The Classical Quarterly

Research Article

Geometrical Method and Aristotle's Account of First Principles1

H. D. P. Lee

The object of this paper is to show the predominance of the influence of geometrical ideas in Aristotle's account of first principles in the Posterior Analytics— to show that his analysis of first principles is in its essentials an analysis of the first principles of geometry as he conceived them. My proof of this falls into two parts. I. A consideration of the parallel between Aristotle's and Euclid's account of first principles. II. A comparison between the general movement of thought in the Aristotelian xs22EFπαγωγxs22EF and xs22EFπxs22EFδειξις and in the διxs22EFνοια and νxs22EFησις of the Platonic dialectic.


1 References to ‘Heath, E.’ are to Sir T. Heath's The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements, ed. 2, vol. I: to ‘Heath, G. M.’ to his History of Greek Mathematics, vol. I.