Meanwhile, however, the truth about the Eudemian Ethics in general is that it was an earlier rudimentary sketch written by Aristotle, when he was still struggling, without quite succeeding, to get over Plato's view that there is one philosophical knowledge of universal good, by which not only the dialectician and mathematician must explain the being and becoming of the world, but also the individual and the statesman guide the life of man.
He means that a sophist like Protagoras will teach superficially anything as wisdom for money; and that even a dialectician like Plato will write a dialogue, such as the Republic, nominally about justice, but really about all things from the generality of the form of good, instead of from appropriate moral principles; but that a primary philosopher selects as a definite subject all things as such without interfering with the special sciences of different things each in its kind (Met.
But these somewhat "indiscriminate denunciations are certainly not what we expect from a man like Paul, who was an uncommonly clear-headed dialectician" (McGiffert).
His vast learning was the result of a powerful memory and unwearied industry, and he lacked the creative imagination necessary to mould this material into new forms. He was a powerful debater, but his victories were those of a dialectician rather than a convincing reasoner, and in him depth of insight and conviction were ill replaced by the controversial violence characteristic of the age.
When, however, Bernard, not without foregone terror in the prospect of meeting the redoubtable dialectician, had opened the case, suddenly Abelard appealed to Rome.
He taught philosophy and theology at the university of Paris and enjoyed a great reputation as a subtle dialectician; his lectures developing the philosophy of Aristotle attracted a large circle of hearers.
These works show Sabatier as "at once an accomplished dialectician and a mystic in the best sense of the word."