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‘And therefore since everyone manifestly demonstrates (i. e. argues, infers) in this way (i.e. from and by the knowledge of everything that belongs to his subject) whether his reasoning takes the exact or rigorous form of the syllogism (as in scientific demonstration, and probably also in dialectical argument), or employs the laxer mode (of the rhetorical enthymeme)’—(γάρ in the parenthesis that follows, assigns the reason for the ‘selection’, the περὶ ἕκαστον ἔχειν ἐξειλεγμένα; and as it comes before that for which it assigns the reason, must be translated ‘since’)—‘since they don't take (their propositions, premisses, materials) from everything’ (οὐκ ἐξ ἁπάντων τῶν δοκούντων κ.τ.λ. supra § 3—see note ad loc.—οὐκ ἐξ ὧν ἔτυχεν, I 2. 11: although it is true that Rhetoric admits of this, it may argue anything), ‘but from what belongs to each particular subject (that comes under their notice), and by means of the speech (at any rate, to say nothing about the demonstrative and dialectical syllogisms) it is plainly impossible to prove anything otherwise1: it is clearly necessary, as in the Topics (or Dialectics, in general), first to have ready on each particular subject a selection already prepared of the probabilities and of those circumstances of the case which are most suitable, appropriate (opportune, timely, seasonable, germane to the matter in hand); (these are to be keptin stock, and ready prepared for use on occasion: from which are distinguished τὰ ἐξ ὑπογυίου); and also about circumstances (evidence, or what not) that arise on the sudden, to pursue your inquiries in the same way (make yourself acquainted with them as far as possible in such an emergency); turning your attention not to things indefinite (such as universals, intellectual and moral) but to what actually belongs to the subject of your speech, and including (drawing a line round, enclosing with a line) as many, and as close (nearly connected) to the subject, as possible: for the more of these circumstances there are in your possession, so much the easier is it to prove your point; and the closer the connexion, so much the more appropriate are they, and less general’.

Of the selection of προτάσεις for syllogisms, Anal. Pr. I 27, 43 b 6, it is said, διαιρετέον δὲ καὶ τῶν ἑπομένων (antecedents, consequents, and concomitants) ὅσα τε ἐν τῷ τί ἐστι, καὶ ὅσα ὡς ἴδια (propria: properties which, though not of the essence of the subject, are yet inseparably attached to it, and peculiar to, characteristic of it), καὶ ὅσα ὡς συμβεβηκότα κατηγορεῖται, καὶ τούτων ποῖα δοξαστικῶς καὶ ποῖα κατ᾽ ἀλήθειαν: ὅσῳ μὲν γὰρ ἂν πλειόνων τοιούτων εὐπορῇ τις θᾶττον ἐντεύξεται συμπεράσματι, ὅσῳ δ̓ ἂν ἀληθεστέρων μᾶλλον ἀποδείξει. Mutatis mutandis, and omitting the ποῖα κατ᾽ ἀλήθειαν ‘the truths of science’, this agrees with what we find in the Rhetoric.

ἀκριβέστερον] the more exact mode of reasoning by formal syllogism, demonstrative or dialectical: the latter probably included, because, as far as the form is concerned, the dialectical syllogism follows precisely the same rules as the other, and the construction of the two is identical.

μαλακώτερον] softer, more yielding, less stiff and rigid and unbending, is naturally transferred to a more relaxed or less rigorous mode of reasoning, in force and substance, i.e. to the rhetorical enthymeme. Though the word is very often used metaphorically, I can find no other instance of this particular application of the metaphor. [For the metaphor, compare Metaph. E I, 1025 b 13, ἀποδεικνύουσιν ἀναγκαιότερον μαλακώτερον, ib. K 7, 1064 a 6, δεικνύναι τὰ λοιπὰ μαλακώτερον ἀκριβέστερον, de generatione et corruptione, B 6, 333 b 25, ἔδει οὖν ὁρίσασθαι ὑποθέσθαι ἀποδεῖξαι, ἀκριβῶς μαλακῶς, ἁμῶς γέ πως, ib. N 3, 1090 b 8, μὴ λίαν μαλακὸς ( λόγος), de Caelo, Δ 6, 313 b 4, ἐνστὰς λύει μαλακῶς. Index Aristotelicus (Bonitz).]

ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς τοπικοῖς] Brandis, in the tract so often referred to [Philol. IV i] p. 18, notices on this “that it marks the connexion between Rhetoric and the Topics, i. e. dialectics”, being a reference to II 23. It seems not to refer to any particular passage of the Topics, but merely to state in general terms that the mode of treating the Topics is the same in Rhetoric as in ‘the Topics’, i. e. the entire work, or the practice of dialectics in general. Similarly Schmidt, in the tract On the date of the Rhet. p. 2, “verisimile est etiam in tribus aliis locis (videlicet, II 22. 10, II 23. 9, II 26. 4) eum non suos de arte topica libros (we need not go so far as this) sed hanc artem ipsam intellexisse.” Is it possible that this may be one of the, I might almost say, ordinary lapses of the Aristotelian memory in quotation, and that he has referred to the Topics instead of the Prior Analytics? In the latter, I 30, quoted above on § 4, there is a passage which contains a statement very closely resembling what has been said here about the selection of topics, 46 a 10, ὅπως μὴ βλέπωμεν εἰς ἅπαντα τὰ λεγόμενα...ἀλλ᾽ εἰς ἐλάττω καὶ ὡρισμένα, καθ̓ ἕκαστον δὲ ἐκλέγειν τῶν ὄντων, οἷον περὶ ἀγαθοῦ ἐπιστήμης. Whether this be so or not, the passage at all events deserves to be compared with this section of the Rhetoric. Top. A 14 is upon the selection of προτάσεις, chiefly in the shape of δόξαι for dialectical purposes; but cannot, I think, be directly referred to here.

ἐξειλεγμένα, ἐκλογῆς, § 12.] “The collection of premisses, whether scientific theses, or dialectical organa, or rhetorical specific data, is expressed by the word ἐκλέγειν or ἐκλαμβάνειν,” Poste, Poster. Anal. p. 121, note I, comp. p. 25, and note 1. The terms occur constantly in the Anal. Prior. [Comp. supra I 2, 1358 a 23, βέλτιον οὖν ἐκλέγεσθαι τὰς προτάσεις.] The use of them is not confined to Aristotle, and seems to be technical. Rhet. ad Alex. c. 10 (11), § 2, ἐκληπτέον.

ἐπικαιροτάτων] So Top. Γ 6, 109 a 36, μάλιστα ἐπίκαιροι καὶ κοινοὶ τῶν τόπων. Ib. H 4 init.

1 This I take to be the meaning of διὰ τοῦ λόγου. The other interpretation, ‘it is plain by reason’, or ‘reason shews that’, is supported by Muretus and Vater. Victorius renders it, “as by general use, so also, ita etiam ratione quadam confirmatur,” meaning by ratio the process of reasoning. As to the first, it seems to me that διὰ τοῦ λόγου would be a very affected and unnatural way of expressing either ‘by reason’, or ‘by reasoning’: it would rather be τῷ λόγῳ if that were the meaning. Also διά with the genit., which denotes the channel, medium, course, or means, of anything, is much more appropriately joined with δεικνύναι, with which my version connects it, than with δῆλον, which, to say the least, would be very unusual Greek.

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