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[5]

And we must not overlook the distinction between arguments that start from first principles and those that lead to first principles. It was a good practice of Plato to raise this question, and to enquire whether the true procedure is to start from or to lead up to one's first principles, as in a race-course one may run from the judges to the far end of the track or the reverse. Now no doubt it is proper to start from the known. But ‘the known’ has two meanings—‘what is known to us,’ which is one thing, and ‘what is knowable in itself,’ which is another. Perhaps then for us1 at all events it proper to start from what is known to us.

1 In contrast apparently with the school of Plato.

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