Knowledge of a fact and knowledge of the reason why (Arist. APo. A 13, 78a23-b34).
Author/s: Piero Tarantino 
Year:  2014 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  25 Pg. 1-25 FullText PDF:  605 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SF2014-001001
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 


In the first half of APo. A 13, Aristotle introduces the distinction between the knowledge of a fact and the knowledge of the reason why within the same science. These two levels of knowledge are deductively structured. On the basis of the choice of middle term we can identify the deduction of the reason why and at least five kinds of the deduction of the fact. A central interpretive question concerns the function that the knowledge of the fact plays in scientific process. The deductions of a fact seem to characterize the first stage in the investigation into the reason of a property; they are not opposed to demonstration. For example, the deductions that proceed through the more familiar of the convertible terms discover less familiar properties and bring about the contents of the deductions of the reason why. Consequently, the knowledge of the fact finds the items whereon the knowledge of the reason why is grounded.
Keywords: Posterior Analytics, science, demonstration, reason why, deduction

  1. - Szabó 1958: Árpád Szabó, DEIKNUMI als mathematischer Terminus für “beweisen”, «Maia», X (1958), pp. 106-131.
  2. - Acerbi 2007: Fabio Acerbi, Introduzione, in Euclide, Tutte le opere, a cura di F. Acerbi, Bompiani, Milano 2007, pp. 13-774.
  3. - Barnes 1994: Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, translated with a commentary by Jonathan Barnes, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1994. - Barnes 2007: Jonathan Barnes, Conoscenza dimostrativa, in Mignucci 2007, pp. VIIXXX.
  4. - Berti 1981: Enrico Berti (ed.), Aristotle on Science. The Posterior Analytics (Proceedings of the Eighth Symposium Aristotelicum), Antenore, Padova, 1981.
  5. - Berti, Rossitto 1993: Aristotele, Il libro primo della “Metafisica”, a cura di Enrico Berti, Cristina Rossitto, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1993.
  6. - Brody 1972: Baruch A. Brody, Towards an Aristotelian Theory of Scientific Explanation, «Philosophy of Science», XXXIX (1972), 1, pp. 20-31.
  7. - Burnyeat 1981: Myles F. Burnyeat, Aristotle on Understanding Knowledge, in Berti 1981, pp. 97-139.
  8. - Burnyeat 2011: Id., Episteme, in Ben Morison, Katerina Ierodiakonou (eds.), Episteme, etc. Essays in Honour of Jonathan Barnes, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2011, pp. 3-29.
  9. - Cambiano 2006: Giuseppe Cambiano, Figure, Macchine, Sogni. Saggi sulla scienza antica, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, Roma 2006.
  10. - Chantraine, DELG: Pierre Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque, Klincksieck, Paris 2009 (nouvelle édition).
  11. - Cosenza 1972: Paolo Cosenza, Tecniche di trasformazione nella sillogistica di Aristotele, Libreria scientifica, Napoli 1972.
  12. - Cosenza 2003: Id., Calcolo delle classi e calcolo dei predicati nell’Analitica di Aristotele, Accademia Pontaniana, Napoli 2003.
  13. - Detel 1994: Aristoteles, Analytica posteriora, übersetzt und erläutert von Wolfgang Detel, 2 Halbbände, zweiter Halbband, Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1993.
  14. - Gifford 2000: Mark Gifford, Lexical Anomalies in the Introduction to the “Posterior Analytics”, Part I, «Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy», XIX (2000), pp. 163-223.
  15. - Gomez-Lobo 1980: Alfonso Gomez-Lobo, The So-called Question of Existence in Aristotle, “An. Post.” 2. 1-2, «The Review of Metaphysics», XXXIV (1980), pp. 72-89.
  16. - Hankinson 2002: Robert J. Hankinson, Causation and Explanation in Aristotle, «Quaestio», II (2002), pp. 33-56.
  17. - Kosman 1973: L. Aryeh Kosman, Understanding, Explanation and Insight in the Posterior Analytics, in Edward N. Lee – Alexander P.D. Mourelatos – Richard M. Rorty (eds.), Exegesis and Argument, Van Gorcum, Assen 1973, pp. 374-392.
  18. - Kullmann 1974: Wolfgang Kullmann, Wissenschaft und Methode. Interpretationen zur Aristotelischen Theorie der Naturwissenschaft, de Gruyter, Berlin 1974.
  19. - Lloyd 2012: Geoffrey E.R. Lloyd, The pluralism of Greek “mathematics”, in Karine Chemla (ed.), The History of Mathematical Proof in Ancient Traditions, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2012, pp. 294-310.
  20. - LSJ: A Greek-English Lexicon, compiled by Henry G. Liddel, Robert Scott, revised by H.S. Jones with the assistance of R. McKenzie, 9th ed., 1940, with a Revised Supplement, edited by P.G.W. Glare with the assistance of A.A. Thompson, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1996.
  21. - Lyons 1963: John Lyons, Structural Semantics. An Analysis of Part of the Vocabulary of Plato, Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1963.
  22. - Mansion 1979: Suzanne Mansion, «Plus connu en soi», «plus connu pour nous». Une distinction epistemologique importante chez Aristote, «Pensamiento», 35 (1979), pp. 161-170.
  23. - McKirahan 1992: Richard D. McKirahan, Principles and Proofs. Aristotle’s Theory of Demonstrative Science, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1992. - Mendell 1988: Henry Mendell, Making Sense of Aristotelian Demonstration, «Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy», 16 (1988), pp. 161-225.
  24. - Mignucci 1965: Mario Mignucci, La teoria aristotelica della scienza, Sansoni, Firenze 1965.
  25. - Mignucci 1975: Id., L’argomentazione dimostrativa in Aristotele. Commento agli Analitici secondi, Antenore, Padova 1975.
  26. - Mignucci 2007: Aristotele, Analitici secondi. Organon IV, a cura di Mario Mignucci, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2007.
  27. - Moravcsik 1974: Julius M. E. Moravcsik, Aristotle on Adequate Explanations, «Synthese», XXVIII (1974), pp. 3-17.
  28. - Moravcsik 1991: Id., What Makes Reality Intelligible? Reflections on Aristotle’s Theory of Aitia, in Lindsay Judson (ed.), Aristotle’s Physics: a collection of essays, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1991, pp. 31-47.
  29. - Mueller 2006: Ian Mueller, Greek Mathematics (Arithmetic, Geometry, Proportion Theory) to the Time of Euclid, in Mary Louise Gill, Pierre Pellegrin (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford-Boston 2006, pp. 686-718.
  30. - Mugler 1959: Charles Mugler, Dictionnaire Historique de la Terminologie Géométrique des Grecs, Librairie Klincksieck, Paris 1959.
  31. - Natali 1997: Carlo Natali, Aitia in Aristotele: causa o spiegazione?, in Hans-Christian Günther – Antonios Rengakos (Hgg.), Beiträge zur antiken Philosophie. Festschrift für Wolfgang Kullmann, F. Steiner, Stuttgart 1997, pp. 113-124.
  32. - Netz 1999: Reviel Netz, The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1999.
  33. - Pace 1966: Giulio Pace, In Porphyrii Isagogen et Aristotelis Organum commentaries analyticus, Olms, Hildesheim 1967 (repr. Nachdr. d. Ausg. Frankfurt a.M. 1597).
  34. - Patzig 1981: Günther Patzig, Erkenntinsgründe, Realgründe und Erklärungen (zu “Anal. Post.” A 13), in Berti 1981, pp. 141-156.
  35. - Peters 1967: Francis E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms. A Historical Lexicon, New York University Press, New York 1967.
  36. - Ross 1949: Aristotle’s Prior and Posterior Analytics, a revised text with introduction and commentary by William David Ross, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1949.
  37. - Taylor 1990: C.C.W. Taylor, Aristotle’s Epistemology, in Stephen Everson (ed.), Epistemology (Companions to Ancient Thought I), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1990, pp. 116-142.
  38. - Tommaso 1955: S. Thomae Aquinatis In Aristotelis libros Peri hermeneias et Posteriorum analyticorum expositio, cum textu ex recensione leonina, cura et studio Raymundi M. Spiazzi, Marietti, Torino 1955.
  39. - Urmson 1990: James O. Urmson, The Greek Philosophical Vocabulary, Duckworth, London 1990.
  40. - van Fraassen 1980: Bas C. van Fraassen, A Re-examination of Aristotle’s Philosophy of Science, «Dialogue», XIX (1980), pp. 20-45.
  41. - Vegetti 2005: Mario Vegetti, Le origini della teoria aristotelica delle cause, in R. Loredana Cardullo, Giovanna R. Giardina (a cura di), La “Fisica” di Aristotele oggi. Problemi e prospettive, Cuecm, Catania 2005, pp. 21-31.
  42. - Zabarella 1966: Jacobi Zabarellae Opera logica, herausgegeben von Wilhelm Risse, Olms, Hildesheim 1966 (reprograf. Nachdr. d. Ausg. Köln 1597).

Piero Tarantino, Knowledge of a fact and knowledge of the reason why (Arist. APo. A 13, 78a23-b34). in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 1/2014, pp. 1-25, DOI:10.3280/SF2014-001001


FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content