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Aristotle - The Organon TOPICA Book 8 Part 9

Before advancing a position, test it

1. Before maintaining either a thesis or a definition the answerer should try his hand at attacking it by himself; for clearly his business is to oppose those positions from which questioners demolish what he has laid down.

2. He should beware of maintaining a hypothesis that is generally rejected: and this it may be in two ways: for it may be one which results in absurd statements, e.g. suppose any one were to say that everything is in motion or that nothing is; and also there are all those which only a bad character would choose, and which are implicitly opposed to men's wishes, e.g. that pleasure is the good, and that to do injustice is better than to suffer it. For people then hate him, supposing him to maintain them not for the sake of argument but because he really thinks them.


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