How do, according to Aristotle, peirastic arguments, which are employed by nonscientists to put professed scientists to the test, work, and how do they differ from genuine scientific arguments? A peirastic argument succeeds in unmasking a would-be scientist if it establishes an inconsistency among the answers given. These answers may only comprise: propositions which are proper to the field and which everybody can know; propositions which only scientists may know; “common” propositions that everybody, including various sciences, uses in all kind of arguments. On the other hand, a peirastic argument fails to do its job (and can be abused to make a scientist look stupid) if it either features or presupposes in addition propositions which would justify a fallacy (false common propositions), or if it purports to be scientific (even if the argument may be sound). The latter type of bad peirastic argument crucially depend on common propositions where scientific arguments explain by reference to combinations of the primitive items of the science in question.
The central aim of this volume is to foster a new understanding of Aristotle’s Sophistical Refutations and thereby to enrich our knowledge of the beginnings of logical analysis. An important service for the scientific community to support this aim is the edition of a new translation of Aristotle’s work into English. The contributions discussing the original work were inspired by a onference in 2009 in Berlin which was the first one exclusively dedicated to Sophistical Refutations of Aristotle and brought together nearly everyone working on the main topics Aristotle deals with in that work. In Aristotle we see the onset of systematic theorizing about argumentation, including an account of the ways in which arguments, despite of being incorrect, may appear to be correct and of the relations between different types of argumentation (in science, in discussions with various purposes, in everyday life), but also of the connections with more general philosophical issues, like the meaning of words and the ontological status of universals. Fallacious Arguments in Ancient Philosophy It is, however, primarily because of its account of argumentation that Aristotle’s Sophistical Refutations, together with the Topics, has caught the attention of those working in the field of argumentation theory. This collection shows that the study of argumentation theory in Ancient Philosophy, and with Aristotle in particular, is in good shape. At least some of the points made in the articles brought together here will withstand scrutiny and will advance our understanding of the beginnings of logical analysis. The authors: Jonathan Adler (†), Susanne Bobzien, Robert Bolton, Luca Castagnoli, Louis-André Dorion, Paolo Fait, Adrian Frey, Pieter Sjoerd Hasper, Wolfgang Kienzler, Colin Guthrie King, Raina Kirchhoff, Ermelinda Valentina di Lascio, Yakir Levin, Christof Rapp, Carrie Swanson - the first translation of Aristotle’s Sophistical Refutations (transl. by P.S. Hasper)
We are glad to present the nineteenth volume of this journal. Its unitary thematic focus concerns a fruitful discussion of a variety of approaches in Ancient Epistemology. This volume of Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy presents in total eleven articles on the theme of Ancient Epistemology, ranging from the presocratic philosopher Xenophanes to Plotinus and Sextus Empiricus, both by established colleagues and by younger scholars at the beginning of their career. Many interpretations are new or feature new ideas or new applications of ideas. We are confident that they will stimulate the readers to develop their understanding of ancient epistemology in response to them. The Authors: Matthew Duncombe, Alexander P. D. Mourelatos, Patricia Curd, Lucas Angioni, Ada Bronowski, Lee Franklin, Audrey Anton, David Bronstein, Anna Tigani, Andrew Payne, Eleni Perdikouri, Petter Sandstad, Jared Smith and Ádám Tamás Tuboly.