ad impossibile.

It is clear then that a syllogism is formed when the terms are so related, but not a perfect syllogism; for necessity is not perfectly established merely from the original premisses; others also are needed.

But if M is predicated of every N and O, there cannot be a syllogism. Terms to illustrate a positive relation between the extremes are substance, animal, man; a negative relation, substance, animal, number-substance being the middle term.

Nor is a syllogism possible when M is predicated neither of any N nor of any O. Terms to illustrate a positive relation are line, animal, man: a negative relation, line, animal, stone.

It is clear then that if a syllogism is formed when the terms are universally related, the terms must be related as we stated at the outset: for if they are otherwise related no necessary consequence follows.

If the middle term is related universally to one of the extremes, a particular negative syllogism must result whenever the middle term is related universally to the major whether positively or negatively, and particularly to the minor and in a manner opposite to that of the universal statement: by 'an opposite manner' I mean, if the universal statement is negative, the particular is affirmative: if the universal is affirmative, the particular is negative. For if M belongs to no N, but to some O, it is necessary that N does not belong to some O. For since the negative statement is convertible, N will belong to no M: but M was admitted to belong to some O: therefore N will not belong to some O: for the result is reached by means of the first figure. Again if M belongs to all N, but not to some O, it is necessary that N does not belong to some O: for if N belongs to all O, and M is predicated also of all N, M must belong to all O: but we assumed that M does not belong to some O. And if M belongs to all N but not to all O, we shall conclude that N does not belong to all O: the proof is the same as the above. But if M is predicated of all O, but not of all N, there will be no syllogism. Take the terms animal, substance, raven; animal, white, raven. Nor will there be a conclusion when M is predicated of no O, but of some N. Terms to illustrate a positive relation between the extremes are animal, substance, unit: a negative relation, animal, substance, science.

If then the universal statement is opposed to the particular, we have stated when a syllogism will be possible and when not: but if the premisses are similar in form, I mean both negative or both affirmative, a syllogism will not be possible anyhow. First let them be negative, and let the major premiss be universal, e.g. let M belong to no N, and not to some O. It is possible then for N to belong either to all O or to no O. Terms to illustrate the negative relation are black, snow, animal. But it is not possible to find terms of which the extremes are related positively and universally, if M belongs to some O, and does not belong to some O. For if N belonged to all O, but M to no N, then M would belong to no O: but we assumed that it belongs to some O. In this way then it is not admissible to take terms: our point must be proved from the indefinite nature of the particular statement. For since it is true that M does not belong to some O, even if it belongs to no O, and since if it belongs to no O a syllogism is (as we have seen) not possible, clearly it will not be possible now either.

Again let the premisses be affirmative, and let the major premiss as before be universal, e.g. let M belong to all N and to some O. It is possible then for N to belong to all O or to no O. Terms to illustrate the negative relation are white, swan, stone. But it is not possible to take terms to illustrate the universal affirmative relation, for the reason already stated: the point must be proved from the indefinite nature of the particular statement. But if the minor premiss is universal, and M belongs to no O, and not to some N, it is possible for N to belong either to all O or to no O. Terms for the positive relation are white, animal, raven: for the negative relation, white, stone, raven. If the premisses are affirmative, terms for the negative relation are white, animal, snow; for the positive relation, white, animal, swan. Evidently then, whenever the premisses are similar in form, and one is universal, the other particular, a syllogism can, not be formed anyhow. Nor is one possible if the middle term belongs to some of each of the extremes, or does not belong to some of either, or belongs to some of the one, not to some of the other, or belongs to neither universally, or is related to them indefinitely. Common terms for all the above are white, animal, man: white, animal, inanimate.

It is clear then from what has been said that if the terms are related to one another in the way stated, a syllogism results of necessity; and if there is a syllogism, the terms must be so related. But it is evident also that all the syllogisms in this figure are imperfect: for all are made perfect by certain supplementary statements, which either are contained in the terms of necessity or are assumed as hypotheses, i.e. when we prove per impossibile. And it is evident that an affirmative conclusion is not attained by means of this figure, but all are negative, whether universal or particular.

6

But if one term belongs to all, and another to none, of a third, or if both belong to all, or to none, of it, I call such a figure the third; by middle term in it I mean that of which both the predicates are predicated, by extremes I mean the predicates, by the major extreme that which is further from the middle, by the minor that which is nearer to it. The middle term stands outside the extremes, and is last in position. A syllogism cannot be perfect in this figure either, but it may be valid whether the terms are related universally or not to the middle term.

If they are universal, whenever both P and R belong to S, it follows that P will necessarily belong to some R. For, since the affirmative statement is convertible, S will belong to some R: consequently since P belongs to all S, and S to some R, P must belong to some R: for a syllogism in the first figure is produced. It is possible to demonstrate this also per impossibile and by exposition. For if both P and R belong to all S, should one of the Ss, e.g. N, be taken, both P and R will belong to this, and thus P will belong to some R. If R belongs to all S, and P to no S, there will be a syllogism to prove that P will necessarily not belong to some R. This may be demonstrated in the same way as before by converting the premiss RS. It might be proved also per impossibile, as in the former cases. But if R belongs to no S, P to all S, there will be no syllogism. Terms for the positive relation are animal, horse, man: for the negative relation animal, inanimate, man.

Nor can there be a syllogism when both terms are asserted of no S. Terms for the positive relation are animal, horse, inanimate; for the negative relation man, horse, inanimate-inanimate being the middle term.

It is clear then in this figure also when a syllogism will be possible and when not, if the terms are related universally. For whenever both the terms are affirmative, there will be a syllogism to prove that one extreme belongs to some of the other; but when they are negative, no syllogism will be possible. But when one is negative, the other affirmative, if the major is negative, the minor affirmative, there will be a syllogism to prove that the one extreme does not belong to some of the other: but if the relation is reversed, no syllogism will be possible. If one term is related universally to the middle, the other in part only, when both are affirmative there must be a syllogism, no matter which of the premisses is universal. For if R belongs to all S, P to some S, P must belong to some R. For since the affirmative statement is convertible S will belong to some P: consequently since R belongs to all S, and S to some P, R must also belong to some P: therefore P must belong to some R.

Again if R belongs to some S, and P to all S, P must belong to some R. This may be demonstrated in the same way as the preceding. And it is possible to demonstrate it also per impossibile and by exposition, as in the former cases. But if one term is affirmative, the other negative, and if the affirmative is universal, a syllogism will be possible whenever the minor term is affirmative. For if R belongs to all S, but P does not belong to some S, it is necessary that P does not belong to some R. For if P belongs to all R, and R belongs to all S, then P will belong to all S: but we assumed that it did not. Proof is possible also without reduction ad impossibile, if one of the Ss be taken to which P does not belong.

But whenever the major is affirmative, no syllogism will be possible, e.g. if P belongs to all S and R does not belong to some S. Terms for the universal affirmative relation are animate, man, animal. For the universal negative relation it is not possible to get terms, if R belongs to some S, and does not belong to some S. For if P belongs to all S, and R to some S, then P will belong to some R: but we assumed that it belongs to no R. We must put the matter as before.' Since the expression 'it does not belong to some' is indefinite, it may be used truly of that also which belongs to none. But if R belongs to no S, no syllogism is possible, as has been shown. Clearly then no syllogism will be possible here.

But if the negative term is universal, whenever the major is negative and the minor affirmative there will be a syllogism. For if P belongs to no S, and R belongs to some S, P will not belong to some R: for we shall have the first figure again, if the premiss RS is converted.

But when the minor is negative, there will be no syllogism. Terms for the positive relation are animal, man, wild: for the negative relation, animal, science, wild-the middle in both being the term wild.

Nor is a syllogism possible when both are stated in the negative, but one is universal, the other particular. When the minor is related universally to the middle, take the terms animal, science, wild; animal, man, wild. When the major is related universally to the middle, take as terms for a negative relation raven, snow, white. For a positive relation terms cannot be found, if R belongs to some S, and does not belong to some S. For if P belongs to all R, and R to some S, then P belongs to some S: but we assumed that it belongs to no S. Our point, then, must be proved from the indefinite nature of the particular statement.

Nor is a syllogism possible anyhow, if each of the extremes belongs to some of the middle or does not belong, or one belongs and the other does not to some of the middle, or one belongs to some of the middle, the other not to all, or if the premisses are indefinite. Common terms for all are animal, man, white: animal, inanimate, white.

It is clear then in this figure also when a syllogism will be possible, and when not; and that if the terms are as stated, a syllogism results of necessity, and if there is a syllogism, the terms must be so related. It is clear also that all the syllogisms in this figure are imperfect (for all are made perfect by certain supplementary assumptions), and that it will not be possible to reach a universal conclusion by means of this figure, whether negative or affirmative.

7

It is evident also that in all the figures, whenever a proper syllogism does not result, if both the terms are affirmative or negative nothing necessary follows at all, but if one is affirmative, the other negative, and if the negative is stated universally, a syllogism always results relating the minor to the major term, e.g. if A belongs to all or some B, and B belongs to no C: for if the premisses are converted it is necessary that C does not belong to some A. Similarly also in the other figures: a syllogism always results by means of conversion. It is evident also that the substitution of an indefinite for a particular affirmative will effect the same syllogism in all the figures.

It is clear too that all the imperfect syllogisms are made perfect by means of the first figure. For all are brought to a conclusion either ostensively or per impossibile. In both ways the first figure is formed: if they are made perfect ostensively, because (as we saw) all are brought to a conclusion by means of conversion, and conversion produces the first figure: if they are proved per impossibile, because on the assumption of the false statement the syllogism comes about by means of the first figure, e.g. in the last figure, if A and B belong to all C, it follows that A belongs to some B: for if A belonged to no B, and B belongs to all C, A would belong to no C: but (as we stated) it belongs to all C. Similarly also with the rest. It is possible also to reduce all syllogisms to the universal syllogisms in the first figure. Those in the second figure are clearly made perfect by these, though not all in the same way; the universal syllogisms are made perfect by converting the negative premiss, each of the particular syllogisms by reductio ad impossibile. In the first figure particular syllogisms are indeed made perfect by themselves, but it is possible also to prove them by means of the second figure, reducing them ad impossibile, e.g. if A belongs to all B, and B to some C, it follows that A belongs to some C. For if it belonged to no C, and belongs to all B, then B will belong to no C: this we know by means of the second figure. Similarly also demonstration will be possible in the case of the negative. For if A belongs to no B, and B belongs to some C, A will not belong to some C: for if it belonged to all C, and belongs to no B, then B will belong to no C: and this (as we saw) is the middle figure. Consequently, since all syllogisms in the middle figure can be reduced to universal syllogisms in the first figure, and since particular syllogisms in the first figure can be reduced to syllogisms in the middle figure, it is clear that particular syllogisms can be reduced to universal syllogisms in the first figure. Syllogisms in the third figure, if the terms are universal, are directly made perfect by means of those syllogisms; but, when one of the premisses is particular, by means of the particular syllogisms in the first figure: and these (we have seen) may be reduced to the universal syllogisms in the first figure: consequently also the particular syllogisms in the third figure may be so reduced. It is clear then that all syllogisms may be reduced to the universal syllogisms in the first figure. We have stated then how syllogisms which prove that something belongs or does not belong to something else are constituted, both how syllogisms of the same figure are constituted in themselves, and how syllogisms of different figures are related to one another.

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