Organon (Aristotle)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Organon ( Greek ὄργανον "tool") is a collection of writings by the Greek philosopher Aristotle . In them Aristotle describes the art of logic as a tool of science. The Organon consists of six individual writings, which were probably put together in this form not by Aristotle himself, but by Byzantine scholars, who also gave the collection its name.

Title and question about the compilation

Neither the title of the Organon nor the arrangement of the writings it contains are from Aristotle, and the order of the books is not chronological . The compilation is also problematic from a factual point of view: It is based on the post-Aristotelian division into 'doctrine of concept', 'doctrine of judgment' and 'doctrine of conclusion '. However, there are two independent 'doctrines of the conclusion' '(in the Topic and in the Analytics ), neither of which presuppose any doctrine of judgment or of the concept. In addition, missing in the Organon which - close to the Topik bound - rhetoric .

Nevertheless, the compilation has a certain justification. All of the contained scriptures deal at least in part with logical subjects (in a broad sense). None of them know the important distinction between form and matter . There are also some references to each other between some of these scriptures. Above all, however, they can all be settled outside the Aristotelian system of science and characterized as methodological and propaedeutic, although this does not make them a mere tool; rather, their contents are also the subject of philosophy.

From today's perspective, the range of topics includes the disciplines of philosophy of language, grammar, logic, philosophy of science and ontology. De interpretatione deals with linguistic-philosophical, logical and grammatical problems and the categories do not seem to explicitly differentiate relations between things from relations between words.


The six books of Organon describe how human knowledge can be divided into different fields and further developed in them with the help of logical conclusions from observations. In addition, Aristotle teaches, among other things, how to derive, prove and check evidence.

The topics are divided into six books:

  1. The categories (Latin: Categoriae; Gr .: Κατηγορίαι kategoriai , "About the categories"): Aristotle describes in 15 chapters the basic principle of a hierarchical classification, as they form the basis of today's scientific description systems.
  2. In the writing De interpretatione (Latin; gr: Περὶ ἑρμηνείας peri hermeneias , "About the interpretation"; 14 chapter) Aristotle defines the statement . Accordingly, a statement consists of a word structure that can be true or false ; Word structures to which these properties do not apply (e.g. wishes) are therefore not statements. Likewise, in this book Aristotle justifies the consistency of statements as the basis of scientific knowledge growth.
  3. The doctrine of the logical conclusion (Latin: Analytica priora, Gr .: Ἀναλυτικὰ πρότερα Analytika protera , “first analysis”) explains how a new statement is derived from two observations or findings ( syllogism ).
  4. In the doctrine of evidence (Latin: Analytica posteriora, Gr .: Ἀναλυτικὰ ὕστερα analytika hystera , "Second Analysis", two books with 34 or 19 chapters), Aristotle formulates the fundamentals of scientific methodology, the philosophy of science , and tries to push the limits of science Recognize procedures.
  5. The Topik (Latin: Topica, Gr .: Τόποι topoi ) contains the doctrine of the general propositions that are inferred by probabilities: the definitions . Here, too, the admissibility and the inadmissibility of different types of conclusions are explained. This approach is presented as a tool for the (fruitful) scientific debate.
  6. The text Sophistic Refutations (Latin: De sophisticis elenchis, Greek: Περὶ σοφιστικῶν ἐλέγχων Peri sophistikon elenchon ) deals primarily with the doctrine of fallacies and how to recognize and avoid them.

Since ancient times, most editions of Organon have included an introductory text by Porphyry , a kind of foreword to the first book "Categories".

See also


  • Christoph Horn, Christof Rapp (Ed.): Dictionary of Ancient Philosophy , Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-47623-6
  • Christof Rapp : Aristoteles for the introduction , Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-88506-346-8
  • Günther Patzig : The Aristotelian syllogistics. Logical-philological investigation into book A of the "First Analytics" , 3rd edition, Göttingen 1969
  • Kurt Ebbinghaus: A formal model of the syllogistics of Aristotle , Göttingen 1964

Web links


  1. Weidemann 2002, p. 67 f.
  2. ^ Robin Smith: Aristotle's Logic . § 2. Aristotle's Logical Works: The Organon , in SEP.