Posterior Analytics

Posterior Analytics

Posterior Analytics

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The Posterior Analytics is a text from Aristotle's Organon that deals with demonstration, definition, and scientific knowledge. The demonstration is distinguished as a syllogism productive of scientific knowledge, while the definition marked as the statement of a thing's nature, ... a statement of the meaning of the name, or of an equivalent nominal formula.

In the "Prior Analytics", syllogistic logic is considered in its formal aspect; in the Posterior it is considered in respect of its matter. The "form" of a syllogism lies in the necessary connection between the premises and the conclusion. Even where there is no fault in the form, there may be in the matter, i.e. the propositions of which it is composed, which may be true or false, probable or improbable.

When the premises are certain, true, and primary, and the conclusion formally follows from them, this is demonstration, and produces scientific knowledge of a thing. Such syllogisms are called apodeictical, and are dealt with in the two books of the Posterior Analytics. When the premises are not certain, such a syllogism is called dialectical, and these are dealt with in the eight books of the Topics. A syllogism which seems to be perfect both in matter and form, but which is not, is called sophistical, and these are dealt with in the book On Sophistical Refutations.

The contents of the Posterior Analytics may be summarised as follows:
  • All demonstration must be founded on principles already known. The......
  • ...

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