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On Sophistical Refutations   



suppose I know Coriscus, but do not know the man who is approaching,

it still isn't the case that I both know and do not know the same man;

nor, again, if this is mine and is also a work of art, is it therefore

my work of art, but my property or thing or something else. (The

solution is after the same manner in the other cases as well.)

Some solve these refutations by demolishing the original proposition

asked: for they say that it is possible to know and not to know the

same thing, only not in the same respect: accordingly, when they don't

know the man who is coming towards them, but do know Corsicus, they

assert that they do know and don't know the same object, but not in

the same respect. Yet, as we have already remarked, the correction

of arguments that depend upon the same point ought to be the same,

whereas this one will not stand if one adopts the same principle in

regard not to knowing something, but to being, or to being is a in a

certain state, e.g. suppose that X is father, and is also yours: for

if in some cases this is true and it is possible to know and not to

know the same thing, yet with that case the solution stated has

nothing to do. Certainly there is nothing to prevent the same argument

from having a number of flaws; but it is not the exposition of any and

every fault that constitutes a solution: for it is possible for a

man to show that a false conclusion has been proved, but not to show

on what it depends, e.g. in the case of Zeno's argument to prove

that motion is impossible. So that even if any one were to try to

establish that this doctrine is an impossible one, he still is

mistaken, and even if he proved his case ten thousand times over,

still this is no solution of Zeno's argument: for the solution was all

along an exposition of false reasoning, showing on what its falsity

depends. If then he has not proved his case, or is trying to establish

even a true proposition, or a false one, in a false manner, to point

this out is a true solution. Possibly, indeed, the present

suggestion may very well apply in some cases: but in these cases, at

any rate, not even this would be generally agreed: for he knows both

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