In this little treatise two things are attempted that at first might appear incompatible. One of them is to put the study of logical formulŠ on a historical basis. The other aim, which might at first appear inconsistent with this, is to increase the power of Logic as a practical discipline.
isputation. You cannot visit Athens without being struck by it. You may still see groups formed round two protagonists in the cafés or the squares, or among the ruins of the Acropolis, in a way to remind you of Socrates and his friends. They do not argue as Gil Blas and his Hibernians did with heat and temper, ending in blows. They argue for the pure love of arguing, the audience sitting or standing by to see fair play with the keenest enjoyment of intellectual thrust and parry. No other people could argue like the Greeks without coming to blows. It is one of their characteristics now, and so it was in old times two thousand years ago. And about a century before Aristotle reached manhood, they had invented this peculiarly difficult and trying species of disputative pastime, in which we find the genesis of Aristotle's logical treatises.
To get a proper idea of this debate by Question and Answer, which we may call Socratic disputation after its most renowned master, one must read some of the dialo