By Alexander of Aphrodisias
The remark of Alexander of Aphrodisias on Aristotle's earlier Analytics 1.8-22 is a vital textual content, being the most historical observation with chapters within which Aristotle invented modal common sense - the common sense of propositions approximately what's helpful or contingent (possible). the 1st quantity of Ian Mueller's translation coated chapters 1.8-13, and reached so far as the bankruptcy within which Aristotle mentioned the suggestion of contingency. during this, the second one quantity, the 'greatest' commentator, Alexander, concludes his dialogue of Aristotle's modal good judgment.
Aristotle additionally invented the syllogism, a mode of argument concerning premises and a end. Modal propositions should be deployed in syllogisms, and within the chapters integrated during this quantity Aristotle discusses the entire syllogisms containing a minimum of one contingent premiss.
In every one quantity, Ian Mueller offers a entire clarification of Alexander's statement on modal good judgment as an entire.
Read or Download Alexander of Aphrodisias: On Aristotle Prior Analytics 1.14-22 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle) PDF
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Additional info for Alexander of Aphrodisias: On Aristotle Prior Analytics 1.14-22 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)
Indeed, his assertion at 38,5-7 that holding contingently correlates with ‘what is signified by an unqualified proposition’ is probably intended to justify the application of II-conversionu which Alexander detects in Aristotle’s justification of AI-conversionc. Similarly in his account of the justification of EE-conversionn Alexander wants to stress that NEC(BeA) implies that BiA holds contingently to justify the alleged application of the same rule. If Alexander were willing to use the temporal reading of the modal operators straightforwardly, he would have no difficulty, but, as we have seen, he instead mixes the temporal reading with the idea of something holding contingently.
Before trying to establish its validity, Aristotle’s argues (34a5-24) for something like the following true proposition: If P implies Q and it is possible that P, it is possible that Q. Introduction 39 Alexander’s discussion of this material is somewhat vitiated by a failure to distinguish clearly between the assertion that P implies Q and the conditional ‘If P then Q’, but it includes important material relating to Hellenistic treatments of the conditional and implication. ) Alexander takes the upshot of his discussion to be the corollary which Aristotle announces sloppily at 34a25, but which Alexander understands correctly as: If P implies Q and it is possible that P, then Q may be false but it cannot be impossible.
Hence we see that Aristotle uses only II-conversionu. ’ (iii; vii-viii) Alexander underlines this last point in a subsequent reference back to this argument: It is clear from this that in the previous proof too he used ‘It is contingent that B holds of some A’ in connection with something unqualified; for there ‘for if it is contingent that B holds of some’ should be understood to mean ‘For if B holds contingently (endekhomenôs) of some A’. (37,17-21; cf. 149,5-7) Introduction 27 Clearly (vi) and (ix) presuppose Nt, but Alexander’s vocabulary shows the same wavering between (C*) and (Ct) to which we have already called attention.