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On Sophistical Refutations   

sense of the words the objection holds, but not against the other,

that they have taken it in the latter sense, as e.g. Cleophon does

in the Mandrobulus. They should also break off their argument and

cut down their other lines of attack, while in answering, if a man

perceives this being done beforehand, he should put in his objection

and have his say first. One should also lead attacks sometimes against

positions other than the one stated, on the understood condition

that one cannot find lines of attack against the view laid down, as

Lycophron did when ordered to deliver a eulogy upon the lyre. To

counter those who demand 'Against what are you directing your

effort?', since one is generally thought bound to state the charge

made, while, on the other hand, some ways of stating it make the

defence too easy, you should state as your aim only the general result

that always happens in refutations, namely the contradiction of his

thesis -viz. that your effort is to deny what he has affirmed, or to

affirm what he denied: don't say that you are trying to show that

the knowledge of contraries is, or is not, the same. One must not

ask one's conclusion in the form of a premiss, while some

conclusions should not even be put as questions at all; one should

take and use it as granted.


We have now therefore dealt with the sources of questions, and the

methods of questioning in contentious disputations: next we have to

speak of answering, and of how solutions should be made, and of what

requires them, and of what use is served by arguments of this kind.

The use of them, then, is, for philosophy, twofold. For in the first

place, since for the most part they depend upon the expression, they

put us in a better condition for seeing in how many senses any term is

used, and what kind of resemblances and what kind of differences occur

between things and between their names. In the second place they are

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