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On Sophistical Refutations   


An argument depending upon accent it is not easy to construct in

unwritten discussion; in written discussions and in poetry it is

easier. Thus (e.g.) some people emend Homer against those who

criticize as unnatural his expression to men ou kataputhetai

ombro. For they solve the difficulty by a change of accent,

pronouncing the ou with an acuter accent. Also, in the passage

about Agamemnon's dream, they say that Zeus did not himself say 'We

grant him the fulfilment of his prayer', but that he bade the dream

grant it. Instances such as these, then, turn upon the accentuation.

Others come about owing to the form of expression used, when what is

really different is expressed in the same form, e.g. a masculine thing

by a feminine termination, or a feminine thing by a masculine, or a

neuter by either a masculine or a feminine; or, again, when a

quality is expressed by a termination proper to quantity or vice

versa, or what is active by a passive word, or a state by an active

word, and so forth with the other divisions previously' laid down. For

it is possible to use an expression to denote what does not belong

to the class of actions at all as though it did so belong. Thus (e.g.)

'flourishing' is a word which in the form of its expression is like

'cutting' or 'building': yet the one denotes a certain quality-i.e.

a certain condition-while the other denotes a certain action. In the

same manner also in the other instances.

Refutations, then, that depend upon language are drawn from these

common-place rules. Of fallacies, on the other hand, that are

independent of language there are seven kinds:

(1) that which depends upon Accident:

(2) the use of an expression absolutely or not absolutely but with

some qualification of respect or place, or time, or relation:

(3) that which depends upon ignorance of what 'refutation' is:

(4) that which depends upon the consequent:

(5) that which depends upon assuming the original conclusion:

(6) stating as cause what is not the cause:

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