Aristotle is not not-thirsty = Aristotle wants a damn drink!

Aristotle – On Interpretation

  1. We need to understand terms like “noun” & “verb” then “negation”, “affirmation”, preposition” & “sentence”.
    • Spoken words are symbols of mental experiences & written words are symbols of spoken words.
    • We don’t all have the same writing or the same sounds but our mental experiences are universals because we have so many experiences in common.
    • Since this is about thoughts & not about truth or falsity, as is the case with speech.
      • Truth & falsity imply combinations & separations.
      • Nouns & verbs, when nothing is added to them, are thought without combinations or separations.
        • “Man” is an isolated term that can’t be true or false.
        • To add truth or falsity, you have to use “is” or “isn’t” with a combination or separation.
  1. Nouns have no reference to time. In the word “fairsteed”, “steed” had no independent meaning.
    • There’s a difference between simple nouns & composite nouns.
    • “Pirate ship” has the “ship” in it but the idea of ship is not independent of the word “pirate ship.”
    • Nouns or names don’t exist in nature because they are symbols. It’s only when sounds get attached to symbol that they take on meanings beyond grunts.
    • But “not man” is not a noun. It’s hard to characterize since it’s not a sentence or a denial. It’s an indefinite noun.
    • “Of Philo” or “to Philo” aren’t nouns but cases of nouns, inferring belonging to or direction towards Philo.
      • Once “is”, “was” or “will be” get involved, they form a proposition that can either be true or false.
        • Nouns need verbs to make true or false statements.
  1. Verbs carry notions of time with them. While they have no independent meaning, they are signs of something said about something else.
    • “Health” is a noun but “to be healthy” is a verb. “Is healthy” shows this in the present tense.
    • A verb is a sign of something predictable or of something that is present in something else – sometimes a state or an action
    • “Is not healthy” or “is not ill” aren’t verbs. While they invoke time & form a predicate, we’ll call them “indefinite verbs” since they apply to what exists & what doesn’t exist.
    • Adding “will” as in “will be health” or “was” as in “was healthy” aren’t verbs but tenses of verbs outside of the present.
    • Verbs that are substantive, i.e. “to be _______”, captivate the listener’s or reader’s mind but don’t express judgment.
      • They just imply a coupling that can’t lead to conclusions.
  1. A sentence is a form of speech with some portions of independent meaning but not as a proposition, either positive or negative.
    • “Human” is not a proposition. But when added with other words, we can form something of an affirmative or denial.
      • Separating the syllables gives us no meaning. It just divides the words into separate sounds.
      • Composite words do have parts that apply to the whole meaning but do not have an independent sound.
    • Every sentence has a meaning – not by natural means – but by contention
      • Every sentence isn’t a proposition. Propositions can be proven to be true or false. But a prayer is a sentence. However it is not a true or false sentence.
    • We’ll focus only on sentences as propositions. The others belong purely to rhetoric or poetry.
  2. The first sort of simple propositions is a simple affirmation & then a simple denial. All others are propositions by conjunction.
    • Each must contain a verb or a tense of a verb.
    • In a phrase defining “man”, if no verb or verb tense is present, isn’t a proposition.
      • “A footed animal with 2 feet” doesn’t propose anything, yet it is a definition of man
    • We call propositions single which indicate a single fact or the conjunction of the parts resulting in unity.
      • Propositions are separate & multiple when they indicate many facts or have parts with no conjunction.
    • We’ll call a verb or noun just an “expression” & not a “proposition” since we can’t speak them & express anything to make a statement either to answer a question or initiate a thought on our own.
      • Simple propositions assert or deny something of something.
      • Composite propositions combine simple propositions.
    • A simple proposition is a statement with meaning about the presence of subject in a subject or its absence at any point in time.
  3. An affirmation is a positive assertion of something about something & a denial is a negative assertion.
    • It’s possible to affirm or deny the presence of something even if the case doesn’t hold at the moment because it may refer to outside the present.
    • Every affirmation has an opposition denial & every denial has an opposite affirmation.
      • These pairs of propositions are a pair of contradictions.
      • They are so when they have the same subject & predicate. The identity of these can’t be equivocal.
  1. Some things are universal & other individual.
    • “Universal” applies to many subjects à “Man”
    • “Individual” applies to an individual subject à “Callias”
    • Propositions may be about a universal object or about an individual subject.
      • If you make a positive & negative proposition in a universal way to a universal, these statements are contrary.
        • “Universal way” to a “universal” – possible example: “every man is white” or “no man is white.
      • If you make a positive & negative proposition about a universal but not a universal character, they will not be contrary.
        • An example is: “Man is white” or “Man is not white”. Because it doesn’t say “every man”, it doesn’t make the proposition about a universal character but gives a proposition a universal character.
        • “Man” is universal but the proposition about man isn’t.
          • If both subject & predicate are universal separately, no affirmation will be true.
            • g. “Every man is every animal”.
          • Affirmation is opposed to denial is a “contradictory” way. The subject is the same but the affirmation or denial of universal character isn’t.
            • Contraries: “Every man is white” & “Not every man is white”; BUT “No man is white” is contrary to “Some men are white”.
              • The affirmation & denial are contraries when universals are opposed, the case is: “Every man is white” v. “No man is white; & “every man is just” & “No man is just”.
            • Both can’t be true but the contradictories of a pair of contraries can sometimes be true with respect to the same subject.
              • “Not every man is white” & “Some men are white” are both true.
            • But corresponding positive & negative propositions referring to universals & having a universal character can’t both be true.
              • g. “Socrates is white” & “Socrates is not white” can’t be both true.
            • When the reference is to universals but propositions aren’t universal, it’s not always the case that one is true & the other is false.
              • g. “Man is white” & “Man is not white”
                • It might appear to have a contradiction because it seems that “Man is not white” is the same as “No man is white” but that is not the case.
                • The denial is of a single proposition. The denial must deny only what the affirmation affirms about the same subject & must correspond to the affirmation in universal or particular about the same subject.
                  • g. “Socrates is white” & “Socrates is not white” keep Socrates as the particular subject but the universal is being affirmed or denied.
                  • Denial proper to “Every man is white” is “Not every man is white” because the denial/affirmation refers to the “every man” part.
                  • Proper denial to “Man is white” is “Man is not white” because “is white” is the universal in the predicate.
                • Single denial is contradictorily opposite to a single affirmation. Contrary is distinct from contradictory, in that opposing propositions don’t always have to be where one must be true & the other must be false.
  1. An affirmation is single if it indicates one fact about one subject.
    • It doesn’t matter if the subject or character is universal
      • “Every man is white” & “Not every man is not white”
      • “Man is white” & “Man is not white”
      • “No man is white” & “Some men are white”
        • All provided that the word “white” has one meaning
        • If it has 2 meanings that don’t combine to form one, the affirmation isn’t single.
      • You establish the word “garment” a significant of both a man & of a horse, the proposition “garment is white” could not have a single meaning & opposite would not be a single denial.
        • This could mean “man is white” or “horse is white” & these 2 don’t mean the same thing. Negation of them don’t match up either.
  1. Present & past propositions, whether positive or negative, must either be true or false. As in the case of contradictories, it’s either when the subject is universal or the propositions is of a universal character – OR in the case of the individual one must be true & the other must be false.
    • When the subject is individual & the predicate refers to the future, things are different.
    • If all propositions, positive or negative, are true or false then the given predicate must belong to the subject or not. If one affirms, the other denies. One corresponds to reality & the other doesn’t. The predicate can’t belong & not belong to the subject with respect to the future.
      • If it’s true to say a thing is white, it must be necessarily so.
      • If it’s not true, it will be not white of necessity.
        • The proposition is true in the affirmative, if it actually is white & if it isn’t actually white, then the denial is true. à So one is true & the other is false.
      • Everything in these cases takes place of necessity & is fixed.
      • This sort of statement doesn’t allow for change, unless out of necessity. So that nothing is uncertain or fortuitous (because then it wouldn’t be necessary).
    • Saying neither the affirmation nor denial is true, that an event will neither take place nor not take place isn’t possible to back up.
      • Facts will show one’s true & the other is false.
      • Saying something is large & white means the qualities belong to it of necessity today & if they’re true tomorrow, they’ll necessarily belong to it tomorrow.
        • But if the event doesn’t happen today or tomorrow, chance is eliminated
        • It’d be necessary that a sea battle should neither take place nor not take place on the next day.
        • This means there’s a law that in contradictory positions stated as universal about universals or individuals must either be true or false.
      • This holds whether or not contradictory statements are actually made. The facts of circumstances throughout time will hold or not hold but not both & not neither.
        • As long as one affirmative & its denial don’t come to pass yet, there’s always potential for one to happen, as it must & for the other not to happen.
          • Either a thing must be or not be in the present or future.
        • g. The sea battle must either happen or not happen tomorrow but neither case is necessary. These alternatives contradict each other in that they are mutually exclusive. The only necessity is that one will be true & the other will be false.
  1. The subject & predicate in an affirmation must each denote a single thing. Every affirmation & denial will consist of a noun & a verb, either definite or indefinite. As said before verbs carry with them a notion of time.
    • Primary affirmation & denial are “man is” & “man is not”
    • Then “not-man is” & “not man is not”
    • “Every man is”, “Every man is not”; “All that is not-man is”, “All that is not man is not”
      • These apply with tenses other than the present.
    • When “is” is used as a 3rd element, you can have 2 kinds of positive & negative propositions.
    • So, in the sentence, “Man is just”, “is” is a 3rd
    • Now 4 propositions can be made with these – 2 affirmations & 2 denials – 2 normal & 2 privations:
      • A – Affirmative: Man is just.
      • B – Denial: Man is not just.
      • C – Affirmative: Man is not-just.
      • D – Denial: Man is not not-just.
        • “Is” & “is not” are connected to “just” & “not just”. Now we make the subject universal:
      • A’ – Affirmative: Every man is just.
      • B’ – Denial: Not every man is just.
      • C’ – Affirmative: Every man is not-just.
      • D’ – Denial: Not every man is not-just.
        • These denials don’t say the same things, as the affirmations don’t either.
          • If we add “not-man” to this we get:
        • A’’ – Not-man is just.
        • B’’ – Not-man is not just.
        • C’’ – Not-man is not-just.
        • D’’ – Not-man is not not-just.
          • These show the opposite propositions to be framed. Using “not-man” makes things different.
            • “Every man enjoys health”, “Every man does not enjoy health”, “all that is not-man enjoys health” & “all that is not-man doesn’t enjoy health.”
            • Using “not every man” shouldn’t be used because it doesn’t give the subject universal significance.
              • g. “Man enjoys health”, “man does not enjoy health” & “not-man enjoys health” & “not-man doesn’t enjoy health”. The first pair are indefinite & the 2nd pair is universal denial. Adjectives “every” &”no” have no additional significance except that the subject is distributed. The rest of the sentence is the same.
            • The contrary subject of “every animal is just” is “no animal is just” à Those 2 can never be true at the same time or about the same subject.
              • Sometimes the contradictories of these contraries will both be true.
              • “Not every animal is just” & “some animals are just” are both true.
            • When the subject is an individual & a question is asked & if the negative is true then the positive must be untrue.
              • “Is Socrates wise?” If the answer is “no”, then it must mean “Socrates is unwise”.
            • But you can’t infer that way in the case of universals à “Is every man wise?”
              • If “no”, then it is not the case that “every man is unwise” but that “not all men are wise”.
              • Negative expressions with indefinite nouns & predicates like “not-man” & “not-just” seem to be denials but they aren’t à A denial must always be true or false & “not man” is not any closer to making a true/false statement.
              • The statement “everything that is not man is just” & its contradictory aren’t the equivalent to any of the other propositions but…
                • “Everything that is not man is not just” is the equivalent to “nothing that is not man is just.”
                • Saying “Man is white” & “White is man”, if they’re not equivalent, there could be more than one contradictory to the same propositions. But since they are, it only has one.
                • The inversion of the relative position of the subject & predicate doesn’t affect the sense of affirmation & denial.

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