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Francis Garden - 1878 - Table of contents

Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden

Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy





Axiom. This term taken by Aristotle from Mathematics, whether from the language of others, or from his own lost writings on that subject, is claimed by him for Metaphysics or Ontology as well. It denotes an immediate self-evident proposition, which does not admit of proof, but from which proof proceeds. Boethius and the schoolmen render it, out of regard to its etymology, by dignitas.

Aristotle lays stress upon the distinction between the general axioms which are common to all science, and those which are proper to any one. The former as applied to geometry are called κοιναὶ ἔννοιαι by Euclid, and the rest of those named axioms in our versions are by him placed among the postulates ἀίτήματα.


So far the Aristotelian notion of an axiom, which is perhaps the most generally entertained. The term, however, has been variously applied. The Stoics gave the name to every general proposition, as does Bacon, who even speaks of arriving at or exciting axioms, and proving them. Kant restricts the title to the fundamental axioms of geometry, our pure intuitions of space. The Cartesians follow the Aristotelian use, i.e. the use in the Analytics and Metaphysics. In the eighth book of Topics the word has a wider latitude, which seems the most adapted to general philosophy.

Meaning then by axioms the fundamental, universal, and self-evident judgments on which all thought must hinge, such as that if equals be added to equals the sums will be equal, and the like, Aristotle resolves them all into the great logical law of Contradiction, that the same thing cannot be and not be at the same time. By denying therefore an axiom truly such we subvert thought, and turn all exercise of it into futility. Those who understand the distinction will see that in this view they are to be regarded as analytic not synthetic judgments. Kant, confining the term to geometrical intuitions, classes them with the latter. There are several questions respecting axioms over and above those which relate to the use of the term, on which I cannot enter here. The most modern of these will be found in Stewart's works, and in Mill's Logic.



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