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[4] Another topic is derived from the more and less. For instance, if not even the gods know everything, hardly can men; for this amounts to saying that if a predicate, which is more probably affirmable of one thing, does not belong to it, it is clear that it does not belong to another of which it is less probably affirmable. And to say that a man who beats his father also beats his neighbors, is an instance of the rule that, if the less exists, the more also exists.1 Either of these arguments may be used, according as it is necessary to prove either that a predicate is affirmable or that it is not.

1 The argument is that since men beat their fathers less commonly than they do their neighbors, if they beat their fathers they will also beat their neighbors, and the Paris ms. in a longer form of this argument has an explanatory addition to this effect, inserting after ὑπάρχει the words τοὺς γὰρ πατέρας ἧττον τύπτουσιν τοὺς πλησίον. In a similar passage in Aristot. Top. 2.10 εἰκός (or δοκοῦν) is inserted after μᾶλλον and ἧττον. Welldon suggests that here also the reading should be τὸ ἧττον εἰκός and τὸ μᾶλλον εἰκός (Grote, Aristotle, p. 294).

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