previous next

Top. II. ἐκ τῶν ὁμοίων, πτώσεων] On πτώσεις and σύστοιχα, see note on I 7. 27. πτῶσιςgrammatische abbiegung,” Brandis [Philol. IV i]. ‘Another (inference may be drawn) from similar inflexions; for the inflected words (or, the inflexions of the word) must be capable of similar predication, (for instance from δίκη by inflexion, or variation of termination, are formed the πτώσεις, δίκαιος, δικαίως—as well as the grammatical cases, inflexion and declension, and if δίκαιον can be predicated of anything, then δικαίως must be predicable of the same). We may therefore argue, says the example, ‘that justice is not all good’, taking the negative side, μὴ ὑπάρχειν, good is not universally predicable of justice; otherwise good would be predicable of the πτῶσις, δικαίως, which is not true in all cases; ‘for all good is αἱρετόν, an object of choice; but a just punishment, or to be justly punished, everybody would allow not to be desirable’. This is an application of the topic to its negative, destructive, or refutative use: the inference is that the rule laid down is not true. Compare with this example, I 9. 15, where the same distinction is made: although τὰ δίκαια and δικαίως ἔργα are similarly predicable, yet this is not the case with the πάθη: ἐν μόνῃ γὰρ (this is therefore an exceptional case to which the ordinary rule of ὅμοιαι πτώσεις does not apply) ταύτῃ τῶν ἀρετῶν οὐκ ἀεὶ τὸ δικαίως καλόν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῦ ζημιοῦσθαι αἰσχρὸν τὸ δικαίως μᾶλλον τὸ ἀδίκως.

Brandis u. s. notes on this topic another difference which shews itself between the Topics and the Rhetoric, that whereas in the former the σύστοιχα are usually (not always) added to the πτώσεις in the treatment of it, they are here omitted, and the grammatical form of co-ordinates alone taken into account.

The use of the topic as a dialectical argument is abundantly illustrated in the Topics, in very many places, as may be seen by consulting Waitz's Index ad Organon, s. v. The principal passage on the subject is Top. B 9,—where the πτώσεις, the grammatical co-ordinates, are properly subordinated to the more extensive σύστοιχα, things which are logically co-ordinate, 114 b 34. The latter are exemplified by δικαιοσύνη, δίκαιος, δίκαιον, δικαίως. Compare A 15, 106 b 29, on the application of them to ambiguous terms, πλεοναχῶς λεγόμενα, also Γ 3, 118 a 34, Δ 3, 124 a 10, and the rest, which indicate their various applications1.

Cicero, Top. IV 12, comp. IX 38, illustrates coniugata, which is his name for Ar.'s πτώσεις, by sapiens, sapienter, sapientia; and the argument from it by, Si compascuus ager est, ius est compascere. Haec verborum coniugatio, he says, συζυγία dicitur: on which Spengel (Specim. Comm. in Ar. Lib. II 23, Heidelb. 1844) remarks, “Non Aristotelem qui semper συστοιχίαν dicit, sed posteriores, in primis Stoicos, intelligit.” In de Or. II 40. 167, they are called coniuncta.

Quintilian, who treats the topic with some contempt as hardly deserving of notice, has, Inst. Orat. V 10. 85, His illud adiicere ridiculum putarem, nisi eo Cicero uteretur, quod coniugatum vocant: ut, Eos, qui rem iustam faciant iuste facere, quod certe non eget probatione; Quod compascuum est compascere licere (from Cicero).

1 If I am not mistaken ὅμοιαι πτώσεις is a misnomer. If πτώσεις are the various inflexions—declensions in an extended sense—of a root-word, the term must be confined to the changes of the terminations: in these appears, not similarity, but difference: the similarity lies, not in the terminations, but in the idea or root common to all the varieties: ‘similar’ therefore, though it may very well be predicated of the σύστοιχα, is not properly applied to πτώσεις.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: