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On Sophistical Refutations   

heart, some rhetorical, others in the form of question and answer,

each side supposing that their arguments on either side generally fall

among them. And therefore the teaching they gave their pupils was

ready but rough. For they used to suppose that they trained people

by imparting to them not the art but its products, as though any one

professing that he would impart a form of knowledge to obviate any

pain in the feet, were then not to teach a man the art of

shoe-making or the sources whence he can acquire anything of the kind,

but were to present him with several kinds of shoes of all sorts:

for he has helped him to meet his need, but has not imparted an art to

him. Moreover, on the subject of Rhetoric there exists much that has

been said long ago, whereas on the subject of reasoning we had nothing

else of an earlier date to speak of at all, but were kept at work

for a long time in experimental researches. If, then, it seems to

you after inspection that, such being the situation as it existed at

the start, our investigation is in a satisfactory condition compared

with the other inquiries that have been developed by tradition,

there must remain for all of you, or for our students, the task of

extending us your pardon for the shortcomings of the inquiry, and

for the discoveries thereof your warm thanks.


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