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Aristotle - The Organon TOPICA Book 8 Part 4

The business of a good answerer

1. As to the formulation, then, and arrangement of one's questions, about enough has been said.

2. With regard to the giving of answers, we must first define what is the business of a good answerer, as of a good questioner. The business of the questioner is so to develop the argument as to make the answerer utter the most extravagant paradoxes that necessarily follow because of his position: while that of the answerer is to make it appear that it is not he who is responsible for the absurdity or paradox, but only his position: for one may, perhaps, distinguish between the mistake of taking up a wrong position to start with, and that of not maintaining it properly, when once taken up.


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