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."

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shown that a mountain (∫roV) need not be convex. As in the fallacies due to double meaning, (3a) is violated because convexity is denied only of the name oroV, not of each thing signified by that supposed name. This, however, is not a fallacy of double meaning, since oroV is not a single name with multiple significations. It is two different 90 FALLACIES DUE TO LANGUAGE names, depending upon how one vocalizes it. As a result, not only are the things signified not the same (3a), but the names

of Parsimony (PP) in each case that prevents Aristotle from accepting the alternative analyses. Whenever an example seems to admit a purely linguistic resolution, Aristotle appeals to an analogous example that does not admit a linguistic resolution (e.g., the triangle argument above) and invokes PP to conclude that the nonlinguistic resolution that accounts for both examples must be the proper resolution. Aristotle’s rejection of alternative resolutions depends upon his acceptance of PP. If that

case of mistaking premise (2) to be a nonaccidental predication. Nonconvertibility of terms is simply the formal symptom of the underlying mistake of thinking an accidental predication to be an essential predication. Why then should Aristotle wish to distinguish [B] from any other case of Accident? The traditional answer to this is that the accidental premise in [B] is universal, whereas accidental premises that characterize other fallacies due to Accident are particular. I present the

that neither do. The first option results in real contradiction: if both apply, then the object is both unqualifiedly f and unqualifiedly not-f. If neither applies, then the object is not unqualifiedly f and not unqualifiedly not-f. This, however, is only an apparent contradiction. For the denial of not being unqualifiedly f is being unqualifiedly f, which is not the same as not being unqualifiedly not-f. RESOLUTIONS OF SECUNDUM QUID FALLACIES Sorting out real from only apparent denials is the first

words correlated to ontological similarities in the things signified may have struck him more forcefully than the failure to recognize different Categories of predicates. In both cases, however, correction of the linguistic error presupposes prior understanding of the ontological distinctions in question. If Aristotle’s position is that fallacy types due to language are characterized by some false presupposition about language that is necessary for the appearance of proper reasoning, then false

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