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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Aristotle PRIOR ANALYTICS Complete

Translated by A. Jenkinson.

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Part 2

Every premiss states that something either is or must be or may be the attribute of something else; of premisses of these three kinds some are affirmative, others negative, in respect of each of the three modes of attribution; again some affirmative and negative premisses are universal, others particular, others indefinite. It is necessary then that in universal attribution the terms of the negative premiss should be convertible, e.g. if no pleasure is good, then no good will be pleasure; the terms of the affirmative must be convertible, not however, universally, but in part, e.g. if every pleasure,is good, some good must be pleasure; the particular affirmative must convert in part (for if some pleasure is good, then some good will be pleasure); but the particular negative need not convert, for if some animal is not man, it does not follow that some man is not animal.

First then take a universal negative with the terms A and B. If no B is A, neither can any A be B. For if some A (say C) were B, it would not be true that no B is A; for C is a B. But if every B is A then some A is B. For if no A were B, then no B could be A. But we assumed that every B is A. Similarly too, if the premiss is particular. For if some B is A, then some of the As must be B. For if none were, then no B would be A. But if some B is not A, there is no necessity that some of the As should not be B; e.g. let B stand for animal and A for man. Not every animal is a man; but every man is an animal.

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