Advertisement

Explanation pp 137-164 | Cite as

Knowledge and Explanation in Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics

Chapter
  • 278 Downloads
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 302)

Abstract

Since the classical paper of Hempel and Oppenheim [Hempel and Oppenheim 1948], deduction and explanation have been considered to be two interrelated terms. According to Hempel, explanation is formulated as a deductive-nomological inference, in which a fact is explained by being subsumed under a universal law. It seems that in his Posterior Analytics Aristotle suggests a similar model. Like Hempel, Aristotle employs a deductive procedure, called demonstrative syllogism, as a means of answering the question “why?”. My paper aims to explore the presuppositions that underlie Aristotle’s theory of demonstration, as it is presented in the Posterior Analytics. By exposing these presuppositions, I will argue that Aristotle’s theory of demonstration cannot be understood as intending to provide a theory of explanation; therefore, afortiori it cannot be interpreted in light of Hempel’s model.

Keywords

Middle Term Relative Extension Syllogistic Reasoning Posterior Analytics Syllogistic Inference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

Primary Sources

  1. Aristotelis Analytica Prioira et Posteriora, ed. W.D. Ross, Oxford Classical Texts, Oxford 1964.Google Scholar
  2. Aristotelis De Anima, ed. W.D. Ross, Oxford Classical Texts, Oxford 1959.Google Scholar
  3. Aristotelis Ethica Nicomachea, ed. L. Bywater, Oxford Classical Texts, Oxford 1894.Google Scholar
  4. Aristotelis Metaphysica, ed. W.D. Ross, Oxford Classical Texts, Oxford 1957.Google Scholar
  5. A ristntelis Physiea, ed W.D. Ross. Oxford Classical Texts, Oxford 1950.Google Scholar
  6. Aristotelis Topica et Sophistici Elenchi, ed. W.D. Ross, Oxford Classical Texts, Oxford 1958.Google Scholar
  7. Alexandri in Aristotelis Analyticorum Priorum Librum I Commentarium, ed. M. Wallies, C.A.G., Berlin 1882.Google Scholar
  8. Ioannes Philoponus in Aristotelis Analytica Priora, ed.: M. Wallies, C.A.G., Berlin 1905.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. [Bambrough 1965]
    Bambrough, R., (1965). New Essays on Plato and Aristotle, London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  2. [Barnes 1984]
    Barnes, J., (1984). The Complete Works of Aristotle, Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. [Barnes 1993]
    Barnes, J., (1993). Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics, Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  4. [Berti 1981]
    Berti, E. (ed.), (1981). Aristotle on Science; the Posterior Analytics, Padua: Editrice Antenore.Google Scholar
  5. [Bolton 1976]
    Bolton, R., (1976). “Essentialsm and Semantic Theory in Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics II.7–10”, Philosophical Review, 85: 514–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [Bonitz 1961 ]
    Bonitz, H., (1961). Index Aristotelicus, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [Brody 1972]
    Brody, B.A., (1972). “Towards an Aristotelian Theory of Scientific Explanation”, Philosophy of Science, 39: 20–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [Burnyeat 1981]
    Burnyeat, M.F., (1981). “Aristotle on Understanding Knowledge”, in [Berti 1981 ]: 97–139.Google Scholar
  9. [Demoss and Devereux 1988]
    Demoss, D. and Devereux, D., (1988). “Essence, Existence and Nominal Definition in Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics II.8–10”, Phronesis, 33: 133–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [Frege 1977]
    Frege, G., (1977). Logical Investigations, trans. P.T. Geach and R.H. Stoothoff, New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  11. [Geach 1972]
    Geach, P.T., (1972). Logic Matters, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. [Hempel and Oppenheim 1948]
    Hempel, C.G., and Oppenheim, P., (1948). “Studies in the Logic of Explanation”, in [Hempel 1965]: 245–295.Google Scholar
  13. [Hempel 1965]
    Hempel, C.G., (1965). Aspects in Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science, New-York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  14. [Huccutt 1974]
    Huccutt, M., (1974). “Aristotle’s Four Becauses”, Philosophy, 29: 385–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [Kosman 1973]
    Kosman, L. A., (1973). “Explanation, Understanding and Insight in the Posterior Analytics”, in [Lee et al. 1973]: 374–392.Google Scholar
  16. [Landor 1985]
    Landor, B., (1985). “Aristotle on Demonstrating Essence”, Apeiron, 19: 116–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [Lee et al. 1973]
    Lee, H. D. P., Mourelatos, R. and Rorty, R. (eds.), (1973). Phronesis supl. I, Exegesis and Argument, Assen: Van Gorcum.Google Scholar
  18. [Lukasiewicz 1957]
    Lukasiewicz, J., (1957). Aristotle’s Syllogistic from the Standpoint of Modern Formal Logic, Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  19. [Manne and Öffenbeger 1985]
    Manne, A. and Öffenberger, G.N. (eds.), (1985) Zur modernen Deutung der aristiolischen Logik, Hildesheim: George Olms.Google Scholar
  20. [Öffenbeger 1985]
    Öffenbeger, G. N., (1985). “Bemerkungen zur Frage der Implikation in den Ersten Analytiken, II. Kap.2–5”, in [Manne and Öffenbeger 1985]: 217–227.Google Scholar
  21. [Owen 1965]
    Owen, G.E.L., (1965). “Aristotle on the Snares of Ontology”, in [Bambrough 1965], 69–75.Google Scholar
  22. [Ross 1949]
    Ross, W.D., (1949). Aristotle’s Prior and Posterior Analytics, Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  23. [Russell 1937]
    Russell, B., (1937). The Principles of Mathematics, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. [Scholz 1931 ]
    Scholz, H., (1931). “Die Axiomatic der Alten”, Blätter für deutsche Philosophie, 4: 159–278.Google Scholar
  25. [Sorabji 1981]
    Sorabji, R., (1981). “Definitions: Why Necessary and in What Way?”, in [Berti 1981 ] : 205–244.Google Scholar
  26. [van Fraassen 1980]
    van Fraassen, B., (1980). The Scientific Image, Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. [Wilkins 1970]
    Wilkins, B., (1970). “Aristotle on Scientific Explanation”, Dialogue, 9: 337–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations