Download e-book for kindle: Aristotle on False Reasoning: Language and the World in the by Scott G. Schreiber

By Scott G. Schreiber

ISBN-10: 0791456609

ISBN-13: 9780791456606

A accomplished examine Aristotle's treatise on logical fallacies.

Presenting the 1st book-length examine in English of Aristotle's Sophistical Refutations, this paintings takes a clean examine this seminal textual content on fake reasoning. via a cautious and demanding research of Aristotle's examples of sophistical reasoning, Scott G. Schreiber explores Aristotle's reason for his taxonomy of twelve fallacy varieties. opposite to convinced glossy makes an attempt to minimize all wrong reasoning to both error of logical shape or linguistic imprecision, Aristotle insists that, as vital as shape and language are, specific sorts of fake reasoning derive their persuasiveness from unsuitable ideals in regards to the nature of language and the character of the area.

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Extra info for Aristotle on False Reasoning: Language and the World in the Sophistical Refutations (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)

Example text

The wrong approach is to let the ambiguous use of “Coriscus” pass and to expect later to be able to answer an apparent refutation 34 FALLACIES DUE TO LANGUAGE by drawing subsequent distinctions. According to Aristotle, if one does not immediately challenge the ambiguity of “Coriscus” (called homonymy in [A]), his later attempts to distinguish the two Coriscuses by different linguistic qualifications will be answered easily, and the audience will end up more sure than before that the answerer has been truly refuted.

And because names are tied to universal kinds, one should be able to eliminate homonymy by the creation of new names. Aristotle, however, shows no interest in such language reforms, and a more careful consideration of his beliefs about language goes some way toward explaining why. He believes in the conventional nature of language, whereby the names used to signify universals are determined by social agreement. He also believes in the inevitable power of those limited number of names to signify multiple particulars.

We can now understand why the mere logical possibility of infinitely many syntactical strings recursively generable in a language would be untroubling to Aristotle when he claims that names are limited. 12 There remain two final obstacles to understanding Aristotle’s claim that names are limited. The first deals with names of individuals and the second with names that only signify to us. , KºllippoV, de Int. 2, 16a21). If I am correct to interpret the contrast between things that are unlimited and names that are limited as the contrast between the unknowableness of particulars and the knowableness of universals, then the application of names to individuals seems to destroy the contrast.

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Aristotle on False Reasoning: Language and the World in the Sophistical Refutations (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy) by Scott G. Schreiber


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