Topics of Invention All
Similarity / Difference
That topic of invention which invites us to consider how something compares and contrasts with others. One use of this topic is arguing by analogy, using the logic that if two things are similar in one or two ways, they are likely similar in another characteristic. Another use of this topic is drawing a conclusion based on an example of one instance of similarity.
In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful,
must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical
assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession
of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning
Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical
inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they
made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his
unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated
the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal
courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual
to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because
the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed
and punish the robber.
The following use of the topic of similarity/difference is an argument by analogy:
Administrative work is like juggling a chain saw: once in a while you pull it off and really wow people...
|Sources:||Cic. Top. 3.15-16, 10.41-11.46 ; Suarez 13r-v|
A topic of invention that invites one to look at issues of "more" and "less."
Aristotle proposed considering these criteria to generate ideas using the topic of degree. Each of these can be inverted:
|Sources:||Cic. Top. 18.68-71|