On Sophistical Refutations
to have it sour. But, as was said also above,' all these persons
direct their solutions against the man, not against his argument.
For if this were a genuine solution, then, suppose any one to grant
the opposite, he could find no solution, just as happens in other
cases; e.g. suppose the true solution to be 'So-and-so is partly
true and partly not', then, if the answerer grants the expression
without any qualification, the sophist's conclusion follows. If, on
the other hand, the conclusion does not follow, then that could not be
the true solution: and what we say in regard to the foregoing examples
is that, even if all the sophist's premisses be granted, still no
proof is effected.
Moreover, the following too belong to this group of arguments. 'If
something be in writing did some one write it?' 'Yes.' 'But it is
now in writing that you are seated-a false statement, though it was
true at the time when it was written: therefore the statement that was
written is at the same time false and true.' But this is fallacious,
for the falsity or truth of a statement or opinion indicates not a
substance but a quality: for the same account applies to the case of
an opinion as well. Again, 'Is what a learner learns what he
learns?' 'Yes.' 'But suppose some one learns "slow" quick'. Then his
(the sophist's) words denote not what the learner learns but how he
learns it. Also, 'Does a man tread upon what he walks through?
'Yes.' 'But X walks through a whole day.' No, rather the words
denote not what he walks through, but when he walks; just as when
any one uses the words 'to drink the cup' he denotes not what he
drinks, but the vessel out of which he drinks. Also, 'Is it either
by learning or by discovery that a man knows what he knows?' 'Yes.'
'But suppose that of a pair of things he has discovered one and
learned the other, the pair is not known to him by either method.' No:
'what' he knows, means' every single thing' he knows, individually;
but this does not mean 'all the things' he knows, collectively. Again,
there is the proof that there is a 'third man' distinct from Man and