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[23] since they are of great importance for the subsequent course of the enquiry. The beginning is admittedly more than half of the whole,1 and throws light at once on many of the questions under investigation.

1 The usual form of the proverb is ‘The beginning is half of the whole.’ Aristotle applies it by a sort of play on words to ἀρχή in its technical sense of a general principle of science, which is a ‘beginning’ in the sense that it is the starting-point of deductive reasoning. There is a reminiscence of Hesiod, Hes. WD 30, πλέον ἥμισυ παντός, ‘The half is more than the whole,’ though the meaning of that is entirely different.

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