By Aristotle

This most recent addition to the Clarendon Aristotle Series presents a transparent translation of Books I and VIII of the Topics, including philosophical statement and extra extracts from Books II and III. this feature supplies an exceptional common view of the most rules of the paintings, a vintage treatise on good judgment and argument.

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Additional resources for Topics Books I & VIII: With excerpts from related texts (Clarendon Aristotle) (Bks.1 & 8)

Example text

G. that a calm in the sea and a stillness in the air are the same (for each is a quietness), or a point in a line and a unit in a number (for each is a beginning). Consequently, if we give what is common to them all as the genus, we shall not seem to be defining strangely. Those who define are in fact accustomed to give definitions in this way: they say that a unit is the beginning of a number and a point the beginning of a line. It is clear, then, that they put (the thing defined) in what is common for both as the genus.

II-VII, by contrast, make very repetitive and tedious reading. However, some sampling of their content is necessary to give a concrete picture of the workings of the dialectical art. The selections from On Sophistical Refutations (a treatise which Aristotle intended as the last section of the Topics) give Aristotle's perspective on dialectic and on his accomplishments. SE I I (Excerpt C) contains a valuable discussion of the relationship of dialectic to philosophy and its distinction from contentious argument and XXXIV INTRODUCTION sophistry.

What is one in number is most uncontroversially called the same in everyone's judgement. But even this is customarily indicated 25 in several ways. g. a coat is the same as a cloak or a twofooted terrestrial animal as a human. g. what is receptive of knowledge is the same as a human or what is carried upwards by nature the same as fire. g. the one sitting (or the musical one) is the same as Socrates. For all these are intended to signify what is one in number. (One might most readily come to see that this last remark is true from the case of people who change their way of calling someone.

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