of 1; 9:59 AM; 2/8/10
1. Dialectic is the art that has a path to the principles of all methods.
And therefore, in
the acquisition of the sciences, dialectic must come first.
But it is called ‘dialectic’ from
, which is ‘two,’ and
, which is ‘talking,’ or
, which is ‘reasoning,’ as if it
were the talking or reasoning of two people – namely, the opponent and respondent in a
But because a disputation cannot take place except by means of talking, and
because there is no talking except by means of vocalization, and since every vocalization
is a sound, therefore, sound must be the place to start, as from what is prior.
2. Sound, then, is whatever is properly perceived by hearing: I say ‘properly’ because,
whether it is a man or a bell that is heard, it happens only through sound.
Of sounds, one
is vocalization, another is not vocalization.
A vocalization is a sound that has come from
the mouth of an animal, formed by natural organs.
The natural organs by which a
vocalization is formed are said to be these: lips, teeth, tongue, palate, throat and lungs.
sound that is not a vocalization is one produced by a collision of inanimate bodies, like
the crashing of trees or the stomping of feet.
3. Of vocalizations, one is sign-making, another is not sign-making.
vocalization is one that represents something to the hearing, like ‘man’ or the moaning of
A non-sign-making vocalization is one that represents nothing to the
hearing, like ‘buba.’
Of sign-making vocalizations, one is sign-making by convention,
A naturally sign-making vocalization is one that represents the same
thing to everyone, like the moaning of sick people or the barking of dogs.
that is sign-making by convention is one like ‘man’ that represents something as decided
by the one who establishes the convention.
Of vocalizations that are sign-making by
convention, one is simple or uncombined, like a name and a verb, another is combined or
complex, like a phrase.
4. A name is a vocalization that is sign-making by convention, without tense; no part of it
signifies when separated; and it is definite and direct.
In the definition of name,
‘vocalization’ is put in the place of the genus; ‘sign-making’ is put in for a difference:
from a non-sign-making vocalization; ‘by convention’ is put in for a difference: from a
naturally sign-making vocalization; ‘without tense’ is put in for a difference: from a verb,
which signifies with tense; ‘no part of it …’ is put in for a difference: from a phrase,
whose parts signify when separated; ‘definite’ is put in for a difference: from an
indefinite name, like ‘not-man,’ which according to dialecticians is not a name but an
indefinite name; and ‘direct’ is put in for a difference: from an inflected name, like ‘of-
Cato,’ ‘to-Cato’ and so on, which according to dialecticians are not names but inflections