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One topic of demonstrative enthymemes is derived from opposites; for it is necessary to consider whether one opposite is predicable of the other, as a means of destroying an argument, if it is not, as a means of constructing one, if it is;1 for instance, self-control is good, for lack of self-control is harmful; or as in the Messeniacus,2 “If the war is responsible for the present evils, one must repair them with the aid of peace.” And, “ For if it is unfair to be angry with those who have done wrong unintentionally, it is not fitting to feel beholden to one who is forced to do us good.3

” Or, “ If men are in the habit of gaining credit for false statements, you must also admit the contrary, that men often disbelieve what is true.4


1 Assuming that self-control is good, then if the opposite of good (that is, bad) can be predicated of lack of self-control, this proves the truth of the first proposition; otherwise, it may be refuted.

2 Cf. 1.13.2 note.

3 Authorship unknown.

4 Euripides, Thyestes (Frag. 396, T.G.F.).

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