Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of Categories

Previous | Next


exordium is prior in order to the narrative.

Besides these senses of the word, there is a fourth. That which is

better and more honourable is said to have a natural priority. In

common parlance men speak of those whom they honour and love as

'coming first' with them. This sense of the word is perhaps the most


Such, then, are the different senses in which the term 'prior' is


Yet it would seem that besides those mentioned there is yet another.

For in those things, the being of each of which implies that of the

other, that which is in any way the cause may reasonably be said to be

by nature 'prior' to the effect. It is plain that there are

instances of this. The fact of the being of a man carries with it

the truth of the proposition that he is, and the implication is

reciprocal: for if a man is, the proposition wherein we allege that he

is true, and conversely, if the proposition wherein we allege that

he is true, then he is. The true proposition, however, is in no way

the cause of the being of the man, but the fact of the man's being

does seem somehow to be the cause of the truth of the proposition, for

the truth or falsity of the proposition depends on the fact of the

man's being or not being.

Thus the word 'prior' may be used in five senses.


The term 'simultaneous' is primarily and most appropriately

applied to those things the genesis of the one of which is

simultaneous with that of the other; for in such cases neither is

prior or posterior to the other. Such things are said to be

simultaneous in point of time. Those things, again, are 'simultaneous'

Previous | Next
Site Search