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‘But to carry our inquiries beyond this into the subject of magnitude and excess or superiority absolutely and in themselves is mere idle talk (trifling with words): for for use, or practical purposes (the needs or business of life), particular things are far more important (authoritative, carry greater weight with them, are more convincing) than universals’. What is said here of particulars being more useful than universals for practice, or for the practitioner in any art, and therefore for the rhetorician, is illustrated by Metaph. A 1, 981 a 12, πρὸς μὲν οὖν τὸ πράττειν ἐμπειρία τέχνης οὐδὲν δοκεῖ διαφέρειν, ἀλλὰ καὶ μᾶλλον ἐπιτυγχάνοντας ὁρῶμεν τοὺς ἐμπείρους τῶν ἄνευ τῆς ἐμπειρίας λόγον ἐχόντων. αἴτιον δ᾽ ὅτι ἡ μὲν ἐμπειρία τῶν καθ̓ ἕκαστόν ἐστι γνῶσις, ἡ δὲ τέχνη τῶν καθόλου, αἱ δὲ πράξεις καὶ αἱ γενέσεις πᾶσαι περὶ τὸ καθ̓ ἕκαστόν εἰσιν: οὐ γὰρ ἄνθρωπον ὑγιάζει ὁ ἰατρεύων...ἀλλὰ Καλλίαν ἢ Σωκράτην. In Rhet. I 2. 11, where at first sight this might seem to be contradicted, the author is speaking of Rhetoric as an art, which deals with universals, if it be a true art and not a mere empirical practice: here as a practice, and as employed by a practitioner. κενολογεῖν] is found in the same sense applied to the mere variety or idle talk, without meaning, of the Platonic ideas, in Metaph. A 9, 991 b 20, and the repetition of the same passage, M 5, 1079 b 26.
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