Topics (Aristotle)/Book 2
Of problems, some are universal but others particular, the universal then, as that all pleasure is good, and that no pleasure is good, but the particular, as that a certain pleasure is good, and a certain pleasure is not good. To both genera, however, of problems, those things are common which universally construct and subvert, for having shown that a thing is present with every, we shall also have proved that it is present with a certain individual, and in like manner, if we have shown that it is present with no individual, we shall also have proved it not present with every. We must first speak, then, of those which are universally subversive, both because such are common to universal and particular (problems), and because men rather introduce theses in the affirmative than in the negative, but the disputants subvert them. Nevertheless, it is most difficult to convert an appropriate appellation (derived) from accident, for (to be inherent) partly, and not universally, it is possible to accidents only, since it is necessary to convert from definition, property, and genus, as if it is present with a certain thing to be an animal, pedestrian, biped, it will be true for the person who has converted it, to say, that it is an animal, pedestrian, biped. Likewise from genus, for if it is incident to a thing to be an animal, it is an animal; and it is the same with property, for if it is present with any to be capable of grammar, it will be capable of grammar, since nothing of these can be partly present or not present, but simply present or not present. Yet there is nothing to prevent accidents from being partly present, for instance, whiteness or justice, so that it is not enough to show that whiteness or justice is inherent, in order to show that a man is white or just, since it is doubtful, because he may be partially white or just, so that conversion is unnecessary in accidents.
Again, we must determine the errors occurrent in problems, that they are two, either from false assertion, or a departure from the established mode of speaking. For both false assertors err, from saying that what is not present, is present with a certain thing, and those who call things by foreign names, as a plane tree a man, transgress the established nomenclature.
One place then is, to consider whether he (the respondent) has given as an accident, that which is inherent, according to some other mode; which error, indeed, especially obtains about genera, as if some one should say, that it was accidental to whiteness to be a colour, since it is not accidental to whiteness to be a colour, but colour is its genus. Therefore, it is possible that he who lays down a thesis, may define according to denomination (the genus as an accident), e. g. that it is accidental to justice to be a virtue; frequently, however, without definition, it is evident that he has given the genus as an accident, as if any one should have said, that whiteness is coloured, or that walking is moved, for the predication of species is paronymously asserted from no genus, but all genera are predicated of species synonymously, since species receive the name and definition, of genera. Whoever, therefore, says that whiteness is coloured, has neither explained it as genus, since he has spoken paronymously, nor as property, nor as definition, since definition and property are present with nothing else, while many other things are coloured, as wood, stone, man, horse; wherefore he evidently gives it as accident.
Another (topic) is, to regard those with which, either all or none, a thing is said to be present, and to consider according to species and not in infinites, (individuals,) for the investigation (will be) more in the way and in fewer things. Still we must consider and begin from first things, and then (proceed) as far as individuals, for instance, if a man said that there is the same science of opposites, we must consider if there is the same science of relatives, of contraries, and of those which are enunciated according to privation and habit, and according to contradiction, and if it should not yet be evident in these, we must divide them again as far as individuals, as whether (there is the same science) of the just and the unjust, or of the double and the half, or of blindness and sight, or of entity and nonentity. For if it should be proved that there is not the same in respect of a certain thing, we shall have subverted the problem, likewise also if it should be present with none. Now this place converts to confirmation and refutation, for if, when they have introduced division, it should appear (present) with all, or with many, things, it must be required to admit it universally, or to object some (instance) wherein it is not so, and if (the opponent) does neither of these, he will appear absurd from not conceding it.
Another (topic) is, to make definitions, both of accident and of that to which it is accidental, either of both severally, or of one of them, then to consider whether any thing has been assumed as true, which is not true, in the definitions; thus if the (problem) is, that we can injure God, (we must consider) what it is, to injure, for if it be, to hurt voluntarily, it is evident that God cannot possibly be injured, since it is impossible that God can be hurt. Again, if the worthy man is envious, who is the envious, and what is envy, (must be considered,) for if envy be pain at the apparent success of some worthy person, it is evident that a worthy man is not envious, for if so, he would be depraved, and if the man prone to indignation be envious, (we must explain) who each of these is, for thus it will be evident whether what is said is true or false, e. g. if he is envious who is grieved at the success of the good, but he is prone to indignation who is grieved at the success of the bad, it is clear that the envious will not be the indignant man. We must also assume definitions, instead of the names in definitions, and not desist until we arrive at what is known; since often the question is not yet clear, when, indeed, the whole definition has been given, but it becomes evident, if the definition is given, instead of some name placed in the definition.
Moreover, the problem must be changed into a proposition and then objected to, for the objection will be an argument against the thesis: this place, indeed, is almost the same as seeing, with what, either all or none, a thing is said to be present, but it differs in the mode.
Further, we must define what kind of things we ought, and what we ought not, to denominate as the multitude do, for this is useful both for confirmation and subversion, as that things are to be called by the same names as the multitude use, but that we are no longer to attend to the multitude, as to the quality of things, whether they be such or such. For instance, that is to be called salubrious, which is productive of health, as the multitude say, but whether the thing proposed be productive of health or not, is no longer to be decided by what the multitude, but by what the physician declares.
Moreover, if a thing be multifariously predicated, but is laid down as inherent, or as noninherent, we must prove one of the things multifariously predicated, if we cannot prove both. This must be used, however, in those things which are latent, for if what is multifariously predicated is not latent, the opponent may object, that what he is in doubt about, is not the subject of dispute, but something else. This topic, indeed, converts both for confirmation and subversion, for when we desire to confirm we shall show that one is inherent, if we cannot both; but when we subvert, we shall show that one is not inherent, if we cannot both. Nevertheless, there is no need for the subverter to dispute from compact, neither if a thing be said to be present with every individual, nor if it be said to be so with none, since if we show that it is not present with any individual whatever, we shall have subverted its being with every individual, likewise also if we should prove it present with one, we shall have subverted its presence with nothing. Still, in confirming, we must previously acknowledge, that if it is present with any whatever, it is present with every thing, if the axiom be probable, since it is not enough to discourse about one thing, in order to prove that it is present with every thing, as if the soul of man is immortal, that every soul is immortal, wherefore, it must be previously taken for granted, that if any soul whatever is immortal, every soul also is immortal. This, however, is not always to be done, but when we cannot supply one common reason in all, as a geometrician (proves by one common reason, that a triangle has angles equal to two right).
Yet if a thing is not latent, being predicated in many ways, we must subvert and confirm, having distinguished in how many ways it is predicated; thus, if the becoming is the advantageous or the beautiful, we must try to confirm or subvert, both about the proposed (problem), e. g. that it is beautiful and advantageous, or that it is neither beautiful nor advantageous. Still if we cannot prove both, we must prove one, of them, showing that the one is, but the other not; but the reasoning is the same, though there should be more members in the division.
Again, (we must consider) those things which are not equivocally predicated in many ways, but in some other way, thus science is one of many, either as belonging to the end, or to that which pertains to the end, as medicine (is the science) of producing health, and of prescribing diet, or as belonging to both ends, as of contraries there is said to be the same science, (since the one) is no more an end than the other, or as belonging to that which is per se, and to that which is accidental, as (we know) per se that a triangle has angles equal to two right, but according to accident, that it is equilateral, for because it happens to an equilateral triangle to be a triangle, according to this we know that it has angles equal to two right. If then it is by no means possible that there should be the same science of many things, it is clearly altogether impossible, or if in a certain respect it is possible, it is clear that it is possible. Nevertheless, we must distinguish in how many ways it is useful; for instance, if we desire to confirm we must introduce such things as are possible, and we must divide them into those only which are useful to confirmation; but if we would subvert, (we must introduce) such things as are impossible, and omit the rest. This too must be done in these, when it is latent in how many ways they are predicated, that this also belongs to that, or does not belong, must be confirmed from the same places; as that this science is of this thing, either as belonging to the end, or to those things which pertain to the end, or as to those which are accidental, or on the other hand, that a thing is not according to any of the above-mentioned modes. The same reasoning also subsists about desire and such other things as are said to belong to many, for desire belongs to this thing either as to the end, as to health, or as to those things which pertain to the end, as to the taking medicine, or as to that which is from accident, as in wine, he who loves sweetness (desires wine), not because it is wine, but because it is sweet, since he desires sweetness per se, but wine accidentally, since if it should be sour, he no longer desires it, therefore he desires it from accident. This place however is useful in relatives, for almost all such things as these, belong to relatives.
Again, a change must be made into a name more known, as, for instance, the clear instead of the accurate in notion, and the love of employment instead of being engaged in various occupations, for the assertion being more known, the thesis is more easily opposed. This place also is common to both confirmation and subversion.
In order however to show that contraries are present with the same thing, it is necessary to attend to the genus; thus if we desire to prove that there is rectitude and error about sense, since sensibly to perceive, is to judge, but it is possible to judge rightly and not rightly, about sense also, there will be rectitude and error. Now, then, from the genus the demonstration is concerning the species, since to judge is the genus of sensible perception, for he who sensibly perceives, in some way judges. Again, from species to genus, for whatever things are present with species are also with genus, as if science is bad and good, disposition also is bad and good, for disposition is the genus of science. The former place therefore is false indeed for confirmation, but the latter is true, since it is not necessary that whatever things are present with genus, should also be present with species, since animal is winged and quadruped, but man is not, yet whatever things are present with species, are necessarily also with genus, for if man is good, animal also is good. Still for subversion, the former is true, but the latter false, as whatever are not present with genus, neither are with species, but it is unnecessary that whatever are not with species, should not be present with genus.
Notwithstanding, since it is requisite that of what things genus is predicated, some species also should be predicated, and whatever things possess genus, or are paronymously denominated from genus, have necessarily a certain species, or are paronymously demonstrated from some species, as if science is predicated of some certain thing, grammar also, or music, or some other science, will be predicated (of it); and if any one has science, or is paronymously denominated from science, he will also possess grammar, or music, or some other science, or will be paronymously called from some one of them, as, for instance, a grammarian or musician;—if then anything should be laid down which is in any way denominated from genus, as that the soul is moved, we must consider whether it is possible for the soul to be moved according to any species of motion, as to be increased, or corrupted, or generated, or such other species of motion. For if by none (may it be moved), it is evident that it is not moved: this place also pertains in common to both subversion and confirmation, for if it is moved according to any species, it is evident that it is moved, and if according to no species, it is evidently not moved.
He however who is not well provided with arguments about the thesis, must consider from the definitions, either real or apparent, of the proposed thing, and if he cannot from one, (definition, he must obtain an argument) from many, for it will be easy to argue when they have defined, since opposition to definitions is easier.
We must also consider in the proposed (problem) to what thing it belongs, or what will necessarily be if the proposition subsists. The person who wishes to confirm, must consider to what the proposition will belong, (for if that be shown to exist, the proposition will also have been proved,) but he who wishes to subvert, (must consider) what will be the consequence if the proposition subsists, for if we can show that the consequent to the proposition does not subsist, we shall have subverted the proposition.
Besides, we must attend to time if it is any where discrepant, as if a person said that what is nourished, is of necessity increased, for animals are always nourished, yet do not always increase. Likewise, if he said that to know scientifically, is to remember, for the one belongs to past time, but the other to the present and the future, for we are said to know scientifically things present and future, as that there will be an eclipse, but it is impossible to remember any thing except the past.
It is also a sophistical place, to bring (the adversary) to that, against which we are well provided with arguments, and this will sometimes indeed be necessary, at others, appear to be so, but sometimes neither apparent, nor necessary. Now it is necessary, when the respondent, denying some one of those things which are useful to the thesis, the arguments are directed against this, which happens to be a thing of that kind, against which it is possible to abound with arguments. In like manner, when some one by making an abduction to a certain thing, through what is laid down, endeavours to subvert (that thing), for this being subverted, the proposition is also subverted. On the other hand, it appears to be necessary when it seems indeed useful and appropriate to the thesis, yet is not so to that against which the arguments are adduced, whether he who sustains the argument denies, or whether by a probable abduction through the thesis against it, he endeavours to subvert it. The remainder is when that against which the arguments are advanced, is neither necessary nor appears to be so, but it happens that the respondent is sophistically confuted in another respect. We must however be cautious about the last of the above-mentioned modes, for it seems to be altogether remote and foreign from dialectic, wherefore the respondent must not be displeased, but should admit whatever are not useful to the thesis, signifying what do not appear to him to be true, though he admits them; for it happens generally that those who interrogate are more perplexed, when every thing of this kind is admitted, if they do not conclude.
Further, every one who states any thing, in some way states many things, since many are consequent of necessity, upon each; for instance, he who states that man is, states also that animal is, and that animated, and that biped, and that what is capable of intellect and science (are), so that any one of these consequents being subverted, the original proposition also, is subverted. Still we must be careful lest we make a transition to what is more difficult, for sometimes it is easier to subvert the consequent, and at others the proposition itself.
In those things, with which it is necessary one thing alone, should be present, as with man, disease or health, if we are well furnished with arguments against one, that it is present or not, we shall also be well provided against the other. This, however, converts with regard to both, for when we have proved one of them present, we shall have proved that the other is not present, but if we have proved that it is not present, we shall have proved the other present; wherefore the place is evidently useful for both.
Again, we must argue by transferring the name to the meaning, as being more appropriate to assume, than as the name is placed, for instance, (to take) well-animated, not brave, as it is now placed, but (as signifying) one who has his soul well, as also hopeful of good, one who hopes good things, and in like manner, good-fated, one whose demon is good, just as Xenocrates says, that he is happy who has a worthy soul, for that this is each man's demon.
Since, however, some things are from necessity, others subsist generally, but others casually, if what is from necessity is laid down as general, or what is general as from necessity, either itself, or the contrary to what subsists generally, it always affords a place for argument. For if what is of necessity be laid down as for the most part, it is evident that a person states it to be present, not with every individual, when it is, so that he commits an error; also, if he says, that what is for the most part is from necessity, since he states that to be present with every individual which is not; similarly, if he says that the contrary to the general is from necessity, for the contrary to the general is always asserted of the fewer, for instance, if men are generally bad, good men are few, so that he makes a still greater error if he says that men are of necessity good. Likewise, if he should say that what happens casually, is from necessity, or for the most part, for the casual, is neither necessary, nor general; if, however, a person has not defined, whether he says a thing is general, or of necessity, but the thing should subsist as for the most part, it is possible to dispute, as if he had said, it was of necessity, e. g. if he had said, that those without heritage were bad, without defining them (who they are), it might be argued as if he had said (they were so), from necessity.
Moreover, we must consider whether he has placed a thing accidental, as if different, to itself, from the name being different, as Prodicus divided pleasures into joy, delight, and hilarity, for all these are names of the same thing, pleasure; if then any one should say that joy happens to hilarity, he would say that the same thing happens to itself.
Since contraries are united to each other in six ways, but produce contrariety when united in four, we must assume contraries in such a method as may be useful, both to the subverter and constructer. Now that they are involved six ways is clear, for either each will be connected with each of the contraries, and this in a twofold respect, as to act well by friends and ill by enemies, or, on the contrary, to act ill by friends and well by enemies: or when both are about one thing, and this in two ways, as to act well by friends and ill by friends, or well by enemies and ill by enemies: or one thing about both, and this in a twofold respect, as to act well by friends and well by enemies, or ill by friends and ill by enemies.
The first two conjunctions named, do not, indeed, produce contrariety, since to act well by friends is not contrary to acting ill by enemies, as both are eligible and proceed from the same character. Nor is the injuring friends contrary to the benefiting enemies, for both these are to be avoided and proceed from the same character, but what is to be avoided does not seem contrary to what is to be avoided, unless the one is spoken according to excess, but the other according to defect, for excess appears to be of the number of things to be avoided, and similarly also defect. All the remaining four, however, produce contrariety, for to benefit friends is contrary to injuring friends, for they are both from contrary character, and the one is to be chosen and the other avoided. In like manner, also, as to other things, for according to each connexion, the one is eligible, but the other to be avoided, and the one belongs to a worthy, but the other to a depraved character, so that it is clear from what we have said, that many things happen to be contrary to the same thing; for to benefit enemies, and to injure friends, are contrary to benefiting friends, and similarly to each of the others, there will appear two contraries, to those who consider them after the same manner, nevertheless, whichever contrary is useful to the thesis should be assumed.
Moreover, if any thing is contrary to accident, we must see whether it is present with what the accident is said to be present with; for if this is present, that cannot be, since contraries cannot possibly be at the same time with the same thing.
Also whether such a thing has been predicated of any, which existing, contraries must necessarily be inherent; thus if any one said that ideas are in us, for it will happen that they will both be moved and be at rest; also be both sensible and intelligible. For ideas, to those who admit their existence, appear to rest, and to be intelligible; but if they are in us, they cannot be immovable, for since we are moved, it is necessary that all things in us should be moved together with us, it is also clear that they are sensible if they are in us, for through the sense of sight we know the form which is in every thing.
Again, if accident is laid down to which there is a certain contrary, we must consider whether it is also susceptible of the contrary which contains the accident, for the same thing is capable of contraries; thus if any one said that hatred followed anger, hatred would be in the irascible (part of the soul), for anger is there. We must consider then whether the contrary also is in the irascible part, friendship, for if not, but friendship is appetitive, hatred would not follow anger. Likewise, also, if he said that the appetitive part of the soul was ignorant, for it will be capable of science, if indeed it is of ignorance, which does not seem to be the case, that the appetitive part should be capable of science. Whoever therefore subverts, should, as we have said, use this place, but it is not useful to one who confirms that accident is inherent, though it is useful to show that it is possible to be inherent. For when we have shown that it is not susceptible of the contrary, we shall have shown that accident is neither, nor can be, inherent; but if we have shown that the contrary is inherent, or that it is susceptible of the contrary, we shall not yet have shown that accident also is inherent, but it will only be so far proved that it may be inherent.
As oppositions are four, we must consider (whether we can derive an argument) from contradictions, the consequence being inverse both for subversion and confirmation, and we must assume from induction, as if a man is animal, what is not animal is not man, likewise in other things; for here the consequence is inverse, since animal is consequent to man, but what is not animal is not consequent to what is not man, but inversely what is not man is consequent to what is not animal. In all cases then such must be admitted, as if the beautiful is pleasant, the unpleasant is not beautiful, and if this is not, neither will that be; likewise also if the unpleasant is not beautiful, the beautiful is pleasant, wherefore it is clear that the consequence according to contradiction being inverted, converts to both.
In contraries indeed, both the subverter and the constructers must consider, whether the contrary follows the contrary directly, or inversely, but must also assume such things, as far as it is useful, from induction. The consequence then is direct, for instance, to bravery and timidity, for to the one, virtue, but to the other, vice, is consequent, and the eligible follows the one, but what is to be avoided, the other, therefore the consequence of these also is direct, since the eligible is contrary to what is to be avoided, and similarly in other things. But the consequence is inverse, as health indeed follows a good habit of body, but disease does not, a bad habit, but a bad habit of body is consequent to disease, wherefore it is clear that the consequence in these, is inverse. Nevertheless, the inverse rarely occurs in contraries, but in most of them the consequence is direct; if then the contrary follows the contrary, neither directly nor inversely, it is manifest that neither in what is asserted, is the one, consequent to, the other, but if in contraries, in the assertions also, it is requisite, that the one should be consequent to the other.
As in contraries, so also must we consider in privations and habits, except that in privations the inverse does not occur, but the consequence must of necessity always be direct, just as sense follows sight, and privation of sense, blindness, for sense is opposed to the privation of sense, as habit and privation, since one of these is habit, but the other is privation.
Relatives also, we must use in a similar way to habit and privation, for their consequence is direct, as if the triple is multiple, the sub-triple also is sub-multiple, for the triple is referred to the sub-triple, and the multiple to the sub-multiple. Again, if science is opinion, the object of science will also be the object of opinion, and if vision is sense, the visible also, is sensible. It is objected (perhaps), that it is not necessary there should be a consequence in relatives, as we have said, for the sensible is an object of science, but sense is not science, yet the objection does not appear to be true, for many deny that there is science of sensibles. Besides, what has been said is no less useful for (proving) the contrary, as that the sensible is not an object of science, since neither is sense, science.
Again, we must both in subversion and construction, attend to elementary co-ordinates, and to cases, and such things are called co-ordinates, as just things, and a just man, with justice, and courageous deeds, and a courageous man, with courage. Likewise, also, things efficient, and conservative, are co-elementary with that, of which they are efficient, or conservative, as the salubrious, with health, and the productive of a good habit, with a good habit, of body. In the same manner with other things, whence it is usual to call such, coordinates, but cases, are such as justly, and courageously, and healthily, and whatever are spoken after this manner. Those also which are according to cases, seem to be co-ordinate, as justly with justice, and courageously with courage; but all those are called co-ordinate, which are in the same affinity, as justice, a just man, a just thing, justly. It is clear then, that when any one of these which are in the same affinity, is proved good or laudable, all the rest also have been shown so, as, if justice is one of things laudable, the just man, and the just thing, and the justly, are also of the number of things laudable, but justly, and laudably, will be enunciated according to the same case, from the laudable, as justly from justice.
Not only however is the contrary to be considered in what has been said, but also in the contrary, as that the good is not necessarily pleasant, for neither is the evil (necessarily) painful, or if this is, that also is, or so if justice is science, injustice is ignorance, and if justly, is scientifically, and skilfully, the unjustly, is ignorantly, and unskilfully, and if these are not, neither are those, as in the case just now stated, for what is unjustly, would rather appear skilfully, than unskilfully, (done). Now this place has been mentioned before, in the consequences of contraries, for we do not now lay down any thing else, as a principle, than that the contrary follows the contrary.
Moreover, both by the subverter and the constructor, (arguments are to be derived) in generations and corruptions, efficients and destructives. For those things of which the generations are good, are themselves also good, and if they are good, the generations are too; but if the generations are of the number of things evil, the things themselves also are of evil. In corruptions, indeed, it is the contrary, for if corruptions are among the number of things good, the things themselves (corrupted) are evil, but if the corruptions are amongst things evil, the things themselves are good. The same reasoning indeed prevails in the case of efficients and destructives, for those things, of which the efficients are good, are themselves also good, but those, whose destructives are good, are themselves amongst things evil.
Again, (it should be observed,) whether the same thing happens with similars, as if science is one of many, whether opinion also is, and if to possess sight is to see, whether to possess hearing also is to hear, and likewise of the rest, both in the case of the real and of the apparent. This place indeed is useful for both, for if it is so with any similar, it will be also with other similars, but if not with some, neither with the others. Still we must consider both, whether the same occurs in one thing and in many, for sometimes there is a discrepancy; thus, if to know scientifically is to energize with the intellect, to know many things scientifically is intellectually to energize about many things, but this is not true, for we may know much scientifically without energizing the intellect, if then this is not (true), neither is that (which was asserted) in one thing, viz. that to know scientifically is to energize the intellect.
Besides, we must take arguments from the more and less; now there are four places of the more, one is, if the more follows the more, as if pleasure is good, the greater pleasure is the greater good, and if to injure is evil, the greater injustice is the greater evil. This place indeed is useful for both, for if the addition of the accident is consequent upon the addition of the subject, as was stated, it is evident that it happens, but if it is not consequent it does not happen, but this must be assumed by induction. Another place is, when one thing is predicated of two, if it is not present with what it is more probable to be present, neither (will it be) with what (it is) less (probable), and if it is present with what it is less probable to be present, (it is) also with what (it is) more (probable). Again, when two things are predicated of one, if what appears more present is not present, neither will the less, or if that which appears to be less present is present, that which is more (will be). Once more, when two things are predicated of two, if what appears more present with the one is not present, neither will the remainder be with the remainder; or if what appears less present with the other is present, the remainder also (will be) with the remainder.
Again, (there is an argument) from what is similarly present, or appears to be present, triply, just as was said in that, which was more (present), in the three last-mentioned places. For whether one thing is similarly present with two, or appears to be so, if it is not with the one, neither is it with the other, but if it is with the one it will be also with the remainder; or two things similarly present with the one, if the one is not present, neither will the other be, but if the one, (then) also the other. In the same way if two things are similarly present with two, for if one is not present with the other, neither will the remaining one (be) with the remainder, but if the one is present with the other, the remainder (will be) also with the remainder.
It is possible then to argue in so many ways from the more, the less, and the similar; also indeed from addition, if one thing being added to another makes that good or white, which before was not white or good, what is added will be (such) a whiteness or good, as in fact it causes the whole to be. Further, if a certain thing being added to what is inherent, makes it more such than it was, itself also will be of a similar kind; and the same with other things. Still this (place) is not useful in all cases, but in those, in which there happens to be an excess of the more. This place too, does not convert for the purpose of subversion, for if what is added does not produce good, it is not yet manifest whether itself be not good, since good added to evil, does not of necessity render the whole good, nor white (added) to blackness.
Again, if a thing is said to be more and less, it is likewise simply, for what is not good nor white, will neither be said to be more or less good or white, for evil is not more or less good, than any thing, but will be said to be more or less evil. Yet neither does this place convert for the purpose of subversion, since many things which are not said to be more, subvert simply, for man is not called more and less, yet not on this account is he not man.
In the same manner we must pay attention to that which subsists according to something, and at some time, and in some place; for if it is possible as to something, it is also simply possible, and in like manner the when or the where, for what is simply impossible, is neither possible as to any thing, nor any where, nor at any time. It is objected (perhaps) that worthy men are naturally (so), as to a certain thing, for instance, liberal or temperate, but simply they are not naturally worthy. Likewise it is possible at some time that something corruptible may not be corrupted, but simply it is impossible that it should not be corrupted: in the same way also it is beneficial to use a certain kind of diet some where, for instance, in unhealthy places, but simply it is not beneficial. Moreover, in a certain place, it is possible for one only to be, but simply it is not possible that one only should be; in the same way also at a certain place, it was good to sacrifice a father, e. g. among the Tribali, but simply it is not good. Now does not this indeed signify not a certain place, but to certain people? for it makes no difference where they may be, since every where it will be a noble action with them, (as) Tribali. Again, at some time it is beneficial to take medicine, as when a man is ill, but simply it is not (beneficial), may we not say that neither does this signify a certain time, but refers to one disposed in a certain way, for it does not signify at all when (it is done), if only he be thus disposed. But that is simply, which, when nothing is added, you may declare to be good or the contrary, e. g. you would not say that to sacrifice a father is good, but that it is good amongst certain persons, it is not therefore simply good. On the contrary, you will say that to reverence the gods is good without any addition, for it is simply good; hence that which without any addition appears to be good, or base, or any thing else of the kind, will be said (to be so) simply.