previous next

‘Objections (contradictory instances) are brought (against opposing enthymemes) in four ways, as also in the Topics’. Schrader had long ago observed that the words ἐν τοῖς τοπικοῖς are not a reference to the special treatise of that name, but express the art, or the practice of it, in general; and this explanation he had already applied to other passages, as II 23. 9, ἐν τοῖς τοπικοῖς and 24. 10, ἐν τοῖς ἐριστικοῖς; unnecessarily in those two, as we have seen.

Brandis will not allow that ‘the Topics’ can ever be applied to Dialectics in general, but thinks that it must be confined to the particular book in which Dialectics are treated as Topics (wherein Vahlen agrees with him). He admits that although the fourfold division of ἐνστάσεις, as here given, is not found in the Topics, as we now have them, (there is a different division into four,) yet the proper place for them is indicated in Bk. Θ c. 10; also, that there are plenty of examples of these four ἐνστάσεις in the Topics; and also that they are found (substantially, not by name and description,) in the Analytics. Nevertheless, he hesitates to suppose that there can be a direct reference to the Topics here and suggests the possibility of an alteration of Bk. Θ subsequent to the composition of the Rhetoric, or of an omission of something in our present text. Tract in Schneidewin's Philologus IV. i, p. 23.

To this Vahlen very fairly replies, zur krit. der Ar. Schrift. II 25, 1402 a 30, (Trans. Vien. Acad. Oct. 1861, p. 140), that Aristotle “has so often exemplified the application of these four kinds of ἐνστάσεις in the eighth book of the Topics—see especially c. 2, 157 a 34, and b 1, ff.— and elsewhere throughout the treatise—as in the Topics of πρός τι (Ζ 8, 9), γένος (Δ), ἴδιον (E),—that he might very well refer to that work here in the Rhetoric for the application of them to the use of that art.” “The words καθάπερ καὶ ἐν τοῖς τοπικοῖς need not be referred to more than the φέρονται ἐνστάσεις (the bringing or application of objections), and the expression here is no less correct than in 1403 a 31.” (26. 4): and consequently (he says) Brandis' two suggestions are superfluous. The reference to the Topics in Rhet. I 2. 9 is a case exactly parallel to this. It is not made to any particular passage, but what is stated may be gathered or inferred from the contents of that work. Compare note ad loc., and see Introd. p. 154, note 1.

On ἐνστάσεις and its four kinds, Introd. pp. 269—271; where the examples that follow, §§ 4—7, are also explained. We learn from the chapter of the Analytics that ‘objections’, directed against the premisses of a syllogism (or enthymeme), may be either universal or particular: and that the syllogisms into which they are thrown are either in the first or third figure.

ἐξ ἑαυτοῦ] which in the next sentence becomes ἀφ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ, is, as Schrader puts it, “Cum ex eo quod antecedenti enthymematis nobis oppositi, eiusdemque vel subiecto vel praedicato inest, contrarium argumentum exsculpitur, eoque id quod obiectum est confutatur.” An argument derived ‘from itself’ must mean ‘from the opponent's enthymeme itself’, and so retorted on him.

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: