Aristotle identifies philosophical theōria as our complete happiness as human beings. But does this activity require an understanding that is simply too demanding for us to possess? Aristotle’s contemporary, Isocrates, answers yes. In Isocrates’ view, theoretical philosophers, who focus on
Aristotle tells us that the Nicomachean Ethics (= NE ) is an “inquiry” and an “investigation” ( methodos and zētēsis , see NE 1094b10–11, 1102a12–15). One important way that the work comprises an investigation is that it is a prolonged search for the definition of
In this paper, it is argued that there are relevant similarities between Aristotle’s account of definition and Carnap’s account of explication. To show this, first, Aristotle’s conditions of adequacy for definitions are provided and an outline of the main critique put forward against Aristotle’s account of definition is given. Subsequently, Carnap’s conditions of adequacy for explications are presented and discussed. It is shown that Aristotle’s conditions of extensional correctness can be interpreted against the backdrop of Carnap’s condition of similarity once one skips Aristotelian essentialism and takes a Carnapian and more pragmatic stance. Finally, it is argued that, in general, a complementary rational reconstruction of both approaches allows for resolving problems of interpretational underdetermination.
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)