Page:Aristotelous peri psuxes.djvu/211

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


CH. I.] NOTES 201

and this seeming incongruity may have led some scholars to set it down among them.

Note 4, p. 12. Some kind of demonstration or division, &c.] Demonstration is, according to Aristotle[1], a scientific syllogism, and by scientific is meant, he says, the method, through which we learn, with certainty, what a subject may be; and, if the knowledge be such, it follows that demonstrative knowledge must be derived from conditions which are original, immediate, and more apprehensible and causative, than the conclusion sought for. Those conditions are, in fact, the suitable principles for ascertaining that which is to be demonstrated; as, without them, the result will be, not demonstration but, a syllogism, which cannot, with certainty, eliminate truth. Thus, while demonstration[2] is a kind of syllogism, every syllogism is not demonstration. Division is said by Aristotle[3]to be an imperfect syllogism, for it assumes what ought to be demonstrated, and draws conclusions from à priori reasonings. In this allusion to division, Aristotle may be supposed to have had Plato in view, "as it was by a process of dividing and subdividing that that eminent man conducted his inquiries after truth;" as, however, this method was considered by him to be a faulty or imperfect syllogism, it may be that he alluded to it as one which might be adopted, without altogether approving of it as a mental process.

  1. Analytic. b. I. 2. 2.
  2. Ibid. a. I. 4. 1.
  3. Ibid. a. I. 31.