Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of Prior Analytics - Book II

Previous | Next

Prior Analytics - Book II   

We have an 'example' when the major term is proved to belong to

the middle by means of a term which resembles the third. It ought to

be known both that the middle belongs to the third term, and that

the first belongs to that which resembles the third. For example let A

be evil, B making war against neighbours, C Athenians against Thebans,

D Thebans against Phocians. If then we wish to prove that to fight

with the Thebans is an evil, we must assume that to fight against

neighbours is an evil. Evidence of this is obtained from similar

cases, e.g. that the war against the Phocians was an evil to the

Thebans. Since then to fight against neighbours is an evil, and to

fight against the Thebans is to fight against neighbours, it is

clear that to fight against the Thebans is an evil. Now it is clear

that B belongs to C and to D (for both are cases of making war upon

one's neighbours) and that A belongs to D (for the war against the

Phocians did not turn out well for the Thebans): but that A belongs to

B will be proved through D. Similarly if the belief in the relation of

the middle term to the extreme should be produced by several similar

cases. Clearly then to argue by example is neither like reasoning from

part to whole, nor like reasoning from whole to part, but rather

reasoning from part to part, when both particulars are subordinate

to the same term, and one of them is known. It differs from induction,

because induction starting from all the particular cases proves (as we

saw) that the major term belongs to the middle, and does not apply the

syllogistic conclusion to the minor term, whereas argument by

example does make this application and does not draw its proof from

all the particular cases.


By reduction we mean an argument in which the first term clearly

belongs to the middle, but the relation of the middle to the last term

is uncertain though equally or more probable than the conclusion; or

Previous | Next
Site Search