Aristotle’s Logical Works: The Organon

Aristotle’s Logical Works: The Organon

The ancient commentators grouped together several of Aristotle’s treatises under the title Organon (“Instrument”) and regarded them as comprising his logical works:

– Categories
– On Interpretation
– Prior Analytics
– Posterior Analytics
– Topics
– On Sophistical Refutations

In fact, the title Organon reflects a much later controversy about whether logic is a part of philosophy (as the Stoics maintained) or merely a tool used by philosophy (as the later Peripatetics thought); calling the logical works “The Instrument” is a way of taking sides on this point.

Aristotle himself never uses this term, nor does he give much indication that these particular treatises form some kind of group, though there are frequent cross-references between the Topics and the Analytics.

On the other hand, Aristotle treats the Prior and Posterior Analytics as one work, and On Sophistical Refutations is a final section, or an appendix, to the Topics).

To these works should be added the Rhetoric, which explicitly declares its reliance on the Topics.



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