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Aristotle - The Organon - index for TOPICA Book 6 Part 14

Definitions as composites or contraries

  
Paragraph 1 Again, if he have described the whole compounded as the 'composition' of these things (e.g. 'a living creature' as a 'composition of soul and body'), first of all see whether he has omitted to state the kind of composition, as (e.g.) in a definition of 'flesh' or 'bone' as the 'composition of fire, earth, and air'.
Paragraph 2 Again, if in the nature of a thing two contraries are equally liable to occur, and the thing has been defined through the one, clearly it has not been defined;
Paragraph 3 Also, even when one cannot attack the definition as a whole for lack of acquaintance with the whole, one should attack some part of it, if one knows that part and sees it to be incorrectly rendered:
Paragraph 4 In combating definitions it is always one of the chief elementary principles to take by oneself a happy shot at a definition of the object before one, or to adopt some correctly expressed definition.
Paragraph 5 As to definitions, then, let so much suffice.


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