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Prior Analytics - Book II   


stand for paleness, B for being with child, C for woman. Now if the

one proposition is stated, we have only a sign, but if the other is

stated as well, a syllogism, e.g. 'Pittacus is generous, since

ambitious men are generous and Pittacus is ambitious.' Or again

'Wise men are good, since Pittacus is not only good but wise.' In this

way then syllogisms are formed, only that which proceeds through the

first figure is irrefutable if it is true (for it is universal),

that which proceeds through the last figure is refutable even if the

conclusion is true, since the syllogism is not universal nor

correlative to the matter in question: for though Pittacus is good, it

is not therefore necessary that all other wise men should be good. But

the syllogism which proceeds through the middle figure is always

refutable in any case: for a syllogism can never be formed when the

terms are related in this way: for though a woman with child is

pale, and this woman also is pale, it is not necessary that she should

be with child. Truth then may be found in signs whatever their kind,

but they have the differences we have stated.

We must either divide signs in the way stated, and among them

designate the middle term as the index (for people call that the index

which makes us know, and the middle term above all has this

character), or else we must call the arguments derived from the

extremes signs, that derived from the middle term the index: for

that which is proved through the first figure is most generally

accepted and most true.

It is possible to infer character from features, if it is granted

that the body and the soul are changed together by the natural

affections: I say 'natural', for though perhaps by learning music a

man has made some change in his soul, this is not one of those

affections which are natural to us; rather I refer to passions and

desires when I speak of natural emotions. If then this were granted

and also that for each change there is a corresponding sign, and we

could state the affection and sign proper to each kind of animal, we

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