Aristotle, Posterior Analytics

LCL 391: 24-25

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71 a 1I. Πᾶσα διδασκαλία καὶ πᾶσα μάθησις διανοητικὴ ἐκ προϋπαρχούσης γίγνεται γνώσεως. φανερὸν δὲ τοῦτο θεωροῦσιν ἐπὶ πασῶν· αἵ τε γὰρ μαθηματικαὶ τῶν ἐπιστημῶν διὰ τούτου τοῦ τρόπου παραγίγνονται καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἑκάστη τεχνῶν. 5ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ περὶ τοὺς λόγους οἵ τε διὰ συλλογισμῶν καὶ οἱ δι᾿ ἐπαγωγῆς· ἀμφότεροι γὰρ διὰ προγιγνωσκομένων ποιοῦνται τὴν διδασκαλίαν, οἱ μὲν λαμβάνοντες ὡς παρὰ ξυνιέντων, οἱ δὲ δεικνύντες τὸ καθόλου διὰ τοῦ δῆλον εἶναι τὸ καθ᾿ ἕκαστον. ὡς δ᾿ αὔτως καὶ οἱ ῥητορικοὶ συμπείθουσιν· 10ἢ γὰρ διὰ παραδειγμάτων, ὅ ἐστιν ἐπαγωγή, ἢ δι᾿ ἐνθυμημάτων, ὅπερ ἐστὶ συλλογισμός.

Διχῶς δ᾿ ἀναγκαῖον προγιγνώσκειν· τὰ μὲν γὰρ


Posterior Analytics, I

Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics

Book I

I. All teaching and learning that involves the use of Book I. Knowledge and Demonstration. Reasoned knowledge is always based on previous knowledge. reason proceeds from pre-existent knowledge. This is evident if we consider all the different branches of learning, because both the mathematical sciences and every other arta are acquired in this way. Similarly too with logical arguments,b whether syllogistic or inductive; both effect instruction by means of facts already recognized, the former making assumptions as though granted by an intelligent audience, and the latter proving the universal from the self-evident nature of the particular. The means by which rhetorical arguments carry conviction are just the same; for they use either examples,c which are a kind of induction, or enthymemes,d which are a kind of syllogism.

There are two senses in which previous knowledge This may

  • aτέχνη is used here, as often, to cover the sense of productive (as opposed to theoretical) science; cf. 100 a 9.
  • bClearly Aristotle is thinking of “dialectic,” as a means of instruction distinct from science (which seeks only to discover and demonstrate the truth) and rhetoric (which aims at persuasion by means of probabilities). For Aristotle dia- lectic is the application of logical methods to argument with a real or imaginary opponent; it is by no means infallible, since neither its premisses nor its conclusions are necessarily true, but (properly used) it can be a useful auxiliary to science.
  • cCf. An. Pr. II. xxiv.
  • dIbid. 70 a 10–24.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-posterior_analytics.1960