In Book I, Part 2 of Aristotle's Rhetoric, Aristotle writes:

With regard to the persuasion achieved by proof or apparent proof: just as in dialectic there is induction on the one hand and syllogism or apparent syllogism on the other, so it is in rhetoric. The example is an induction, the enthymeme is a syllogism, and the apparent enthymeme is an apparent syllogism. I call the enthymeme a rhetorical syllogism, and the example a rhetorical induction. Every one who effects persuasion through proof does in fact use either enthymemes or examples: there is no other way. And since every one who proves anything at all is bound to use either syllogisms or inductions (and this is clear to us from the Analytics), it must follow that enthymemes are syllogisms and examples are inductions.

When Aristotle says, "the Analytics," is Aristotle here referring to Posterior Analytics, Prior Analytics, or both Posterior Analytics and Prior Analytics? I do not think there is a precise timeline of these works and Rhetoric, so I would appreciate if an educated scholar gave me a definitive reply.

Update 1:

The phrase is used again in Book I, Part 2 here:

There are few facts of the 'necessary' type that can form the basis of rhetorical syllogisms. Most of the things about which we make decisions, and into which therefore we inquire, present us with alternative possibilities. For it is about our actions that we deliberate and inquire, and all our actions have a contingent character; hardly any of them are determined by necessity. Again, conclusions that state what is merely usual or possible must be drawn from premisses that do the same, just as 'necessary' conclusions must be drawn from 'necessary' premisses; this too is clear to us from the Analytics.

2 Answers 2


I've looked at Rhetoric (translated by W. Rhys Roberts with footnotes) thanks to my local library. Aristotle is ambiguous for stylistic ease---he varies between referencing Posterior Analytics and Prior Analytics when he says "the Analytics". Sometimes he means one of the two, other times he means both. In other words, he is not consistent.


It's not that Aristotle is ambiguous. It's that both texts are reconstructions. Thus, we don't know exactly what sequence of items were in the text he calls the Analytics

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