By Eleanore Stump
"Students of Boethius and of medieval common sense will . . . cash in on Stump's paintings in this tricky treatise. Her translation, . . . the 1st into English . . . and the interpretative essays, e.g., on dialectic and Aristotle's themes, Peter of Spain, and the Porphyrian Tree, are worthwhile and informative."―Library magazine
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Additional resources for Boethius’s "De topicis differentiis"
That both of these are particulars and not universals is 46 / De topicis differentiis 1184D shown by the inclusion of individual persons. So since a part is proved by a part, what we call an example has a kind of similarity to an induction. But because the parts it collects from which it produces [the conclusion] are not more than one 5 (plures), it differs from induction. And so there are two main species of arguing, one called syllogism, the other induction. Under these and, as it were, flowing from them are the enthymeme and the example.
And so there are two main species of arguing, one called syllogism, the other induction. Under these and, as it were, flowing from them are the enthymeme and the example. All these are drawn from the syllogism and obtain their force from 10 the syllogism. For whether it is an enthymeme, induction, or example, it takes its force as well as the belief [it produces] most of all from the syllogism; and this is shown in Aristotle's Prior Analytics, which we /1185A/ translated. So it suffices to discuss the syllogism which is, as it were, principal and inclu15 sive of the other species of argumentation.
A conclusion is a proposition confirmed by argu15 ments, as when someone shows by means of other facts (rebus) that the heaven is revolvable. A statement, whether it is said only for its own sake or brought forward to confirm something else, is a proposition; if one asks regarding it, it is a question; if it is confirmed [by other facts], it is a conclusion. So a prop20 osition, question, and conclusion are one and the same, though /1174D/ they differ in the way mentioned above. An argument is a reason (ratio) producing belief regarding a matter [that is] in doubt.