Aristotle’s Organon

In modern circles, we speak casually of the “Scientific Method”, but this was not the original name of this method of investigation. In 1620, Francis Bacon called for the rejection of the “Scholastic Method” that was held by the Catholic Church, and urged modern society to embrace a method he titled the “Novum Organum“.  In Latin, this means “The New Method”. Assumed in this title is the existence of an old or existing method, which was the method of demonstrative investigation developed by Aristotle in the 4th century before Christ.  Aristotle’s “Organon” guided world philosophy and theology for 2,000 years before Bacon called for its rejection.

Aristotle is history's master of the art of Logic
Aristotle (384-322 BC) is history’s master of the art of Logic.

What is the “Organon”?

Aristotle’s “Organon” is the method or instrument to be used by men in the pursuit of philosophical knowledge.  Aristotle teaches this method through six books, which were called “the Organon“, as the 73 books of Sacred Scripture are called the “Bible”.  The books included in the Organon are accessible in our Academy Library:

Studying the Organon

In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we study classical Logic through a series of five “Classical Reasoning”  courses.  These courses treat of the six works of the Organon, plus an Introduction to the Categories by a 3rd century philosopher named Porphyry (234-305 AD).

For more information on classical Logic, please see the resources below.  If you have any questions about the study, please contact me.

Online Courses

All of the books of the Organon are studied in our Classical Reasoning Courses. You can study for free (without assessments), enroll in one of our courses (with assessments) or subscribe to our Student Plan (30 day free trial).

Articles on Aristotle’s Organon

  • Aristotle’s Prior Analytics PUBLISHED!
    I am happy to announce that I have re-published Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics in a number of useful formats for students in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. This is the most important of all studies in the classical liberal arts, and we now have a searchable, working text on the Academy website–and a … Continue
  • Classical Disputations: How to Make Conversation Productive
  • Aristotle, Prior Analytics. Book I, Chapter 1 Tutorial
  • What is Logic?
    One can find many articles and videos in which men who identify themselves as “classical educators” or even “philosophers” provide very bad answers. If, however, they actually studied the writings of history’s masters, they would know that St. Thomas Aquinas already answered this question far more eloquently than any of them can, and if they … Continue
  • Porphyry, Introduction, Chapter 17. Comparison of Peculiarities and Accidents
    In this lesson, we complete the reading of Porphyry’s Introduction. We study the similarities and differences of peculiarities and accidents. To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Study the lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson assessment. Lesson 1. It now remains to speak concerning peculiarity and accident; for we have already … Continue
  • Aristotle, Categories (Full Text)
    Contents Chapter 1. Definitions Chapter 2. Divisions Chapter 3. Rules Chapter 4. Of the Ten Categories Chapter 5. Of Substance Chapter 6. Of Quantity Chapter 7. Of Relatives Chapter 8. Of Quality Chapter 9. Of Action, Passion & Remaining Categories Chapter 10. Of Opposites Chapter 11. Of Contraries Chapter 12. Of Priority Chapter 13. On … Continue
  • Modern Science and Classical Catholic Education
  • Aristotle, Categories. Chapter 8, Of Quality
    In this lesson, we continue our study of Aristotle’s ten Categories. Having studied Substance, Quantity and Relatives, we move on to Quality in chapter 8. Translation by Thomas Taylor 1. I denominate Quality that according to which certain things are said to be of such kinds. 4. But habit differs from disposition in this, that … Continue
  • Porphyry, Introduction. Chapter 2
    1. It seems that neither Genus nor Species is simply denominated. Of Genus 2. For a collection of certain things, subsisting in a certain respect with reference to one thing, and to each other, is called Genus; according to which signification the Genus of the Heraclidae is denominated from the habitude from one thing, I … Continue
  • Free Book! Porphyry’s Introduction
    We’re happy to provide Academy students with another newly published book: Porphyry’s Introduction to the Categories of Aristotle. This 3rd century classic is the first book studied in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy’s Classical Reasoning I course. You can download a free copy below, or purchase a printed copy from the Academy bookstore. God bless … Continue
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  • Aristotle, Categories. Chapter 3
    In this lesson, we study the third chapter of Aristotle’s Categories. Study the lesson for mastery, using the notes and comprehension questions as a guide. Translation by Thomas Taylor When one thing is predicated of another as of a subject, as many things as are spoken about that which is being predicated, can also be … Continue
  • The Porphyrian Tree or Tree of Porphyry
    One of the most important (and difficult!) obstacles for students in classical Logic is understanding an illustration known as the “Porphyrian Tree” or the “Tree of Porphyry“. This illustration explains how Aristotle’s “Categories” are divided from the “genus most general” down through all subalternate genera and species, down to the “species most special” and individuals. … Continue
  • Poprhyry, Introduction. Chapter 3, Of Difference
    Having studied Genus and Species, we move on to the study of Difference in chapter 3. Translation by Thomas Taylor Difference, however, is predicated (a) in common, (b) peculiarly, and (c) most peculiarly. 1. Simple Differences A. Common Difference (a) For one thing is said to differ from another in common, in consequence of differing … Continue
  • Aristotle, Topics. Book I, Chapter 2
    Translation Translation by Thomas Taylor To what has been said in chapter 1, it will be consequent to show in what the ability of this treatise consists, and how far its utility is extended. It is useful, therefore, to three things: to exercise, to common conversation, and to philosophic sciences. That it is useful indeed … Continue
  • Aristotle, Topics. Book I, Chapter 1
    Translation Translation by Thomas Taylor The design of this treatise is to discover a method by which we may be able to syllogize about every proposed problem from probable arguments; and so that we ourselves sustaining the controversy, may assert nothing repugnant. In the first place, therefore, let us show what a syllogism is, and … Continue
  • Aristotle, On Interpretation, Chapter 3
    In this lesson, we study the third chapter of Aristotle’s treatise On Interpretation, the second book of the Organon. For tutorial resources on this lesson, please see the Academy YouTube channel. This lesson is studied in the Academy’s Classical Reasoning I course. The text below is adapted from Thomas Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics … Continue
  • Aristotle, On Interpretation, Chapter 2
    In this lesson, we study the second chapter of Aristotle’s treatise On Interpretation, the second book of the Organon. For tutorial resources on this lesson, please see the Academy YouTube channel. This lesson is studied in the Academy’s Classical Reasoning I course. The text below is adapted from Thomas Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics … Continue
  • Aristotle, On Interpretation, Chapter 1
    In this lesson, we study the first chapter of Aristotle’s treatise On Interpretation, the second book of the Organon. For tutorial resources on this lesson, please see the Academy YouTube channel. This lesson is studied in the Academy’s Classical Reasoning I course. The text below is adapted from Thomas Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics … Continue
  • Aristotle, Prior Analytics, Book I, Chapter 3
    In this lesson, we study the third chapter of Book I of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, the third book of the Organon. For tutorial resources on this lesson, please see the Academy YouTube channel. This lesson is studied in the Academy’s Classical Reasoning II course. The text below is adapted from Thomas Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s … Continue
  • Aristotle, Prior Analytics, Book I, Chapter 2
    In this lesson, we study the second chapter of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, the third book of the Organon. For tutorial resources on this lesson, please see the Academy YouTube channel. This lesson is studied in the Academy’s Classical Reasoning II course. The text below is adapted from Thomas Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics Since, … Continue
  • Aristotle, Prior Analytics, Book I, Chapter 1
    In this lesson, we study the first chapter of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, the third book of the Organon. For tutorial resources on this lesson, please see the Academy YouTube channel. This lesson is studied in the Academy’s Classical Reasoning II course. The text below is adapted from Thomas Taylor’s translation of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics In … Continue
  • Porphyry, Introduction. Chapter 1
    Since it is necessary, to the doctrine of the Categories of Aristotle, and to the formation of definitions, and in short, to those things which pertain to division and demonstration, to know what Genus and Difference, Species, Peculiarity, and Accident are; and since also the theory of these is useful, in a summary way, I … Continue
  • What is the Socratic Method?
    The Socratic Method is spoken of today in a thousands different contexts.  Some speak about the “Socratic Method” as a way of teaching classes in schools.  Others speak of the “Socratic Method” as a way of solving problems.  What should concern us is that most of the people who are talking about the Socratic Method … Continue
  • Getting Started with the Study of Logic
    The most important study in the classical Catholic curriculum is, without question, the art of Reasoning.  In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we study all of Aristotle’s works on the subject, contained in his famous “Organon”.  I believe this first video, introducing Aristotle’s Categories, give a good introduction to the challenges of the study, and … Continue
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