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Aristotle on False Reasoning
Language and the World in the Sophistical Refutations
Aristotle on False Reasoning
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Scott G. Schreiber - Author
SUNY series in Ancient Greek Philosophy
Price: $68.50 
Hardcover - 264 pages
Release Date: March 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5659-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5659-0

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Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 264 pages
Release Date: February 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5660-9
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5660-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

A comprehensive look at Aristotle's treatise on logical fallacies.

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.

“Schreiber treats a relatively understudied work at a timely moment. His aim is to show why Aristotle distinguished between arguments ‘due to language’ and arguments ‘outside of language’: false reasonings appear true due to false presuppositions both of language and of the world. Schreiber shows how Aristotle made this distinction and he defends Aristotle judiciously. Aristotle’s theory of signification and its manifestation in the area of false reasoning are central to Aristotelian philosophy and the history of philosophy in general.” — Malcolm Wilson, author of Aristotle’s Theory of the Unity of Science

Scott G. Schreiber is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Director of Classical Studies at St. Norbert College.


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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Preface Introduction: Reasoning and the Sophistical Refutations

Aristotle on the Kinds of Reasoning
The Sophistical Refutations
Outline of the Book

PART 1: FALLACIES DUE TO LANGUAGE

1: The Power of Names

Naming Is Not Like Counting
"Counters"
"Signifiers"
Conclusion

2: Homonymy and Amphiboly

Introduction: Aristotle's Use of Language
The Six Sources of False Reasoning Due to Language
Homonymy

Homonymy in the Categories
Homonymy in S.E.

Amphiboly

Amphiboly in S.E.
Amphiboly Outside the Organon
Problems with Aristotle's Distinction: The Argument of S.E. 17
Conclusion

3: Form of the Expression

Introduction
Form of the Expression As a Category Mistake

Confusion of Substance with Quantity
Confusion of Substance with Relative
Confusion of Substance with Quality
Confusion of Substance with Time
Confusion of Activity with "Being-Affected"
Confusion of Activity with Quality

Form of the Expression Fallacies That Are Not Category Mistakes

Confusion of a Particular with a Universal
Confusion of One Particular Substance with Another
Confusions Based on Gender Terminations

Form of the Expression and Solecism: Aristotle and Protagoras
Form of the Expression As a Linguistic Fallacy of Double Meaning

4: Composition, Division, and Accent

Difficulties and Procedure
Fallacies Due to Accent

Fallacies Due to Composition and Division (C/D)

C/D Fallacies Are Not Examples of Double Meaning
The Primacy of Oral Speech
Further Examples
Confusing Linguistic Parts and Wholes
C/D Fallacies in the Rhetoric

Conclusion

PART 2: RESOLUTIONS OF FALSE ARGUMENTS

5: Resolutions of False Arguments

Introduction
Principles of Aristotelian Analytical Method
Two Kinds of Resolution
The Principle of Parsimony
Proper Refutations and Their Defects: Ignoratio Elenchi
Resolutions of Fallacies Due to Language

How These Fallacies Violate the Definition of a Refutation
The Unity of Composition and Division: S.E. 23
The Extralinguistic Component of Resolutions to Linguistic Fallacies

PART 3: FALLACIES OUTSIDE OF LANGUAGE

6: Begging the Question and Non-Cause As Cause

Introduction
The Fallacy of Begging the Question

Begging the Question in the Prior Analytics
Begging the Question in Dialectical Reasoning
Begging the Question and Immediate Inferences

Resolutions
The Fallacy of Treating a Non-Cause As a Cause
Conclusion

7: Accident and Consequent

Introduction
Fallacies Due to Accident and Their Resolutions
False Resolutions to Fallacies Due to Accident

False Resolutions by Appeal to Linguistic Equivocation
False Resolutions by Appeal to Oblique Context
False Resolutions by Citing Missing Qualifications
Final Remarks on Double Meaning and Fallacies Due to Accident

Historical Reasons for Treating Fallacies Due to

Accident As Errors of Logical Form

Fallacies Due to Consequent

Introduction
Aristotle's Examples

Conclusion

8: Secundum Quid

Introduction
Two Types of Secundum Quid Fallacy
Resolutions of Secundum Quid Fallacies
Secundum Quid as a Fallacy Outside of Language: Aristotle's Position
Problems with Aristotle's Position
Conclusion

9: Many Questions

Introduction
Disjunctive and Conjunctive Premises

Disjunctive Premises
Conjunctive Premises

Resolutions of Fallacies Due to Many Questions
Homonymy and Amphiboly As Cases of Many Questions
Unity of Predication versus Unity of Definition: The Problem of de Interpretatione

de Interpretatione 5
de Interpretatione 8 and 11

Conclusion

Conclusion and Summary

Appendixes

Notes

Bibliography

Index



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