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On Sophistical Refutations   

as is bound to follow as a consequence from our thesis, but is false

or paradoxical, we must plead the same: for the necessary consequences

are generally held to be a part of the thesis itself. Moreover,

whenever the universal has been secured not under a definite name, but

by a comparison of instances, one should say that the questioner

assumes it not in the sense in which it was granted nor in which he

proposed it in the premiss: for this too is a point upon which a

refutation often depends.

If one is debarred from these defences one must pass to the argument

that the conclusion has not been properly shown, approaching it in the

light of the aforesaid distinction between the different kinds of


In the case, then, of names that are used literally one is bound

to answer either simply or by drawing a distinction: the tacit

understandings implied in our statements, e.g. in answer to

questions that are not put clearly but elliptically-it is upon this

that the consequent refutation depends. For example, 'Is what

belongs to Athenians the property of Athenians?' Yes. 'And so it is

likewise in other cases. But observe; man belongs to the animal

kingdom, doesn't he?' Yes. 'Then man is the property of the animal

kingdom.' But this is a fallacy: for we say that man 'belongs to'

the animal kingdom because he is an animal, just as we say that

Lysander 'belongs to' the Spartans, because he is a Spartan. It is

evident, then, that where the premiss put forward is not clear, one

must not grant it simply.

Whenever of two things it is generally thought that if the one is

true the other is true of necessity, whereas, if the other is true,

the first is not true of necessity, one should, if asked which of them

is true, grant the smaller one: for the larger the number of

premisses, the harder it is to draw a conclusion from them. If, again,

the sophist tries to secure that has a contrary while B has not,

suppose what he says is true, you should say that each has a contrary,

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