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[995a] [24]

It is necessary, with a view to the science which we are investigating, that we first describe the questions which should first be discussed. These consist of all the divergent views which are held about the first principles; and also of any other view apart from these which happens to have been overlooked.Now for those who wish to get rid of perplexities it is a good plan to go into them thoroughly; for the subsequent certainty is a release from the previous perplexities, and release is impossible when we do not know the knot. The perplexity of the mind shows that there is a "knot" in the subject; for in its perplexity it is in much the same condition as men who are fettered: in both cases it is impossible to make any progress.Hence we should first have studied all the difficulties, both for the reasons given and also because those who start an inquiry without first considering the difficulties are like people who do not know where they are going; besides, one does not even know whether the thing required has been found or not.

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