A brilliant move is the retorsio argumenti, or turning of the tables, by which your opponent's argument is turned against himself. He declares, for instance, "So-and-so is a child, you must make allowance for him". You retort, "Just because he is a child, I must correct him; otherwise he will persist in his bad habits".]]>
- This stratagem is related to the 4th strategem "Conceal Your Game".
Or you may put questions in an order different from that which the conclusion to be drawn from them requires, and transpose them, so as not to let him know at what you are aiming. He can then take no precautions. You may also use his answers for different or even opposite conclusions, according to their character. This is akin to the trick of masking your procedure.
- This stratagem relies on the "begging the question" or petitio principii fallacy.
Another plan is to beg the question in disguise by postulating what has to be proved, either under another name; for instance, "good repute" instead of "honour"; "virtue" instead of "virginity," etc.; or by using such convertible terms as "red-blooded animals" and "vertebrates"; or by making a general assumption covering the particular point in dispute: for instance, maintaining the uncertainty of medicine by postulating the uncertainty of all human knowledge. If, vice versâ two things follow one from the other, and one is to be proved, you may postulate the other. If a general proposition is to be proved, you may get your opponent to admit every one of the particulars. This is the converse of the second.
This stratagem relies on the logical rules of induction. An induction argument is hard to make and easy to destroy.
This is a case of the diversion by means of an instance to the contrary. With an induction (epagoge), a great number of particular instances are required in order to establish it as a universal proposition; but with the diversion (apagoge) a single instance, to which the proposition does not apply, is all that is necessary to overthrow it. This is a controversial method known as the instance - instantia, eustasis. For example, "all ruminants are horned" is a proposition which may be upset by the single instance of the camel. The instance is a case in which a universal truth is sought to be applied, and something is inserted in the fundamental definition of it which is not universally true, and by which it is upset. But there is room for mistake; and when this trick is employed by your opponent, you must observe (1) whether the example which he gives is really true; for there are problems of which the only true solution is that the case in point is not true - for example, many miracles, ghost stories, and so on: and (2) whether it really comes under the conception of the truth thus stated: for it may only appear to do so, and the matter is one to be settled by precise distinctions; and (3) whether it is really inconsistent with this conception; for this again may be only an apparent inconsistency.
The extension stratagem relies on the caricature fallacy who has this form.
The Extension. - This consists in carrying your opponent's proposition beyond its natural limits; in giving it as general a signification and as wide a sense as possible, so as to exaggerate it; and, on the other hand, in giving your own proposition as restricted a sense and as narrow limits as you can, because the more general a statement becomes, the more numerous are the objections to which it is open. The defence consists in an accurate statement of the point or essential question at issue.The Extension. - This consists in carrying your opponent's proposition beyond its natural limits; in giving it as general a signification and as wide a sense as possible, so as to exaggerate it; and, on the other hand, in giving your own proposition as restricted a sense and as narrow limits as you can, because the more general a statement becomes, the more numerous are the objections to which it is open. The defence consists in an accurate statement of the point or essential question at issue.