Study Questions for Aristotle Selections,
eds. Irwin and Fine
(Hackett Publishing Company, 1995)

Posterior Analytics (pp. 37ff.)

Study questions by Dr. Jan Garrett

Last revised on December 22, 2006

1. From what does teaching and intellectual learning result?

    How do deductive (syllogistic) and inductive arguments illustrate this? (1.1.71a1-8)

2. In what two ways is previous knowledge needed? (71a12-16)

3. How does Aristotle solve the puzzle posed in Plato's Meno--that inquiry is impossible, for if we don't know what we're seeking, we won't recognize it when discovered and if we do know it, there is no point in looking for it? (71a25ff.)

4. What is needed if we are to know (understand, have science of) a thing without qualification? (71b9ff) ("Without qualification" is the translation of haplôs, sometimes translated "absolutely" or simpliciter; it can connote "in the strict or most central sense.")

5. Can we know through demonstration (apodeixis)?

    What is demonstration? expressing knowledge? (71b16-19)

    ("Deduction" [syllogism] is defined at Topics 100a25-27, on p. 69)

6. Upon what does demonstrative knowledge (epistêmê, sometimes translated "understanding" or "science") depend? (71b20-24)

    Why must they be true? primary (prôtai) and indemonstrable? (b25-28)

    In what sense must they be prior? (71b34-72a5)

    What is an immediate premiss? (72a6-8)

    What is an axiom? (72a18)

7. Why must the possessor of knowledge know primary things better than what is proved from them? (72a25-72b4)

8. Aristotle thinks that understanding (noûs, often rendered intellectual intuition or comprehension) grasps the principles (archai, sometimes rendered "starting points") but scientific knowledge (epistêmê) arises by deduction from principles. What two views does he reject at 72b5ff?

9. Demonstration is deduction from ___. (?) (73a23-24)

    Explain: "belonging in every case" (a28ff);

    a thing "belonging [to something] in its own right" (73a34ff);

    "coincidental" belonging (73b4-5);

    "universal" (73b26ff).

10. Explain "principles in each genus." (Chapter 10, 76a32; see also ch. 9, 75b37ff.)

11. Distinguish principles "distinctively of a given science" and "common principles" used in the demonstrative sciences. (76a38ff.)

12. How do we become familiar with the principles? (Book II ch. 19; see also the related discussion in Metaphysics I 1, in Aristotle Selections, pp. 221-24)