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cause which we assign." The whole force of CHAP. such reasoning depends on the exactness of the enumeration: the argument fails when this enumeration is imperfect.

great field

A fallacy still more common is, where the 2. Verbowant of matter is compensated by a superabund- sity, the ance of words: when enthymemes are accumu- of sophislated, inverted, opposed, changed into all those try. shapes, and disguised by all those coverings, which tend to conceal their want of cogency. This varied fluency, which often quits the plain indicative mode for the suppositive or potential, which now interrogates, now commands, now marks admiration, now insinuates suspicion, constitutes the great field and region of popular and delusive oratory. One of its artifices is to collect the heads of many arguments into one heap: "He served our friends, he punished our enemies, he delivered the Greeks!" In each of these points, his merit had been proved; but from this enumeration, a new proof of merit appears to result, different from any of the things before said, or shown, in his favour.

Another common deception arises from the 3. Fallacy from equiapplying to a word, in one of its acceptations, vocal that which only belongs to it in another. 53


53 The author mentions the Greek word μvs, mouse, as deriving splendour and importance from μvsnpia, the mysteries; the dog, from denoting the dog-star, and its being an appellative of the god Pan in Pindar; and also, from the Greek proverb " that he is not worth a dog:" And the word koos, applied to Mercury as the internuncius deorum, and KOLVOVIKOι derived from it, signifying communicative and generous; and that" an account, λoyos, is better than money, because good men are called men of account, that is, of estimation."



Another fallacy is to conjoin, things only true, separately; or to separate, things only true, conjunctly. Thus to say, that a man knows a poem or other composition, because he knows the letters of which it is composed. That because an ounce of a certain medicine might do harm, therefore half an ounce cannot do good; for how should two goods produce an evil? Polycrates said of Thrasybulus, that if the man deserved honours and rewards, who rescued his country from one tyrant, how meritorious was Thrasybulus, who had destroyed thirty? In arguing thus, he combined in one man what was true only of thirty, for the thirty tyrants of Athens formed but one tyranny. In the Orestes of Theodectes, again, the fallacy consists in division. "It is just that a woman, who has murdered her husband, should be punished with death it is just, that a son should avenge the murder of his father. Orestes therefore acted justly in killing Clytemmnestra." The conclusion does not follow, because that which is true of things separately, may not be true of them conjunctly. This argument, besides, is fallacious through deficiency, for to conceal the crime of Orestes, the orator omits to state by whom it was committed, namely, by the hand of a son raised against his own mother.

54 Aristotle gives another example, that by which Euthydemus proved to a clown, that he knew a certain galley to be in the Piræus. You know the galley, you know, "being in the Piræus." Therefore you know the galley, "being in the Piræus." This deception in English must be operated by a grammatical error, which, however, is very common.



From the sympathy which men feel with CHAP. those actuated by generous and energetic passions 54, aggravation and vehemence are great 4. The fallacy resultsources of sophistry. In defending ourselves ing from against any imputation, we may paint the thing aggrava imputed to us in such odious colours, and ex- vehepress so warmly our detestation of its turpitude, that notwithstanding strong circumstances against us, it will not be easy to believe in our guilt. On the other hand, without bringing the case home to our adversary, we may denounce the crime charged on him in such emphatic terms, and express such generous indignation against its enormity, that he will often be held guilty upon very defective evidence.

consists in

Another fallacy arises from considering as a 5th fallacy proof, that which is barely a sign. Thus, reasoning "Dionysius is a thief, for he is a bad man." from acThe conclusion is illogical; for though every if they thief is a bad man, every bad man is not a thief. 55

cidents as

were es


Another arises from regarding as essential to the nature or definition of a thing, that which is barely an accident or appendage. Thus Polycrates magnified rats as valuable allies to the state, because they happened to disarm its enemies, by gnawing asunder the strings of their bows. In the same manner, it may be said, that nothing is a matter of more importance than an invita

54 Conf. Ethic. 1. vi. c. 12.

55 Aristotle gives another example: "Lovers benefit commonwealths; for the lovers, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, destroyed the tyrant Hipparchus."


BOOK tion to supper; for Achilles, when not invited, was exasperated against the Greeks in Tenedos. It was not the denied supper, but the dishonour concurring with it, that provoked the anger of Achilles.

Another fallacy is to reason from an ordinary concomitant. "How high-minded was Paris, who, shunning the multitude, lived alone and solitary on Ida." The love of solitude often accompanies magnanimity. Again, "There can be no doubt that the accusation of adultery is well founded, for he is exquisitely nice in the adjustment of his person, and has been often seen prowling about in the night;" such things being common with adulterers. In the same way, happiness may be ascribed to beggars, because they are often found singing and dancing in temples; and to men banished, because they may live where they please: since the happy do, or have it in their power to do such things, the doers of them are concluded to be happy : as the manner of living where they please, is omitted, in honour or dishonour, in abundance or penury, this fallacy also deceives through deficiency or concealment.

Another fallacy is to assign for a cause that treats as which is not a cause, but merely a precursor.

7th fallacy

6th fallacy

argues from an ordinary concomi

tant, as ifit

were inseparable.

a cause, a


mere pre- This deception is often practised in popular assemblies. Thus, the administration of Demosthenes was declared by Demades to be the source of all the evils which befel the Athenians. For these evils were brought on by the war, which, as it commenced with the ascend

ency of Demosthenes, Demades pretends to have CHAP. been occasioned by it.



Another fallacy is to omit any important cir- 8th consists cumstance, such as that of time. Thus, "Paris "Paris in omisdid nothing wrong in his elopement with Helen, for her father had committed to her own discretion the disposal of her person." But Helen having submitted to the authority of her husband, the father's permission could not then avail her. In the same way, "to lay violent hands on a freeman, may be declared the height of audacity:" not, however, on all occasions, for this freeman may have been the aggressor. The fallacy arising from deficiency, that is, from Perplexing not including all the circumstances, and an- thence resophisms nouncing that absolutely, which is only condi- sulting. tionally true, is much employed in the captious argumentations of logicians: hence the sophisms to prove that things non-existent exist, because they are non-existent; that things unknowable may be known, because we may know them to be unknowable: which deceptions result from applying the words absolutely in the conclusion, which are taken conditionally in the premises. In the same manner in rhetoric, that which is probable absolutely, is confounded with that which is probable only under certain circumstances or restrictions.

Agathon says,-

Amidst the strange vicissitudes of life,

'Tis likely, most unlikely things should happen :

are unlikely things, therefore, likely? Not

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