Posterior Analytics (Bouchier)

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Posterior Analytics
by Aristotle, translated by E. S. Bouchier
The Posterior Analytics is a text from Aristotle's Organon containing a classic treatment and discussion of 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.— Excerpted from Posterior Analytics on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Translated in 1901.

Introductory note.[edit]

The text used is that of the ‘Selecta ex Organo Aristoteleo Capitula,’ published by the Clarendon Press, and, for portions of the work not included in those selections, the Tauchnitz edition of the Organon (1893). Where the numberings of the chapters differ, the system adopted in the Clarendon Press selections has been followed.

I am much indebted, as regards the short analyses placed at the head of each chapter, to St. Hilaire’s ‘Logique d’Aristote’ (Paris, 1838), and, for the translation, to Dr. Zell’s ‘Zweite Analytica’ (Stuttgart, 1840).

Two chapters of the Prior Analytics (Bk. II. cc. 23, 24) have been added in an Appendix, as illustrating Aristotle’s doctrine of Induction and Example.

E. S. B.
Oxford, June, 1901.

Book I.[edit]

  • Chap. I.: Whether a Demonstrative Science exists
  • Chap. II.: What Knowing is, what Demonstration is, and of what it consists
  • Chap. III.: A refutation of the error into which some have fallen concerning Science and Demonstration
  • Chap. IV.: The meaning of ‘Distributive,’ ‘Essential,’ ‘Universal’
  • Chap. V.: From what causes mistakes arise with regard to the discovery of the Universal. How they may be avoided
  • Chap. VI.: Demonstration is founded on Necessary and Essential Principles
  • Chap. VII.: The Premises and the Conclusion of a Demonstration must belong to the same genus
  • Chap. VIII.: Demonstration is concerned only with what is eternal
  • Chap. IX.: Demonstration is founded not on general, but on special and indemonstrable principles; nor is it easy to know whether one really possesses knowledge drawn from these principles
  • Chap. X.: The Definition and Division of Principles
  • Chap. XI.: On certain Principles which are common to all Sciences
  • Chap. XII.: On Questions, and, in passing, on the way in which Sciences are extended
  • Chap. XIII.: The difference between the Demonstration and Science of a thing’s Nature and those of its Cause
  • Chap. XIV.: The figure proper to Demonstrate Syllogism
  • Chap. XV.: On immediate negative propositions
  • Chap. XVI.: On ignorance resulting from a defective arrangement of terms in mediate propositions
  • Chap. XVII.: On ignorance resulting from a defective arrangement of terms in immediate propositions
  • Chap. XVIII.: On ignorance as resulting from defective sense perception
  • Chap. XIX.: Whether the Principles of Demonstration are finite or infinite
  • Chap. XX.: Middle terms are not infinite
  • Chap. XXI.: In Negations some final and ultimate point is reached where the series must cease
  • Chap. XXII.: In Affirmations some final and ultimate point is reached where the series must cease
  • Chap. XXIII.: Certain Corollaries
  • Chap. XXIV.: Whether Universal or Particular Demonstration is superior
  • Chap. XXV.: That Affirmative is superior to Negative Demonstration
  • Chap. XXVI.: Direct Demonstration is superior to Reduction per impossible
  • Chap. XXVII.: What science is more certain and prior, and what less certain and inferior
  • Chap. XXVIII.: What constitutes one or many Sciences
  • Chap. XXIX.: Concerning many Demonstrations of the same thing
  • Chap. XXX.: On fortuitous occurrences
  • Chap. XXXI.: Sense perception cannot give Demonstrative Science
  • Chap. XXXII.: On the difference of Principles corresponding to the difference of Syllogisms
  • Chap. XXXIII.: The distinction between Science and Opinion
  • Chap. XXXIV.: On Sagacity

Book II.[edit]

  • Chap. I.: On the number and arrangements of Questions
  • Chap. II.: Every question is concerned with the discovery of a Middle Term
  • Chap. III.: The distinction between Definition and Demonstration
  • Chap. IV.: The Essence of a thing cannot be attained by Syllogism
  • Chap. V.: Knowledge of the Essence cannot be attained by Division
  • Chap. VI.: The Essence cannot be proved by the Definition of the thing itself or by that of its opposite
  • Chap. VII.: Whether the Essence can in any way be proved
  • Chap. VIII.: How the Essence can be proved
  • Chap. IX.: What Essences can and what cannot be proved
  • Chap. X.: The nature and forms of Definition
  • Chap. XI.: The kinds of Causes used in Demonstration
  • Chap. XII.: On the Causes of events which exist, are in process, have happened, or will happen
  • Chap. XIII.: On the search for a Definition
  • Chap. XIV.: On the discovery of Questions for Demonstration
  • Chap. XV.: How far the same Middle Term is employed for demonstrating different Questions
  • Chap. XVI.: On inferring the Cause from the Effect
  • Chap. XVII.: Whether there can be several causes of the same thing
  • Chap. XVIII.: Which is the prior cause, that which is nearer the particular, or the more universal?
  • Chap. XIX.: On the attainment of Primary Principles
  • Appendix.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1930, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.