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a particular relation and one without qualification.
But on the other hand there cannot be an intermediate between
contradictories, but of one subject we must either affirm or deny
any one predicate. This is clear, in the first place, if we define
what the true and the false are. To say of what is that it is not,
or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that
it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true; so that he who says
of anything that it is, or that it is not, will say either what is
true or what is false; but neither what is nor what is not is said
to be or not to be.-Again, the intermediate between the
contradictories will be so either in the way in which grey is
between black and white, or as that which is neither man nor horse
is between man and horse. (a) If it were of the latter kind, it
could not change into the extremes (for change is from not-good to
good, or from good to not-good), but as a matter of fact when there is
an intermediate it is always observed to change into the extremes. For
there is no change except to opposites and to their intermediates. (b)
But if it is really intermediate, in this way too there would have
to be a change to white, which was not from not-white; but as it is,
this is never seen.-Again, every object of understanding or reason the
understanding either affirms or denies-this is obvious from the
definition-whenever it says what is true or false. When it connects in
one way by assertion or negation, it says what is true, and when it
does so in another way, what is false.-Again, there must be an
intermediate between all contradictories, if one is not arguing merely
for the sake of argument; so that it will be possible for a man to say
what is neither true nor untrue, and there will be a middle between
that which is and that which is not, so that there will also be a kind
of change intermediate between generation and destruction.-Again, in
all classes in which the negation of an attribute involves the
assertion of its contrary, even in these there will be an
intermediate; for instance, in the sphere of numbers there will be
number which is neither odd nor not-odd. But this is impossible, as is
obvious from the definition.-Again, the process will go on ad
infinitum, and the number of realities will be not only half as
great again, but even greater. For again it will be possible to deny
this intermediate with reference both to its assertion and to its
negation, and this new term will be some definite thing; for its
essence is something different.-Again, when a man, on being asked
whether a thing is white, says 'no', he has denied nothing except that
it is; and its not being is a negation.
Some people have acquired this opinion as other paradoxical
opinions have been acquired; when men cannot refute eristical
arguments, they give in to the argument and agree that the
conclusion is true. This, then, is why some express this view;
others do so because they demand a reason for everything. And the
starting-point in dealing with all such people is definition. Now
the definition rests on the necessity of their meaning something;
for the form of words of which the word is a sign will be its
definition.-While the doctrine of Heraclitus, that all things are
and are not, seems to make everything true, that of Anaxagoras, that
there is an intermediate between the terms of a contradiction, seems
to make everything false; for when things are mixed, the mixture is
neither good nor not-good, so that one cannot say anything that is
In view of these distinctions it is obvious that the one-sided
theories which some people express about all things cannot be valid-on
the one hand the theory that nothing is true (for, say they, there
is nothing to prevent every statement from being like the statement
'the diagonal of a square is commensurate with the side'), on the
other hand the theory that everything is true. These views are
practically the same as that of Heraclitus; for he who says that all
things are true and all are false also makes each of these
statements separately, so that since they are impossible, the double
statement must be impossible too.-Again, there are obviously
contradictories which cannot be at the same time true-nor on the other
hand can all statements be false; yet this would seem more possible in
the light of what has been said.-But against all such views we must
postulate, as we said above,' not that something is or is not, but
that something has a meaning, so that we must argue from a definition,
viz. by assuming what falsity or truth means. If that which it is true
to affirm is nothing other than that which it is false to deny, it
is impossible that all statements should be false; for one side of the
contradiction must be true. Again, if it is necessary with regard to
everything either to assert or to deny it, it is impossible that
both should be false; for it is one side of the contradiction that
is false.-Therefore all such views are also exposed to the often
expressed objection, that they destroy themselves. For he who says
that everything is true makes even the statement contrary to his own
true, and therefore his own not true (for the contrary statement
denies that it is true), while he who says everything is false makes
himself also false.-And if the former person excepts the contrary
statement, saying it alone is not true, while the latter excepts his
own as being not false, none the less they are driven to postulate the
truth or falsity of an infinite number of statements; for that which
says the true statement is true is true, and this process will go on
to infinity.
Evidently, again, those who say all things are at rest are not [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]