Download Aristotle on Definition by M. Deslauriers PDF

By M. Deslauriers

This paintings examines Aristotles discussions of definition in his logical works and the Metaphysics , and argues for the significance of definitions of easy elements, drawing the relationship among definitions as first rules of demonstration and as statements of essence.

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Unity is then unproblematic because it turns out that one does not have to account for how two things are one. There are not two things in the first place. 26 “And in both cases—when you prove according to a division and when you prove with a deduction in this way—there is the same puzzle: why will a person be a two-footed terrestrial animal and not animal and terrestrial? For from what is assumed there is no necessity that what is predicated should become a unity, but it is as if the same person were musical and literate,” (An.

29 Because of the troublesome implications, it is sometimes argued that the two functions of form are separate. See, for example, Balme 73. , Cornford, Ross) who think that Plato’s claim is that all statements are about relations between forms, or between things described by means of forms. Recognizing that this commits him to a re-evaluation of the theory of forms, Ackrill suggests that Plato in the Sophist held a revised version of this theory, whereby forms are no longer to be conceived as “ethical ideals” and “the metaphysical objects of intuitive and perhaps mystical insight”, but as “fixed concepts” which will guarantee the meaningfulness of discourse.

Division is, then, the method by which one sets out the differentiae, some of which will ultimately enter into the definition. At the same time, Aristotle insists on the difference between division on the one hand and syllogistic and demonstration on the other. e. syllogistic]; for division is, so to speak, a weak deduction [συλλογισμ ς]. For what it ought to prove, it assumes (α τε ται) and it always reasons to (συλλογ ζεται) something higher up ( νω εν),” (An. Pr. 31 46a31–34). In what follows these failings of division are attributed to other practitioners of the method, “For this very point had escaped all those who used the method of division; and they attempted to persuade people that it was possible to make a demonstration of substance and essence.

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