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[2] But do not forget that it is only in the case of a dispute as to this question of fact that one of the two parties must necessarily1 be a rogue; for ignorance is not the cause, as it might be if a question of right or wrong were the issue; so that in this case one should spend time on this topic, but not in the others.

1 Aristotle's argument is as follows. But it must not be forgotten that it is only in a dispute as to this question of fact that one of the two parties must necessarily be a rogue. For ignorance is not the cause (of there being a dispute about the fact, e.g. “you hit me,” “no, I didn't,” where both know the truth), as it might be in a dispute on what was right or wrong, so that this is the topic on which you should spend some time (i.e. because here you can prove or disprove that A is πονηρός). The passage is generally taken to mean that when it is a question of fact it is universally true that one of the disputants must be a rogue. Cope alone among editors makes any comment. In his note he says: “all that is meant is that there is a certain class of cases which fall under this issue, in which this topic may be safely used.” For instance, A may on justifiable grounds charge B with theft; B denies it, and he may be innocent, although the evidence is strongly against him. In such a case, neither of the parties is necessarily πονηρός.

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