By Aristotle

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Table of Contents Book I

Part 1

We must first state the subject of our inquiry and the faculty to which it belongs: its subject is demonstration and the faculty that carries it out demonstrative science. We must next define a premiss, a term, and a syllogism, and the nature of a perfect and of an imperfect syllogism; and after that, the inclusion or noninclusion of one term in another as in a whole, and what we mean by predicating one term of all, or none, of another.

A premiss then is a sentence affirming or denying one thing of another. This is either universal or particular or indefinite. By universal I mean the statement that something belongs to all or none of something else; by particular that it belongs to some or not to some or not to all; by indefinite that it does or does not belong, without any mark to show whether it is universal or particular, e.g. 'contraries are subjects of the same science', or 'pleasure is not good'. The demonstrative premiss differs from the dialectical, because the demonstrative premiss is the assertion of one of two contradictory statements (the demonstrator does not ask for his premiss, but lays it down), whereas the dialectical premiss depends on the adversary's choice between two contradictories. But this will make no difference to the production of a syllogism in either case; for both the demonstrator and the dialectician argue syllogistically after stating that something does or does not belong to something else. Therefore a syllogistic premiss without qualification will be an affirmation or denial of something concerning something else in the way we have described; it will be demonstrative, if it is true and obtained through the first principles of its science; while a dialectical premiss is the giving of a choice between two contradictories, when a man is proceeding by question, but when he is syllogizing it is the assertion of that which is apparent and generally admitted, as has been said in the Topics. The nature then of a premiss and the difference between syllogistic, demonstrative, and dialectical premisses, may be taken as sufficiently defined by us in relation to our present need, but will be stated accurately in the sequel.

I call that a term into which the premiss is resolved, i.e. both the predicate and that of which it is predicated, 'being' being added and 'not being' removed, or vice versa.

A syllogism is discourse in which, certain things being stated, something other than what is stated follows of necessity from their being so. I mean by the last phrase that they produce the consequence, and by this, that no further term is required from without in order to make the consequence necessary.

I call that a perfect syllogism which needs nothing other than what has been stated to make plain what necessarily follows; a syllogism is imperfect, if it needs either one or more propositions, which are indeed the necessary consequences of the terms set down, but have not been expressly stated as premisses.

That one term should be included in another as in a whole is the same as for the other to be predicated of all of the first. And we say that one term is predicated of all of another, whenever no instance of the subject can be found of which the other term cannot be asserted: 'to be predicated of none' must be understood in the same way.

Part 2

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

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

Part 3

The same manner of conversion will hold good also in respect of necessary premisses. The universal negative converts universally; each of the affirmatives converts into a particular. If it is necessary that no B is A, it is necessary also that no A is B. For if it is possible that some A is B, it would be possible also that some B is A. If all or some B is A of necessity, it is necessary also that some A is B: for if there were no necessity, neither would some of the Bs be A necessarily. But the particular negative does not convert, for the same reason which we have already stated.

In respect of possible premisses, since possibility is used in several senses (for we say that what is necessary and what is not necessary and what is potential is possible), affirmative statements will all convert in a manner similar to those described. For if it is possible that all or some B is A, it will be possible that some A is B. For if that were not possible, then no B could possibly be A. This has been already proved. But in negative statements the case is different. Whatever is said to be possible, either because B necessarily is A, or because B is not necessarily A, admits of conversion like other negative statements, e.g. if one should say, it is possible that man is not horse, or that no garment is white. For in the former case the one term necessarily does not belong to the other; in the latter there is no necessity that it should: and the premiss converts like other negative statements. For if it is possible for no man to be a horse, it is also admissible for no horse to be a man; and if it is admissible for no garment to be white, it is also admissible for nothing white to be a garment. For if any white thing must be a garment, then some garment will necessarily be white. This has been already proved. The particular negative also must be treated like those dealt with above. But if anything is said to be possible because it is the general rule and natural (and it is in this way we define the possible), the negative premisses can no longer be converted like the simple negatives; the universal negative premiss does not convert, and the particular does. This will be plain when we speak about the possible. At present we may take this much as clear in addition to what has been said: the statement that it is possible that no B is A or some B is not A is affirmative in form: for the expression 'is possible' ranks along with 'is', and 'is' makes an affirmation always and in every case, whatever the terms to which it is added, in predication, e.g. 'it is not-good' or 'it is not-white' or in a word 'it is not-this'. But this also will be proved in the sequel. In conversion these premisses will behave like the other affirmative propositions.

Part 4

After these distinctions we now state by what means, when, and how every syllogism is produced; subsequently we must speak of demonstration. Syllogism should be discussed before demonstration because syllogism is the general: the demonstration is a sort of syllogism, but not every syllogism is a demonstration.

Whenever three terms are so related to one another that the last is contained in the middle as in a whole, and the middle is either contained in, or excluded from, the first as in or from a whole, the extremes must be related by a perfect syllogism. I call that term middle which is itself contained in another and contains another in itself: in position also this comes in the middle. By extremes I mean both that term which is itself contained in another and that in which another is contained. If A is predicated of all B, and B of all C, A must be predicated of all C: we have already explained what we mean by 'predicated of all'. Similarly also, if A is predicated of no B, and B of all C, it is necessary that no C will be A.

But if the first term belongs to all the middle, but the middle to none of the last term, there will be no syllogism in respect of the extremes; for nothing necessary follows from the terms being so related; for it is possible that the first should belong either to all or to none of the last, so that neither a particular nor a universal conclusion is necessary. But if there is no necessary consequence, there cannot be a syllogism by means of these premisses. As an example of a universal affirmative relation between the extremes we may take the terms animal, man, horse; of a universal negative relation, the terms animal, man, stone. Nor again can syllogism be formed when neither the first term belongs to any of the middle, nor the middle to any of the last. As an example of a positive relation between the extremes take the terms science, line, medicine: of a negative relation science, line, unit.

If then the terms are universally related, it is clear in this figure when a syllogism will be possible and when not, and that if a syllogism is possible the terms must be related as described, and if they are so related there will be a syllogism.

But if one term is related universally, the other in part only, to its subject, there must be a perfect syllogism whenever universality is posited with reference to the major term either affirmatively or negatively, and particularity with reference to the minor term affirmatively: but whenever the universality is posited in relation to the minor term, or the terms are related in any other way, a syllogism is impossible. I call that term the major in which the middle is contained and that term the minor which comes under the middle. Let all B be A and some C be B. Then if 'predicated of all' means what was said above, it is necessary that some C is A. And if no B is A but some C is B, it is necessary that some C is not A. The meaning of 'predicated of none' has also been defined. So there will be a perfect syllogism. This holds good also if the premiss BC should be indefinite, provided that it is affirmative: for we shall have the same syllogism whether the premiss is indefinite or particular.

But if the universality is posited with respect to the minor term either affirmatively or negatively, a syllogism will not be possible, whether the major premiss is positive or negative, indefinite or particular: e.g. if some B is or is not A, and all C is B. As an example of a positive relation between the extremes take the terms good, state, wisdom: of a negative relation, good, state, ignorance. Again if no C is B, but some B is or is not A or not every B is A, there cannot be a syllogism. Take the terms white, horse, swan: white, horse, raven. The same terms may be taken also if the premiss BA is indefinite.

Nor when the major premiss is universal, whether affirmative or negative, and the minor premiss is negative and particular, can there be a syllogism, whether the minor premiss be indefinite or particular: e.g. if all B is A and some C is not B, or if not all C is B. For the major term may be predicable both of all and of none of the minor, to some of which the middle term cannot be attributed. Suppose the terms are animal, man, white: next take some of the white things of which man is not predicated-swan and snow: animal is predicated of all of the one, but of none of the other. Consequently there cannot be a syllogism. Again let no B be A, but let some C not be B. Take the terms inanimate, man, white: then take some white things of which man is not predicated-swan and snow: the term inanimate is predicated of all of the one, of none of the other.

Further since it is indefinite to say some C is not B, and it is true that some C is not B, whether no C is B, or not all C is B, and since if terms are assumed such that no C is B, no syllogism follows (this has already been stated) it is clear that this arrangement of terms will not afford a syllogism: otherwise one would have been possible with a universal negative minor premiss. A similar proof may also be given if the universal premiss is negative.

Nor can there in any way be a syllogism if both the relations of subject and predicate are particular, either positively or negatively, or the one negative and the other affirmative, or one indefinite and the other definite, or both indefinite. Terms common to all the above are animal, white, horse: animal, white, stone.

It is clear then from what has been said that if there is a syllogism in this figure with a particular conclusion, the terms must be related as we have stated: if they are related otherwise, no syllogism is possible anyhow. It is evident also that all the syllogisms in this figure are perfect (for they are all completed by means of the premisses originally taken) and that all conclusions are proved by this figure, viz. universal and particular, affirmative and negative. Such a figure I call the first.

Part 5

Whenever the same thing belongs to all of one subject, and to none of another, or to all of each subject or to none of either, I call such a figure the second; by middle term in it I mean that which is predicated of both subjects, by extremes the terms of which this is said, by major extreme that which lies near the middle, by minor that which is further away from the middle. The middle term stands outside the extremes, and is first in position. A syllogism cannot be perfect anyhow in this figure, but it may be valid whether the terms are related universally or not.

If then the terms are related universally a syllogism will be possible, whenever the middle belongs to all of one subject and to none of another (it does not matter which has the negative relation), but in no other way. Let M be predicated of no N, but of all O. Since, then, the negative relation is convertible, N will belong to no M: but M was assumed to belong to all O: consequently N will belong to no O. This has already been proved. Again if M belongs to all N, but to no O, then N will belong to no O. For if M belongs to no O, O belongs to no M: but M (as was said) belongs to all N: O then will belong to no N: for the first figure has again been formed. But since the negative relation is convertible, N will belong to no O. Thus it will be the same syllogism that proves both conclusions.

It is possible to prove these results also by reductio ad impossibile.

It is clear then that a syllogism is formed when the terms are so related, but not a perfect syllogism; for necessity is not perfectly established merely from the original premisses; others also are needed.

But if M is predicated of every N and O, there cannot be a syllogism. Terms to illustrate a positive relation between the extremes are substance, animal, man; a negative relation, substance, animal, number-substance being the middle term.

Nor is a syllogism possible when M is predicated neither of any N nor of any O. Terms to illustrate a positive relation are line, animal, man: a negative relation, line, animal, stone.

It is clear then that if a syllogism is formed when the terms are universally related, the terms must be related as we stated at the outset: for if they are otherwise related no necessary consequence follows.

If the middle term is related universally to one of the extremes, a particular negative syllogism must result whenever the middle term is related universally to the major whether positively or negatively, and particularly to the minor and in a manner opposite to that of the universal statement: by 'an opposite manner' I mean, if the universal statement is negative, the particular is affirmative: if the universal is affirmative, the particular is negative. For if M belongs to no N, but to some O, it is necessary that N does not belong to some O. For since the negative statement is convertible, N will belong to no M: but M was admitted to belong to some O: therefore N will not belong to some O: for the result is reached by means of the first figure. Again if M belongs to all N, but not to some O, it is necessary that N does not belong to some O: for if N belongs to all O, and M is predicated also of all N, M must belong to all O: but we assumed that M does not belong to some O. And if M belongs to all N but not to all O, we shall conclude that N does not belong to all O: the proof is the same as the above. But if M is predicated of all O, but not of all N, there will be no syllogism. Take the terms animal, substance, raven; animal, white, raven. Nor will there be a conclusion when M is predicated of no O, but of some N. Terms to illustrate a positive relation between the extremes are animal, substance, unit: a negative relation, animal, substance, science.

If then the universal statement is opposed to the particular, we have stated when a syllogism will be possible and when not: but if the premisses are similar in form, I mean both negative or both affirmative, a syllogism will not be possible anyhow. First let them be negative, and let the major premiss be universal, e.g. let M belong to no N, and not to some O. It is possible then for N to belong either to all O or to no O. Terms to illustrate the negative relation are black, snow, animal. But it is not possible to find terms of which the extremes are related positively and universally, if M belongs to some O, and does not belong to some O. For if N belonged to all O, but M to no N, then M would belong to no O: but we assumed that it belongs to some O. In this way then it is not admissible to take terms: our point must be proved from the indefinite nature of the particular statement. For since it is true that M does not belong to some O, even if it belongs to no O, and since if it belongs to no O a syllogism is (as we have seen) not possible, clearly it will not be possible now either.

Again let the premisses be affirmative, and let the major premiss as before be universal, e.g. let M belong to all N and to some O. It is possible then for N to belong to all O or to no O. Terms to illustrate the negative relation are white, swan, stone. But it is not possible to take terms to illustrate the universal affirmative relation, for the reason already stated: the point must be proved from the indefinite nature of the particular statement. But if the minor premiss is universal, and M belongs to no O, and not to some N, it is possible for N to belong either to all O or to no O. Terms for the positive relation are white, animal, raven: for the negative relation, white, stone, raven. If the premisses are affirmative, terms for the negative relation are white, animal, snow; for the positive relation, white, animal, swan. Evidently then, whenever the premisses are similar in form, and one is universal, the other particular, a syllogism can, not be formed anyhow. Nor is one possible if the middle term belongs to some of each of the extremes, or does not belong to some of either, or belongs to some of the one, not to some of the other, or belongs to neither universally, or is related to them indefinitely. Common terms for all the above are white, animal, man: white, animal, inanimate. It is clear then from what has been said that if the terms are related to one another in the way stated, a syllogism results of necessity; and if there is a syllogism, the terms must be so related. But it is evident also that all the syllogisms in this figure are imperfect: for all are made perfect by certain supplementary statements, which either are contained in the terms of necessity or are assumed as hypotheses, i.e. when we prove per impossibile. And it is evident that an affirmative conclusion is not attained by means of this figure, but all are negative, whether universal or particular.

Part 6

But if one term belongs to all, and another to none, of a third, or if both belong to all, or to none, of it, I call such a figure the third; by middle term in it I mean that of which both the predicates are predicated, by extremes I mean the predicates, by the major extreme that which is further from the middle, by the minor that which is nearer to it. The middle term stands outside the extremes, and is last in position. A syllogism cannot be perfect in this figure either, but it may be valid whether the terms are related universally or not to the middle term.

If they are universal, whenever both P and R belong to S, it follows that P will necessarily belong to some R. For, since the affirmative statement is convertible, S will belong to some R: consequently since P belongs to all S, and S to some R, P must belong to some R: for a syllogism in the first figure is produced. It is possible to demonstrate this also per impossibile and by exposition. For if both P and R belong to all S, should one of the Ss, e.g. N, be taken, both P and R will belong to this, and thus P will belong to some R.

If R belongs to all S, and P to no S, there will be a syllogism to prove that P will necessarily not belong to some R. This may be demonstrated in the same way as before by converting the premiss RS. It might be proved also per impossibile, as in the former cases. But if R belongs to no S, P to all S, there will be no syllogism. Terms for the positive relation are animal, horse, man: for the negative relation animal, inanimate, man.

Nor can there be a syllogism when both terms are asserted of no S. Terms for the positive relation are animal, horse, inanimate; for the negative relation man, horse, inanimate-inanimate being the middle term.

It is clear then in this figure also when a syllogism will be possible and when not, if the terms are related universally. For whenever both the terms are affirmative, there will be a syllogism to prove that one extreme belongs to some of the other; but when they are negative, no syllogism will be possible. But when one is negative, the other affirmative, if the major is negative, the minor affirmative, there will be a syllogism to prove that the one extreme does not belong to some of the other: but if the relation is reversed, no syllogism will be possible. If one term is related universally to the middle, the other in part only, when both are affirmative there must be a syllogism, no matter which of the premisses is universal. For if R belongs to all S, P to some S, P must belong to some R. For since the affirmative statement is convertible S will belong to some P: consequently since R belongs to all S, and S to some P, R must also belong to some P: therefore P must belong to some R.

Again if R belongs to some S, and P to all S, P must belong to some R. This may be demonstrated in the same way as the preceding. And it is possible to demonstrate it also per impossibile and by exposition, as in the former cases. But if one term is affirmative, the other negative, and if the affirmative is universal, a syllogism will be possible whenever the minor term is affirmative. For if R belongs to all S, but P does not belong to some S, it is necessary that P does not belong to some R. For if P belongs to all R, and R belongs to all S, then P will belong to all S: but we assumed that it did not. Proof is possible also without reduction ad impossibile, if one of the Ss be taken to which P does not belong.

But whenever the major is affirmative, no syllogism will be possible, e.g. if P belongs to all S and R does not belong to some S. Terms for the universal affirmative relation are animate, man, animal. For the universal negative relation it is not possible to get terms, if R belongs to some S, and does not belong to some S. For if P belongs to all S, and R to some S, then P will belong to some R: but we assumed that it belongs to no R. We must put the matter as before.' Since the expression 'it does not belong to some' is indefinite, it may be used truly of that also which belongs to none. But if R belongs to no S, no syllogism is possible, as has been shown. Clearly then no syllogism will be possible here.

But if the negative term is universal, whenever the major is negative and the minor affirmative there will be a syllogism. For if P belongs to no S, and R belongs to some S, P will not belong to some R: for we shall have the first figure again, if the premiss RS is converted.

But when the minor is negative, there will be no syllogism. Terms for the positive relation are animal, man, wild: for the negative relation, animal, science, wild-the middle in both being the term wild.

Nor is a syllogism possible when both are stated in the negative, but one is universal, the other particular. When the minor is related universally to the middle, take the terms animal, science, wild; animal, man, wild. When the major is related universally to the middle, take as terms for a negative relation raven, snow, white. For a positive relation terms cannot be found, if R belongs to some S, and does not belong to some S. For if P belongs to all R, and R to some S, then P belongs to some S: but we assumed that it belongs to no S. Our point, then, must be proved from the indefinite nature of the particular statement.

Nor is a syllogism possible anyhow, if each of the extremes belongs to some of the middle or does not belong, or one belongs and the other does not to some of the middle, or one belongs to some of the middle, the other not to all, or if the premisses are indefinite. Common terms for all are animal, man, white: animal, inanimate, white.

It is clear then in this figure also when a syllogism will be possible, and when not; and that if the terms are as stated, a syllogism results of necessity, and if there is a syllogism, the terms must be so related. It is clear also that all the syllogisms in this figure are imperfect (for all are made perfect by certain supplementary assumptions), and that it will not be possible to reach a universal conclusion by means of this figure, whether negative or affirmative.

Part 7

It is evident also that in all the figures, whenever a proper syllogism does not result, if both the terms are affirmative or negative nothing necessary follows at all, but if one is affirmative, the other negative, and if the negative is stated universally, a syllogism always results relating the minor to the major term, e.g. if A belongs to all or some B, and B belongs to no C: for if the premisses are converted it is necessary that C does not belong to some A. Similarly also in the other figures: a syllogism always results by means of conversion. It is evident also that the substitution of an indefinite for a particular affirmative will effect the same syllogism in all the figures.

It is clear too that all the imperfect syllogisms are made perfect by means of the first figure. For all are brought to a conclusion either ostensively or per impossibile. In both ways the first figure is formed: if they are made perfect ostensively, because (as we saw) all are brought to a conclusion by means of conversion, and conversion produces the first figure: if they are proved per impossibile, because on the assumption of the false statement the syllogism comes about by means of the first figure, e.g. in the last figure, if A and B belong to all C, it follows that A belongs to some B: for if A belonged to no B, and B belongs to all C, A would belong to no C: but (as we stated) it belongs to all C. Similarly also with the rest.

It is possible also to reduce all syllogisms to the universal syllogisms in the first figure. Those in the second figure are clearly made perfect by these, though not all in the same way; the universal syllogisms are made perfect by converting the negative premiss, each of the particular syllogisms by reductio ad impossibile. In the first figure particular syllogisms are indeed made perfect by themselves, but it is possible also to prove them by means of the second figure, reducing them ad impossibile, e.g. if A belongs to all B, and B to some C, it follows that A belongs to some C. For if it belonged to no C, and belongs to all B, then B will belong to no C: this we know by means of the second figure. Similarly also demonstration will be possible in the case of the negative. For if A belongs to no B, and B belongs to some C, A will not belong to some C: for if it belonged to all C, and belongs to no B, then B will belong to no C: and this (as we saw) is the middle figure. Consequently, since all syllogisms in the middle figure can be reduced to universal syllogisms in the first figure, and since particular syllogisms in the first figure can be reduced to syllogisms in the middle figure, it is clear that particular syllogisms can be reduced to universal syllogisms in the first figure. Syllogisms in the third figure, if the terms are universal, are directly made perfect by means of those syllogisms; but, when one of the premisses is particular, by means of the particular syllogisms in the first figure: and these (we have seen) may be reduced to the universal syllogisms in the first figure: consequently also the particular syllogisms in the third figure may be so reduced. It is clear then that all syllogisms may be reduced to the universal syllogisms in the first figure.

We have stated then how syllogisms which prove that something belongs or does not belong to something else are constituted, both how syllogisms of the same figure are constituted in themselves, and how syllogisms of different figures are related to one another.

Part 8

Since there is a difference according as something belongs, necessarily belongs, or may belong to something else (for many things belong indeed, but not necessarily, others neither necessarily nor indeed at all, but it is possible for them to belong), it is clear that there will be different syllogisms to prove each of these relations, and syllogisms with differently related terms, one syllogism concluding from what is necessary, another from what is, a third from what is possible.

There is hardly any difference between syllogisms from necessary premisses and syllogisms from premisses which merely assert. When the terms are put in the same way, then, whether something belongs or necessarily belongs (or does not belong) to something else, a syllogism will or will not result alike in both cases, the only difference being the addition of the expression 'necessarily' to the terms. For the negative statement is convertible alike in both cases, and we should give the same account of the expressions 'to be contained in something as in a whole' and 'to be predicated of all of something'. With the exceptions to be made below, the conclusion will be proved to be necessary by means of conversion, in the same manner as in the case of simple predication. But in the middle figure when the universal statement is affirmative, and the particular negative, and again in the third figure when the universal is affirmative and the particular negative, the demonstration will not take the same form, but it is necessary by the 'exposition' of a part of the subject of the particular negative proposition, to which the predicate does not belong, to make the syllogism in reference to this: with terms so chosen the conclusion will necessarily follow. But if the relation is necessary in respect of the part taken, it must hold of some of that term in which this part is included: for the part taken is just some of that. And each of the resulting syllogisms is in the appropriate figure.

Part 9

It happens sometimes also that when one premiss is necessary the conclusion is necessary, not however when either premiss is necessary, but only when the major is, e.g. if A is taken as necessarily belonging or not belonging to B, but B is taken as simply belonging to C: for if the premisses are taken in this way, A will necessarily belong or not belong to C. For since necessarily belongs, or does not belong, to every B, and since C is one of the Bs, it is clear that for C also the positive or the negative relation to A will hold necessarily. But if the major premiss is not necessary, but the minor is necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary. For if it were, it would result both through the first figure and through the third that A belongs necessarily to some B. But this is false; for B may be such that it is possible that A should belong to none of it. Further, an example also makes it clear that the conclusion not be necessary, e.g. if A were movement, B animal, C man: man is an animal necessarily, but an animal does not move necessarily, nor does man. Similarly also if the major premiss is negative; for the proof is the same.

In particular syllogisms, if the universal premiss is necessary, then the conclusion will be necessary; but if the particular, the conclusion will not be necessary, whether the universal premiss is negative or affirmative. First let the universal be necessary, and let A belong to all B necessarily, but let B simply belong to some C: it is necessary then that A belongs to some C necessarily: for C falls under B, and A was assumed to belong necessarily to all B. Similarly also if the syllogism should be negative: for the proof will be the same. But if the particular premiss is necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary: for from the denial of such a conclusion nothing impossible results, just as it does not in the universal syllogisms. The same is true of negative syllogisms. Try the terms movement, animal, white.

Part 10

In the second figure, if the negative premiss is necessary, then the conclusion will be necessary, but if the affirmative, not necessary. First let the negative be necessary; let A be possible of no B, and simply belong to C. Since then the negative statement is convertible, B is possible of no A. But A belongs to all C; consequently B is possible of no C. For C falls under A. The same result would be obtained if the minor premiss were negative: for if A is possible be of no C, C is possible of no A: but A belongs to all B, consequently C is possible of none of the Bs: for again we have obtained the first figure. Neither then is B possible of C: for conversion is possible without modifying the relation.

But if the affirmative premiss is necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary. Let A belong to all B necessarily, but to no C simply. If then the negative premiss is converted, the first figure results. But it has been proved in the case of the first figure that if the negative major premiss is not necessary the conclusion will not be necessary either. Therefore the same result will obtain here. Further, if the conclusion is necessary, it follows that C necessarily does not belong to some A. For if B necessarily belongs to no C, C will necessarily belong to no B. But B at any rate must belong to some A, if it is true (as was assumed) that A necessarily belongs to all B. Consequently it is necessary that C does not belong to some A. But nothing prevents such an A being taken that it is possible for C to belong to all of it. Further one might show by an exposition of terms that the conclusion is not necessary without qualification, though it is a necessary conclusion from the premisses. For example let A be animal, B man, C white, and let the premisses be assumed to correspond to what we had before: it is possible that animal should belong to nothing white. Man then will not belong to anything white, but not necessarily: for it is possible for man to be born white, not however so long as animal belongs to nothing white. Consequently under these conditions the conclusion will be necessary, but it is not necessary without qualification.

Similar results will obtain also in particular syllogisms. For whenever the negative premiss is both universal and necessary, then the conclusion will be necessary: but whenever the affirmative premiss is universal, the negative particular, the conclusion will not be necessary. First then let the negative premiss be both universal and necessary: let it be possible for no B that A should belong to it, and let A simply belong to some C. Since the negative statement is convertible, it will be possible for no A that B should belong to it: but A belongs to some C; consequently B necessarily does not belong to some of the Cs. Again let the affirmative premiss be both universal and necessary, and let the major premiss be affirmative. If then A necessarily belongs to all B, but does not belong to some C, it is clear that B will not belong to some C, but not necessarily. For the same terms can be used to demonstrate the point, which were used in the universal syllogisms. Nor again, if the negative statement is necessary but particular, will the conclusion be necessary. The point can be demonstrated by means of the same terms.

Part 11

In the last figure when the terms are related universally to the middle, and both premisses are affirmative, if one of the two is necessary, then the conclusion will be necessary. But if one is negative, the other affirmative, whenever the negative is necessary the conclusion also will be necessary, but whenever the affirmative is necessary the conclusion will not be necessary. First let both the premisses be affirmative, and let A and B belong to all C, and let Ac be necessary. Since then B belongs to all C, C also will belong to some B, because the universal is convertible into the particular: consequently if A belongs necessarily to all C, and C belongs to some B, it is necessary that A should belong to some B also. For B is under C. The first figure then is formed. A similar proof will be given also if BC is necessary. For C is convertible with some A: consequently if B belongs necessarily to all C, it will belong necessarily also to some A.

Again let AC be negative, BC affirmative, and let the negative premiss be necessary. Since then C is convertible with some B, but A necessarily belongs to no C, A will necessarily not belong to some B either: for B is under C. But if the affirmative is necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary. For suppose BC is affirmative and necessary, while AC is negative and not necessary. Since then the affirmative is convertible, C also will belong to some B necessarily: consequently if A belongs to none of the Cs, while C belongs to some of the Bs, A will not belong to some of the Bs-but not of necessity; for it has been proved, in the case of the first figure, that if the negative premiss is not necessary, neither will the conclusion be necessary. Further, the point may be made clear by considering the terms. Let the term A be 'good', let that which B signifies be 'animal', let the term C be 'horse'. It is possible then that the term good should belong to no horse, and it is necessary that the term animal should belong to every horse: but it is not necessary that some animal should not be good, since it is possible for every animal to be good. Or if that is not possible, take as the term 'awake' or 'asleep': for every animal can accept these.

If, then, the premisses are universal, we have stated when the conclusion will be necessary. But if one premiss is universal, the other particular, and if both are affirmative, whenever the universal is necessary the conclusion also must be necessary. The demonstration is the same as before; for the particular affirmative also is convertible. If then it is necessary that B should belong to all C, and A falls under C, it is necessary that B should belong to some A. But if B must belong to some A, then A must belong to some B: for conversion is possible. Similarly also if AC should be necessary and universal: for B falls under C. But if the particular premiss is necessary, the conclusion will not be necessary. Let the premiss BC be both particular and necessary, and let A belong to all C, not however necessarily. If the proposition BC is converted the first figure is formed, and the universal premiss is not necessary, but the particular is necessary. But when the premisses were thus, the conclusion (as we proved was not necessary: consequently it is not here either. Further, the point is clear if we look at the terms. Let A be waking, B biped, and C animal. It is necessary that B should belong to some C, but it is possible for A to belong to C, and that A should belong to B is not necessary. For there is no necessity that some biped should be asleep or awake. Similarly and by means of the same terms proof can be made, should the proposition Ac be both particular and necessary.

But if one premiss is affirmative, the other negative, whenever the universal is both negative and necessary the conclusion also will be necessary. For if it is not possible that A should belong to any C, but B belongs to some C, it is necessary that A should not belong to some B. But whenever the affirmative proposition is necessary, whether universal or particular, or the negative is particular, the conclusion will not be necessary. The proof of this by reduction will be the same as before; but if terms are wanted, when the universal affirmative is necessary, take the terms 'waking'-'animal'-'man', 'man' being middle, and when the affirmative is particular and necessary, take the terms 'waking'-'animal'-'white': for it is necessary that animal should belong to some white thing, but it is possible that waking should belong to none, and it is not necessary that waking should not belong to some animal. But when the negative proposition being particular is necessary, take the terms 'biped', 'moving', 'animal', 'animal' being middle.

Part 12

It is clear then that a simple conclusion is not reached unless both premisses are simple assertions, but a necessary conclusion is possible although one only of the premisses is necessary. But in both cases, whether the syllogisms are affirmative or negative, it is necessary that one premiss should be similar to the conclusion. I mean by 'similar', if the conclusion is a simple assertion, the premiss must be simple; if the conclusion is necessary, the premiss must be necessary. Consequently this also is clear, that the conclusion will be neither necessary nor simple unless a necessary or simple premiss is assumed.

Part 13

Perhaps enough has been said about the proof of necessity, how it comes about and how it differs from the proof of a simple statement. We proceed to discuss that which is possible, when and how and by what means it can be proved. I use the terms 'to be possible' and 'the possible' of that which is not necessary but, being assumed, results in nothing impossible. We say indeed ambiguously of the necessary that it is possible. But that my definition of the possible is correct is clear from the phrases by which we deny or on the contrary affirm possibility. For the expressions 'it is not possible to belong', 'it is impossible to belong', and 'it is necessary not to belong' are either identical or follow from one another; consequently their opposites also, 'it is possible to belong', 'it is not impossible to belong', and 'it is not necessary not to belong', will either be identical or follow from one another. For of everything the affirmation or the denial holds good. That which is possible then will be not necessary and that which is not necessary will be possible. It results that all premisses in the mode of possibility are convertible into one another. I mean not that the affirmative are convertible into the negative, but that those which are affirmative in form admit of conversion by opposition, e.g. 'it is possible to belong' may be converted into 'it is possible not to belong', and 'it is possible for A to belong to all B' into 'it is possible for A to belong to no B' or 'not to all B', and 'it is possible for A to belong to some B' into 'it is possible for A not to belong to some B'. And similarly the other propositions in this mode can be converted. For since that which is possible is not necessary, and that which is not necessary may possibly not belong, it is clear that if it is possible that A should belong to B, it is possible also that it should not belong to B: and if it is possible that it should belong to all, it is also possible that it should not belong to all. The same holds good in the case of particular affirmations: for the proof is identical. And such premisses are affirmative and not negative; for 'to be possible' is in the same rank as 'to be', as was said above.

Having made these distinctions we next point out that the expression 'to be possible' is used in two ways. In one it means to happen generally and fall short of necessity, e.g. man's turning grey or growing or decaying, or generally what naturally belongs to a thing (for this has not its necessity unbroken, since man's existence is not continuous for ever, although if a man does exist, it comes about either necessarily or generally). In another sense the expression means the indefinite, which can be both thus and not thus, e.g. an animal's walking or an earthquake's taking place while it is walking, or generally what happens by chance: for none of these inclines by nature in the one way more than in the opposite.

That which is possible in each of its two senses is convertible into its opposite, not however in the same way: but what is natural is convertible because it does not necessarily belong (for in this sense it is possible that a man should not grow grey) and what is indefinite is convertible because it inclines this way no more than that. Science and demonstrative syllogism are not concerned with things which are indefinite, because the middle term is uncertain; but they are concerned with things that are natural, and as a rule arguments and inquiries are made about things which are possible in this sense. Syllogisms indeed can be made about the former, but it is unusual at any rate to inquire about them.

These matters will be treated more definitely in the sequel; our business at present is to state the moods and nature of the syllogism made from possible premisses. The expression 'it is possible for this to belong to that' may be understood in two senses: 'that' may mean either that to which 'that' belongs or that to which it may belong; for the expression 'A is possible of the subject of B' means that it is possible either of that of which B is stated or of that of which B may possibly be stated. It makes no difference whether we say, A is possible of the subject of B, or all B admits of A. It is clear then that the expression 'A may possibly belong to all B' might be used in two senses. First then we must state the nature and characteristics of the syllogism which arises if B is possible of the subject of C, and A is possible of the subject of B. For thus both premisses are assumed in the mode of possibility; but whenever A is possible of that of which B is true, one premiss is a simple assertion, the other a problematic. Consequently we must start from premisses which are similar in form, as in the other cases.

Part 14

Whenever A may possibly belong to all B, and B to all C, there will be a perfect syllogism to prove that A may possibly belong to all C. This is clear from the definition: for it was in this way that we explained 'to be possible for one term to belong to all of another'. Similarly if it is possible for A to belong no B, and for B to belong to all C, then it is possible for A to belong to no C. For the statement that it is possible for A not to belong to that of which B may be true means (as we saw) that none of those things which can possibly fall under the term B is left out of account. But whenever A may belong to all B, and B may belong to no C, then indeed no syllogism results from the premisses assumed, but if the premiss BC is converted after the manner of problematic propositions, the same syllogism results as before. For since it is possible that B should belong to no C, it is possible also that it should belong to all C. This has been stated above. Consequently if B is possible for all C, and A is possible for all B, the same syllogism again results. Similarly if in both the premisses the negative is joined with 'it is possible': e.g. if A may belong to none of the Bs, and B to none of the Cs. No syllogism results from the assumed premisses, but if they are converted we shall have the same syllogism as before. It is clear then that if the minor premiss is negative, or if both premisses are negative, either no syllogism results, or if one it is not perfect. For the necessity results from the conversion.

But if one of the premisses is universal, the other particular, when the major premiss is universal there will be a perfect syllogism. For if A is possible for all B, and B for some C, then A is possible for some C. This is clear from the definition of being possible. Again if A may belong to no B, and B may belong to some of the Cs, it is necessary that A may possibly not belong to some of the Cs. The proof is the same as above. But if the particular premiss is negative, and the universal is affirmative, the major still being universal and the minor particular, e.g. A is possible for all B, B may possibly not belong to some C, then a clear syllogism does not result from the assumed premisses, but if the particular premiss is converted and it is laid down that B possibly may belong to some C, we shall have the same conclusion as before, as in the cases given at the beginning.

But if the major premiss is the minor universal, whether both are affirmative, or negative, or different in quality, or if both are indefinite or particular, in no way will a syllogism be possible. For nothing prevents B from reaching beyond A, so that as predicates cover unequal areas. Let C be that by which B extends beyond A. To C it is not possible that A should belong-either to all or to none or to some or not to some, since premisses in the mode of possibility are convertible and it is possible for B to belong to more things than A can. Further, this is obvious if we take terms; for if the premisses are as assumed, the major term is both possible for none of the minor and must belong to all of it. Take as terms common to all the cases under consideration 'animal'-'white'-'man', where the major belongs necessarily to the minor; 'animal'-'white'-'garment', where it is not possible that the major should belong to the minor. It is clear then that if the terms are related in this manner, no syllogism results. For every syllogism proves that something belongs either simply or necessarily or possibly. It is clear that there is no proof of the first or of the second. For the affirmative is destroyed by the negative, and the negative by the affirmative. There remains the proof of possibility. But this is impossible. For it has been proved that if the terms are related in this manner it is both necessary that the major should belong to all the minor and not possible that it should belong to any. Consequently there cannot be a syllogism to prove the possibility; for the necessary (as we stated) is not possible.

It is clear that if the terms are universal in possible premisses a syllogism always results in the first figure, whether they are affirmative or negative, only a perfect syllogism results in the first case, an imperfect in the second. But possibility must be understood according to the definition laid down, not as covering necessity. This is sometimes forgotten.

Part 15

If one premiss is a simple proposition, the other a problematic, whenever the major premiss indicates possibility all the syllogisms will be perfect and establish possibility in the sense defined; but whenever the minor premiss indicates possibility all the syllogisms will be imperfect, and those which are negative will establish not possibility according to the definition, but that the major does not necessarily belong to any, or to all, of the minor. For if this is so, we say it is possible that it should belong to none or not to all. Let A be possible for all B, and let B belong to all C. Since C falls under B, and A is possible for all B, clearly it is possible for all C also. So a perfect syllogism results. Likewise if the premiss AB is negative, and the premiss BC is affirmative, the former stating possible, the latter simple attribution, a perfect syllogism results proving that A possibly belongs to no C.

It is clear that perfect syllogisms result if the minor premiss states simple belonging: but that syllogisms will result if the modality of the premisses is reversed, must be proved per impossibile. At the same time it will be evident that they are imperfect: for the proof proceeds not from the premisses assumed. First we must state that if B's being follows necessarily from A's being, B's possibility will follow necessarily from A's possibility. Suppose, the terms being so related, that A is possible, and B is impossible. If then that which is possible, when it is possible for it to be, might happen, and if that which is impossible, when it is impossible, could not happen, and if at the same time A is possible and B impossible, it would be possible for A to happen without B, and if to happen, then to be. For that which has happened, when it has happened, is. But we must take the impossible and the possible not only in the sphere of becoming, but also in the spheres of truth and predicability, and the various other spheres in which we speak of the possible: for it will be alike in all. Further we must understand the statement that B's being depends on A's being, not as meaning that if some single thing A is, B will be: for nothing follows of necessity from the being of some one thing, but from two at least, i.e. when the premisses are related in the manner stated to be that of the syllogism. For if C is predicated of D, and D of F, then C is necessarily predicated of F. And if each is possible, the conclusion also is possible. If then, for example, one should indicate the premisses by A, and the conclusion by B, it would not only result that if A is necessary B is necessary, but also that if A is possible, B is possible.

Since this is proved it is evident that if a false and not impossible assumption is made, the consequence of the assumption will also be false and not impossible: e.g. if A is false, but not impossible, and if B is the consequence of A, B also will be false but not impossible. For since it has been proved that if B's being is the consequence of A's being, then B's possibility will follow from A's possibility (and A is assumed to be possible), consequently B will be possible: for if it were impossible, the same thing would at the same time be possible and impossible.

Since we have defined these points, let A belong to all B, and B be possible for all C: it is necessary then that should be a possible attribute for all C. Suppose that it is not possible, but assume that B belongs to all C: this is false but not impossible. If then A is not possible for C but B belongs to all C, then A is not possible for all B: for a syllogism is formed in the third degree. But it was assumed that A is a possible attribute for all B. It is necessary then that A is possible for all C. For though the assumption we made is false and not impossible, the conclusion is impossible. It is possible also in the first figure to bring about the impossibility, by assuming that B belongs to C. For if B belongs to all C, and A is possible for all B, then A would be possible for all C. But the assumption was made that A is not possible for all C.

We must understand 'that which belongs to all' with no limitation in respect of time, e.g. to the present or to a particular period, but simply without qualification. For it is by the help of such premisses that we make syllogisms, since if the premiss is understood with reference to the present moment, there cannot be a syllogism. For nothing perhaps prevents 'man' belonging at a particular time to everything that is moving, i.e. if nothing else were moving: but 'moving' is possible for every horse; yet 'man' is possible for no horse. Further let the major term be 'animal', the middle 'moving', the the minor 'man'. The premisses then will be as before, but the conclusion necessary, not possible. For man is necessarily animal. It is clear then that the universal must be understood simply, without limitation in respect of time.

Again let the premiss AB be universal and negative, and assume that A belongs to no B, but B possibly belongs to all C. These propositions being laid down, it is necessary that A possibly belongs to no C. Suppose that it cannot belong, and that B belongs to C, as above. It is necessary then that A belongs to some B: for we have a syllogism in the third figure: but this is impossible. Thus it will be possible for A to belong to no C; for if at is supposed false, the consequence is an impossible one. This syllogism then does not establish that which is possible according to the definition, but that which does not necessarily belong to any part of the subject (for this is the contradictory of the assumption which was made: for it was supposed that A necessarily belongs to some C, but the syllogism per impossibile establishes the contradictory which is opposed to this). Further, it is clear also from an example that the conclusion will not establish possibility. Let A be 'raven', B 'intelligent', and C 'man'. A then belongs to no B: for no intelligent thing is a raven. But B is possible for all C: for every man may possibly be intelligent. But A necessarily belongs to no C: so the conclusion does not establish possibility. But neither is it always necessary. Let A be 'moving', B 'science', C 'man'. A then will belong to no B; but B is possible for all C. And the conclusion will not be necessary. For it is not necessary that no man should move; rather it is not necessary that any man should move. Clearly then the conclusion establishes that one term does not necessarily belong to any instance of another term. But we must take our terms better.

If the minor premiss is negative and indicates possibility, from the actual premisses taken there can be no syllogism, but if the problematic premiss is converted, a syllogism will be possible, as before. Let A belong to all B, and let B possibly belong to no C. If the terms are arranged thus, nothing necessarily follows: but if the proposition BC is converted and it is assumed that B is possible for all C, a syllogism results as before: for the terms are in the same relative positions. Likewise if both the relations are negative, if the major premiss states that A does not belong to B, and the minor premiss indicates that B may possibly belong to no C. Through the premisses actually taken nothing necessary results in any way; but if the problematic premiss is converted, we shall have a syllogism. Suppose that A belongs to no B, and B may possibly belong to no C. Through these comes nothing necessary. But if B is assumed to be possible for all C (and this is true) and if the premiss AB remains as before, we shall again have the same syllogism. But if it be assumed that B does not belong to any C, instead of possibly not belonging, there cannot be a syllogism anyhow, whether the premiss AB is negative or affirmative. As common instances of a necessary and positive relation we may take the terms white-animal-snow: of a necessary and negative relation, white-animal-pitch. Clearly then if the terms are universal, and one of the premisses is assertoric, the other problematic, whenever the minor premiss is problematic a syllogism always results, only sometimes it results from the premisses that are taken, sometimes it requires the conversion of one premiss. We have stated when each of these happens and the reason why. But if one of the relations is universal, the other particular, then whenever the major premiss is universal and problematic, whether affirmative or negative, and the particular is affirmative and assertoric, there will be a perfect syllogism, just as when the terms are universal. The demonstration is the same as before. But whenever the major premiss is universal, but assertoric, not problematic, and the minor is particular and problematic, whether both premisses are negative or affirmative, or one is negative, the other affirmative, in all cases there will be an imperfect syllogism. Only some of them will be proved per impossibile, others by the conversion of the problematic premiss, as has been shown above. And a syllogism will be possible by means of conversion when the major premiss is universal and assertoric, whether positive or negative, and the minor particular, negative, and problematic, e.g. if A belongs to all B or to no B, and B may possibly not belong to some C. For if the premiss BC is converted in respect of possibility, a syllogism results. But whenever the particular premiss is assertoric and negative, there cannot be a syllogism. As instances of the positive relation we may take the terms white-animal-snow; of the negative, white-animal-pitch. For the demonstration must be made through the indefinite nature of the particular premiss. But if the minor premiss is universal, and the major particular, whether either premiss is negative or affirmative, problematic or assertoric, nohow is a syllogism possible. Nor is a syllogism possible when the premisses are particular or indefinite, whether problematic or assertoric, or the one problematic, the other assertoric. The demonstration is the same as above. As instances of the necessary and positive relation we may take the terms animal-white-man; of the necessary and negative relation, animal-white-garment. It is evident then that if the major premiss is universal, a syllogism always results, but if the minor is universal nothing at all can ever be proved.

Part 16

Whenever one premiss is necessary, the other problematic, there will be a syllogism when the terms are related as before; and a perfect syllogism when the minor premiss is necessary. If the premisses are affirmative the conclusion will be problematic, not assertoric, whether the premisses are universal or not: but if one is affirmative, the other negative, when the affirmative is necessary the conclusion will be problematic, not negative assertoric; but when the negative is necessary the conclusion will be problematic negative, and assertoric negative, whether the premisses are universal or not. Possibility in the conclusion must be understood in the same manner as before. There cannot be an inference to the necessary negative proposition: for 'not necessarily to belong' is different from 'necessarily not to belong'.

If the premisses are affirmative, clearly the conclusion which follows is not necessary. Suppose A necessarily belongs to all B, and let B be possible for all C. We shall have an imperfect syllogism to prove that A may belong to all C. That it is imperfect is clear from the proof: for it will be proved in the same manner as above. Again, let A be possible for all B, and let B necessarily belong to all C. We shall then have a syllogism to prove that A may belong to all C, not that A does belong to all C: and it is perfect, not imperfect: for it is completed directly through the original premisses.

But if the premisses are not similar in quality, suppose first that the negative premiss is necessary, and let necessarily A not be possible for any B, but let B be possible for all C. It is necessary then that A belongs to no C. For suppose A to belong to all C or to some C. Now we assumed that A is not possible for any B. Since then the negative proposition is convertible, B is not possible for any A. But A is supposed to belong to all C or to some C. Consequently B will not be possible for any C or for all C. But it was originally laid down that B is possible for all C. And it is clear that the possibility of belonging can be inferred, since the fact of not belonging is inferred. Again, let the affirmative premiss be necessary, and let A possibly not belong to any B, and let B necessarily belong to all C. The syllogism will be perfect, but it will establish a problematic negative, not an assertoric negative. For the major premiss was problematic, and further it is not possible to prove the assertoric conclusion per impossibile. For if it were supposed that A belongs to some C, and it is laid down that A possibly does not belong to any B, no impossible relation between B and C follows from these premisses. But if the minor premiss is negative, when it is problematic a syllogism is possible by conversion, as above; but when it is necessary no syllogism can be formed. Nor again when both premisses are negative, and the minor is necessary. The same terms as before serve both for the positive relation-white-animal-snow, and for the negative relation-white-animal-pitch.

The same relation will obtain in particular syllogisms. Whenever the negative proposition is necessary, the conclusion will be negative assertoric: e.g. if it is not possible that A should belong to any B, but B may belong to some of the Cs, it is necessary that A should not belong to some of the Cs. For if A belongs to all C, but cannot belong to any B, neither can B belong to any A. So if A belongs to all C, to none of the Cs can B belong. But it was laid down that B may belong to some C. But when the particular affirmative in the negative syllogism, e.g. BC the minor premiss, or the universal proposition in the affirmative syllogism, e.g. AB the major premiss, is necessary, there will not be an assertoric conclusion. The demonstration is the same as before. But if the minor premiss is universal, and problematic, whether affirmative or negative, and the major premiss is particular and necessary, there cannot be a syllogism. Premisses of this kind are possible both where the relation is positive and necessary, e.g. animal-white-man, and where it is necessary and negative, e.g. animal-white-garment. But when the universal is necessary, the particular problematic, if the universal is negative we may take the terms animal-white-raven to illustrate the positive relation, or animal-white-pitch to illustrate the negative; and if the universal is affirmative we may take the terms animal-white-swan to illustrate the positive relation, and animal-white-snow to illustrate the negative and necessary relation. Nor again is a syllogism possible when the premisses are indefinite, or both particular. Terms applicable in either case to illustrate the positive relation are animal-white-man: to illustrate the negative, animal-white-inanimate. For the relation of animal to some white, and of white to some inanimate, is both necessary and positive and necessary and negative. Similarly if the relation is problematic: so the terms may be used for all cases.

Clearly then from what has been said a syllogism results or not from similar relations of the terms whether we are dealing with simple existence or necessity, with this exception, that if the negative premiss is assertoric the conclusion is problematic, but if the negative premiss is necessary the conclusion is both problematic and negative assertoric. [It is clear also that all the syllogisms are imperfect and are perfected by means of the figures above mentioned.]

Part 17

In the second figure whenever both premisses are problematic, no syllogism is possible, whether the premisses are affirmative or negative, universal or particular. But when one premiss is assertoric, the other problematic, if the affirmative is assertoric no syllogism is possible, but if the universal negative is assertoric a conclusion can always be drawn. Similarly when one premiss is necessary, the other problematic. Here also we must understand the term 'possible' in the conclusion, in the same sense as before.

First we must point out that the negative problematic proposition is not convertible, e.g. if A may belong to no B, it does not follow that B may belong to no A. For suppose it to follow and assume that B may belong to no A. Since then problematic affirmations are convertible with negations, whether they are contraries or contradictories, and since B may belong to no A, it is clear that B may belong to all A. But this is false: for if all this can be that, it does not follow that all that can be this: consequently the negative proposition is not convertible. Further, these propositions are not incompatible, 'A may belong to no B', 'B necessarily does not belong to some of the As'; e.g. it is possible that no man should be white (for it is also possible that every man should be white), but it is not true to say that it is possible that no white thing should be a man: for many white things are necessarily not men, and the necessary (as we saw) other than the possible.

Moreover it is not possible to prove the convertibility of these propositions by a reductio ad absurdum, i.e. by claiming assent to the following argument: 'since it is false that B may belong to no A, it is true that it cannot belong to no A, for the one statement is the contradictory of the other. But if this is so, it is true that B necessarily belongs to some of the As: consequently A necessarily belongs to some of the Bs. But this is impossible.' The argument cannot be admitted, for it does not follow that some A is necessarily B, if it is not possible that no A should be B. For the latter expression is used in two senses, one if A some is necessarily B, another if some A is necessarily not B. For it is not true to say that that which necessarily does not belong to some of the As may possibly not belong to any A, just as it is not true to say that what necessarily belongs to some A may possibly belong to all A. If any one then should claim that because it is not possible for C to belong to all D, it necessarily does not belong to some D, he would make a false assumption: for it does belong to all D, but because in some cases it belongs necessarily, therefore we say that it is not possible for it to belong to all. Hence both the propositions 'A necessarily belongs to some B' and 'A necessarily does not belong to some B' are opposed to the proposition 'A belongs to all B'. Similarly also they are opposed to the proposition 'A may belong to no B'. It is clear then that in relation to what is possible and not possible, in the sense originally defined, we must assume, not that A necessarily belongs to some B, but that A necessarily does not belong to some B. But if this is assumed, no absurdity results: consequently no syllogism. It is clear from what has been said that the negative proposition is not convertible.

This being proved, suppose it possible that A may belong to no B and to all C. By means of conversion no syllogism will result: for the major premiss, as has been said, is not convertible. Nor can a proof be obtained by a reductio ad absurdum: for if it is assumed that B can belong to all C, no false consequence results: for A may belong both to all C and to no C. In general, if there is a syllogism, it is clear that its conclusion will be problematic because neither of the premisses is assertoric; and this must be either affirmative or negative. But neither is possible. Suppose the conclusion is affirmative: it will be proved by an example that the predicate cannot belong to the subject. Suppose the conclusion is negative: it will be proved that it is not problematic but necessary. Let A be white, B man, C horse. It is possible then for A to belong to all of the one and to none of the other. But it is not possible for B to belong nor not to belong to C. That it is not possible for it to belong, is clear. For no horse is a man. Neither is it possible for it not to belong. For it is necessary that no horse should be a man, but the necessary we found to be different from the possible. No syllogism then results. A similar proof can be given if the major premiss is negative, the minor affirmative, or if both are affirmative or negative. The demonstration can be made by means of the same terms. And whenever one premiss is universal, the other particular, or both are particular or indefinite, or in whatever other way the premisses can be altered, the proof will always proceed through the same terms. Clearly then, if both the premisses are problematic, no syllogism results.

Part 18

But if one premiss is assertoric, the other problematic, if the affirmative is assertoric and the negative problematic no syllogism will be possible, whether the premisses are universal or particular. The proof is the same as above, and by means of the same terms. But when the affirmative premiss is problematic, and the negative assertoric, we shall have a syllogism. Suppose A belongs to no B, but can belong to all C. If the negative proposition is converted, B will belong to no A. But ex hypothesi can belong to all C: so a syllogism is made, proving by means of the first figure that B may belong to no C. Similarly also if the minor premiss is negative. But if both premisses are negative, one being assertoric, the other problematic, nothing follows necessarily from these premisses as they stand, but if the problematic premiss is converted into its complementary affirmative a syllogism is formed to prove that B may belong to no C, as before: for we shall again have the first figure. But if both premisses are affirmative, no syllogism will be possible. This arrangement of terms is possible both when the relation is positive, e.g. health, animal, man, and when it is negative, e.g. health, horse, man.

The same will hold good if the syllogisms are particular. Whenever the affirmative proposition is assertoric, whether universal or particular, no syllogism is possible (this is proved similarly and by the same examples as above), but when the negative proposition is assertoric, a conclusion can be drawn by means of conversion, as before. Again if both the relations are negative, and the assertoric proposition is universal, although no conclusion follows from the actual premisses, a syllogism can