The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Research Article

The Relationship of aristotle's Two Analytics

Robin Smitha1

a1 Kansas State University

In 1928, Friedrich Solmsen argued that Aristotle's Posterior Analytics was largely composed before the Prior Analytics. Ross rejected Solmsen's position in 1939, and a rather lengthy series of rebuttals and counter-attacks between the two scholars followed. Quite recently, Jonathan Barnes has revived this issue with arguments in favour of something very close to Solmsen's thesis: that Aristotle first developed a theory of demonstration (‘apodeictic’) before he had worked out the syllogistic, and that the Posterior Analytics was originally conceived against this background. Subsequently, when Aristotle formulated a syllogistic, he is supposed by Barnes to have revised or added to the contents of the Posterior Analytics so as to make syllogistic the logic of Aristotelian science. Thus, Barnes says: ‘the syllogism is in fact an incidental adjunct to the theory of demonstration: the theory can be formulated without reference, explicit or implicit, to Syllogistic, and it could have been discovered by someone who knew nothing whatever about the Syllogism’ (pp. 33–4).