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[1062a] [1] nor admit of any other similar pair of opposites. Of such axioms although there is a proof ad hominem, there is no absolute proof;because there is no principle more convincing than the axiom itself on which to base an argument, whereas there must be such a principle if there is to be absolute proof. But he who wants to convince an opponent who makes opposite statements that he is wrong must obtain from him an admission which shall be identical with the proposition that the same thing cannot at one and the same time be and not be, but shall seem not to be identical with it. This is the only method of proof which can be used against one who maintains that opposite statements can be truly made about the same subject.Now those who intend to join in discussion must understand one another to some extent; for without this how can there be any common discussion between them? Therefore each of the terms which they use must be intelligible and signify something; not several things, but one only; or if it signifies more than one thing, it must be made clear to which of these the term is applied.Now he who says that A is and is not denies what he asserts, and therefore denies that the term signifies what it does signify. But this is impossible. Therefore if "to be so-and-so" has a definite meaning, the opposite statement about the same subject cannot be true.

[20] Again, if the term has a definite significance and this is truly stated, it must of necessity be so.1 But that which of necessity is can never not be. Hence opposite statements about the same subject cannot be true.

Again, if the assertion is no more true than the negation, it will be no more true to say "A is man" than to say "A is not man."2 But it would also be admitted that it is more or at least not less true to say that a man is not a horse than to say that he is not a man; and therefore, since it was assumed that opposite statements are equally true, it will be true to say that the same person is also a horse. It follows therefore, that the same person is a man and a horse, or any other animal.

Thus, although there is no absolute proof of these axioms, there is an ad hominem proof where one's opponent makes these assumptions.3 Perhaps even Heraclitus himself, if he had been questioned on these lines, would have been compelled to admit that opposite statements can never be true of the same subjects; as it is, he adopted this theory through ignorance of what his doctrine implied.In general,4 if what he says is true, not even this statement itself

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