On Sophistical Refutations
nose, there is therefore a 'concave-nose nose'.
People sometimes appear to produce this result, without really
producing it, because they do not add the question whether the
expression 'double', just by itself, has any meaning or no, and if so,
whether it has the same meaning, or a different one; but they draw
their conclusion straight away. Still it seems, inasmuch as the word
is the same, to have the same meaning as well.
We have said before what kind of thing 'solecism' is.' It is
possible both to commit it, and to seem to do so without doing so, and
to do so without seeming to do so. Suppose, as Protagoras used to
say that menis ('wrath') and pelex ('helmet') are masculine:
according to him a man who calls wrath a 'destructress' (oulomenen)
commits a solecism, though he does not seem to do so to other
people, where he who calls it a 'destructor' (oulomenon) commits no
solecism though he seems to do so. It is clear, then, that any one
could produce this effect by art as well: and for this reason many
arguments seem to lead to solecism which do not really do so, as
happens in the case of refutations.
Almost all apparent solecisms depend upon the word 'this' (tode),
and upon occasions when the inflection denotes neither a masculine nor
a feminine object but a neuter. For 'he' (outos) signifies a
masculine, and 'she' (aute) feminine; but 'this' (touto), though
meant to signify a neuter, often also signifies one or other of the
former: e.g. 'What is this?' 'It is Calliope'; 'it is a log'; 'it is
Coriscus'. Now in the masculine and feminine the inflections are all
different, whereas in the neuter some are and some are not. Often,
then, when 'this' (touto) has been granted, people reason as if 'him'
(touton) had been said: and likewise also they substitute one
inflection for another. The fallacy comes about because 'this'