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Aristotle, Topics. Book II, Chapter 05

Again, it is also a sophistical place, to bring the opponent to that against which we abound with arguments. But this will sometimes, indeed, be necessary, sometimes will appear to be necessary, and sometimes will neither appear to be, nor will be necessary. It is necessary, therefore, when he who answers denies something which is useful to the thesis, and against this the arguments are directed; but it happens that it is a thing of that kind against which it is possible to abound with arguments. The like also takes place, when someone by making and abduction to a certain thing, through that which is posited, endeavors to subvert that thing; for this being subverted, the thing proposed is also subverted. But it will appear to be necessary, when it seems, indeed, to be useful, and appropriate to the thesis, but is not so to that against which the arguments are adduced; whether he who sustains the argument denies, or whether from a probable abduction through the thesis against it, he endeavors to subvert it. And that which remains is, when that against which the arguments are directed, is neither necessary, nor appears to be so; but otherwise it happens, that he who answers argues sophistically. It is necessary, however, to avoid the last of the above-mentioned modes; for it appears to be perfectly remote and foreign from dialectic. Hence it is necessary that he who answers should not be morose, but should admit things which are not useful to the thesis, signifying whatever does not appear to him to be true, though he thinks fit to admit it. For it happens for the most part, that those who interrogate are more involved in doubt, everything of this kind being conceded to them, if they do not conclude. Farther still, everyone who says anything, after a manner says many things, because many things are consequent from necessity to each thing. Thus he who says that man is, says also that animal is, and also animated, biped, and that which is receptive of intellect and science. Hence, any one of those things which are consequent being subverted, that also which was proposed at first is subverted. It is necessary, however, to be cautious, lest the transition should be made to that which is more difficult. For some times it is easier to subvert what is consequent, and sometimes the thing proposed itself.

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