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συνήθειαν] ‘habituation, familiarity, practice’, acquired by association (prop. that of living or herding together). Top. A 14, 105 b 27 τῇ διὰ τῆς ἀπαγωγῆς συνηθείᾳ πειρατέον γνωρίζειν ἑκάστην αὐτῶν (τῶν προτάσεων). See also on I 10, 18. This συνήθεια is derived from the constant operation or activity, the ἐνέργειαι, of the developed and acquired and settled ἕξις, or mental state (ἕξις from ἔχειν, ‘to be in such and such a state or condition’, τὸ πῶς ἔχειν): by the constant exercise of the ἕξις, or established confirmed habit, and its ἐνέργειαι, is produced by association that familiarity, or habituation, or practice, which secures success even to the empirical unartistic use of Dialectics or Rhetoric.

εἰκῇ ταῦτα δρᾷν is the use of them antecedent to practice, and without previously acquired familiarity: ἀπὸ ταὐτομάτου, by a mere spontaneous impulse, and therefore ‘at random.’

‘Est autem dialectica,’ says John of Salisbury, Metalogicus, II 4, ‘ut Augustino placet, bene disputandi scientia: quod quidem ita accipiendum est ut vis habeatur in verbis; ne scilicet dialectici credantur, quos casus iuvat artis beneficio destitutos.’

αὐτά] Rhetoric and its processes.

ὁδοποιεῖν] ‘to make a way’; to trace a path to be followed, which will lead you without unnecessary deviations to the place at which you wish to arrive. ὁδός therefore, in this metaphorical usage, is not merely a way, but the way, the best way; the way which will lead you most surely and expeditiously to the end proposed. Hence it denotes a regular, systematic, or scientific method; the best and easiest way of attaining the end desired in any intellectual pursuit or branch of study. And thus it is that the simple ὁδός, as well as the compound μέθοδος, come to denote a scientific or systematic procedure in the pursuit of truth as a philosophical ‘method’, or in any art or study. Hence we find ὁδῷ διῃρῆσθαι, Plat. Phaedr. 263 B, of a systematic methodical scientific division; and Rep. VII 533 D: καθ᾽ ὁδόν, in the same sense, Rep. IV 435 A, and Crat. 425 B. In Aristotle, de gen. et corr. I 8, 2 ὁδῷ δὲ μάλιστα περὶ πάντων...διωρίκασι Λεύκιππος καὶ Δημόκριτος. de part. Anim. 14, 9 πῶς μὲν οὖν ἀποδέχεσθαι δεῖ τὴν περὶ φύσεως μέθοδον, καὶ τίνα τρόπον γένοιτ᾽ ἂν θεωρία περὶ αὐτῶν ὁδῷ καὶ ῥᾷστα... Anal. Pr. I 30 init., μὲν οὖν ὁδὸς κατὰ πάντων αὐτὴ καὶ περὶ φιλοσοφίαν καὶ περὶ τέχνην ὁποιανοῦν καὶ μάθημα. Top. B 2, 109 b 14 ὁδῷ γὰρ μᾶλλον καὶ ἐν ἐλάττοσιν σκέψις. Eth. Nic. I, 2 ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχῶν ἐπὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς ὁδός. Dionysius, de Comp. Verb. c. 25, has ῥητορικὴ ὁδός for the more usual μέθοδος: and again ὁδῷ, de Comp. Verb. c. 4 sub fin. From this usage of the Greek word the Latins seem to have borrowed their via or via et ratione, which frequently occurs in precisely the same sense. See Cicero de Fin. III 5, 18, IV 4, 10; Orat. III 10, XXXIII 116; de Orat. I 25, 113. Quint. II 17, 41 esse certe viam atque ordinem in bene dicendo nemo dubitaverit; and x 7, 6 via dicere.

The verb ὁδοποιεῖν is found in the same sense, Met. A 3, 984 a 18. προϊόντων δ᾽ οὕτως, αὐτὸ τὸ πρᾶγμα ὡδοποίησεν αὐτοῖς καὶ συνηνάγκασε ζητεῖν, and Rhet. III 12, 3 (according to MS A^{c} and some others); and the substantive ὁδοποίησις, III 14, 1.

προοδοποιεῖν, which occurs several times in Aristotle (as Rhet. II 2, 10, II 13, 7, III 12, 3, Prob. XXX 1, 954 b 12, de part. Anim. II 4, §§ 4, 5, 6, III 9, 8, de gen. anim. IV 4, 9, περὶ Μαντικῆς, I 11. Polit. II 9, 1270 a 4, IV (VII) 17, 1336 a 32, and V (VIII) 3, 1338 a 35 πρὸ ὁδοῦ), has a meaning slightly differing from the preceding. The metaphor is now taken from the office of pioneers, who precede an advancing army, and prepare, clear, or ‘pave the way’ for them.

δἰ ...τὴν αἰτίαν] τὴν αἰτίαν is here grammatically the antecedent to , the cause, αἰτία, being in the relative pronoun expressed as an abstract notion (‘the cause, which thing’) in the neuter. A similar change from feminine to neuter, in antecedent and relative, occurs in de Anima 1 3, 407 a 4 τὴν γὰρ τοῦ παντὸς (ψυχὴν) τοιαύτην εἶναι βούλεται οἷόν ποτ᾽ ἐστὶν καλούμενος νοῦς, Pol. II 2 init. καὶ δἰ ἣν αἰτίαν φησὶ δεῖν νενομοθετῆσθαι... οὐ φαίνεται συμβαῖνον ἐκ τῶν λόγων, and in Eur. Iph. T. 900 (Herm.) δ᾽ αἰτία τίς ἀνθ̓ ὅτου κτείνει πόσιν; where ὅτου must be understood as neuter: see Hermann on v. 1038.

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