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On Sophistical Refutations   

time. If this additional question be put at the start, you should

not admit that it is impossible for the same thing to be both double

and not double, but grant that it is possible, only not in such a

way as was agreed to constitute a refutation of your case. All the

following arguments depend upon a point of that kind. 'Does a man

who knows A to be A, know the thing called A?' and in the same way,

'is one who is ignorant that A is A ignorant of the thing called A?'

'Yes.' 'But one who knows that Coriscus is Coriscus might be

ignorant of the fact that he is musical, so that he both knows and

is ignorant of the same thing.' Is a thing four cubits long greater

than a thing three cubits long?' 'Yes.' 'But a thing might grow from

three to four cubits in length; 'now what is 'greater' is greater than

a 'less': accordingly the thing in question will be both greater and

less than itself in the same respect.


As to refutations that depend on begging and assuming the original

point to be proved, suppose the nature of the question to be

obvious, one should not grant it, even though it be a view generally

held, but should tell him the truth. Suppose, however, that it escapes

one, then, thanks to the badness of arguments of that kind, one should

make one's error recoil upon the questioner, and say that he has

brought no argument: for a refutation must be proved independently

of the original point. Secondly, one should say that the point was

granted under the impression that he intended not to use it as a

premiss, but to reason against it, in the opposite way from that

adopted in refutations on side issues.


Also, those refutations that bring one to their conclusion through

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