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Aristotle - The Organon - index for TOPICA Book 1 Part 1

What reasoning is

  
Paragraph 1 Our treatise proposes to find a line of inquiry whereby we shall be able to reason from opinions that are generally accepted about every problem propounded to us, and also shall ourselves, when standing up to an argument, avoid saying anything that will obstruct us.
Paragraph 2 Now reasoning is an argument in which, certain things being laid down, something other than these necessarily comes about through them.
Paragraph 3 (a) It is a 'demonstration', when the premisses from which the reasoning starts are true and primary, or are such that our knowledge of them has originally come through premisses which are primary and true:
Paragraph 4 (b) reasoning, on the other hand, is 'dialectical', if it reasons from opinions that are generally accepted.
Paragraph 5 (c), reasoning is 'contentious' if it starts from opinions that seem to be generally accepted, but are not really such, or again if it merely seems to reason from opinions that are or seem to be generally accepted.
Paragraph 6 Further (d), besides all the reasonings we have mentioned there are the mis-reasonings that start from the premisses peculiar to the special sciences, as happens (for example) in the case of geometry and her sister sciences.
Paragraph 7 The foregoing must stand for an outline survey of the species of reasoning.


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