Aristotle on False Reasoning: Language and the World in the Sophistical Refutations (Suny Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)

Aristotle on False Reasoning: Language and the World in the Sophistical Refutations (Suny Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)

Scott G. Schreiber

Language: English

Pages: 264

ISBN: 0791456609

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Presenting the first book-length study in English of Aristotle s Sophistical Refutations, this work takes a fresh look at this seminal text on false reasoning. Through a careful and critical analysis of Aristotle s examples of sophistical reasoning, Scott G. Schreiber explores Aristotle s rationale for his taxonomy of twelve fallacy types. Contrary to certain modern attempts to reduce all fallacious reasoning to either errors of logical form or linguistic imprecision, Aristotle insists that, as important as form and language are, certain types of false reasoning derive their persuasiveness from mistaken beliefs about the nature of language and the nature of the world."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“understanding” (suni°nai) rather than “learning,” but sometimes it is also called “learning.”16 The second example of false reasoning due to homonymy is a complete argument. 2. Things that must be (tΩ d°onta) are good. Evils must be (d°onta). ________ Therefore, evils are good. Aristotle’s explanation is that t¿ d°on signifies two things. It signifies something that is necessary (i.e., is inevitable), which is true of evils, and it signifies something that ought to be (i.e., is desirable), which

one understands the clause collectively or distributively. Are the Rhetoric texts that mention amphiboly as “deviant” as Owen suggests? I discuss each of them in turn. In Rhetoric I, 15, 1375b11, Aristotle is offering advice on the means of persuasion in forensic oratory. He says that if a law is amphibolous, then one must turn it about and see which way of taking it (pot°ran t‹n ™gwg–n) fits either justice or expediency and make use of that interpretation. Clearly the amphiboly is an entire

believing that Aristotle is committed to this position even in S.E. (despite his taxonomical distinction) in part 2 on Resolutions. The second matter of concern was why fallacies due to C/D are not cases of double meaning. The key to answering this question lay in Aristotle’s repeated association of C/D fallacies with those due to Accent. The latter were shown to be chiefly written fallacies. The distinction between how one may differently utter a Greek sentence and how such different utterances

of common predicates. The result is that cases of the multivocity of universal predicates end up being assigned to the various double meaning fallacy types almost arbitrarily, thereby confusing the otherwise clearly principled taxonomy. In the end I conclude that Aristotle, who fully appreciates the multivocity of so many words, fails to see (at least in S.E.) the multivocity of “multivocity.” In my concluding chapter I will propose a revision to Aristotle’s taxonomy that acknowledges the

tension between these two criteria of propositional individuation has been thoroughly discussed by Ackrill.29 Aristotle has conflated an ontological test (“signifying one thing”) with a strictly grammatical test (the presence of connectives), even though the two tests do not produce coextensive sets. In S.E., the only reason conjunctive and disjunctive questions fail to be single is because the multiple subjects and/or predicates lack ontological unity. Likewise, in the rest of de Int., the

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