Presupposing the presupposition.
According to Aristotle, the fact that all beings from ψύαις are in motion
or at rest is evident: δῆλον ἐκ τῆς ἐπαγωγῆς. We usually translate the
word ἐπαγωγής as "induction" and, taken literally, the translation is almost
adequate. But with regard to the issue, i.e., as an interpretation, it is totally
erroneous. Ἐπαγωγή does not mean running through individual facts and
series of facts in order to conclude something common and "general" from
their similar properties. Ἐπαγωγή means "leading toward" what comes into
view insofar as we have previously looked away, over and beyond individual
beings. At what? At being. For example, only if we already have treeness
in view can we identify individual trees. Ἐπαγωγή is seeing and making
visible what already stands in view - for example, treeness. Ἐπαγωγή is
"constituting" in the double sense of, first, bringing something up into
view and then likewise establishing what has been seen. Έπαγωγή, is what
immediately becomes suspect to those caught up in scientific thinking and
mostly remains foreign to them. These people see in it an inadmissible
petitio principii, i.e., an "offense" against "empirical thinking," whereas the
petere principium, the reaching out to the supporting ground, is the only
move philosophy makes. It is the "offensive" that breaks open the territory
within whose borders a science can first settle down.
Aristotle on the petere principium
ἀρχὴ δὲ πρὸς ἅπαντα τὰ τοιαῦτα οὐ
τὸ ἀξιοῦν ἢ εἶναί τι λέγειν ἢ μὴ εἶναι (τοῦτο
μὲν γὰρ τάχ᾽ ἄν τις ὑπολάβοι τὸ ἐξ ἀρχῆς
αἰτεῖν), ἀλλὰ σημαίνειν γέ τι καὶ αὑτῷ καὶ
ἄλλῳ: τοῦτο γὰρ ἀνάγκη, εἴπερ λέγοι τι. εἰ γὰρ
μή, οὐκ ἂν εἴη τῷ τοιούτῳ λόγος, οὔτ᾽ αὐτῷ πρὸς
αὑτὸν οὔτε πρὸς ἄλλον.
Metaphysics IV, 1006 a 19.
for all such arguments is not the demand that our
opponent shall say that something either is or is not (for this
one might perhaps take to be a begging of the question), but
that he shall say something which is significant both for himself
and for another; for this is necessary, if he really is to say anything.
W. D. Ross.