Aristotle, On Interpretation. Chapter 8

To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks:

  1. Read through the lesson below.
  2. Study the lesson for mastery.
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Lesson

Translation by Thomas Taylor.

WHAT ARE SIMPLE ENUNCIATIONS?

1. The affirmation, however, and also the negation is one, which signifies one thing of one subject, either universal, if it is as universal, or similarly, if it is not. For instance, “Every man is white.”, “Not every man is white.”; “Man is white.”, “Man is not white.”; “No man is white.”, “Some man is white.”; if that which is white signifies one thing.

WHAT ARE COMPOUND ENUNCIATIONS?

2. But if one name is given to two things (i.e., different ideas), from which there is not one thing; there is not one affirmation, nor one negation. Thus, if any one should give the name of “garment” to a horse and to a man, the affirmation will not be one, that “The garment is white.”, nor will the negation of it be one. For this in no respect differs from saying “A man and a horse is white.”; and this in no respect differs from saying, “A man is white.”, and “A horse is white.”. If therefore these enunciations signify many things, and are many, it is evident that the first enunciation—“The garment is white.”–also either signifies many things, or nothing; for some man is not a horse.

OPPOSITES IN COMPOUND ENUNCIATIONS NOT NECESSARILY TRUE OR FALSE

3. Hence, neither in these is it necessary that one should be a true, but the other a false contradiction.

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