The nature of Aristotle’s topics has been a crucial issue in the Middle Ages
(Abaelardi Dialectica, 254) and in the modern and contemporary studies on
natural inferences (De Pater 1965; Stump 1982; 1988; Kienpointnter 1986). One
of the crucial debates concerned their function, i.e. whether they were instruments for finding arguments or rules on which dialectical and rhetorical inferences were based...