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Headword: Γυμνασία
Adler number: gamma,479
Translated headword: exercise
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] practice.
Dialectic is useful for three reasons: for exercise, for conversations, for philosophical sciences. Exercise, he is saying,[1] is what happens in discussion over things; for they take a problem and will make trial of it in disputations to assist them, making attacks through reputable opinions.[2] Or he might be saying that exercise is for each to attack in turn. Arguments of this sort were familiar to the ancients, and they had most conversations in this manner, not in books as now [for there were not that sort of books then], but with whatever situation established, they practiced and argued the inquiry of these things in conversations, constructing and demolishing the position through reputable opinions. And there are such books written by both Aristotle and Theophrastus having the attack against antithetical positions through reputable opinions. He is of course saying that dialectic is useful for this sort of exercise. For having some inquiring investigation of proofs (this is the knowledge of topics) we may be able to make an easy trial. For being able to divide an exercise in rhetoric and seeing at the same time both the problems and the arrangement of the subjects, they make an easy trial. For knowing the system in the dialectics they prosper at making an easy trial of the proposed subject. This sort of exercise is useful, that which is in accordance with the arguments and for the inquiry of what is sought and of the truth: for it prepares the mind for philosophy. For as the exercise of the body preserves the good health of the body according to a skill, so too the exercise of the mind preserves the proper good health of the mind by means of arguments and according to a method. The power of the rational mind is proper health, by which health it becomes critical and inquisitive of truth. It provides a second type of advantage for conversations.
Look under the letter "e" for "conversations" [enteuxeis].[3]
Greek Original:
Γυμνασία: ἡ τριβή. ὅτι ἡ διαλεκτικὴ πρὸς τρία ἐστὶ χρήσιμος: πρὸς γυμνασίαν, πρὸς τὰς ἐντεύξεις, πρὸς τὰς κατὰ φιλοσοφίαν ἐπιστήμας. γυμνασίαν δὲ λέγει ἤτοι τὴν γινομένην ἐν τῷ διαλέγεσθαι πρός τινας: δεχόμενοι γάρ τινα προβλήματα παρὰ τῶν προσδιαλεγομένων πειρῶνται τούτοις συμπαρίστασθαι, δι' ἐνδόξων τὰς ἐπιχειρήσεις ποιούμενοι. ἢ γυμνασίαν λέγοι ἂν τὴν εἰς ἑκάτερον μέρος ἐπιχείρησιν. ἦν δὲ σύνηθες τὸ τοιοῦτον εἶδος τῶν λόγων τοῖς ἀρχαίοις, καὶ τὰς συνουσίας τὰς πλείστας τοῦτον ἐποιοῦντο τὸν τρόπον, οὐκ ἐπὶ βιβλίων ὥσπερ νῦν [οὐ γὰρ ἦν τότε τοιαῦτα βιβλία], ἀλλὰ θέσεώς τινος τεθείσης εἰς ταύτην γυμνάζοντες αὐτῶν τὸ πρὸς τὰς ἐπιχειρήσεις εὑρετικὸν ἐπεχείρουν, κατασκευάζοντες καὶ ἀνασκευάζοντες δι' ἐνδόξων τὸ κείμενον. καὶ ἔστι βιβλία τοιαῦτα Ἀριστοτέλει τε καὶ Θεοφράστῳ γεγραμμένα ἔχοντα τὴν εἰς τὰ ἀντικείμενα δι' ἐνδόξων ἐπιχείρησιν. πρὸς δὴ τὴν τοιαύτην γυμνασίαν χρήσιμον εἶναί φησι τὴν διαλεκτικήν: μέθοδον γάρ τινα εὑρετικὴν τῶν ἐπιχειρημάτων ἔχοντες [αὕτη δέ ἐστιν ἡ τῶν τόπων γνῶσις] ῥᾷον ἐπιχειρεῖν δυνησόμεθα. ὡς γὰρ ἐν τοῖς ῥητορικοῖς γυμνάσμασιν οἱ διαιρεῖν δυνάμενοι τὰ προβλήματα καὶ τὴν τάξιν τῶν κεφαλαίων συνορῶντες ῥᾷον ἐπιχειροῦσιν, οὕτω καὶ ἐν τοῖς διαλεκτικοῖς οἱ τὴν μέθοδον εἰδότες ῥᾷον ἐπιχειρημάτων εὐποροῦσι πρὸς τὰ προκείμενα. χρήσιμος δὲ ἡ τοιαύτη γυμνασία, ἡ κατὰ τοὺς λόγους, πρὸς εὕρεσιν τῶν ζητουμένων τε καὶ ἀληθῶν: προπαρασκευάζει γὰρ τὴν ψυχὴν πρὸς φιλοσοφίαν. ὡς γὰρ τὰ τοῦ σώματος γυμνάσια γινόμενα κατὰ τέχνην εὐεξίαν περιποιεῖ τῷ σώματι, οὕτω καὶ τὰ τῆς ψυχῆς ἐν λόγοις γυμνάσια κατὰ μέθοδον γινόμενα τὴν οἰκείαν εὐεξίαν τῆς ψυχῆς περιποιεῖ: οἰκεία δὲ εὐεξία ψυχῆς λογικῆς ἡ δύναμις, καθ' ἣν εὐεξίαν εὑρετική τε τοῦ ἀληθοῦς καὶ κριτικὴ γίνεται. δεύτερον τρόπον τῆς ὠφελείας ἐκτίθεται πρὸς τὰς ἐντεύξεις. ζήτει ἐν τῷ ε στοιχείῳ περὶ ἐντεύξεως.
After the initial one-word gloss the source becomes Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topica 27.7-28.2.
[1] i.e. Aristotle; Alexander is commenting on Aristotle, Topica 101a26-101b4.
[2] On "reputable opinions" see epsilon 1182 and Cooper (1999), 281-291.
[3] epsilon 1468.
J.M. Cooper, Reason and Emotion. Essays on Ancient Moral Psychology and Ethical Theory (Princeton, New Jersey) 1999
Keywords: definition; ethics; medicine; philosophy; rhetoric
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 16 September 2000@00:00:44.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added note; cosmetics) on 2 October 2002@07:27:18.
Marcelo Boeri (Expanded note; added note; modified translation, cosmetics.) on 2 October 2002@19:37:02.
Marcelo Boeri (Added note and bibliography) on 11 October 2002@14:38:58.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 20 November 2005@09:32:02.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 12 June 2012@03:28:03.
David Whitehead on 30 September 2015@03:23:45.


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