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On Sophistical Refutations   



Or isn't it the case that being something in particular and Being

are not the same? On the other hand, Not-being, even if it be

something, need not also have absolute 'being' as well. Nor if a man

keeps his oath in this particular instance or in this particular

respect, is he bound also to be a keeper of oaths absolutely, but he

who swears that he will break his oath, and then breaks it, keeps this

particular oath only; he is not a keeper of his oath: nor is the

disobedient man 'obedient', though he obeys one particular command.

The argument is similar, also, as regards the problem whether the same

man can at the same time say what is both false and true: but it

appears to be a troublesome question because it is not easy to see

in which of the two connexions the word 'absolutely' is to be

rendered-with 'true' or with 'false'. There is, however, nothing to

prevent it from being false absolutely, though true in some particular

respect or relation, i.e. being true in some things, though not 'true'

absolutely. Likewise also in cases of some particular relation and

place and time. For all arguments of the following kind depend upon

this.' Is health, or wealth, a good thing?' 'Yes.' 'But to the fool

who does not use it aright it is not a good thing: therefore it is

both good and not good.' 'Is health, or political power, a good

thing?' 'Yes. "But sometimes it is not particularly good: therefore

the same thing is both good and not good to the same man.' Or rather

there is nothing to prevent a thing, though good absolutely, being not

good to a particular man, or being good to a particular man, and yet

not good or here. 'Is that which the prudent man would not wish, an

evil?' 'Yes.' 'But to get rid of, he would not wish the good:

therefore the good is an evil.' But that is a mistake; for it is not

the same thing to say 'The good is an evil' and 'to get rid of the

good is an evil'. Likewise also the argument of the thief is mistaken.

For it is not the case that if the thief is an evil thing, acquiring

things is also evil: what he wishes, therefore, is not what is evil

but what is good; for to acquire something good is good. Also, disease

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