A special case of the practice, seen in Appendix II, is the discovery of definitions, as seen in Posterior Analytics II. Here Aristotle questions whether it is possible to find definitions by examining the significations of words. His subtle analysis distinguishes between geometry, where we know before we begin what a triangle is, but must demonstrate that such a thing as a triangle is possible, and the case of physical phenomena, where we must achieve understanding before knowing what a word like ’thunder’ really signifies. In both cases, it will be seen that the traditional distinction between ’real’ and ’nominal’ definitions is alien to Aristotle.
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