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[2] Now, of the topics of apparent enthymemes one is that of diction, which is of two kinds. The first, as in Dialectic, consists in ending with a conclusion syllogistically expressed, although there has been no syllogistic process, “therefore it is neither this nor that,” “so it must be this or that”; and similarly in rhetorical arguments a concise and antithetical statement is supposed to be an enthymeme; for such a style appears to contain a real enthymeme. This fallacy appears to be the result of the form of expression. For the purpose of using the diction to create an impression of syllogistic reasoning it is useful to state the heads of several syllogisms: “He saved some, avenged others, and freed the Greeks”;1 for each of these propositions has been proved by others, but their union appears to furnish a fresh conclusion.

The second kind of fallacy of diction is homonymy.2 For instance, if one were to say that the mouse is an important animal, since from it is derived the most honored of all religious festivals, namely, the mysteries3; or if, in praising the dog, one were to include the dog in heaven (Sirius), or Pan, because Pindar said,4 “ O blessed one, whom the Olympians call dog of the Great Mother, taking every form,

or were to say that the dog is an honorable animal, since to be without a dog is most dishonorable. And to say that Hermes is the most sociable of the gods, because he alone is called common;5 and that words are most excellent, since good men are considered worthy, not of riches but of consideration; for λόγου ἄξιος has a double meaning.6

[3] Another fallacy consists in combining what is divided or dividing what is combined. For since a thing which is not the same as another often appears to be the same, one may adopt the more convenient alternative. Such was the argument of Euthydemus, to prove, for example, that a man knows that there is a trireme in the Piraeus, because he knows the existence of two things, the Piraeus and the trireme;7 or that, when one knows the letters, one also knows the word made of them, for word and letters are the same thing. Further, since twice so much is unwholesome, one may argue that neither is the original amount wholesome; for it would be absurd that two halves separately should be good, but bad combined. In this way the argument may be used for refutation, in another way for demonstration, if one were to say, one good thing cannot make two bad things. But the whole topic is fallacious. Again, one may quote what Polycrates said of Thrasybulus, that he deposed thirty tyrants,8 for here he combines them; or the example of the fallacy of division in the Orestes of Theodectes:9 “It is just that a woman who has killed her husband” should be put to death, and that the son should avenge the father;

1 Isoc. 9.65-69.

2 Or equivocation, in which a single term has a double meaning.

3 Deriving μυστήριαμύειν, to close the lips) from μῦς (mouse).

4 A fragment from the Parthenia (songs sung by maidens to the accompaniment of the flute). Pan is called “the dog of Cybele,” the great nature-goddess of the Greeks, as being always in attendance on her, being himself a nature-god. The fact that Pindar calls Pan “dog” is taken as a glorification of that animal.

5 κοινὸς Ε῾ρμῆς is an expression meaning “halves!” When anyone had a stroke of luck, such as finding a purse full of money in the street, anyone with him expected to go halves. Hermes was the god of luck, and such a find was called ἑρμαῖον. κοινωνικός is taken to mean (1) liberal to others, or (2) sociable.

6 λόγος: (1) speech; (2) account, esteem.

7 Very obscure and no explanation is satisfactory. The parallel passage in Aristot. Sophist. Elenchi 20.6 is: “Do you being in Sicily now know that there are triremes in the Piraeus?” The ambiguity lies in the position of “now,” whether it is to be taken with “in Sicily” or with “in the Piraeus.” At the moment when a man is in Sicily he cannot know that there are at this time triremes in the Piraeus; but being in Sicily he can certainly know of the ships in the Piraeus, which should be there, but are now in Sicily (Kirchmann). St. Hilaire suggests that the two clauses are: Do you now, being in Sicily, see the triremes which are in the Piraeus? and, Did you when in Sicily, see the triremes which are now in the Piraeus? The fallacy consists in the two facts (being in the Piraeus and the existence of triremes in Sicily), true separately, being untrue combined.

8 Thrasybulus deposed the thirty individuals and put down the single tyranny which they composed; he then claimed a thirtyfold reward, as having put down thirty tyrannies.

9 Frag. 5 (T.G.F.).

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