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The second of the κοινοὶ τόποι is the topic of fact, ‘whether such and such a thing has been done or not’: this is most useful in the forensic branch, in courts of law. It is the στάσις στοχαστική, status coniecturalis the first of the legal issues, and the first question that arises in a case. To this is appended, §§ 23—25, fact future; or rather, future probability, whether so and so is likely to happen or not. This of course belongs almost to the deliberative orator, who has to advise upon a future course of policy. The following topics suggest arguments to prove the probability of some act having been committed which the pleader wishes to establish against his antagonist. ‘First of all we may infer that if anything that is naturally less likely to have occurred has happened (been done), then (a fortiori) anything (of the same kind) that is more usual may probably have happened also’. The probability the degree of which is estimated by the frequency of recurrence, being in the latter case greater. Introd. p. 160.
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