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On Sophistical Refutations   


definite type of fault, and is a kind of foul fighting, so the art

of contentious reasoning is foul fighting in disputation: for in the

former case those who are resolved to win at all costs snatch at

everything, and so in the latter case do contentious reasoners. Those,

then, who do this in order to win the mere victory are generally

considered to be contentious and quarrelsome persons, while those

who do it to win a reputation with a view to making money are

sophistical. For the art of sophistry is, as we said,' a kind of art

of money-making from a merely apparent wisdom, and this is why they

aim at a merely apparent demonstration: and quarrelsome persons and

sophists both employ the same arguments, but not with the same

motives: and the same argument will be sophistical and contentious,

but not in the same respect; rather, it will be contentious in so

far as its aim is an apparent victory, while in so far as its aim is

an apparent wisdom, it will be sophistical: for the art of sophistry

is a certain appearance of wisdom without the reality. The contentious

argument stands in somewhat the same relation to the dialectical as

the drawer of false diagrams to the geometrician; for it beguiles by

misreasoning from the same principles as dialectic uses, just as the

drawer of a false diagram beguiles the geometrician. But whereas the

latter is not a contentious reasoner, because he bases his false

diagram on the principles and conclusions that fall under the art of

geometry, the argument which is subordinate to the principles of

dialectic will yet clearly be contentious as regards other subjects.

Thus, e.g. though the squaring of the circle by means of the lunules

is not contentious, Bryson's solution is contentious: and the former

argument cannot be adapted to any subject except geometry, because

it proceeds from principles that are peculiar to geometry, whereas the

latter can be adapted as an argument against all the number of

people who do not know what is or is not possible in each particular

context: for it will apply to them all. Or there is the method whereby

Antiphon squared the circle. Or again, an argument which denied that

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