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Aristotle’s Expansion of the Taxonomy of Fallacy in De Sophisticis Elenchis 8

Aristotle’s Expansion of the Taxonomy of Fallacy in De Sophisticis Elenchis 8 In the eighth chapter of De Sophisticis Elenchis, Aristotle introduces a mode of sophistical refutation that constitutes an addition to the taxonomy of the earlier chapters of the treatise. The new mode is pseudo-scientific refutation, or “the [syllogism or refutation] which though real, [merely] appears appropriate to the subject matter” (τòν ὂντα μέν φαινóμενoν δέ ỏιϰειoν ιoῦ πράγμαιoς, 169b22–3). Against the grain of its most commonly accepted reading, I argue that Aristotle is not concerned in SE 8 to establish that both the apparent refutations of SE 4–7 and pseudo-scientific refutations issue in false conclusions. His concern rather is to provide a causal analysis of both classes of apparent refutation alike which will explain why both kinds of apparent refutation are sophistical – and whose solutions are therefore the task of no special science but of a dialectical σλλογιστιϰή τέχνη (172a35). I conclude my analysis with the observation that Aristotle exploits the results of SE 8 to fend off inSE 9, 10, and 11 respectively a triad of threats to the very existence of a τέχνη of the resolution of sophistical refutation. The three threats are: the impossibility of omniscience; the relativity of semantic beliefs; and the incapacity of a questioner ignorant of a science to expose the ignorance of a pretender to scientific expertise. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

Aristotle’s Expansion of the Taxonomy of Fallacy in De Sophisticis Elenchis 8

History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis , Volume 15 (1): 38 – Apr 5, 2012

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-01501009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the eighth chapter of De Sophisticis Elenchis, Aristotle introduces a mode of sophistical refutation that constitutes an addition to the taxonomy of the earlier chapters of the treatise. The new mode is pseudo-scientific refutation, or “the [syllogism or refutation] which though real, [merely] appears appropriate to the subject matter” (τòν ὂντα μέν φαινóμενoν δέ ỏιϰειoν ιoῦ πράγμαιoς, 169b22–3). Against the grain of its most commonly accepted reading, I argue that Aristotle is not concerned in SE 8 to establish that both the apparent refutations of SE 4–7 and pseudo-scientific refutations issue in false conclusions. His concern rather is to provide a causal analysis of both classes of apparent refutation alike which will explain why both kinds of apparent refutation are sophistical – and whose solutions are therefore the task of no special science but of a dialectical σλλογιστιϰή τέχνη (172a35). I conclude my analysis with the observation that Aristotle exploits the results of SE 8 to fend off inSE 9, 10, and 11 respectively a triad of threats to the very existence of a τέχνη of the resolution of sophistical refutation. The three threats are: the impossibility of omniscience; the relativity of semantic beliefs; and the incapacity of a questioner ignorant of a science to expose the ignorance of a pretender to scientific expertise.

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 2012

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