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‘A maxim is a declaration—not however of particulars or individuals, as, for instance, what sort of a person Iphicrates is, but universally (a general statement, an universal moral rule or principle)’. ἀπό- φανσις (ἀποφαίνειν) a ‘declaration’ or ‘utterance’. Here again we have in two MSS the varia lectio ἀπόφασις. See on this, note on I 8. 2. Comp. § 9, οἱ ἀγροῖκοι μάλιστα γνωμοτύποι εἰσὶ καὶ ῥᾳδίως ἀποφαίνονται, and § 16, διὰ τὸ ἀποφαίνεσθαι τὸν τὴν γνώμην λέγοντα...

ἀποφαίνεσθαι seems to have some special connexion with γνώμη in its ordinary signification as well as this technical application. See Heindorf on Gorg. § 48, p. 466 C. In several passages which the quotes the same verb is used for declaring a γνώμη, in the sense of opinion. [“So Protag. 336 D, τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γνώμην ἀποφαίνεσθαι; ib. 340 B.” Dr Thompson on Gorg. 1. c.]

‘And not of all universals, as, for example, that straight is opposed to crooked, but only of those which are concerned with (human) actions, and are to be chosen or avoided in respect of action.’ This concern with human action—πρᾶξις can only be predicated of human beings—gives the γνώμη its moral character. See, for instance, the beginning of the second chapter of Eth. Nic. II. Of actions it is said, 1104 a 31, αὗται γάρ: εἰσι κύριαι καὶ τοῦ ποιὰς γενέσθαι τὰς ἕξεις; they determine the moral character. And so frequently elsewhere. This moral character of the γνώμη however, though it undoubtedly predominates in the description and illustration of it through the remainder of the chapter, is not absolutely exclusive: the γνώμη may be applied likewise to all practical business of life, and all objects of human interest, as health in § 5; and πράξεις must be supposed virtually to include these. With this definition that of Auct. ad Heren. IV 17. 24 deserves to be compared: it is not so complete as Aristotle's, but may be regarded as supplementary to it: Sententia (i. e. γνώμη, which is also the term by which Quintilian expresses it, Inst. Orat. VIII 5) est oratio sumpta de vita, quae aut quid sit aut quid esse oporteat in vita breviter ostendit, hoc pacto; it is there illustrated to the end of the chapter. One useful precept for the guidance of the rhetorician in the employment of the γνώμη may be quoted here, especially as Aristotle has omitted it. Sententias interponi raro convenit, ut rei actores, non vivendi praeceptores videamur esse. γνῶμαι often take the form of ‘precepts’. Harris, u. s, p. 182.

‘And therefore since rhetorical enthymemes are as one may say’ (σχεδόν ‘pretty nearly’, that is, not absolutely, but generally, making allowance for some which are not concerned with the practical business of life—so Victorius) ‘the logical mode of reasoning or inference on these subjects (the business of life and human actions), when this syllogistic process is withdrawn (and the major premiss or conclusion is left alone), the conclusions and major premisses of enthymemes are γνῶμαι’. These premisses and conclusions taken by themselves are mere enunciations of some general principle: they do not become enthymemes, i. e. inferences or processes of reasoning, till the reason is added—sententia cum ratione, Quint. and Auct. ad Heren., Introd. p. 257—which is stated in the next sentence. Hanc quidem partem enthymematis quidam initium aut clausulam epichirematis esse dixerunt: et est aliquando, non tamen semper. Quint. VIII 5. 4 (de Sententiis, VIII 5. 1—8, q. v.).

‘For instance, “No man that is of sound mind ought ever to have his children over-educated to excess in learning,” (Eur. Med. 294). Now this is a maxim (moral precept, the conclusion of the enthymeme): but the addition of the reason, and the why (the αἰτία or cause) makes the whole an enthymeme, for example, “for besides the idle habits which they thereby contract to boot” (into the bargain—the comparative ἄλλος, other, in this common, but illogical use of the word, brings two heterogeneous things into illicit comparison: see [p. 46 supra and note on III 1. 9]) “they reap (gain as their reward) hostile jealousy from the citizens.” The ἀργία here is the literary indolence, or inactivity, the withdrawal from active life and the consequent neglect of their duties as citizens, into which they are led by their studious habits. This is what provokes the jealousy and hostility of the citizens. Plato's unpopularity at Athens was due to the same cause. Plato justifies himself against these charges of his enemies in four well known passages, in the Republic [VI 484—497], Theaetetus [172 C] and Gorgias [527]; and in the seventh Epistle, if that be his [see Introd. to Dr Thompson's ed. of the Gorgias, pp. xii—xiv].

These lines are put into the enthymematic form, as an argument, in § 7. It is a specimen of a practical syllogism, or enthymeme, logic applied to action or conduct. As a syllogism it would run thus: All ought to avoid, or no man should be rendered liable to, idle habits and the hatred of his fellow-citizens: children who are over-educated do become idle and unpopular; therefore children ought not to be overeducated.

‘And again, “There is no man who is altogether happy”’—Eur. Fragm. Sthenel. I (Dind., Wagn.). The reason, which converts it into an enthymeme, is supplied by Aristoph. Ran. 1217, γὰρ πεφυκὼς ἐσθλὸς οὐκ ἔχει βίον, δυσγενὴς ὤν, (he is here interrupted by Aeschylus who finishes the verse for him with ληκύθιον ἀπώλεσεν: but the Schol. supplies the conclusion,) πλουσίαν ἀροῖ πλάκα.

‘And another, “there is none of mankind that is free”’ is a γνώμη, but with the addition of the next verse (τῷ ἐχομένῳ ἔπει) it becomes an enthymeme, ‘“for he is the slave either of money or fortune.”’ From Eur. Hec. 864. Our texts have θνητῶν for ἀνδρῶν: doubtless it is one of Ar.'s ordinary slips of memory in quotation, and a very unimportant one. But I think as a general rule, it is quite unsafe to rely upon our author's quotations in correction of any reading in more ancient writers.

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