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[10] Further, as in sophistical disputations, an apparent syllogism arises as the result of considering a thing first absolutely, and then not absolutely, but only in a particular case. For instance, in Dialectic, it is argued that that which is not is, for that which is not is that which is not1; also, that the unknown can be known, for it can be known of the unknown that it is unknown. Similarly, in Rhetoric, an apparent enthymeme may arise from that which is not absolutely probable but only in particular cases. But this is not to be understood absolutely, as Agathon says: “ One might perhaps say that this very thing is probable, that many things happen to men that are not probable;

” for that which is contrary to probability nevertheless does happen, so that that which is contrary to probability is probable. If this is so, that which is improbable will be probable. But not absolutely; but as, in the case of sophistical disputations, the argument becomes fallacious when the circumstances, reference, and manner are not added, so here it will become so owing to the probability being not probable absolutely but only in particular cases.

1 The first “is” means “has a real, absolute existence”; the second “is” merely expresses the identity of the terms of the proposition, and is particular; but the sophistical reasoner takes it in the same sense as the first. The same applies to the argument about the unknown.

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