(Fourth Century B.C.)
1. Our treatise proposes to find a line of inquiry whereby we shall be able to reason from opinions that are generally accepted about every problem propounded to us, and also shall ourselves, when standing up to an argument, avoid saying anything that will obstruct us. First, then, we must say what reasoning is, and what its varieties are, in order to grasp dialectical reasoning: for this is the object of our search in the treatise before us.
Now reasoning is an argument in which, certain things being laid down, something other than these necessarily comes about through them. (a) It is a ‘demonstration’, when the premises from which the reasoning starts are true and primary, or are such that our knowledge of them has originally come through premises which are primary and true: (b) reasoning, on the other hand, is ‘dialectical’, if it reasons from opinions that are generally accepted. Things are ‘true’ and ‘primary’ which are believed on the strength not of anything else but of themselves: for in regard to the first principles of science it is improper to ask any further for the why and wherefore of them; each of the first principles should command belief in and by itself. On the other hand, those opinions are ‘generally accepted’ which are accepted by every one or by the majority or by the philosophers—i.e. by all, or by the majority, or by the most notable and illustrious of them. Again (c), reasoning is ‘contentious’ if it starts from opinions that seem to be generally accepted, but are not really such, or again if it merely seems to reason from opinions that are or seem to be generally accepted. For not every opinion that seems to be generally accepted actually is generally accepted. For in none of the opinions which we call generally accepted is the illusion entirely on the surface, as happens in the case of the principles of contentious arguments; for the nature of the fallacy in these is obvious immediately, and as a rule even to persons with little power of comprehension. So then, of the contentious reasonings mentioned, the former really deserves to be called ‘reasoning’ as well, but the other should be called ‘contentious reasoning’, but not ‘reasoning’, since it appears to reason, but does not really do so.
Further (d), besides all the reasonings we have mentioned there are the mis-reasonings that start from the premises peculiar to the special sciences, as happens (for example) in the case of geometry and her sister sciences. For this form of reasoning appears to differ from the reasonings mentioned above; the man who draws a false figure reasons from things that are neither true and primary, nor yet generally accepted. For he does not fall within the definition; he does not assume opinions that are received either by every one or by the majority or by philosophers—that is to say, by all, or by most, or by the most illustrious of them—but he conducts his reasoning upon assumptions which, though appropriate to the science in question, are not true; for he effects his mis-reasoning either by describing the semicircles wrongly or by drawing certain lines in a way in which they could not be drawn.
The foregoing must stand for an outline survey of the species of reasoning. In general, in regard both to all that we have already discussed and to those which we shall discuss later, we may remark that that amount of distinction between them may serve, because it is not our purpose to give the exact definition of any of them; we merely want to describe them in outline; we consider it quite enough from the point of view of the line of inquiry before us to be able to recognize each of them in some sort of way.
2. Next in order after the foregoing, we must say for how many and for what purposes the treatise is useful. They are three—intellectual training, casual encounters, and the philosophical sciences. That it is useful as a training is obvious on the face of it. The possession of a plan of inquiry will enable us more easily to argue about the subject proposed. For purposes of casual encounters, it is useful because when we have counted up the opinions held by most people, we shall meet them on the ground not of other people’s convictions but of their own, while we shift the ground of any argument that they appear to us to state unsoundly. For the study of the philosophical sciences it is useful, because the ability to raise searching difficulties on both sides of a subject will make us detect more easily the truth and error about the several points that arise. It has a further use in relation to the ultimate bases of the principles used in the several sciences. For it is impossible to discuss them at all from the principles proper to the particular science in hand, seeing that the principles are the prius of everything else: it is through the opinions generally held on the particular points that these have to be discussed, and this task belongs properly, or most appropriately, to dialectic: for dialectic is a process of criticism wherein lies the path to the principles of all inquiries.
3. We shall be in perfect possession of the way to proceed when we are in a position like that which we occupy in regard to rhetoric and medicine and faculties of that kind: this means the doing of that which we choose with the materials that are available. For it is not every method that the rhetorician will employ to persuade, or the doctor to heal; still, if he omits none of the available means, we shall say that his grasp of the science is adequate.
4. First, then, we must see of what parts our inquiry consists. Now if we were to grasp (a) with reference to how many, and what kind of, things arguments take place, and with what materials they start, and (b) how we are to become well supplied with these, we should have sufficiently won our goal. Now the materials with which arguments start are equal in number, and are identical, with the subjects on which reasonings take place. For arguments start with ‘propositions’, while the subjects on which reasonings take place are ‘problems’. Now every proposition and every problem indicates either a genus or a peculiarity or an accident—for the differentia too, applying as it does to a class (or genus), should be ranked together with the genus. Since, however, of what is peculiar to anything part signifies its essence, while part does not, let us divide the ‘peculiar’ into both the aforesaid parts, and call that part which indicates the essence a ‘definition’, while of the remainder let us adopt the terminology which is generally current about these things, and speak of it as a ‘property’. What we have said, then, makes it clear that according to our present division, the elements turn out to be four, all told, namely either property or definition or genus or accident. Do not let any one suppose us to mean that each of these enunciated by itself constitutes a proposition or problem, but only that it is from these that both problems and propositions are formed. The difference between a problem and a proposition is a difference in the turn of the phrase. For if it be put in this way, “’An animal that walks on two feet” is the definition of man, is it not?’ or ‘”Animal” is the genus of man, is it not?’ the result is a proposition: but if thus, ‘Is “an animal that walks on two feet” a definition of man or no?’ [or ‘Is “animal” his genus or no?’] the result is a problem. Similarly too in other cases. Naturally, then, problems and propositions are equal in number: for out of every proposition you will make a problem if you change the turn of the phrase.
5. We must now say what are ‘definition’, ‘property’, ‘genus’, and ‘accident’. A ‘definition’ is a phrase signifying a thing’s essence. It is rendered in the form either of a phrase in lieu of a term, or of a phrase in lieu of another phrase; for it is sometimes possible to define the meaning of a phrase as well. People whose rendering consists of a term only, try it as they may, clearly do not render the definition of the thing in question, because a definition is always a phrase of a certain kind. One may, however, use the word ‘definitory’ also of such a remark as ‘The “becoming” is “beautiful”’, and likewise also of the question, ‘Are sensation and knowledge the same or different?’, for argument about definitions is mostly concerned with questions of sameness and difference. In a word we may call ‘definitory’ everything that falls under the same branch of inquiry as definitions; and that all the above-mentioned examples are of this character is clear on the face of them. For if we are able to argue that two things are the same or are different, we shall be well supplied by the same turn of argument with lines of attack upon their definitions as well: for when we have shown that they are not the same we shall have demolished the definition. Observe, please, that the converse of this last statement does not hold: for to show that they are the same is not enough to establish a definition. To show, however, that they are not the same is enough of itself to overthrow it.
A ‘property’ is a predicate which does not indicate the essence of a thing, but yet belongs to that thing alone, and is predicated convertibly of it. Thus it is a property of man to-be-capable of learning grammar: for if A be a man, then he is capable of learning grammar, and if he be capable of learning grammar, he is a man. For no one calls anything a ‘property’ which may possibly belong to something else, e.g. ‘sleep’ in the case of man, even though at a certain time it may happen to belong to him alone. That is to say, if any such thing were actually to be called a property, it will be called not a ‘property’ absolutely, but a ‘temporary’ or a ‘relative’ property: for ‘being on the right hand side’ is a temporary property, while ‘two-footed’ is in point of fact ascribed as a property in certain relations; e.g. it is a property of man relatively to a horse and a dog. That nothing which may belong to anything else than A is a convertible predicate of A is clear: for it does not necessarily follow that if something is asleep it is a man.
A ‘genus’ is what is predicated in the category of essence of a number of things exhibiting differences in kind. We should treat as predicates in the category of essence all such things as it would be appropriate to mention in reply to the question, ‘What is the object before you?’; as, for example, in the case of man, if asked that question, it is appropriate to say ‘He is an animal’. The question, ‘Is one thing in the same genus as another or in a different one?’ is also a ‘generic’ question; for a question of that kind as well falls under the same branch of inquiry as the genus: for having argued that ‘animal’ is the genus of man, and likewise also of ox, we shall have argued that they are in the same genus; whereas if we show that it is the genus of the one but not of the other, we shall have argued that these things are not in the same genus.
An ‘accident’ is (i) something which, though it is none of the foregoing—i.e. neither a definition nor a property nor a genus—yet belongs to the thing: (something which may possibly either belong or not belong to any one and the self-same thing, as (e.g.) the ‘sitting posture’ may belong or not belong to some self-same thing. Likewise also ‘whiteness’, for there is nothing to prevent the same thing being at one time white, and at another not white. Of the definitions of accident the second is the better: for if he adopts the first, any one is bound, if he is to understand it, to know already what ‘definition’ and ‘genus’ and ‘property’ are, whereas the second is sufficient of itself to tell us the essential meaning of the term in question. To Accident are to be attached also all comparisons of things together, when expressed in language that is drawn in any kind of way from what happens (accidit) to be true of them; such as, for example, the question, ‘Is the honorable or the expedient preferable?’ and ‘Is the life of virtue or the life of self-indulgence the pleasanter?’, and any other problem which may happen to be phrased in terms like these. For in all such cases the question is ‘to which of the two does the predicate in question happen (accidit) to belong more closely?’ It is clear on the face of it that there is nothing to prevent an accident from becoming a temporary or relative property. Thus the sitting posture is an accident, but will be a temporary property, whenever a man is the only person sitting, while if he be not the only one sitting, it is still a property relatively to those who are not sitting. So then, there is nothing to prevent an accident from becoming both a relative and a temporary property; but a property absolutely it will never be.
6. We must not fail to observe that all remarks made in criticism of a ‘property’ and ‘genus’ and ‘accident’ will be applicable to ‘definitions’ as well. For when we have shown that the attribute in question fails to belong only to the term defined, as we do also in the case of a property, or that the genus rendered in the definition is not the true genus, or that any of the things mentioned in the phrase used does not belong, as would be remarked also in the case of an accident, we shall have demolished the definition; so that, to use the phrase previously employed, all the points we have enumerated might in a certain sense be called ‘definitory’. But we must not on this account expect to find a single line of inquiry which will apply universally to them all: for this is not an easy thing to find, and, even were one found, it would be very obscure indeed, and of little service for the treatise before us. Rather, a special plan of inquiry must be laid down for each of the classes we have distinguished, and then, starting from the rules that are appropriate in each case, it will probably be easier to make our way right through the task before us. So then, as was said before,’ we must outline a division of our subject, and other questions we must relegate each to the particular branch to which it most naturally belongs, speaking of them as ‘definitory’ and ‘generic’ questions. The questions I mean have practically been already assigned to their several branches.
7. First of all we must define the number of senses borne by the term ‘Sameness’. Sameness would be generally regarded as falling, roughly speaking, into three divisions. We generally apply the term numerically or specifically or generically—numerically in cases where there is more than one name but only one thing, e.g. ‘doublet’ and ‘cloak’; specifically, where there is more than one thing, but they present no differences in respect of their species, as one man and another, or one horse and another: for things like this that fall under the same species are said to be ‘specifically the same’. Similarly, too, those things are called generically the same which fall under the same genus, such as a horse and a man. It might appear that the sense in which water from the same spring is called ‘the same water’ is somehow different and unlike the senses mentioned above: but really such a case as this ought to be ranked in the same class with the things that in one way or another are called ‘the same’ in view of unity of species. For all such things seem to be of one family and to resemble one another. For the reason why all water is said to be specifically the same as all other water is because of a certain likeness it bears to it, and the only difference in the case of water drawn from the same spring is this, that the likeness is more emphatic: that is why we do not distinguish it from the things that in one way or another are called ‘the same’ in view of unity of species. It is generally supposed that the term ‘the same’ is most used in a sense agreed on by every one when applied to what is numerically one. But even so, it is apt to be rendered in more than one sense; its most literal and primary use is found whenever the sameness is rendered in reference to an alternative name or definition, as when a cloak is said to be the same as a doublet, or an animal that walks on two feet is said to be the same as a man: a second sense is when it is rendered in reference to a property, as when what can acquire knowledge is called the same as a man, and what naturally travels upward the same as fire: while a third use is found when it is rendered in reference to some term drawn from Accident, as when the creature who is sitting, or who is musical, is called the same as Socrates. For all these uses mean to signify numerical unity. That what I have just said is true may be best seen where one form of appellation is substituted for another. For often when we give the order to call one of the people who are sitting down, indicating him by name, we change our description, whenever the person to whom we give the order happens not to understand us; he will, we think, understand better from some accidental feature; so we bid him call to us ‘the man who is sitting’ or ‘who is conversing over there’—clearly supposing ourselves to be indicating the same object by its name and by its accident.
8. Of ‘sameness’ then, as has been said, three senses are to be distinguished. Now one way to confirm that the elements mentioned above are those out of which and through which and to which arguments proceed, is by induction: for if any one were to survey propositions and problems one by one, it would be seen that each was formed either from the definition of something or from its property or from its genus or from its accident. Another way to confirm it is through reasoning. For every predicate of a subject must of necessity be either convertible with its subject or not: and if it is convertible, it would be its definition or property, for if it signifies the essence, it is the definition; if not, it is a property: for this was what a property is, viz. what is predicated convertibly, but does not signify the essence. If, on the other hand, it is not predicated convertibly of the thing, it either is or is not one of the terms contained in the definition of the subject: and if it be one of those terms, then it will be the genus or the differentia, inasmuch as the definition consists of genus and differentiae; whereas, if it be not one of those terms, clearly it would be an accident, for accident was said to be what belongs as an attribute to a subject without being either its definition or its genus or a property.
9. Next, then, we must distinguish between the classes of predicates in which the four orders in question are found. These are ten in number: Essence, Quantity, Quality, Relation, Place, Time, Position, State, Activity, Passivity. For the accident and genus and property and definition of anything will always be in one of these categories: for all the propositions found through these signify either something’s essence or its quality or quantity or some one of the other types of predicate. It is clear, too, on the face of it that the man who signifies something’s essence signifies sometimes a substance, sometimes a quality, sometimes some one of the other types of predicate. For when man is set before him and he says that what is set there is ‘a man’ or ‘an animal’, he states its essence and signifies a substance; but when a white color is set before him and he says that what is set there is ‘white’ or is ‘a color’, he states its essence and signifies a quality. Likewise, also, if a magnitude of a cubit be set before him and he says that what is set there is a magnitude of a cubit, he will be describing its essence and signifying a quantity. Likewise, also, in the other cases: for each of these kinds of predicate, if either it be asserted of itself, or its genus be asserted of it, signifies an essence: if, on the other hand, one kind of predicate is asserted of another kind, it does not signify an essence, but a quantity or a quality or one of the other kinds of predicate. Such, then, and so many, are the subjects on which arguments take place, and the materials with which they start. How we are to acquire them, and by what means we are to become well supplied with them, falls next to be told.
10. First, then, a definition must be given of a ‘dialectical proposition’ and a ‘dialectical problem’. For it is not every proposition nor yet every problem that is to be set down as dialectical: for no one in his senses would make a proposition of what no one holds, nor yet make a problem of what is obvious to everybody or to most people: for the latter admits of no doubt, while to the former no one would assent. Now a dialectical proposition consists in asking something that is held by all men or by most men or by the philosophers, i.e. either by all, or by most, or by the most notable of these, provided it be not contrary to the general opinion; for a man would probably assent to the view of the philosophers, if it be not contrary to the opinions of most men. Dialectical propositions also include views which are like those generally accepted; also propositions which contradict the contraries of opinions that are taken to be generally accepted, and also all opinions that are in accordance with the recognized arts. Thus, supposing it to be a general opinion that the knowledge of contraries is the same, it might probably pass for a general opinion also that the perception of contraries is the same: also, supposing it to be a general opinion that there is but one single science of grammar, it might pass for a general opinion that there is but one science of flute-playing as well, whereas, if it be a general opinion that there is more than one science of grammar, it might pass for a general opinion that there is more than one science of flute-playing as well: for all these seem to be alike and akin.
Likewise, also, propositions contradicting the contraries of general opinions will pass as general opinions: for if it be a general opinion that one ought to do good to one’s friends, it will also be a general opinion that one ought not to do them harm. Here, that one ought to do harm to one’s friends is contrary to the general view, and that one ought not to do them harm is the contradictory of that contrary. Likewise also, if one ought to do good to one’s friends, one ought not to do good to one’s enemies: this too is the contradictory of the view contrary to the general view; the contrary being that one ought to do good to one’s enemies. Likewise, also, in other cases. Also, on comparison, it will look like a general opinion that the contrary predicate belongs to the contrary subject: e.g. if one ought to do good to one’s friends, one ought also to do evil to one’s enemies. it might appear also as if doing good to one’s friends were a contrary to doing evil to one’s enemies: but whether this is or is not so in reality as well will be stated in the course of the discussion upon contraries. Clearly also, all opinions that are in accordance with the arts are dialectical propositions; for people are likely to assent to the views held by those who have made a study of these things, e.g. on a question of medicine they will agree with the doctor, and on a question of geometry with the geometrician; and likewise also in other cases.
11. A dialectical problem is a subject of inquiry that contributes either to choice and avoidance, or to truth and knowledge, and that either by itself, or as a help to the solution of some other such problem. It must, moreover, be something on which either people hold no opinion either way, or the masses hold a contrary opinion to the philosophers, or the philosophers to the masses, or each of them among themselves. For some problems it is useful to know with a view to choice or avoidance, e.g. whether pleasure is to be chosen or not, while some it is useful to know merely with a view to knowledge, e.g. whether the universe is eternal or not: others, again, are not useful in and by themselves for either of these purposes, but yet help us in regard to some such problems; for there are many things which we do not wish to know in and by themselves, but for the sake of other things, in order that through them we may come to know something else. Problems also include questions in regard to which reasonings conflict (the difficulty then being whether so-and-so is so or not, there being convincing arguments for both views); others also in regard to which we have no argument because they are so vast, and we find it difficult to give our reasons, e.g. the question whether the universe is eternal or no: for into questions of that kind too it is possible to inquire.
Problems, then, and propositions are to be defined as aforesaid. A ‘thesis’ is a supposition of some eminent philosopher that conflicts with the general opinion; e.g. the view that contradiction is impossible, as Antisthenes said; or the view of Heraclitus that all things are in motion; or that Being is one, as Melissus says: for to take notice when any ordinary person expresses views contrary to men’s usual opinions would be silly. Or it may be a view about which we have a reasoned theory contrary to men’s usual opinions, e.g. the view maintained by the sophists that what is need not in every case either have come to be or be eternal: for a musician who is a grammarian ‘is’ so without ever having ‘come to be’ so, or being so eternally. For even if a man does not accept this view, he might do so on the ground that it is reasonable.
Now a ‘thesis’ also is a problem, though a problem is not always a thesis, inasmuch as some problems are such that we have no opinion about them either way. That a thesis, however, also forms a problem, is clear: for it follows of necessity from what has been said that either the mass of men disagree with the philosophers about the thesis, or that the one or the other class disagree among themselves, seeing that the thesis is a supposition in conflict with general opinion. Practically all dialectical problems indeed are now called ‘theses’. But it should make no difference whichever description is used; for our object in thus distinguishing them has not been to create a terminology, but to recognize what differences happen to be found between them.
Not every problem, nor every thesis, should be examined, but only one which might puzzle one of those who need argument, not punishment or perception. For people who are puzzled to know whether one ought to honor the gods and love one’s parents or not need punishment, while those who are puzzled to know whether snow is white or not need perception. The subjects should not border too closely upon the sphere of demonstration, nor yet be too far removed from it: for the former cases admit of no doubt, while the latter involve difficulties too great for the art of the trainer.
12. Having drawn these definitions, we must distinguish how many species there are of dialectical arguments. There is on the one hand Induction, on the other Reasoning. Now what reasoning is has been said before: induction is a passage from individuals to universals, e.g. the argument that supposing the skilled pilot is the most effective, and likewise the skilled charioteer, then in general the skilled man is the best at his particular task. Induction is the more convincing and clear: it is more readily learnt by the use of the senses, and is applicable generally to the mass of men, though reasoning is more forcible and effective against contradictious people.
13. The classes, then, of things about which, and of things out of which, arguments are constructed, are to be distinguished in the way we have said before. The means whereby we are to become well supplied with reasonings are four: (1) the securing of propositions; (2) the power to distinguish in how many senses a particular expression is used; (3) the discovery of the differences of things; (4) the investigation of likeness. The last three, as well, are in a certain sense propositions: for it is possible to make a proposition corresponding to each of them, e.g. (1) ‘The desirable may mean either the honorable or the pleasant or the expedient’; and (2) ‘Sensation differs from knowledge in that the latter may be recovered again after it has been lost, while the former cannot’; and (3) ‘The relation of the healthy to health is like that of the vigorous to vigor’. The first proposition depends upon the use of one term in several senses, the second upon the differences of things, the third upon their likenesses.
14. Propositions should be selected in a number of ways corresponding to the number of distinctions drawn in regard to the proposition: thus one may first take in hand the opinions held by all or by most men or by the philosophers, i.e. by all, or most, or the most notable of them; or opinions contrary to those that seem to be generally held; and, again, all opinions that are in accordance with the arts. We must make propositions also of the contradictories of opinions contrary to those that seem to be generally held, as was laid down before. It is useful also to make them by selecting not only those opinions that actually are accepted, but also those that are like these, e.g. ‘The perception of contraries is the same’—the knowledge of them being so—and ‘we see by admission of something into ourselves, not by an emission’; for so it is, too, in the case of the other senses; for in hearing we admit something into ourselves; we do not emit; and we taste in the same way. Likewise also in the other cases. Moreover, all statements that seem to be true in all or in most cases, should be taken as a principle or accepted position; for they are posited by those who do not also see what exception there may be. We should select also from the written handbooks of argument, and should draw up sketch-lists of them upon each several kind of subject, putting them down under separate headings, e.g. ‘On Good’, or ‘On Life’—and that ‘On Good’ should deal with every form of good, beginning with the category of essence. In the margin, too, one should indicate also the opinions of individual thinkers, e.g. ‘Empedocles said that the elements of bodies were four’: for any one might assent to the saying of some generally accepted authority.
Of propositions and problems there are—to comprehend the matter in outline—three divisions: for some are ethical propositions, some are on natural philosophy, while some are logical. Propositions such as the following are ethical, e.g. ‘Ought one rather to obey one’s parents or the laws, if they disagree?’; such as this are logical, e.g. ‘Is the knowledge of opposites the same or not?’; while such as this are on natural philosophy, e.g. ‘Is the universe eternal or not?’ Likewise also with problems. The nature of each of the aforesaid kinds of proposition is not easily rendered in a definition, but we have to try to recognize each of them by means of the familiarity attained through induction, examining them in the light of the illustrations given above.
For purposes of philosophy we must treat of these things according to their truth, but for dialectic only with an eye to general opinion. All propositions should be taken in their most universal form; then, the one should be made into many. E.g. ‘The knowledge of opposites is the same’; next, ‘The knowledge of contraries is the same’, and that ‘of relative terms’. In the same way these two should again be divided, as long as division is possible, e.g. the knowledge of ‘good and evil’, of ‘white and black’, or ‘cold and hot’. Likewise also in other cases.
15. On the formation, then, of propositions, the above remarks are enough. As regards the number of senses a term bears, we must not only treat of those terms which bear different senses, but we must also try to render their definitions; e.g. we must not merely say that justice and courage are called ‘good’ in one sense, and that what conduces to vigor and what conduces to health are called so in another, but also that the former are so called because of a certain intrinsic quality they themselves have, the latter because they are productive of a certain result and not because of any intrinsic quality in themselves. Similarly also in other cases.
Whether a term bears a number of specific meanings or one only, may be considered by the following means. First, look and see if its contrary bears a number of meanings, whether the discrepancy between them be one of kind or one of names. For in some cases a difference is at once displayed even in the names; e.g. the contrary of ‘sharp’ in the case of a note is ‘flat’, while in the case of a solid edge it is ‘dull’. Clearly, then, the contrary of ‘sharp’ bears several meanings, and if so, so also does ‘sharp’; for corresponding to each of the former terms the meaning of its contrary will be different. For ‘sharp’ will not be the same when contrary to ‘dull’ and to ‘flat’, though ‘sharp’ is the contrary of each. Again baru (’flat’, ‘heavy’) in the case of a note has ‘sharp’ as its contrary, but in the case of a solid mass ‘light’, so that baru is used with a number of meanings, inasmuch as its contrary also is so used. Likewise, also, ‘fine’ as applied to a picture has ‘ugly’ as its contrary, but, as applied to a house, ‘ramshackle’; so that ‘fine’ is an ambiguous term.
In some cases there is no discrepancy of any sort in the names used, but a difference of kind between the meanings is at once obvious: e.g. in the case of ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’: for sound is called ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’, just as ‘color’ is too. As regards the names, then, there is no discrepancy, but the difference in kind between the meanings is at once obvious: for color is not called ‘clear’ in a like sense to sound. This is plain also through sensation: for of things that are the same in kind we have the same sensation, whereas we do not judge clearness by the same sensation in the case of sound and of color, but in the latter case we judge by sight, in the former by hearing. Likewise also with ‘sharp’ and ‘dull’ in regard to flavors and solid edges: here in the latter case we judge by touch, but in the former by taste. For here again there is no discrepancy in the names used, in the case either of the original terms or of their contraries: for the contrary also of sharp in either sense is ‘dull’.
Moreover, see if one sense of a term has a contrary, while another has absolutely none; e.g. the pleasure of drinking has a contrary in the pain of thirst, whereas the pleasure of seeing that the diagonal is incommensurate with the side has none, so that ‘pleasure’ is used in more than one sense. To ‘love’ also, used of the frame of mind, has to ‘hate’ as its contrary, while as used of the physical activity (kissing) it has none: clearly, therefore, to ‘love’ is an ambiguous term. Further, see in regard to their intermediates, if some meanings and their contraries have an intermediate, others have none, or if both have one but not the same one, e.g. ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’ in the case of colors have ‘grey’ as an intermediate, whereas in the case of sound they have none, or, if they have, it is ‘harsh’, as some people say that a harsh sound is intermediate. ‘Clear’, then, is an ambiguous term, and likewise also ‘obscure’. See, moreover, if some of them have more than one intermediate, while others have but one, as is the case with ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’, for in the case of colors there are numbers of intermediates, whereas in regard to sound there is but one, viz. ‘harsh’.
Again, in the case of the contradictory opposite, look and see if it bears more than one meaning. For if this bears more than one meaning, then the opposite of it also will be used in more than one meaning; e.g. ‘to fail to see’ a phrase with more than one meaning, viz. (1) to fail to possess the power of sight, (2) to fail to put that power to active use. But if this has more than one meaning, it follows necessarily that ‘to see’ also has more than one meaning: for there will be an opposite to each sense of ‘to fail to see’; e.g. the opposite of ‘not to possess the power of sight’ is to possess it, while of ‘not to put the power of sight to active use’, the opposite is to put it to active use.
Moreover, examine the case of terms that denote the privation or presence of a certain state: for if the one term bears more than one meaning, then so will the remaining term: e.g. if ‘to have sense’ be used with more than one meaning, as applied to the soul and to the body, then ‘to be wanting in sense’ too will be used with more than one meaning, as applied to the soul and to the body. That the opposition between the terms now in question depends upon the privation or presence of a certain state is clear, since animals naturally possess each kind of ‘sense’, both as applied to the soul and as applied to the body.
Moreover, examine the inflected forms. For if ‘justly’ has more than one meaning, then ‘just’, also, will be used with more than one meaning; for there will be a meaning of ‘just’ to each of the meanings of ‘justly’; e.g. if the word ‘justly’ be used of judging according to one’s own opinion, and also of judging as one ought, then ‘just’ also will be used in like manner. In the same way also, if ‘healthy’ has more than one meaning, then ‘healthily’ also will be used with more than one meaning: e.g. if ‘healthy’ describes both what produces health and what preserves health and what betokens health, then ‘healthily’ also will be used to mean ‘in such a way as to produce’ or ‘preserve’ or ‘betoken’ health. Likewise also in other cases, whenever the original term bears more than one meaning, the inflexion also that is formed from it will be used with more than one meaning, and vice versa.
Look also at the classes of the predicates signified by the term, and see if they are the same in all cases. For if they are not the same, then clearly the term is ambiguous: e.g. ‘good’ in the case of food means ‘productive of pleasure’, and in the case of medicine ‘productive of health’, whereas as applied to the soul it means to be of a certain quality, e.g. temperate or courageous or just: and likewise also, as applied to ‘man’. Sometimes it signifies what happens at a certain time, as (e.g.) the good that happens at the right time: for what happens at the right time is called good. Often it signifies what is of certain quantity, e.g. as applied to the proper amount: for the proper amount too is called good. So then the term ‘good’ is ambiguous. In the same way also ‘clear’, as applied to a body, signifies a color, but in regard to a note it denotes what is ‘easy to hear’. ‘Sharp’, too, is in a closely similar case: for the same term does not bear the same meaning in all its applications: for a sharp note is a swift note, as the mathematical theorists of harmony tell us, whereas a sharp (acute) angle is one that is less than a right angle, while a sharp dagger is one containing a sharp angle (point).
Look also at the genera of the objects denoted by the same term, and see if they are different without being subaltern, as (e.g.) ‘donkey’, which denotes both the animal and the engine. For the definition of them that corresponds to the name is different: for the one will be declared to be an animal of a certain kind, and the other to be an engine of a certain kind. If, however, the genera be subaltern, there is no necessity for the definitions to be different. Thus (e.g.) ‘animal’ is the genus of ‘raven’, and so is ‘bird’. Whenever therefore we say that the raven is a bird, we also say that it is a certain kind of animal, so that both the genera are predicated of it. Likewise also whenever we call the raven a ‘flying biped animal’, we declare it to be a bird: in this way, then, as well, both the genera are predicated of raven, and also their definition. But in the case of genera that are not subaltern this does not happen, for whenever we call a thing an ‘engine’, we do not call it an animal, nor vice versa.
Look also and see not only if the genera of the term before you are different without being subaltern, but also in the case of its contrary: for if its contrary bears several senses, clearly the term before you does so as well.
It is useful also to look at the definition that arises from the use of the term in combination, e.g. of a ‘clear (lit. white) body’ and of a ‘clear note’. For then if what is peculiar in each case be abstracted, the same expression ought to remain over. This does not happen in the case of ambiguous terms, e.g. in the cases just mentioned. For the former will be ‘a body possessing such and such a color’, while the latter will be ‘a note easy to hear’. Abstract, then, ‘a body ‘and’ a note’, and the remainder in each case is not the same. It should, however, have been had the meaning of ‘clear’ in each case been synonymous.
Often in the actual definitions as well ambiguity creeps in unawares, and for this reason the definitions also should be examined. If (e.g.) any one describes what betokens and what produces health as ‘related commensurably to health’, we must not desist but go on to examine in what sense he has used the term ‘commensurably’ in each case, e.g. if in the latter case it means that ‘it is of the right amount to produce health’, whereas in the former it means that ‘it is such as to betoken what kind of state prevails’.
Moreover, see if the terms cannot be compared as ‘more or less’ or as ‘in like manner’, as is the case (e.g.) with a ‘clear’ (lit. white) sound and a ‘clear’ garment, and a ‘sharp’ flavor and a ‘sharp’ note. For neither are these things said to be clear or sharp ‘in a like degree’, nor yet is the one said to be clearer or sharper than the other. ‘Clear’, then, and ‘sharp’ are ambiguous. For synonyms are always comparable; for they will always be used either in like manner, or else in a greater degree in one case.
Now since of genera that are different without being subaltern the differentiae also are different in kind, e.g. those of ‘animal’ and ‘knowledge’ (for the differentiae of these are different), look and see if the meanings comprised under the same term are differentiae of genera that are different without being subaltern, as e.g. ‘sharp’ is of a ‘note’ and a ‘solid’. For being ‘sharp’ differentiates note from note, and likewise also one solid from another. ‘Sharp’, then, is an ambiguous term: for it forms differentiae of genera that are different without being subaltern.
Again, see if the actual meanings included under the same term themselves have different differentiae, e.g. ‘color’ in bodies and ‘color’ in tunes: for the differentiae of ‘color’ in bodies are ‘sight-piercing’ and ‘sight compressing’, whereas ‘color’ in melodies has not the same differentiae. Color, then, is an ambiguous term; for things that are the same have the same differentiae.
Moreover, since the species is never the differentia of anything, look and see if one of the meanings included under the same term be a species and another a differentia, as (e.g.) ‘clear’ (lit. white) as applied to a body is a species of color, whereas in the case of a note it is a differentia; for one note is differentiated from another by being ‘clear’.
16. The presence, then, of a number of meanings in a term may be investigated by these and like means. The differences which things present to each other should be examined within the same genera, e.g. ‘Wherein does justice differ from courage, and wisdom from temperance?’—for all these belong to the same genus; and also from one genus to another, provided they be not very much too far apart, e.g. ‘Wherein does sensation differ from knowledge?: for in the case of genera that are very far apart, the differences are entirely obvious.
17. Likeness should be studied, first, in the case of things belonging to different genera, the formulae being ‘A:B = C:D’ (e.g. as knowledge stands to the object of knowledge, so is sensation related to the object of sensation), and ‘As A is in B, so is C in D’ (e.g. as sight is in the eye, so is reason in the soul, and as is a calm in the sea, so is windlessness in the air). Practice is more especially needed in regard to terms that are far apart; for in the case of the rest, we shall be more easily able to see in one glance the points of likeness. We should also look at things which belong to the same genus, to see if any identical attribute belongs to them all, e.g. to a man and a horse and a dog; for in so far as they have any identical attribute, in so far they are alike.
18. It is useful to have examined the number of meanings of a term both for clearness’ sake (for a man is more likely to know what it is he asserts, if it has been made clear to him how many meanings it may have), and also with a view to ensuring that our reasonings shall be in accordance with the actual facts and not addressed merely to the term used. For as long as it is not clear in how many senses a term is used, it is possible that the answerer and the questioner are not directing their minds upon the same thing: whereas when once it has been made clear how many meanings there are, and also upon which of them the former directs his mind when he makes his assertion, the questioner would then look ridiculous if he failed to address his argument to this. It helps us also both to avoid being misled and to mislead by false reasoning: for if we know the number of meanings of a term, we shall certainly never be misled by false reasoning, but shall know if the questioner fails to address his argument to the same point; and when we ourselves put the questions we shall be able to mislead him, if our answerer happens not to know the number of meanings of our terms. This, however, is not possible in all cases, but only when of the many senses some are true and others are false. This manner of argument, however, does not belong properly to dialectic; dialecticians should therefore by all means beware of this kind of verbal discussion, unless any one is absolutely unable to discuss the subject before him in any other way.
The discovery of the differences of things helps us both in reasonings about sameness and difference, and also in recognizing what any particular thing is. That it helps us in reasoning about sameness and difference is clear: for when we have discovered a difference of any kind whatever between the objects before us, we shall already have shown that they are not the same: while it helps us in recognizing what a thing is, because we usually distinguish the expression that is proper to the essence of each particular thing by means of the differentiae that are proper to it.
The examination of likeness is useful with a view both to inductive arguments and to hypothetical reasonings, and also with a view to the rendering of definitions. It is useful for inductive arguments, because it is by means of an induction of individuals in cases that are alike that we claim to bring the universal in evidence: for it is not easy to do this if we do not know the points of likeness. It is useful for hypothetical reasonings because it is a general opinion that among similars what is true of one is true also of the rest. If, then, with regard to any of them we are well supplied with matter for a discussion, we shall secure a preliminary admission that however it is in these cases, so it is also in the case before us: then when we have shown the former we shall have shown, on the strength of the hypothesis, the matter before us as well: for we have first made the hypothesis that however it is in these cases, so it is also in the case before us, and have then proved the point as regards these cases. It is useful for the rendering of definitions because, if we are able to see in one glance what is the same in each individual case of it, we shall be at no loss into what genus we ought to put the object before us when we define it: for of the common predicates that which is most definitely in the category of essence is likely to be the genus. Likewise, also, in the case of objects widely divergent, the examination of likeness is useful for purposes of definition, e.g. the sameness of a calm at sea, and windlessness in the air (each being a form of rest), and of a point on a line and the unit in number—each being a starting point. If, then, we render as the genus what is common to all the cases, we shall get the credit of defining not inappropriately. Definition-mongers too nearly always render them in this way: they declare the unit to be the starting-point of number, and the point the starting-point of a line. It is clear, then, that they place them in that which is common to both as their genus.
The means, then, whereby reasonings are effected, are these: the commonplace rules, for the observance of which the aforesaid means are useful, are as follows.
1. Of problems some are universal, others particular. Universal problems are such as ‘Every pleasure is good’ and ‘No pleasure is good’; particular problems are such as ‘Some pleasure is good’ and ‘Some pleasure is not good’. The methods of establishing and overthrowing a view universally are common to both kinds of problems; for when we have shown that a predicate belongs in every case, we shall also have shown that it belongs in some cases. Likewise, also, if we show that it does not belong in any case, we shall also have shown that it does not belong in every case. First, then, we must speak of the methods of overthrowing a view universally, because such are common to both universal and particular problems, and because people more usually introduce theses asserting a predicate than denying it, while those who argue with them overthrow it. The conversion of an appropriate name which is drawn from the element ‘accident’ is an extremely precarious thing; for in the case of accidents and in no other it is possible for something to be true conditionally and not universally. Names drawn from the elements ‘definition’ and ‘property’ and ‘genus’ are bound to be convertible; e.g. if ‘to be an animal that walks on two feet is an attribute of S’, then it will be true by conversion to say that ‘S is an animal that walks on two feet’. Likewise, also, if drawn from the genus; for if ‘to be an animal is an attribute of S’, then ‘S is an animal’. The same is true also in the case of a property; for if ‘to be capable of learning grammar is an attribute of S’, then ‘S will be capable of learning grammar’. For none of these attributes can possibly belong or not belong in part; they must either belong or not belong absolutely. In the case of accidents, on the other hand, there is nothing to prevent an attribute (e.g. whiteness or justice) belonging in part, so that it is not enough to show that whiteness or justice is an attribute of a man in order to show that he is white or just; for it is open to dispute it and say that he is white or just in part only. Conversion, then, is not a necessary process in the case of accidents.
We must also define the errors that occur in problems. They are of two kinds, caused either by false statement or by transgression of the established diction. For those who make false statements, and say that an attribute belongs to a thing which does not belong to it, commit error; and those who call objects by the names of other objects (e.g. calling a plane-tree a ‘man’) transgress the established terminology.
2. Now one commonplace rule is to look and see if a man has ascribed as an accident what belongs in some other way. This mistake is most commonly made in regard to the genera of things, e.g. if one were to say that white happens (accidit) to be a color—for being a color does not happen by accident to white, but color is its genus. The assertor may of course define it so in so many words, saying (e.g.) that ‘Justice happens (accidit) to be a virtue’; but often even without such definition it is obvious that he has rendered the genus as an accident; e.g. suppose that one were to say that whiteness is colored or that walking is in motion. For a predicate drawn from the genus is never ascribed to the species in an inflected form, but always the genera are predicated of their species literally; for the species take on both the name and the definition of their genera. A man therefore who says that white is ‘colored’ has not rendered ‘colored’ as its genus, seeing that he has used an inflected form, nor yet as its property or as its definition: for the definition and property of a thing belong to it and to nothing else, whereas many things besides white are colored, e.g. a log, a stone, a man, and a horse. Clearly then he renders it as an accident.
Another rule is to examine all cases where a predicate has been either asserted or denied universally to belong to something. Look at them species by species, and not in their infinite multitude: for then the inquiry will proceed more directly and in fewer steps. You should look and begin with the most primary groups, and then proceed in order down to those that are not further divisible: e.g. if a man has said that the knowledge of opposites is the same, you should look and see whether it be so of relative opposites and of contraries and of terms signifying the privation or presence of certain states, and of contradictory terms. Then, if no clear result be reached so far in these cases, you should again divide these until you come to those that are not further divisible, and see (e.g.) whether it be so of just deeds and unjust, or of the double and the half, or of blindness and sight, or of being and not-being: for if in any case it be shown that the knowledge of them is not the same we shall have demolished the problem. Likewise, also, if the predicate belongs in no case. This rule is convertible for both destructive and constructive purposes: for if, when we have suggested a division, the predicate appears to hold in all or in a large number of cases, we may then claim that the other should actually assert it universally, or else bring a negative instance to show in what case it is not so: for if he does neither of these things, a refusal to assert it will make him look absurd.
Another rule is to make definitions both of an accident and of its subject, either of both separately or else of one of them, and then look and see if anything untrue has been assumed as true in the definitions. Thus (e.g.) to see if it is possible to wrong a god, ask what is ‘to wrong’? For if it be ‘to injure deliberately’, clearly it is not possible for a god to be wronged: for it is impossible that God should be injured. Again, to see if the good man is jealous, ask who is the ‘jealous’ man and what is ‘jealousy’. For if ‘jealousy’ is pain at the apparent success of some well-behaved person, clearly the good man is not jealous: for then he would be bad. Again, to see if the indignant man is jealous, ask who each of them is: for then it will be obvious whether the statement is true or false; e.g. if he is ‘jealous’ who grieves at the successes of the good, and he is ‘indignant’ who grieves at the successes of the evil, then clearly the indignant man would not be jealous. A man should substitute definitions also for the terms contained in his definitions, and not stop until he comes to a familiar term: for often if the definition be rendered whole, the point at issue is not cleared up, whereas if for one of the terms used in the definition a definition be stated, it becomes obvious.
Moreover, a man should make the problem into a proposition for himself, and then bring a negative instance against it: for the negative instance will be a ground of attack upon the assertion. This rule is very nearly the same as the rule to look into cases where a predicate has been attributed or denied universally: but it differs in the turn of the argument.
Moreover, you should define what kind of things should be called as most men call them, and what should not. For this is useful both for establishing and for overthrowing a view: e.g. you should say that we ought to use our terms to mean the same things as most people mean by them, but when we ask what kind of things are or are not of such and such a kind, we should not here go with the multitude: e.g. it is right to call ‘healthy’ whatever tends to produce health, as do most men: but in saying whether the object before us tends to produce health or not, we should adopt the language no longer of the multitude but of the doctor.
3. Moreover, if a term be used in several senses, and it has been laid down that it is or that it is not an attribute of S, you should show your case of one of its several senses, if you cannot show it of both. This rule is to be observed in cases where the difference of meaning is undetected; for supposing this to be obvious, then the other man will object that the point which he himself questioned has not been discussed, but only the other point. This commonplace rule is convertible for purposes both of establishing and of overthrowing a view. For if we want to establish a statement, we shall show that in one sense the attribute belongs, if we cannot show it of both senses: whereas if we are overthrowing a statement, we shall show that in one sense the attribute does not belong, if we cannot show it of both senses. Of course, in overthrowing a statement there is no need to start the discussion by securing any admission, either when the statement asserts or when it denies the attribute universally: for if we show that in any case whatever the attribute does not belong, we shall have demolished the universal assertion of it, and likewise also if we show that it belongs in a single case, we shall demolish the universal denial of it. Whereas in establishing a statement we ought to secure a preliminary admission that if it belongs in any case whatever, it belongs universally, supposing this claim to be a plausible one. For it is not enough to discuss a single instance in order to show that an attribute belongs universally; e.g. to argue that if the soul of man be immortal, then every soul is immortal, so that a previous admission must be secured that if any soul whatever be immortal, then every soul is immortal. This is not to be done in every case, but only whenever we are not easily able to quote any single argument applying to all cases in common, as (e.g.) the geometrician can argue that the triangle has its angles equal to two right angles.
If, again, the variety of meanings of a term be obvious, distinguish how many meanings it has before proceeding either to demolish or to establish it: e.g. supposing ‘the right’ to mean ‘the expedient’ or ‘the honorable’, you should try either to establish or to demolish both descriptions of the subject in question; e.g. by showing that it is honorable and expedient, or that it is neither honorable nor expedient. Supposing, however, that it is impossible to show both, you should show the one, adding an indication that it is true in the one sense and not in the other. The same rule applies also when the number of senses into which it is divided is more than two.
Again, consider those expressions whose meanings are many, but differ not by way of ambiguity of a term, but in some other way: e.g. ‘The science of many things is one’: here ‘many things’ may mean the end and the means to that end, as (e.g.) medicine is the science both of producing health and of dieting; or they may be both of them ends, as the science of contraries is said to be the same (for of contraries the one is no more an end than the other); or again they may be an essential and an accidental attribute, as (e.g.) the essential fact that the triangle has its angles equal to two right angles, and the accidental fact that the equilateral figure has them so: for it is because of the accident of the equilateral triangle happening to be a triangle that we know that it has its angles equal to two right angles. If, then, it is not possible in any sense of the term that the science of many things should be the same, it clearly is altogether impossible that it should be so; or, if it is possible in some sense, then clearly it is possible. Distinguish as many meanings as are required: e.g. if we want to establish a view, we should bring forward all such meanings as admit that view and should divide them only into those meanings which also are required for the establishment of our case: whereas if we want to overthrow a view, we should bring forward all that do not admit that view, and leave the rest aside. We must deal also in these cases as well with any uncertainty about the number of meanings involved. Further, that one thing is, or is not, ‘of’ another should be established by means of the same commonplace rules; e.g. that a particular science is of a particular thing, treated either as an end or as a means to its end, or as accidentally connected with it; or again that it is not ‘of’ it in any of the aforesaid ways. The same rule holds true also of desire and all other terms that have more than one object. For the ‘desire of X’ may mean the desire of it as an end (e.g. the desire of health) or as a means to an end (e.g. the desire of being doctored), or as a thing desired accidentally, as, in the case of wine, the sweet-toothed person desires it not because it is wine but because it is sweet. For essentially he desires the sweet, and only accidentally the wine: for if it be dry, he no longer desires it. His desire for it is therefore accidental. This rule is useful in dealing with relative terms: for cases of this kind are generally cases of relative terms.
4. Moreover, it is well to alter a term into one more familiar, e.g. to substitute ‘clear’ for ‘exact’ in describing a conception, and ‘being fussy’ for ‘being busy’: for when the expression is made more familiar, the thesis becomes easier to attack. This commonplace rule also is available for both purposes alike, both for establishing and for overthrowing a view.
In order to show that contrary attributes belong to the same thing, look at its genus; e.g. if we want to show that rightness and wrongness are possible in regard to perception, and to perceive is to judge, while it is possible to judge rightly or wrongly, then in regard to perception as well rightness and wrongness must be possible. In the present instance the proof proceeds from the genus and relates to the species: for ‘to judge’ is the genus of ‘to perceive’; for the man who perceives judges in a certain way. But per contra it may proceed from the species to the genus: for all the attributes that belong to the species belong to the genus as well; e.g. if there is a bad and a good knowledge there is also a bad and a good disposition: for ‘disposition’ is the genus of knowledge. Now the former commonplace argument is fallacious for purposes of establishing a view, while the second is true. For there is no necessity that all the attributes that belong to the genus should belong also to the species; for ‘animal’ is flying and quadruped, but not so ‘man’. All the attributes, on the other hand, that belong to the species must of necessity belong also to the genus; for if ‘man’ is good, then animal also is good. On the other hand, for purposes of overthrowing a view, the former argument is true while the latter is fallacious; for all the attributes which do not belong to the genus do not belong to the species either; whereas all those that are wanting to the species are not of necessity wanting to the genus.
Since those things of which the genus is predicated must also of necessity have one of its species predicated of them, and since those things that are possessed of the genus in question, or are described by terms derived from that genus, must also of necessity be possessed of one of its species or be described by terms derived from one of its species (e.g. if to anything the term ‘scientific knowledge’ be applied, then also there will be applied to it the term ‘grammatical’ or ‘musical’ knowledge, or knowledge of one of the other sciences; and if any one possesses scientific knowledge or is described by a term derived from ‘science’, then he will also possess grammatical or musical knowledge or knowledge of one of the other sciences, or will be described by a term derived from one of them, e.g. as a ‘grammarian’ or a ‘musician’)—therefore if any expression be asserted that is in any way derived from the genus (e.g. that the soul is in motion), look and see whether it be possible for the soul to be moved with any of the species of motion; whether (e.g.) it can grow or be destroyed or come to be, and so forth with all the other species of motion. For if it be not moved in any of these ways, clearly it does not move at all. This commonplace rule is common for both purposes, both for overthrowing and for establishing a view: for if the soul moves with one of the species of motion, clearly it does move; while if it does not move with any of the species of motion, clearly it does not move.
If you are not well equipped with an argument against the assertion, look among the definitions, real or apparent, of the thing before you, and if one is not enough, draw upon several. For it will be easier to attack people when committed to a definition: for an attack is always more easily made on definitions.
Moreover, look and see in regard to the thing in question, what it is whose reality conditions the reality of the thing in question, or what it is whose reality necessarily follows if the thing in question be real: if you wish to establish a view inquire what there is on whose reality the reality of the thing in question will follow (for if the former be shown to be real, then the thing in question will also have been shown to be real); while if you want to overthrow a view, ask what it is that is real if the thing in question be real, for if we show that what follows from the thing in question is unreal, we shall have demolished the thing in question.
Moreover, look at the time involved, to see if there be any discrepancy anywhere: e.g. suppose a man to have stated that what is being nourished of necessity grows: for animals are always of necessity being nourished, but they do not always grow. Likewise, also, if he has said that knowing is remembering: for the one is concerned with past time, whereas the other has to do also with the present and the future. For we are said to know things present and future (e.g. that there will be an eclipse), whereas it is impossible to remember anything save what is in the past.
5. Moreover, there is the sophistic turn of argument, whereby we draw our opponent into the kind of statement against which we shall be well supplied with lines of argument. This process is sometimes a real necessity, sometimes an apparent necessity, sometimes neither an apparent nor a real necessity. It is really necessary whenever the answerer has denied any view that would be useful in attacking the thesis, and the questioner thereupon addresses his arguments to the support of this view, and when moreover the view in question happens to be one of a kind on which he has a good stock of lines of argument. Likewise, also, it is really necessary whenever he (the questioner) first, by an induction made by means of the view laid down, arrives at a certain statement and then tries to demolish that statement: for when once this has been demolished, the view originally laid down is demolished as well. It is an apparent necessity, when the point to which the discussion comes to be directed appears to be useful, and relevant to the thesis, without being really so; whether it be that the man who is standing up to the argument has refused to concede something, or whether he (the questioner) has first reached it by a plausible induction based upon the thesis and then tries to demolish it. The remaining case is when the point to which the discussion comes to be directed is neither really nor apparently necessary, and it is the answerer’s luck to be confuted on a mere side issue. You should beware of the last of the aforesaid methods; for it appears to be wholly disconnected from, and foreign to, the art of dialectic. For this reason, moreover, the answerer should not lose his temper, but assent to those statements that are of no use in attacking the thesis, adding an indication whenever he assents although he does not agree with the view. For, as a rule, it increases the confusion of questioners if, after all propositions of this kind have been granted them, they can then draw no conclusion.
Moreover, any one who has made any statement whatever has in a certain sense made several statements, inasmuch as each statement has a number of necessary consequences: e.g. the man who said ‘X is a man’ has also said that it is an animal and that it is animate and a biped and capable of acquiring reason and knowledge, so that by the demolition of any single one of these consequences, of whatever kind, the original statement is demolished as well. But you should beware here too of making a change to a more difficult subject: for sometimes the consequence, and sometimes the original thesis, is the easier to demolish.
6. In regard to subjects which must have one and one only of two predicates, as (e.g.) a man must have either a disease or health, supposing we are well supplied as regards the one for arguing its presence or absence, we shall be well equipped as regards the remaining one as well. This rule is convertible for both purposes: for when we have shown that the one attribute belongs, we shall have shown that the remaining one does not belong; while if we show that the one does not belong, we shall have shown that the remaining one does belong. Clearly then the rule is useful for both purposes.
Moreover, you may devise a line of attack by reinterpreting a term in its literal meaning, with the implication that it is most fitting so to take it rather than in its established meaning: e.g. the expression ‘strong at heart’ will suggest not the courageous man, according to the use now established, but the man the state of whose heart is strong; just as also the expression ‘of a good hope’ may be taken to mean the man who hopes for good things. Likewise also ‘well-starred’ may be taken to mean the man whose star is good, as Xenocrates says ‘well-starred is he who has a noble soul’.’ For a man’s star is his soul.
Some things occur of necessity, others usually, others however it may chance; if therefore a necessary event has been asserted to occur usually, or if a usual event (or, failing such an event itself, its contrary) has been stated to occur of necessity, it always gives an opportunity for attack. For if a necessary event has been asserted to occur usually, clearly the speaker has denied an attribute to be universal which is universal, and so has made a mistake: and so he has if he has declared the usual attribute to be necessary: for then he declares it to belong universally when it does not so belong. Likewise also if he has declared the contrary of what is usual to be necessary. For the contrary of a usual attribute is always a comparatively rare attribute: e.g. if men are usually bad, they are comparatively seldom good, so that his mistake is even worse if he has declared them to be good of necessity. The same is true also if he has declared a mere matter of chance to happen of necessity or usually; for a chance event happens neither of necessity nor usually. If the thing happens usually, then even supposing his statement does not distinguish whether he meant that it happens usually or that it happens necessarily, it is open to you to discuss it on the assumption that he meant that it happens necessarily: e.g. if he has stated without any distinction that disinherited persons are bad, you may assume in discussing it that he means that they are so necessarily.
Moreover, look and see also if he has stated a thing to be an accident of itself, taking it to be a different thing because it has a different name, as Prodicus used to divide pleasures into joy and delight and good cheer: for all these are names of the same thing, to wit, Pleasure. If then any one says that joyfulness is an accidental attribute of cheerfulness, he would be declaring it to be an accidental attribute of itself.
7. Inasmuch as contraries can be conjoined with each other in six ways, and four of these conjunctions constitute a contrariety, we must grasp the subject of contraries, in order that it may help us both in demolishing and in establishing a view. Well then, that the modes of conjunction are six is clear: for either (1) each of the contrary verbs will be conjoined to each of the contrary objects; and this gives two modes: e.g. to do good to friends and to do evil to enemies, or per contra to do evil to friends and to do good to enemies. Or else (2) both verbs may be attached to one object; and this too gives two modes, e.g. to do good to friends and to do evil to friends, or to do good to enemies and to do evil to enemies. Or (3) a single verb may be attached to both objects: and this also gives two modes; e.g. to do good to friends and to do good to enemies, or to do evil to friends and evil to enemies.
The first two then of the aforesaid conjunctions do not constitute any contrariety; for the doing of good to friends is not contrary to the doing of evil to enemies: for both courses are desirable and belong to the same disposition. Nor is the doing of evil to friends contrary to the doing of good to enemies: for both of these are objectionable and belong to the same disposition: and one objectionable thing is not generally thought to be the contrary of another, unless the one be an expression denoting an excess, and the other an expression denoting a defect: for an excess is generally thought to belong to the class of objectionable things, and likewise also a defect. But the other four all constitute a contrariety. For to do good to friends is contrary to the doing of evil to friends: for it proceeds from the contrary disposition, and the one is desirable, and the other objectionable. The case is the same also in regard to the other conjunctions: for in each combination the one course is desirable, and the other objectionable, and the one belongs to a reasonable disposition and the other to a bad. Clearly, then, from what has been said, the same course has more than one contrary. For the doing of good to friends has as its contrary both the doing of good to enemies and the doing of evil to friends. Likewise, if we examine them in the same way, we shall find that the contraries of each of the others also are two in number. Select therefore whichever of the two contraries is useful in attacking the thesis.
Moreover, if the accident of a thing have a contrary, see whether it belongs to the subject to which the accident in question has been declared to belong: for if the latter belongs the former could not belong; for it is impossible that contrary predicates should belong at the same time to the same thing.
Or again, look and see if anything has been said about something, of such a kind that if it be true, contrary predicates must necessarily belong to the thing: e.g. if he has said that the ‘Ideas’ exist in us. For then the result will be that they are both in motion and at rest, and moreover that they are objects both of sensation and of thought. For according to the views of those who posit the existence of Ideas, those Ideas are at rest and are objects of thought; while if they exist in us, it is impossible that they should be unmoved: for when we move, it follows necessarily that all that is in us moves with us as well. Clearly also they are objects of sensation, if they exist in us: for it is through the sensation of sight that we recognize the Form present in each individual.
Again, if there be posited an accident which has a contrary, look and see if that which admits of the accident will admit of its contrary as well: for the same thing admits of contraries. Thus (e.g.) if he has asserted that hatred follows anger, hatred would in that case be in the ‘spirited faculty’: for that is where anger is. You should therefore look and see if its contrary, to wit, friendship, be also in the ‘spirited faculty’: for if not—if friendship is in the faculty of desire—then hatred could not follow anger. Likewise also if he has asserted that the faculty of desire is ignorant. For if it were capable of ignorance, it would be capable of knowledge as well: and this is not generally held—I mean that the faculty of desire is capable of knowledge. For purposes, then, of overthrowing a view, as has been said, this rule should be observed: but for purposes of establishing one, though the rule will not help you to assert that the accident actually belongs, it will help you to assert that it may possibly belong. For having shown that the thing in question will not admit of the contrary of the accident asserted, we shall have shown that the accident neither belongs nor can possibly belong; while on the other hand, if we show that the contrary belongs, or that the thing is capable of the contrary, we shall not indeed as yet have shown that the accident asserted does belong as well; our proof will merely have gone to this point, that it is possible for it to belong.
8. Seeing that the modes of opposition are four in number, you should look for arguments among the contradictories of your terms, converting the order of their sequence, both when demolishing and when establishing a view, and you should secure them by means of induction—such arguments (e.g.) as that ‘If man be an animal, what is not an animal is not a man’: and likewise also in other instances of contradictories. For in those cases the sequence is converse: for ‘animal’ follows upon ‘man’ but ‘not-animal’ does not follow upon ‘not-man’, but conversely ‘not-man’ upon ‘not-animal’. In all cases, therefore, a postulate of this sort should be made, (e.g.) that ‘If the honorable is pleasant, what is not pleasant is not honorable, while if the latter be untrue, so is the former’. Likewise, also, ‘If what is not pleasant be not honorable, then what is honorable is pleasant’. Clearly, then, the conversion of the sequence formed by contradiction of the terms of the thesis is a method convertible for both purposes.
Then look also at the case of the contraries of S and P in the thesis, and see if the contrary of the one follows upon the contrary of the other, either directly or conversely, both when you are demolishing and when you are establishing a view: secure arguments of this kind as well by means of induction, so far as may be required. Now the sequence is direct in a case such as that of courage and cowardice: for upon the one of them virtue follows, and vice upon the other; and upon the one it follows that it is desirable, while upon the other it follows that it is objectionable. The sequence, therefore, in the latter case also is direct; for the desirable is the contrary of the objectionable. Likewise also in other cases. The sequence is, on the other hand, converse in such a case as this: Health follows upon vigor, but disease does not follow upon debility; rather debility follows upon disease. In this case, then, clearly the sequence is converse. Converse sequence is, however, rare in the case of contraries; usually the sequence is direct. If, therefore, the contrary of the one term does not follow upon the contrary of the other either directly or conversely, clearly neither does the one term follow upon the other in the statement made: whereas if the one followed the other in the case of the contraries, it must of necessity do so as well in the original statement.
You should look also into cases of the privation or presence of a state in like manner to the case of contraries. Only, in the case of such privations the converse sequence does not occur: the sequence is always bound to be direct: e.g. as sensation follows sight, while absence of sensation follows blindness. For the opposition of sensation to absence of sensation is an opposition of the presence to the privation of a state: for the one of them is a state, and the other the privation of it.
The case of relative terms should also be studied in like manner to that of a state and its privation: for the sequence of these as well is direct; e.g. if 3/1 is a multiple, then 1/3 is a fraction: for 3/1 is relative to 1/3, and so is a multiple to a fraction. Again, if knowledge be a conceiving, then also the object of knowledge is an object of conception; and if sight be a sensation, then also the object of sight is an object of sensation. An objection may be made that there is no necessity for the sequence to take place, in the case of relative terms, in the way described: for the object of sensation is an object of knowledge, whereas sensation is not knowledge. The objection is, however, not generally received as really true; for many people deny that there is knowledge of objects of sensation. Moreover, the principle stated is just as useful for the contrary purpose, e.g. to show that the object of sensation is not an object of knowledge, on the ground that neither is sensation knowledge.
9. Again look at the case of the co-ordinates and inflected forms of the terms in the thesis, both in demolishing and in establishing it. By co-ordinates’ are meant terms such as the following: ‘Just deeds’ and the ‘just man’ are coordinates of ‘justice’, and ‘courageous deeds’ and the ‘courageous man’ are co-ordinates of courage. Likewise also things that tend to produce and to preserve anything are called co-ordinates of that which they tend to produce and to preserve, as e.g. ‘healthy habits’ are co-ordinates of ‘health’ and a ‘vigorous constitutional’ of a ‘vigorous constitution’—and so forth also in other cases. ‘Co-ordinate’, then, usually describes cases such as these, whereas ‘inflected forms’ are such as the following: ‘justly’, ‘courageously’, ‘healthily’, and such as are formed in this way. It is usually held that words when used in their inflected forms as well are co-ordinates, as (e.g.) ‘justly’ in relation to justice, and ‘courageously’ to courage; and then ‘co-ordinate’ describes all the members of the same kindred series, e.g. ‘justice’, ‘just’, of a man or an act, ‘justly’. Clearly, then, when any one member, whatever its kind, of the same kindred series is shown to be good or praiseworthy, then all the rest as well come to be shown to be so: e.g. if ‘justice’ be something praiseworthy, then so will ‘just’, of a man or thing, and ‘justly’ connote something praiseworthy. Then ‘justly’ will be rendered also ‘praiseworthily’, derived will by the same inflexion from ‘the praiseworthy’ whereby ‘justly’ is derived from ‘justice’.
Look not only in the case of the subject mentioned, but also in the case of its contrary, for the contrary predicate: e.g. argue that good is not necessarily pleasant; for neither is evil painful: or that, if the latter be the case, so is the former. Also, if justice be knowledge, then injustice is ignorance: and if ‘justly’ means ‘knowingly’ and ‘skillfully’, then ‘unjustly’ means ‘ignorantly’ and ‘unskillfully’: whereas if the latter be not true, neither is the former, as in the instance given just now: for ‘unjustly’ is more likely to seem equivalent to ‘skillfully’ than to ‘unskillfully’. This commonplace rule has been stated before in dealing with the sequence of contraries; for all we are claiming now is that the contrary of P shall follow the contrary of S.
Moreover, look at the modes of generation and destruction of a thing, and at the things which tend to produce or to destroy it, both in demolishing and in establishing a view. For those things whose modes of generation rank among good things, are themselves also good; and if they themselves be good, so also are their modes of generation. If, on the other hand, their modes of generation be evil, then they themselves also are evil. In regard to modes of destruction the converse is true: for if the modes of destruction rank as good things, then they themselves rank as evil things; whereas if the modes of destruction count as evil, they themselves count as good. The same argument applies also to things tending to produce and destroy: for things whose productive causes are good, themselves also rank as good; whereas if causes destructive of them are good, they themselves rank as evil.
10. Again, look at things which are like the subject in question, and see if they are in like case; e.g. if one branch of knowledge has more than one object, so also will one opinion; and if to possess sight be to see, then also to possess hearing will be to hear. Likewise also in the case of other things, both those which are and those which are generally held to be like. The rule in question is useful for both purposes; for if it be as stated in the case of some one like thing, it is so with the other like things as well, whereas if it be not so in the case of some one of them, neither is it so in the case of the others. Look and see also whether the cases are alike as regards a single thing and a number of things: for sometimes there is a discrepancy. Thus, if to ‘know’ a thing be to ‘think of’ it, then also to ‘know many things’ is to ‘be thinking of many things’; whereas this is not true; for it is possible to know many things but not to be thinking of them. If, then, the latter proposition be not true, neither was the former that dealt with a single thing, viz. that to ‘know’ a thing is to ‘think of’ it.
Moreover, argue from greater and less degrees. In regard to greater degrees there are four commonplace rules. One is: See whether a greater degree of the predicate follows a greater degree of the subject: e.g. if pleasure be good, see whether also a greater pleasure be a greater good: and if to do a wrong be evil, see whether also to do a greater wrong is a greater evil. Now this rule is of use for both purposes: for if an increase of the accident follows an increase of the subject, as we have said, clearly the accident belongs; while if it does not follow, the accident does not belong. You should establish this by induction. Another rule is: If one predicate be attributed to two subjects; then supposing it does not belong to the subject to which it is the more likely to belong, neither does it belong where it is less likely to belong; while if it does belong where it is less likely to belong, then it belongs as well where it is more likely. Again: If two predicates be attributed to one subject, then if the one which is more generally thought to belong does not belong, neither does the one that is less generally thought to belong; or, if the one that is less generally thought to belong does belong, so also does the other. Moreover: If two predicates be attributed to two subjects, then if the one which is more usually thought to belong to the one subject does not belong, neither does the remaining predicate belong to the remaining subject; or, if the one which is less usually thought to belong to the one subject does belong, so too does the remaining predicate to the remaining subject.
Moreover, you can argue from the fact that an attribute belongs, or is generally supposed to belong, in a like degree, in three ways, viz. those described in the last three rules given in regard to a greater degree. For supposing that one predicate belongs, or is supposed to belong, to two subjects in a like degree, then if it does not belong to the one, neither does it belong to the other; while if it belongs to the one, it belongs to the remaining one as well. Or, supposing two predicates to belong in a like degree to the same subject, then, if the one does not belong, neither does the remaining one; while if the one does belong, the remaining one belongs as well. The case is the same also if two predicates belong in a like degree to two subjects; for if the one predicate does not belong to the one subject, neither does the remaining predicate belong to the remaining subject, while if the one predicate does belong to the one subject, the remaining predicate belongs to the remaining subject as well.
11. You can argue, then, from greater or less or like degrees of truth in the aforesaid number of ways. Moreover, you should argue from the addition of one thing to another. If the addition of one thing to another makes that other good or white, whereas formerly it was not white or good, then the thing added will be white or good—it will possess the character it imparts to the whole as well. Moreover, if an addition of something to a given object intensifies the character which it had as given, then the thing added will itself as well be of that character. Likewise, also, in the case of other attributes. The rule is not applicable in all cases, but only in those in which the excess described as an ‘increased intensity’ is found to take place. The above rule is, however, not convertible for overthrowing a view. For if the thing added does not make the other good, it is not thereby made clear whether in itself it may not be good: for the addition of good to evil does not necessarily make the whole good, any more than the addition of white to black makes the whole white.
Again, any predicate of which we can speak of greater or less degrees belongs also absolutely: for greater or less degrees of good or of white will not be attributed to what is not good or white: for a bad thing will never be said to have a greater or less degree of goodness than another, but always of badness. This rule is not convertible, either, for the purpose of overthrowing a predication: for several predicates of which we cannot speak of a greater degree belong absolutely: for the term ‘man’ is not attributed in greater and less degrees, but a man is a man for all that.
You should examine in the same way predicates attributed in a given respect, and at a given time and place: for if the predicate be possible in some respect, it is possible also absolutely. Likewise, also, is what is predicated at a given time or place: for what is absolutely impossible is not possible either in any respect or at any place or time. An objection may be raised that in a given respect people may be good by nature, e.g. they may be generous or temperately inclined, while absolutely they are not good by nature, because no one is prudent by nature. Likewise, also, it is possible for a destructible thing to escape destruction at a given time, whereas it is not possible for it to escape absolutely. In the same way also it is a good thing at certain places to follow such and such a diet, e.g. in infected areas, though it is not a good thing absolutely. Moreover, in certain places it is possible to live singly and alone, but absolutely it is not possible to exist singly and alone. In the same way also it is in certain places honorable to sacrifice one’s father, e.g. among the Triballi, whereas, absolutely, it is not honorable. Or possibly this may indicate a relativity not to places but to persons: for it is all the same wherever they may be: for everywhere it will be held honorable among the Triballi themselves, just because they are Triballi. Again, at certain times it is a good thing to take medicines, e.g. when one is ill, but it is not so absolutely. Or possibly this again may indicate a relativity not to a certain time, but to a certain state of health: for it is all the same whenever it occurs, if only one be in that state. A thing is ‘absolutely’ so which without any addition you are prepared to say is honorable or the contrary. Thus (e.g.) you will deny that to sacrifice one’s father is honorable: it is honorable only to certain persons: it is not therefore honorable absolutely. On the other hand, to honor the gods you will declare to be honorable without adding anything, because that is honorable absolutely. So that whatever without any addition is generally accounted to be honorable or dishonorable or anything else of that kind, will be said to be so ‘absolutely’.
1. The question which is the more desirable, or the better, of two or more things, should be examined upon the following lines: only first of all it must be clearly laid down that the inquiry we are making concerns not things that are widely divergent and that exhibit great differences from one another (for nobody raises any doubt whether happiness or wealth is more desirable), but things that are nearly related and about which we commonly discuss for which of the two we ought rather to vote, because we do not see any advantage on either side as compared with the other. Clearly, in such cases if we can show a single advantage, or more than one, our judgment will record our assent that whichever side happens to have the advantage is the more desirable.
First, then, that which is more lasting or secure is more desirable than that which is less so: and so is that which is more likely to be chosen by the prudent or by the good man or by the right law, or by men who are good in any particular line, when they make their choice as such, or by the experts in regard to any particular class of things; i.e. either whatever most of them or what all of them would choose; e.g. in medicine or in carpentry those things are more desirable which most, or all, doctors would choose; or, in general, whatever most men or all men or all things would choose, e.g. the good: for everything aims at the good. You should direct the argument you intend to employ to whatever purpose you require. Of what is ‘better’ or ‘more desirable’ the absolute standard is the verdict of the better science, though relatively to a given individual the standard may be his own particular science.
In the second place, that which is known as ‘an x’ is more desirable than that which does not come within the genus ‘x’—e.g. justice than a just man; for the former falls within the genus ‘good’, whereas the other does not, and the former is called ‘a good’, whereas the latter is not: for nothing which does not happen to belong to the genus in question is called by the generic name; e.g. a ‘white man’ is not ‘a color’. Likewise also in other cases.
Also, that which is desired for itself is more desirable than that which is desired for something else; e.g. health is more desirable than gymnastics: for the former is desired for itself, the latter for something else. Also, that which is desirable in itself is more desirable than what is desirable per accidens; e.g. justice in our friends than justice in our enemies: for the former is desirable in itself, the latter per accidens: for we desire that our enemies should be just per accidens, in order that they may do us no harm. This last principle is the same as the one that precedes it, with, however, a different turn of expression. For we desire justice in our friends for itself, even though it will make no difference to us, and even though they be in India; whereas in our enemies we desire it for something else, in order that they may do us no harm.
Also, that which is in itself the cause of good is more desirable than what is so per accidens, e.g. virtue than luck (for the former is in itself, and the latter per accidens, the cause of good things), and so in other cases of the same kind. Likewise also in the case of the contrary; for what is in itself the cause of evil is more objectionable than what is so per accidens, e.g. vice and chance: for the one is bad in itself, whereas chance is so per accidens.
Also, what is good absolutely is more desirable than what is good for a particular person, e.g. recovery of health than a surgical operation; for the former is good absolutely, the latter only for a particular person, viz. the man who needs an operation. So too what is good by nature is more desirable than the good that is not so by nature, e.g. justice than the just man; for the one is good by nature, whereas in the other case the goodness is acquired. Also the attribute is more desirable which belongs to the better and more honorable subject, e.g. to a god rather than to a man, and to the soul rather than to the body. So too the property of the better thing is better than the property of the worse; e.g. the property of God than the property of man: for whereas in respect of what is common in both of them they do not differ at all from each other, in respect of their properties the one surpasses the other. Also that is better which is inherent in things better or prior or more honorable: thus (e.g.) health is better than strength and beauty: for the former is inherent in the moist and the dry, and the hot and the cold, in fact in all the primary constituents of an animal, whereas the others are inherent in what is secondary, strength being a feature of the sinews and bones, while beauty is generally supposed to consist in a certain symmetry of the limbs. Also the end is generally supposed to be more desirable than the means, and of two means, that which lies nearer the end. In general, too, a means directed towards the end of life is more desirable than a means to anything else, e.g. that which contributes to happiness than that which contributes to prudence. Also the competent is more desirable than the incompetent. Moreover, of two productive agents that one is more desirable whose end is better; while between a productive agent and an end we can decide by a proportional sum whenever the excess of the one end over the other is greater than that of the latter over its own productive means: e.g. supposing the excess of happiness over health to be greater than that of health over what produces health, then what produces happiness is better than health. For what produces happiness exceeds what produces health just as much as happiness exceeds health. But health exceeds what produces health by a smaller amount; ergo, the excess of what produces happiness over what produces health is greater than that of health over what produces health. Clearly, therefore, what produces happiness is more desirable than health: for it exceeds the same standard by a greater amount.
Moreover, what is in itself nobler and more precious and praiseworthy is more desirable than what is less so, e.g. friendship than wealth, and justice than strength. For the former belong in themselves to the class of things precious and praiseworthy, while the latter do so not in themselves but for something else: for no one prizes wealth for itself but always for something else, whereas we prize friendship for itself, even though nothing else is likely to come to us from it.
2. Moreover, whenever two things are very much like one another, and we cannot see any superiority in the one over the other of them, we should look at them from the standpoint of their consequences. For the one which is followed by the greater good is the more desirable: or, if the consequences be evil, that is more desirable which is followed by the less evil. For though both may be desirable, yet there may possibly be some unpleasant consequence involved to turn the scale. Our survey from the point of view of consequences lies in two directions, for there are prior consequences and later consequences: e.g. if a man learns, it follows that he was ignorant before and knows afterwards. As a rule, the later consequence is the better to consider. You should take, therefore, whichever of the consequences suits your purpose.
Moreover, a greater number of good things is more desirable than a smaller, either absolutely or when the one is included in the other, viz. the smaller number in the greater. An objection may be raised: suppose in some particular case the one is valued for the sake of the other; for then the two together are not more desirable than the one; e.g. recovery of health and health, than health alone, inasmuch as we desire recovery of health for the sake of health. Also it is quite possible for what is not good, together with what is, to be more desirable than a greater number of good things, e.g. the combination of happiness and something else which is not good may be more desirable than the combination of justice and courage. Also, the same things are more valuable if accompanied than if unaccompanied by pleasure, and likewise when free from pain than when attended with pain.
Also, everything is more desirable at the season when it is of greater consequence; e.g. freedom from pain in old age more than in youth: for it is of greater consequence in old age. On the same principle also, prudence is more desirable in old age; for no man chooses the young to guide him, because he does not expect them to be prudent. With courage, the converse is the case, for it is in youth that the active exercise of courage is more imperatively required. Likewise also with temperance; for the young are more troubled by their passions than are their elders.
Also, that is more desirable which is more useful at every season or at most seasons, e.g. justice and temperance rather than courage: for they are always useful, while courage is only useful at times. Also, that one of two things which if all possess, we do not need the other thing, is more desirable than that which all may possess and still we want the other one as well. Take the case of justice and courage; if everybody were just, there would be no use for courage, whereas all might be courageous, and still justice would be of use.
Moreover, judge by the destructions and losses and generations and acquisitions and contraries of things: for things whose destruction is more objectionable are themselves more desirable. Likewise also with the losses and contraries of things; for a thing whose loss or whose contrary is more objectionable is itself more desirable. With the generations or acquisitions of things the opposite is the case: for things whose acquisition or generation is more desirable are themselves also desirable.
Another commonplace rule is that what is nearer to the good is better and more desirable, i.e. what more nearly resembles the good: thus justice is better than a just man. Also, that which is more like than another thing to something better than itself, as e.g. some say that Ajax was a better man than Odysseus because he was more like Achilles. An objection may be raised to this that it is not true: for it is quite possible that Ajax did not resemble Achilles more nearly than Odysseus in the points which made Achilles the best of them, and that Odysseus was a good man, though unlike Achilles. Look also to see whether the resemblance be that of a caricature, like the resemblance of a monkey to a man, whereas a horse bears none: for the monkey is not the more handsome creature, despite its nearer resemblance to a man. Again, in the case of two things, if one is more like the better thing while another is more like the worse, then that is likely to be better which is more like the better. This too, however, admits of an objection: for quite possibly the one only slightly resembles the better, while the other strongly resembles the worse, e.g. supposing the resemblance of Ajax to Achilles to be slight, while that of Odysseus to Nestor is strong. Also it may be that the one which is like the better type shows a degrading likeness, whereas the one which is like the worse type improves upon it: witness the likeness of a horse to a donkey, and that of a monkey to a man.
Another rule is that the more conspicuous good is more desirable than the less conspicuous, and the more difficult than the easier: for we appreciate better the possession of things that cannot be easily acquired. Also the more personal possession is more desirable than the more widely shared. Also, that which is more free from connection with evil: for what is not attended by any unpleasantness is more desirable than what is so attended.
Moreover, if A be without qualification better than B, then also the best of the members of A is better than the best of the members of B; e.g. if Man be better than Horse, then also the best man is better than the best horse. Also, if the best in A be better than the best in B, then also A is better than B without qualification; e.g. if the best man be better than the best horse, then also Man is better than Horse without qualification.
Moreover, things which our friends can share are more desirable than those they cannot. Also, things which we like rather to do to our friend are more desirable than those we like to do to the man in the street, e.g. just dealing and the doing of good rather than the semblance of them: for we would rather really do good to our friends than seem to do so, whereas towards the man in the street the converse is the case.
Also, superfluities are better than necessities, and are sometimes more desirable as well: for the good life is better than mere life, and good life is a superfluity, whereas mere life itself is a necessity. Sometimes, though, what is better is not also more desirable: for there is no necessity that because it is better it should also be more desirable: at least to be a philosopher is better than to make money, but it is not more desirable for a man who lacks the necessities of life. The expression ‘superfluity’ applies whenever a man possesses the necessities of life and sets to work to secure as well other noble acquisitions. Roughly speaking, perhaps, necessities are more desirable, while superfluities are better.
Also, what cannot be got from another is more desirable than what can be got from another as well, as (e.g.) is the case of justice compared with courage. Also, A is more desirable if A is desirable without B, but not B without A: power (e.g.) is not desirable without prudence, but prudence is desirable without power. Also, if of two things we repudiate the one in order to be thought to possess the other, then that one is more desirable which we wish to be thought to possess; thus (e.g.) we repudiate the love of hard work in order that people may think us geniuses.
Moreover, that is more desirable in whose absence it is less blameworthy for people to be vexed; and that is more desirable in whose absence it is more blameworthy for a man not to be vexed.
3. Moreover, of things that belong to the same species one which possesses the peculiar virtue of the species is more desirable than one which does not. If both possess it, then the one which possesses it in a greater degree is more desirable.
Moreover, if one thing makes good whatever it touches, while another does not, the former is more desirable, just as also what makes things warm is warmer than what does not. If both do so, then that one is more desirable which does so in a greater degree, or if it render good the better and more important object—if (e.g.), the one makes good the soul, and the other the body.
Moreover, judge things by their inflexions and uses and actions and works, and judge these by them: for they go with each other: e.g. if ‘justly’ means something more desirable than ‘courageously’, then also justice means something more desirable than courage; and if justice be more desirable than courage, then also ‘justly’ means something more desirable than ‘courageously’. Similarly also in the other cases.
Moreover, if one thing exceeds while the other falls short of the same standard of good, the one which exceeds is the more desirable; or if the one exceeds an even higher standard. Nay more, if there be two things both preferable to something, the one which is more highly preferable to it is more desirable than the less highly preferable. Moreover, when the excess of a thing is more desirable than the excess of something else, that thing is itself also more desirable than the other, as (e.g.) friendship than money: for an excess of friendship is more desirable than an excess of money. So also that of which a man would rather that it were his by his own doing is more desirable than what he would rather get by another’s doing, e.g. friends than money.
Moreover, judge by means of an addition, and see if the addition of A to the same thing as B makes the whole more desirable than does the addition of B. You must, however, beware of adducing a case in which the common term uses, or in some other way helps the case of, one of the things added to it, but not the other, as (e.g.) if you took a saw and a sickle in combination with the art of carpentry: for in the combination the saw is a more desirable thing, but it is not a more desirable thing without qualification. Again, a thing is more desirable if, when added to a lesser good, it makes the whole a greater good. Likewise, also, you should judge by means of subtraction: for the thing upon whose subtraction the remainder is a lesser good may be taken to be a greater good, whichever it be whose subtraction makes the remainder a lesser good.
Also, if one thing be desirable for itself, and the other for the look of it, the former is more desirable, as (e.g.) health than beauty. A thing is defined as being desired for the look of it if, supposing no one knew of it, you would not care to have it. Also, it is more desirable both for itself and for the look of it, while the other thing is desirable on the one ground alone. Also, whichever is the more precious for itself, is also better and more desirable. A thing may be taken to be more precious in itself which we choose rather for itself, without anything else being likely to come of it.
Moreover, you should distinguish in how many senses ‘desirable’ is used, and with a view to what ends, e.g. expediency or honor or pleasure. For what is useful for all or most of them may be taken to be more desirable than what is not useful in like manner. If the same characters belong to both things you should look and see which possesses them more markedly, i.e. which of the two is the more pleasant or more honorable or more expedient. Again, that is more desirable which serves the better purpose, e.g. that which serves to promote virtue more than that which serves to promote pleasure. Likewise also in the case of objectionable things; for that is more objectionable which stands more in the way of what is desirable, e.g. disease more than ugliness: for disease is a greater hindrance both to pleasure and to being good.
Moreover, argue by showing that the thing in question is in like measure objectionable and desirable: for a thing of such a character that a man might well desire and object to it alike is less desirable than the other which is desirable only.
4. Comparisons of things together should therefore be conducted in the manner prescribed. The same commonplace rules are useful also for showing that anything is simply desirable or objectionable: for we have only to subtract the excess of one thing over another. For if what is more precious be more desirable, then also what is precious is desirable; and if what is more useful be more desirable, then also what is useful is desirable. Likewise, also, in the case of other things which admit of comparisons of that kind. For in some cases in the very course of comparing the things together we at once assert also that each of them, or the one of them, is desirable, e.g. whenever we call the one good ‘by nature’ and the other ‘not by nature’: for clearly what is good by nature is desirable.
5. The commonplace rules relating to comparative degrees and amounts ought to be taken in the most general possible form: for when so taken they are likely to be useful in a larger number of instances. It is possible to render some of the actual rules given above more universal by a slight alteration of the expression, e.g. that what by nature exhibits such and such a quality exhibits that quality in a greater degree than what exhibits it not by nature. Also, if one thing does, and another does not, impart such and such a quality to that which possesses it, or to which it belongs, then whichever does impart it is of that quality in greater degree than the one which does not impart it; and if both impart it, then that one exhibits it in a greater degree which imparts it in a greater degree.
Moreover, if in any character one thing exceeds and another falls short of the same standard; also, if the one exceeds something which exceeds a given standard, while the other does not reach that standard, then clearly the first-named thing exhibits that character in a greater degree. Moreover, you should judge by means of addition, and see if A when added to the same thing as B imparts to the whole such and such a character in a more marked degree than B, or if, when added to a thing which exhibits that character in a less degree, it imparts that character to the whole in a greater degree. Likewise, also, you may judge by means of subtraction: for a thing upon whose subtraction the remainder exhibits such and such a character in a less degree, itself exhibits that character in a greater degree. Also, things exhibit such and such a character in a greater degree if more free from admixture with their contraries; e.g. that is whiter which is more free from admixture with black. Moreover, apart from the rules given above, that has such and such a character in greater degree which admits in a greater degree of the definition proper to the given character; e.g. if the definition of ‘white’ be ‘a color which pierces the vision’, then that is whiter which is in a greater degree a color that pierces the vision.
6. If the question be put in a particular and not in a universal form, in the first place the universal constructive or destructive commonplace rules that have been given may all be brought into use. For in demolishing or establishing a thing universally we also show it in particular: for if it be true of all, it is true also of some, and if untrue of all, it is untrue of some. Especially handy and of general application are the commonplace rules that are drawn from the opposites and co-ordinates and inflexions of a thing: for public opinion grants alike the claim that if all pleasure be good, then also all pain is evil, and the claim that if some pleasure be good, then also some pain is evil. Moreover, if some form of sensation be not a capacity, then also some form of failure of sensation is not a failure of capacity. Also, if the object of conception is in some cases an object of knowledge, then also some form of conceiving is knowledge. Again, if what is unjust be in some cases good, then also what is just is in some cases evil; and if what happens justly is in some cases evil, then also what happens unjustly is in some cases good. Also, if what is pleasant is in some cases objectionable, then pleasure is in some cases an objectionable thing. On the same principle, also, if what is pleasant is in some cases beneficial, then pleasure is in some cases a beneficial thing. The case is the same also as regards the things that destroy, and the processes of generation and destruction. For if anything that destroys pleasure or knowledge be in some cases good, then we may take it that pleasure or knowledge is in some cases an evil thing. Likewise, also, if the destruction of knowledge be in some cases a good thing or its production an evil thing, then knowledge will be in some cases an evil thing; e.g. if for a man to forget his disgraceful conduct be a good thing, and to remember it be an evil thing, then the knowledge of his disgraceful conduct may be taken to be an evil thing. The same holds also in other cases: in all such cases the premise and the conclusion are equally likely to be accepted.
Moreover you should judge by means of greater or smaller or like degrees: for if some member of another genus exhibit such and such a character in a more marked degree than your object, while no member of that genus exhibits that character at all, then you may take it that neither does the object in question exhibit it; e.g. if some form of knowledge be good in a greater degree than pleasure, while no form of knowledge is good, then you may take it that pleasure is not good either. Also, you should judge by a smaller or like degree in the same way: for so you will find it possible both to demolish and to establish a view, except that whereas both are possible by means of like degrees, by means of a smaller degree it is possible only to establish, not to overthrow. For if a certain form of capacity be good in a like degree to knowledge, and a certain form of capacity be good, then so also is knowledge; while if no form of capacity be good, then neither is knowledge. If, too, a certain form of capacity be good in a less degree than knowledge, and a certain form of capacity be good, then so also is knowledge; but if no form of capacity be good, there is no necessity that no form of knowledge either should be good. Clearly, then, it is only possible to establish a view by means of a less degree.
Not only by means of another genus can you overthrow a view, but also by means of the same, if you take the most marked instance of the character in question; e.g. if it be maintained that some form of knowledge is good, then, suppose it to be shown that prudence is not good, neither will any other kind be good, seeing that not even the kind upon which there is most general agreement is so. Moreover, you should go to work by means of an hypothesis; you should claim that the attribute, if it belongs or does not belong in one case, does so in a like degree in all, e.g. that if the soul of man be immortal, so are other souls as well, while if this one be not so, neither are the others. If, then, it be maintained that in some instance the attribute belongs, you must show that in some instance it does not belong: for then it will follow, by reason of the hypothesis, that it does not belong to any instance at all. If, on the other hand, it be maintained that it does not belong in some instance, you must show that it does belong in some instance, for in this way it will follow that it belongs to all instances. It is clear that the maker of the hypothesis universalizes the question, whereas it was stated in a particular form: for he claims that the maker of a particular admission should make a universal admission, inasmuch as he claims that if the attribute belongs in one instance, it belongs also in all instances alike.
If the problem be indefinite, it is possible to overthrow a statement in only one way; e.g. if a man has asserted that pleasure is good or is not good, without any further definition. For if he meant that a particular pleasure is good, you must show universally that no pleasure is good, if the proposition in question is to be demolished. And likewise, also, if he meant that some particular pleasure is not good you must show universally that all pleasure is good: it is impossible to demolish it in any other way. For if we show that some particular pleasure is not good or is good, the proposition in question is not yet demolished. It is clear, then, that it is possible to demolish an indefinite statement in one way only, whereas it can be established in two ways: for whether we show universally that all pleasure is good, or whether we show that a particular pleasure is good, the proposition in question will have been proved. Likewise, also, supposing we are required to argue that some particular pleasure is not good, if we show that no pleasure is good or that a particular pleasure is not good, we shall have produced an argument in both ways, both universally and in particular, to show that some particular pleasure is not good. If, on the other hand, the statement made be definite, it will be possible to demolish it in two ways; e.g. if it be maintained that it is an attribute of some particular pleasure to be good, while of some it is not: for whether it be shown that all pleasure, or that no pleasure, is good, the proposition in question will have been demolished. If, however, he has stated that only one single pleasure is good, it is possible to demolish it in three ways: for by showing that all pleasure, or that no pleasure, or that more than one pleasure, is good, we shall have demolished the statement in question. If the statement be made still more definite, e.g. that prudence alone of the virtues is knowledge, there are four ways of demolishing it: for if it be shown that all virtue is knowledge, or that no virtue is so, or that some other virtue (e.g. justice) is so, or that prudence itself is not knowledge, the proposition in question will have been demolished.
It is useful also to take a look at individual instances, in cases where some attribute has been said to belong or not to belong, as in the case of universal questions. Moreover, you should take a glance among genera, dividing them by their species until you come to those that are not further divisible, as has been said before: for whether the attribute is found to belong in all cases or in none, you should, after adducing several instances, claim that he should either admit your point universally, or else bring an objection showing in what case it does not hold. Moreover, in cases where it is possible to make the accident definite either specifically or numerically, you should look and see whether perhaps none of them belongs, showing e.g. that time is not moved, nor yet a movement, by enumerating how many species there are of movement: for if none of these belong to time, clearly it does not move, nor yet is a movement. Likewise, also, you can show that the soul is not a number, by dividing all numbers into either odd or even: for then, if the soul be neither odd nor even, clearly it is not a number.
In regard then to Accident, you should set to work by means like these, and in this manner.
1. Next we must go on to examine questions relating to Genus and Property. These are elements in the questions that relate to definitions, but dialecticians seldom address their inquiries to these by themselves. If, then, a genus be suggested for something that is, first take a look at all objects which belong to the same genus as the thing mentioned, and see whether the genus suggested is not predicated of one of them, as happens in the case of an accident: e.g. if ‘good’ be laid down to be the genus of ‘pleasure’, see whether some particular pleasure be not good: for, if so, clearly ‘good’ is not the genus of pleasure: for the genus is predicated of all the members of the same species. Secondly, see whether it be predicated not in the category of essence, but as an accident, as ‘white’ is predicated of ‘snow’, or ‘self-moved’ of the soul. For ‘snow’ is not a kind of ‘white’, and therefore ‘white’ is not the genus of snow, nor is the soul a kind of ‘moving object’: its motion is an accident of it, as it often is of an animal to walk or to be walking. Moreover, ‘moving’ does not seem to indicate the essence, but rather a state of doing or of having something done to it. Likewise, also, ‘white’: for it indicates not the essence of snow, but a certain quality of it. So that neither of them is predicated in the category of ‘essence’.
Especially you should take a look at the definition of Accident, and see whether it fits the genus mentioned, as (e.g.) is also the case in the instances just given. For it is possible for a thing to be and not to be self-moved, and likewise, also, for it to be and not to be white. So that neither of these attributes is the genus but an accident, since we were saying that an accident is an attribute which can belong to a thing and also not belong.
Moreover, see whether the genus and the species be not found in the same division, but the one be a substance while the other is a quality, or the one be a relative while the other is a quality, as (e.g.) ‘snow’ and ‘swan’ are each a substance, while ‘white’ is not a substance but a quality, so that ‘white’ is not the genus either of ‘snow’ or of ‘swan’. Again, knowledge’ is a relative, while ‘good’ and ‘noble’ are each a quality, so that good, or noble, is not the genus of knowledge. For the genera of relatives ought themselves also to be relatives, as is the case with ‘double’: for multiple’, which is the genus of ‘double’, is itself also a relative. To speak generally, the genus ought to fall under the same division as the species: for if the species be a substance, so too should be the genus, and if the species be a quality, so too the genus should be a quality; e.g. if white be a quality, so too should color be. Likewise, also, in other cases.
Again, see whether it be necessary or possible for the genus to partake of the object which has been placed in the genus. ‘To partake’ is defined as ‘to admit the definition of that which is partaken. Clearly, therefore, the species partake of the genera, but not the genera of the species: for the species admits the definition of the genus, whereas the genus does not admit that of the species. You must look, therefore, and see whether the genus rendered partakes or can possibly partake of the species, e.g. if any one were to render anything as genus of ‘being’ or of ‘unity’: for then the result will be that the genus partakes of the species: for of everything that is, ‘being’ and ‘unity’ are predicated, and therefore their definition as well.
Moreover, see if there be anything of which the species rendered is true, while the genus is not so, e.g. supposing ‘being’ or ‘object of knowledge’ were stated to be the genus of ‘object of opinion’. For ‘object of opinion’ will be a predicate of what does not exist; for many things which do not exist are objects of opinion; whereas that ‘being’ or ‘object of knowledge’ is not predicated of what does not exist is clear. So that neither ‘being’ nor ‘object of knowledge’ is the genus of ‘object of opinion’: for of the objects of which the species is predicated, the genus ought to be predicated as well.
Again, see whether the object placed in the genus be quite unable to partake of any of its species: for it is impossible that it should partake of the genus if it do not partake of any of its species, except it be one of the species reached by the first division: these do partake of the genus alone. If, therefore, ‘Motion’ be stated as the genus of pleasure, you should look and see if pleasure be neither locomotion nor alteration, nor any of the rest of the given modes of motion: for clearly you may then take it that it does not partake of any of the species, and therefore not of the genus either, since what partakes of the genus must necessarily partake of one of the species as well: so that pleasure could not be a species of Motion, nor yet be one of the individual phenomena comprised under the term ‘motion’. For individuals as well partake in the genus and the species, as (e.g.) an individual man partakes of both ‘man’ and ‘animal’.
Moreover, see if the term placed in the genus has a wider denotation than the genus, as (e.g.) ‘object of opinion’ has, as compared with ‘being’: for both what is and what is not are objects of opinion, so that ‘object of opinion’ could not be a species of being: for the genus is always of wider denotation than the species. Again, see if the species and its genus have an equal denotation; suppose, for instance, that of the attributes which go with everything, one were to be stated as a species and the other as its genus, as for example Being and Unity: for everything has being and unity, so that neither is the genus of the other, since their denotation is equal. Likewise, also, if the ‘first’ of a series and the ‘beginning’ were to be placed one under the other: for the beginning is first and the first is the beginning, so that either both expressions are identical or at any rate neither is the genus of the other. The elementary principle in regard to all such cases is that the genus has a wider denotation than the species and its differentia: for the differentia as well has a narrower denotation than the genus.
See also whether the genus mentioned fails, or might be generally thought to fail, to apply to some object which is not specifically different from the thing in question; or, if your argument be constructive, whether it does so apply. For all things that are not specifically different have the same genus. If, therefore, it be shown to apply to one, then clearly it applies to all, and if it fails to apply to one, clearly it fails to apply to any; e.g. if any one who assumes ‘indivisible lines’ were to say that the ‘indivisible’ is their genus. For the aforesaid term is not the genus of divisible lines, and these do not differ as regards their species from indivisible: for straight lines are never different from each other as regards their species.
2. Look and see, also, if there be any other genus of the given species which neither embraces the genus rendered nor yet falls under it, e.g. suppose any one were to lay down that ‘knowledge’ is the genus of justice. For virtue is its genus as well, and neither of these genera embraces the remaining one, so that knowledge could not be the genus of justice: for it is generally accepted that whenever one species falls under two genera, the one is embraced by the other. Yet a principle of this kind gives rise to a difficulty in some cases. For some people hold that prudence is both virtue and knowledge, and that neither of its genera is embraced by the other: although certainly not everybody admits that prudence is knowledge. If, however, any one were to admit the truth of this assertion, yet it would still be generally agreed to be necessary that the genera of the same object must at any rate be subordinate either the one to the other or both to the same, as actually is the case with virtue and knowledge. For both fall under the same genus; for each of them is a state and a disposition. You should look, therefore, and see whether neither of these things is true of the genus rendered; for if the genera be subordinate neither the one to the other nor both to the same, then what is rendered could not be the true genus.
Look, also, at the genus of the genus rendered, and so continually at the next higher genus, and see whether all are predicated of the species, and predicated in the category of essence: for all the higher genera should be predicated of the species in the category of essence. If, then, there be anywhere a discrepancy, clearly what is rendered is not the true genus. [Again, see whether either the genus itself, or one of its higher genera, partakes of the species: for the higher genus does not partake of any of the lower.] If, then, you are overthrowing a view, follow the rule as given: if establishing one, then—suppose that what has been named as genus be admitted to belong to the species, only it be disputed whether it belongs as genus—it is enough to show that one of its higher genera is predicated of the species in the category of essence. For if one of them be predicated in the category of essence, all of them, both higher and lower than this one, if predicated at all of the species, will be predicated of it in the category of essence: so that what has been rendered as genus is also predicated in the category of essence. The premise that when one genus is predicated in the category of essence, all the rest, if predicated at all, will be predicated in the category of essence, should be secured by induction. Supposing, however, that it be disputed whether what has been rendered as genus belongs at all, it is not enough to show that one of the higher genera is predicated of the species in the category of essence: e.g. if any one has rendered ‘locomotion’ as the genus of walking, it is not enough to show that walking is ‘motion’ in order to show that it is ‘locomotion’, seeing that there are other forms of motion as well; but one must show in addition that walking does not partake of any of the species of motion produced by the same division except locomotion. For of necessity what partakes of the genus partakes also of one of the species produced by the first division of the genus. If, therefore, walking does not partake either of increase or decrease or of the other kinds of motion, clearly it would partake of locomotion, so that locomotion would be the genus of walking.
Again, look among the things of which the given species is predicated as genus, and see if what is rendered as its genus be also predicated in the category of essence of the very things of which the species is so predicated, and likewise if all the genera higher than this genus are so predicated as well. For if there be anywhere a discrepancy, clearly what has been rendered is not the true genus: for had it been the genus, then both the genera higher than it, and it itself, would all have been predicated in the category of essence of those objects of which the species too is predicated in the category of essence. If, then, you are overthrowing a view, it is useful to see whether the genus fails to be predicated in the category of essence of those things of which the species too is predicated. If establishing a view, it is useful to see whether it is predicated in the category of essence: for if so, the result will be that the genus and the species will be predicated of the same object in the category of essence, so that the same object falls under two genera: the genera must therefore of necessity be subordinate one to the other, and therefore if it be shown that the one we wish to establish as genus is not subordinate to the species, clearly the species would be subordinate to it, so that you may take it as shown that it is the genus.
Look, also, at the definitions of the genera, and see whether they apply both to the given species and to the objects which partake of the species. For of necessity the definitions of its genera must be predicated of the species and of the objects which partake of the species: if, then, there be anywhere a discrepancy, clearly what has been rendered is not the genus.
Again, see if he has rendered the differentia as the genus, e.g. ‘immortal’ as the genus of ‘God’. For ‘immortal’ is a differentia of ‘living being’, seeing that of living beings some are mortal and others immortal. Clearly, then, a bad mistake has been made; for the differentia of a thing is never its genus. And that this is true is clear: for a thing’s differentia never signifies its essence, but rather some quality, as do ‘walking’ and ‘biped’.
Also, see whether he has placed the differentia inside the genus, e.g. by taking ‘odd’ as a number’. For ‘odd’ is a differentia of number, not a species. Nor is the differentia generally thought to partake of the genus: for what partakes of the genus is always either a species or an individual, whereas the differentia is neither a species nor an individual. Clearly, therefore, the differentia does not partake of the genus, so that ‘odd’ too is no species but a differentia, seeing that it does not partake of the genus.
Moreover, see whether he has placed the genus inside the species, e.g. by taking ‘contact’ to be a ‘juncture’, or ‘mixture’ a ‘fusion’, or, as in Plato’s definition,’ ‘locomotion’ to be the same as ‘carriage’. For there is no necessity that contact should be juncture: rather, conversely, juncture must be contact: for what is in contact is not always joined, though what is joined is always in contact. Likewise, also, in the remaining instances: for mixture is not always a ‘fusion’ (for to mix dry things does not fuse them), nor is locomotion always ‘carriage’. For walking is not generally thought to be carriage: for ‘carriage’ is mostly used of things that change one place for another involuntarily, as happens in the case of inanimate things. Clearly, also, the species, in the instances given, has a wider denotation than the genus, whereas it ought to be vice versa.
Again, see whether he has placed the differentia inside the species, by taking (e.g.) ‘immortal’ to be ‘a god’. For the result will be that the species has an equal or wider denotation: and this cannot be, for always the differentia has an equal or a wider denotation than the species. Moreover, see whether he has placed the genus inside the differentia, by making ‘color’ (e.g.) to be a thing that ‘pierces’, or ‘number’ a thing that is ‘odd’. Also, see if he has mentioned the genus as differentia: for it is possible for a man to bring forward a statement of this kind as well, e.g. that ‘mixture’ is the differentia of ‘fusion’, or that 'change of place’ is the differentia of ‘carriage’. All such cases should be examined by means of the same principles: for they depend upon common rules: for the genus should have a wider denotation that its differentia, and also should not partake of its differentia; whereas, if it be rendered in this manner, neither of the aforesaid requirements can be satisfied: for the genus will both have a narrower denotation than its differentia, and will partake of it.
Again, if no differentia belonging to the genus be predicated of the given species, neither will the genus be predicated of it; e.g. of ‘soul’ neither ‘odd’ nor ‘even’ is predicated: neither therefore is ‘number’. Moreover, see whether the species is naturally prior and abolishes the genus along with itself: for the contrary is the general view. Moreover, if it be possible for the genus stated, or for its differentia, to be absent from the alleged species, e.g. for ‘movement’ to be absent from the ‘soul’, or ‘truth and falsehood’ from ‘opinion’, then neither of the terms stated could be its genus or its differentia: for the general view is that the genus and the differentia accompany the species, as long as it exists.
3. Look and see, also, if what is placed in the genus partakes or could possibly partake of any contrary of the genus: for in that case the same thing will at the same time partake of contrary things, seeing that the genus is never absent from it, while it partakes, or can possibly partake, of the contrary genus as well. Moreover, see whether the species shares in any character which it is utterly impossible for any member of the genus to have. Thus (e.g.) if the soul has a share in life, while it is impossible for any number to live, then the soul could not be a species of number.
You should look and see, also, if the species be a homonym of the genus, and employ as your elementary principles those already stated for dealing with homonymity: for the genus and the species are synonymous.
Seeing that of every genus there is more than one species, look and see if it be impossible that there should be another species than the given one belonging to the genus stated: for if there should be none, then clearly what has been stated could not be a genus at all.
Look and see, also, if he has rendered as genus a metaphorical expression, describing (e.g. ‘temperance’ as a ‘harmony’: for a genus is always predicated of its species in its literal sense, whereas ‘harmony’ is predicated of temperance not in a literal sense but metaphorically: for a harmony always consists in notes.
Moreover, if there be any contrary of the species, examine it. The examination may take different forms; first of all see if the contrary as well be found in the same genus as the species, supposing the genus to have no contrary; for contraries ought to be found in the same genus, if there be no contrary to the genus. Supposing, on the other hand, that there is a contrary to the genus, see if the contrary of the species be found in the contrary genus: for of necessity the contrary species must be in the contrary genus, if there be any contrary to the genus. Each of these points is made plain by means of induction. Again, see whether the contrary of the species be not found in any genus at all, but be itself a genus, e.g. ‘good’: for if this be not found in any genus, neither will its contrary be found in any genus, but will itself be a genus, as happens in the case of ‘good’ and ‘evil’: for neither of these is found in a genus, but each of them is a genus. Moreover, see if both genus and species be contrary to something, and one pair of contraries have an intermediary, but not the other. For if the genera have an intermediary, so should their species as well, and if the species have, so should their genera as well, as is the case with (1) virtue and vice and (2) justice and injustice: for each pair has an intermediary.
An objection to this is that there is no intermediary between health and disease, although there is one between evil and good. Or see whether, though there be indeed an intermediary between both pairs, i.e. both between the species and between the genera, yet it be not similarly related, but in one case be a mere negation of the extremes, whereas in the other case it is a subject. For the general view is that the relation should be similar in both cases, as it is in the cases of virtue and vice and of justice and injustice: for the intermediaries between both are mere negations. Moreover, whenever the genus has no contrary, look and see not merely whether the contrary of the species be found in the same genus, but the intermediate as well: for the genus containing the extremes contains the intermediates as well, as (e.g.) in the case of white and black: for ‘color’ is the genus both of these and of all the intermediate colors as well. An objection may be raised that ‘defect’ and ‘excess’ are found in the same genus (for both are in the genus ‘evil’), whereas 'moderate amount’, the intermediate between them, is found not in ‘evil’ but in ‘good’. Look and see also whether, while the genus has a contrary, the species has none; for if the genus be contrary to anything, so too is the species, as virtue to vice and justice to injustice. Likewise. also, if one were to look at other instances, one would come to see clearly a fact like this. An objection may be raised in the case of health and disease: for health in general is the contrary of disease, whereas a particular disease, being a species of disease, e.g. fever and ophthalmia and any other particular disease, has no contrary.
If, therefore, you are demolishing a view, there are all these ways in which you should make your examination: for if the aforesaid characters do not belong to it, clearly what has been rendered is not the genus. If, on the other hand, you are establishing a view, there are three ways: in the first place, see whether the contrary of the species be found in the genus stated, suppose the genus have no contrary: for if the contrary be found in it, clearly the species in question is found in it as well. Moreover, see if the intermediate species is found in the genus stated: for whatever genus contains the intermediate contains the extremes as well. Again, if the genus have a contrary, look and see whether also the contrary species is found in the contrary genus: for if so, clearly also the species in question is found in the genus in question.
Again, consider in the case of the inflexions and the co-ordinates of species and genus, and see whether they follow likewise, both in demolishing and in establishing a view. For whatever attribute belongs or does not belong to one belongs or does not belong at the same time to all; e.g. if justice be a particular form of knowledge, then also ‘justly’ is ‘knowingly’ and the just man is a man of knowledge: whereas if any of these things be not so, then neither is any of the rest of them.
4. Again, consider the case of things that bear a like relation to one another. Thus (e.g.) the relation of the pleasant to pleasure is like that of the useful to the good: for in each case the one produces the other. If therefore pleasure be a kind of ‘good’, then also the pleasant will be a kind of ‘useful’: for clearly it may be taken to be productive of good, seeing that pleasure is good. In the same way also consider the case of processes of generation and destruction; if (e.g.) to build be to be active, then to have built is to have been active, and if to learn be to recollect, then also to have learnt is to have recollected, and if to be decomposed be to be destroyed, then to have been decomposed is to have been destroyed, and decomposition is a kind of destruction. Consider also in the same way the case of things that generate or destroy, and of the capacities and uses of things; and in general, both in demolishing and in establishing an argument, you should examine things in the light of any resemblance of whatever description, as we were saying in the case of generation and destruction. For if what tends to destroy tends to decompose, then also to be destroyed is to be decomposed: and if what tends to generate tends to produce, then to be generated is to be produced, and generation is production. Likewise, also, in the case of the capacities and uses of things: for if a capacity be a disposition, then also to be capable of something is to be disposed to it, and if the use of anything be an activity, then to use it is to be active, and to have used it is to have been active.
If the opposite of the species be a privation, there are two ways of demolishing an argument, first of all by looking to see if the opposite be found in the genus rendered: for either the privation is to be found absolutely nowhere in the same genus, or at least not in the same ultimate genus: e.g. if the ultimate genus containing sight be sensation, then blindness will not be a sensation. Secondly, if there be a privation opposed to both genus and species, but the opposite of the species be not found in the opposite of the genus, then neither could the species rendered be in the genus rendered. If, then, you are demolishing a view, you should follow the rule as stated; but if establishing one there is but one way: for if the opposite species be found in the opposite genus, then also the species in question would be found in the genus in question: e.g. if ‘blindness’ be a form of ‘insensibility’, then ‘sight’ is a form of ‘sensation’.
Again, look at the negations of the genus and species and convert the order of terms, according to the method described in the case of Accident: e.g. if the pleasant be a kind of good, what is not good is not pleasant. For were this not so, something not good as well would then be pleasant. That, however, cannot be, for it is impossible, if ‘good’ be the genus of pleasant, that anything not good should be pleasant: for of things of which the genus is not predicated, none of the species is predicated either. Also, in establishing a view, you should adopt the same method of examination: for if what is not good be not pleasant, then what is pleasant is good, so that ‘good’ is the genus of ‘pleasant’.
If the species be a relative term, see whether the genus be a relative term as well: for if the species be a relative term, so too is the genus, as is the case with ‘double’ and ‘multiple’: for each is a relative term. If, on the other hand, the genus be a relative term, there is no necessity that the species should be so as well: for ‘knowledge’ is a relative term, but not so ‘grammar’. Or possibly not even the first statement would be generally considered true: for virtue is a kind of ‘noble’ and a kind of ‘good’ thing, and yet, while ‘virtue’ is a relative term, ‘good’ and ‘noble’ are not relatives but qualities. Again, see whether the species fails to be used in the same relation when called by its own name, and when called by the name of its genus: e.g. if the term ‘double’ be used to mean the double of a ‘half’, then also the term ‘multiple’ ought to be used to mean multiple of a ‘half’. Otherwise ‘multiple’ could not be the genus of ‘double’.
Moreover, see whether the term fail to be used in the same relation both when called by the name of its genus, and also when called by those of all the genera of its genus. For if the double be a multiple of a half, then ‘in excess of‘ will also be used in relation to a ‘half’: and, in general, the double will be called by the names of all the higher genera in relation to a ‘half’. An objection may be raised that there is no necessity for a term to be used in the same relation when called by its own name and when called by that of its genus: for ‘knowledge’ is called knowledge ‘of an object’, whereas it is called a ‘state’ and ‘disposition’ not of an ‘object’ but of the ‘soul’.
Again, see whether the genus and the species be used in the same way in respect of the inflexions they take, e.g. datives and genitives and all the rest. For as the species is used, so should the genus be as well, as in the case of ‘double’ and its higher genera: for we say both ‘double of’ and ‘multiple of’ a thing. Likewise, also, in the case of ‘knowledge’: for both ‘knowledge’ itself and its genera, e.g. ‘disposition’ and ‘state’, are said to be ‘of’ something. An objection may be raised that in some cases it is not so: for we say ‘superior to’ and ‘contrary to’ so and so, whereas ‘other’, which is the genus of these terms, demands not ‘to’ but ‘than’: for the expression is ‘other than’ so and so.
Again, see whether terms used in like case-relationships fail to yield a like construction when converted, as do ‘double’ and ‘multiple’. For each of these terms takes a genitive both in itself and in its converted form: for we say both ‘a half of’ and ‘a fraction of’ something. The case is the same also as regards both ‘knowledge’ and ‘conception’: for these take a genitive, and by conversion an ‘object of knowledge’ and an ‘object of conception’ are both alike used with a dative. If, then, in any cases the constructions after conversion be not alike, clearly the one term is not the genus of the other.
Again, see whether the species and the genus fail to be used in relation to an equal number of things: for the general view is that the uses of both are alike and equal in number, as is the case with ‘present’ and ‘grant’. For a present’ is of something or to some one, and also a ‘grant’ is of something and to some one: and ‘grant’ is the genus of ‘present’, for a ‘present’ is a ‘grant that need not be returned’. In some cases, however, the number of relations in which the terms are used happens not to be equal, for while ‘double’ is double of something, we speak of ‘in excess’ or ‘greater’ in something, as well as of or than something: for what is in excess or greater is always in excess in something, as well as in excess of something. Hence the terms in question are not the genera of ‘double’, inasmuch as they are not used in relation to an equal number of things with the species. Or possibly it is not universally true that species and genus are used in relation to an equal number of things.
See, also, if the opposite of the species have the opposite of the genus as its genus, e.g. whether, if ‘multiple’ be the genus of ‘double’, ‘fraction’ be also the genus of ‘half’. For the opposite of the genus should always be the genus of the opposite species. If, then, any one were to assert that knowledge is a kind of sensation, then also the object of knowledge will have to be a kind of object of sensation, whereas it is not: for an object of knowledge is not always an object of sensation: for objects of knowledge include some of the objects of intuition as well. Hence ‘object of sensation’ is not the genus of ‘object of knowledge’: and if this be so, neither is ‘sensation’ the genus of ‘knowledge’.
Seeing that of relative terms some are of necessity found in, or used of, the things in relation to which they happen at any time to be used (e.g. ‘disposition’ and ‘state’ and ‘balance’; for in nothing else can the aforesaid terms possibly be found except in the things in relation to which they are used), while others need not be found in the things in relation to which they are used at any time, though they still may be (e.g. if the term ‘object of knowledge’ be applied to the soul: for it is quite possible that the knowledge of itself should be possessed by the soul itself, but it is not necessary, for it is possible for this same knowledge to be found in some one else), while for others, again, it is absolutely impossible that they should be found in the things in relation to which they happen at any time to be used (as e.g. that the contrary should be found in the contrary or knowledge in the object of knowledge, unless the object of knowledge happen to be a soul or a man)—you should look, therefore, and see whether he places a term of one kind inside a genus that is not of that kind, e.g. suppose he has said that ‘memory’ is the ‘abiding of knowledge’. For ‘abiding’ is always found in that which abides, and is used of that, so that the abiding of knowledge also will be found in knowledge. Memory, then, is found in knowledge, seeing that it is the abiding of knowledge. But this is impossible, for memory is always found in the soul. The aforesaid commonplace rule is common to the subject of Accident as well: for it is all the same to say that ‘abiding’ is the genus of memory, or to allege that it is an accident of it. For if in any way whatever memory be the abiding of knowledge, the same argument in regard to it will apply.
5. Again, see if he has placed what is a ‘state’ inside the genus ‘activity’, or an activity inside the genus ‘state’, e.g. by defining ‘sensation’ as ‘movement communicated through the body’: for sensation is a ‘state’, whereas movement is an ‘activity’. Likewise, also, if he has said that memory is a ‘state that is retentive of a conception’, for memory is never a state, but rather an activity.
They also make a bad mistake who rank a ‘state’ within the ‘capacity’ that attends it, e.g. by defining ‘good temper’ as the ‘control of anger’, and ‘courage’ and ‘justice’ as ‘control of fears’ and of ‘gains’: for the terms ‘courageous’ and ‘good-tempered’ are applied to a man who is immune from passion, whereas ‘self-controlled’ describes the man who is exposed to passion and not led by it. Quite possibly, indeed, each of the former is attended by a capacity such that, if he were exposed to passion, he would control it and not be led by it: but, for all that, this is not what is meant by being ‘courageous’ in the one case, and ‘good tempered’ in the other; what is meant is an absolute immunity from any passions of that kind at all.
Sometimes, also, people state any kind of attendant feature as the genus, e.g. ‘pain’ as the genus of ‘anger’ and ‘conception’ as that of ‘conviction’. For both of the things in question follow in a certain sense upon the given species, but neither of them is genus to it. For when the angry man feels pain, the pain has appeared in him earlier than the anger: for his anger is not the cause of his pain, but his pain of his anger, so that anger emphatically is not pain. By the same reasoning, neither is conviction conception: for it is possible to have the same conception even without being convinced of it, whereas this is impossible if conviction be a species of conception: for it is impossible for a thing still to remain the same if it be entirely transferred out of its species, just as neither could the same animal at one time be, and at another not be, a man. If, on the other hand, any one says that a man who has a conception must of necessity be also convinced of it, then ‘conception’ and ‘conviction’ will be used with an equal denotation, so that not even so could the former be the genus of the latter: for the denotation of the genus should be wider.
See, also, whether both naturally come to be anywhere in the same thing: for what contains the species contains the genus as well: e.g. what contains ‘white’ contains ‘color’ as well, and what contains ‘knowledge of grammar’ contains ‘knowledge’ as well. If, therefore, any one says that ‘shame’ is ‘fear’, or that ‘anger’ is ‘pain’, the result will be that genus and species are not found in the same thing: for shame is found in the ‘reasoning’ faculty, whereas fear is in the ‘spirited’ faculty, and ‘pain’ is found in the faculty of ‘desires’. (for in this pleasure also is found), whereas ‘anger’ is found in the ‘spirited’ faculty. Hence the terms rendered are not the genera, seeing that they do not naturally come to be in the same faculty as the species. Likewise, also, if ‘friendship’ be found in the faculty of desires, you may take it that it is not a form of ‘wishing’: for wishing is always found in the ‘reasoning’ faculty. This commonplace rule is useful also in dealing with Accident: for the accident and that of which it is an accident are both found in the same thing, so that if they do not appear in the same thing, clearly it is not an accident.
Again, see if the species partakes of the genus attributed only in some particular respect: for it is the general view that the genus is not thus imparted only in some particular respect: for a man is not an animal in a particular respect, nor is grammar knowledge in a particular respect only. Likewise also in other instances. Look, therefore, and see if in the case of any of its species the genus be imparted only in a certain respect; e.g. if ‘animal’ has been described as an ‘object of perception’ or of ‘sight’. For an animal is an object of perception or of sight in a particular respect only; for it is in respect of its body that it is perceived and seen, not in respect of its soul, so that ’object of sight’ and ‘object of perception’ could not be the genus of ‘animal’.
Sometimes also people place the whole inside the part without detection, defining (e.g.) ‘animal’ as an ‘animate body’; whereas the part is not predicated in any sense of the whole, so that ‘body’ could not be the genus of animal, seeing that it is a part.
See also if he has put anything that is blameworthy or objectionable into the class ‘capacity’ or ‘capable’, e.g. by defining a ‘sophist’ or a ‘slanderer’, or a ‘thief’ as ‘one who is capable of secretly thieving other people’s property’. For none of the aforesaid characters is so called because he is ‘capable’ in one of these respects: for even God and the good man are capable of doing bad things, but that is not their character: for it is always in respect of their choice that bad men are so called. Moreover, a capacity is always a desirable thing: for even the capacities for doing bad things are desirable, and therefore it is we say that even God and the good man possess them; for they are capable (we say) of doing evil. So then ‘capacity’ can never be the genus of anything blameworthy. Else, the result will be that what is blameworthy is sometimes desirable: for there will be a certain form of capacity that is blameworthy.
Also, see if he has put anything that is precious or desirable for its own sake into the class ‘capacity’ or ‘capable’ or ‘productive’ of anything. For capacity, and what is capable or productive of anything, is always desirable for the sake of something else.
Or see if he has put anything that exists in two genera or more into one of them only. For some things it is impossible to place in a single genus, e.g. the ‘cheat’ and the ‘slanderer’: for neither he who has the will without the capacity, nor he who has the capacity without the will, is a slanderer or cheat, but he who has both of them. Hence he must be put not into one genus, but into both the aforesaid genera.
Moreover, people sometimes in converse order render genus as differentia, and differentia as genus, defining (e.g.) astonishment as ‘excess of wonderment’ and conviction as ‘vehemence of conception’. For neither ‘excess’ nor ‘vehemence’ is the genus, but the differentia: for astonishment is usually taken to be an ‘excessive wonderment’, and conviction to be a ‘vehement conception’, so that ‘wonderment’ and ‘conception’ are the genus, while ‘excess’ and ‘vehemence’ are the differentia. Moreover, if any one renders ‘excess’ and ‘vehemence’ as genera, then inanimate things will be convinced and astonished. For ‘vehemence’ and ‘excess’ of a thing are found in a thing which is thus vehement and in excess. If, therefore, astonishment be excess of wonderment the astonishment will be found in the wonderment, so that ‘wonderment’ will be astonished! Likewise, also, conviction will be found in the conception, if it be ‘vehemence of conception’, so that the conception will be convinced. Moreover, a man who renders an answer in this style will in consequence find himself calling vehemence vehement and excess excessive: for there is such a thing as a vehement conviction: if then conviction be ‘vehemence’, there would be a ‘vehement vehemence’. Likewise, also, there is such a thing as excessive astonishment: if then astonishment be an excess, there would be an ‘excessive excess’. Whereas neither of these things is generally believed, any more than that knowledge is a knower or motion a moving thing.
Sometimes, too, people make the bad mistake of putting an affection into that which is affected, as its genus, e.g. those who say that immortality is everlasting life: for immortality seems to be a certain affection or accidental feature of life. That this saying is true would appear clear if any one were to admit that a man can pass from being mortal and become immortal: for no one will assert that he takes another life, but that a certain accidental feature or affection enters into this one as it is. So then ‘life’ is not the genus of immortality.
Again, see if to an affection he has ascribed as genus the object of which it is an affection, by defining (e.g.) wind as ‘air in motion’. Rather, wind is ‘a movement of air’: for the same air persists both when it is in motion and when it is still. Hence wind is not ‘air’ at all: for then there would also have been wind when the air was not in motion, seeing that the same air which formed the wind persists. Likewise, also, in other cases of the kind. Even, then, if we ought in this instance to admit the point that wind is ‘air in motion’, yet we should accept a definition of the kind, not about all those things of which the genus is not true, but only in cases where the genus rendered is a true predicate. For in some cases, e.g. ‘mud’ or ‘snow’, it is not generally held to be true. For people tell you that snow is ‘frozen water’ and mud is ‘earth mixed with moisture’, whereas snow is not water, nor mud earth, so that neither of the terms rendered could be the genus: for the genus should be true of all its species. Likewise neither is wine ‘fermented water’, as Empedocles speaks of ‘water fermented in wood’;’ for it simply is not water at all.
6. Moreover, see whether the term rendered fail to be the genus of anything at all; for then clearly it also fails to be the genus of the species mentioned. Examine the point by seeing whether the objects that partake of the genus fail to be specifically different from one another, e.g. white objects: for these do not differ specifically from one another, whereas of a genus the species are always different, so that ‘white’ could not be the genus of anything.
Again, see whether he has named as genus or differentia some feature that goes with everything: for the number of attributes that follow everything is comparatively large: thus (e.g.) ‘Being’ and ‘Unity’ are among the number of attributes that follow everything. If, therefore, he has rendered ‘Being’ as a genus, clearly it would be the genus of everything, seeing that it is predicated of everything; for the genus is never predicated of anything except of its species. Hence Unity, inter alia, will be a species of Being. The result, therefore, is that of all things of which the genus is predicated, the species is predicated as well, seeing that Being and Unity are predicates of absolutely everything, whereas the predication of the species ought to be of narrower range. If, on the other hand, he has named as differentia some attribute that follows everything, clearly the denotation of the differentia will be equal to, or wider than, that of the genus. For if the genus, too, be some attribute that follows everything, the denotation of the differentia will be equal to its denotation, while if the genus do not follow everything, it will be still wider.
Moreover, see if the description ‘inherent in S’ be used of the genus rendered in relation to its species, as it is used of ‘white’ in the case of snow, thus showing clearly that it could not be the genus: for ‘true of S’ is the only description used of the genus in relation to its species. Look and see also if the genus fails to be synonymous with its species. For the genus is always predicated of its species synonymously.
Moreover, beware, whenever both species and genus have a contrary, and he places the better of the contraries inside the worse genus: for the result will be that the remaining species will be found in the remaining genus, seeing that contraries are found in contrary genera, so that the better species will be found in the worse genus and the worse in the better: whereas the usual view is that of the better species the genus too is better. Also see if he has placed the species inside the worse and not inside the better genus, when it is at the same time related in like manner to both, as (e.g.) if he has defined the ‘soul’ as a ‘form of motion’ or ‘a form of moving thing’. For the same soul is usually thought to be a principle alike of rest and of motion, so that, if rest is the better of the two, this is the genus into which the soul should have been put.
Moreover, judge by means of greater and less degrees: if overthrowing a view, see whether the genus admits of a greater degree, whereas neither the species itself does so, nor any term that is called after it: e.g. if virtue admits of a greater degree, so too does justice and the just man: for one man is called ‘more just than another’. If, therefore, the genus rendered admits of a greater degree, whereas neither the species does so itself nor yet any term called after it, then what has been rendered could not be the genus.
Again, if what is more generally, or as generally, thought to be the genus be not so, clearly neither is the genus rendered. The commonplace rule in question is useful especially in cases where the species appears to have several predicates in the category of essence, and where no distinction has been drawn between them, and we cannot say which of them is genus; e.g. both ‘pain’ and the ‘conception of a slight’ are usually thought to be predicates of ‘anger’ in the category of essence: for the angry man is both in pain and also conceives that he is slighted. The same mode of inquiry may be applied also to the case of the species, by comparing it with some other species: for if the one which is more generally, or as generally, thought to be found in the genus rendered be not found therein, then clearly neither could the species rendered be found therein.
In demolishing a view, therefore, you should follow the rule as stated. In establishing one, on the other hand, the commonplace rule that you should see if both the genus rendered and the species admit of a greater degree will not serve: for even though both admit it, it is still possible for one not to be the genus of the other. For both ‘beautiful’ and ‘white’ admit of a greater degree, and neither is the genus of the other. On the other hand, the comparison of the genera and of the species one with another is of use: e.g. supposing A and B to have a like claim to be genus, then if one be a genus, so also is the other. Likewise, also, if what has less claim be a genus, so also is what has more claim: e.g. if ‘capacity’ have more claim than ‘virtue’ to be the genus of self-control, and virtue be the genus, so also is capacity. The same observations will apply also in the case of the species. For instance, supposing A and B to have a like claim to be a species of the genus in question, then if the one be a species, so also is the other: and if that which is less generally thought to be so be a species, so also is that which is more generally thought to be so.
Moreover, to establish a view, you should look and see if the genus is predicated in the category of essence of those things of which it has been rendered as the genus, supposing the species rendered to be not one single species but several different ones: for then clearly it will be the genus. If, on the other, the species rendered be single, look and see whether the genus be predicated in the category of essence of other species as well: for then, again, the result will be that it is predicated of several different species.
Since some people think that the differentia, too, is a predicate of the various species in the category of essence, you should distinguish the genus from the differentia by employing the aforesaid elementary principles—(a) that the genus has a wider denotation than the differentia; (b) that in rendering the essence of a thing it is more fitting to state the genus than the differentia: for any one who says that ‘man’ is an ‘animal’ shows what man is better than he who describes him as ‘walking’; also (c) that the differentia always signifies a quality of the genus, whereas the genus does not do this of the differentia: for he who says ‘walking’ describes an animal of a certain quality, whereas he who says ‘animal’ does not describe a walking thing of a certain quality.
The differentia, then, should be distinguished from the genus in this manner. Now seeing it is generally held that if what is musical, in being musical, possesses knowledge in some respect, then also ‘music’ is a particular kind of ‘knowledge’; and also that if what walks is moved in walking, then ‘walking’ is a particular kind of ‘movement’; you should therefore examine in the aforesaid manner any genus in which you want to establish the existence of something; e.g. if you wish to prove that ‘knowledge’ is a form of ‘conviction’, see whether the knower in knowing is convinced: for then clearly knowledge would be a particular kind of conviction. You should proceed in the same way also in regard to the other cases of this kind.
Moreover, seeing that it is difficult to distinguish whatever always follows along with a thing, and is not convertible with it, from its genus, if A follows B universally, whereas B does not follow A universally—as e.g. ‘rest’ always follows a ‘calm’ and ‘divisibility’ follows ‘number’, but not conversely (for the divisible is not always a number, nor rest a calm)—you may yourself assume in your treatment of them that the one which always follows is the genus, whenever the other is not convertible with it: if, on the other hand, some one else puts forward the proposition, do not accept it universally. An objection to it is that ‘not-being’ always follows what is ‘coming to be’ (for what is coming to be is not) and is not convertible with it (for what is not is not always coming to be), and that still ‘not-being’ is not the genus of ‘coming to be’: for ‘not-being’ has not any species at all.
Questions, then, in regard to Genus should be investigated in the ways described.