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26. Amplification and depreciation are not elements of enthymeme (for I regard element and topic as identical), since element (or topic) is a head under which several enthymemes are included, but they are enthymemes which serve to show that a thing is great or small,
just as others serve to show that it is good or bad, just or unjust, or anything else. [2] All these are the materials of syllogisms and enthymemes; so that if none of these is a topic of enthymeme, neither is amplification or depreciation. [3] Nor are enthymemes by which arguments are refuted of a different kind from those by which they are established; for it is clear that demonstration or bringing an objection is the means of refutation. By the first the contrary of the adversary's conclusion is demonstrated; for instance, if he has shown that a thing has happened, his opponent shows that it has not; if he has shown that a thing has not happened, he shows that it has. This, therefore, will not be the difference between them; for both employ the same arguments; they bring forward enthymemes to show that the thing is or that it is not. [4] And the objection is not an enthymeme, but, as I said in the Topics, it is stating an opinion which is intended to make it clear that the adversary's syllogism is not logical, or that he has assumed some false premise. [5] Now, since there are three things in regard to speech, to which special attention should be devoted, let what has been said suffice for examples, maxims, enthymemes, and what concerns the intelligence1 generally;
for the sources of a supply of arguments and the means of refuting them. It only remains to speak of style and arrangement.

1 “Intellectual capacity, as evinced in language (or actions), and seen when the actors argue or make an appeal to the feelings of others, in other words, when they reason or plead with one of the other dramatis personae in the same sort of way as a rhetor might do” (Bywater on Aristot. Poet. 1450a 6, where the text is speaking of the διάνοια of the actors in a play).

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 8.75
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aristotle, Poetics, 1450a
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