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Aristotle, Topics. Book II, Chapter 01

Of problems some are universal, but others partial. The universal, therefore, are such as that “All pleasure is good.”, and “No pleasure is good.”. But the partial are such as, “A certain pleasure is good.”, and “A certain pleasure is not good.”. The things, however, which are common to both genera of problems are such as universally effect and subvert. For having shown that a thing is present with every individual, we shall also be able to show that it is present with a certain individual. In a similar manner also, if we should show that it is present with no individual, we shall also be able to show that it is not present with every individual. In the first place, therefore, we must speak concerning those things which are universally subversive, as well because such things are common to universal and partial problems, as because these are rather introduced by asserting that a thing is present or inherent, than by asserting that it is not; but this is subverted by those who engage in discussions. It is most difficult, however, to convert an appropriate appellation which is derived from accident; for it to be inherent partly, and not universally, is possible in accidents alone. For it is necessary that the appellation which is derived from peculiarity, definition, and genus, should be converted. Thus, if to be a pedestrious biped animal is present with a certain thing; a conversion being made it will be true to say that it is a pedestrious biped animal. And in a similar manner in the appellation which is derived from genus; for if to be an animal is present with a certain thing, that thing is an animal. The like also takes place in peculiarity. For if to be receptive of grammar is present with a certain thing, it will be receptive of grammar; since no one of these can be partly present, or not present; but each must be simply present or not present. Nothing, however, hinders but that accidents may be partly present or inherent; as, for instance, whiteness or justice. Hence it is not sufficient to show that whiteness or justice is inherent, in order to show that a man is white or just. For it is dubious, because he may be partially white or just. On this account, conversion is not necessary in accidents. It is also necessary that the errors which arise in problems should be determined, which are two, and arise either from asserting a falsehood, or a departing from the established mode of speaking. For those who assert what is false, error by saying that what is not present, is present with a certain thing. And those who call things by foreign names, as those who call a plain tree a man, depart from the established mode of appellation.

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