This paper discusses two issues that have challenged interpreters of Aristotle’s Sophistical Refutations (SE): (1) the criteria behind Aristotle’s classification of linguistic fallacies; (2) the interpretation of the opening passage of SE 4. Although Aristotle never clarifies the principles underlying his classification, I contend that his list of six linguistic fallacies in SE is not arbitrary, but relies on a precise rationale which lies in his conception of λέξις as expressed mainly in Poetics 20. The disclosure of this rationale allows in turn for the reconstruction of the “proof through συλλογισμός sketched in SE 4, which is supposed to prove that Aristotle’s list of linguistic fallacies is exhaustive: the proof is not a συλλογισμός in the sense of deductive argument, but a diairetic συλλογισμός a division.
History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis – Brill
Published: Apr 5, 2012