Aristotle on the fallacies of combination and division in Sophistici Elenchi 4

History and Philosophy of Logic 24 (2):111-129 (2003)
Abstract
This paper discusses the fallacies of combination and division as they are presented by Aristotle in chapter 4 of his Sophistici Elenchi. Aristotle's examples are concise, their discussion is unclear, and it is difficult to distinguish the cases of combination from those of division. I analyse the Aristotelian examples and the interpretations offered so far. I show that these interpretations suffer from a major defect: they fail to identify a common characteristic whereby the Aristotelian examples can be classified as instances of combination or division. In my reconstruction of the examples, I repair this deficiency: I give a single pattern of explanation for the fallacy of combination and another (similar) pattern for the fallacy of division. Thus, it is possible to free Aristotle from the following charges: (i) he did not clearly distinguish between combination and division, and (ii) he reduced combination and division to a single fallacy. My explanation of the fallacies uses the notion of scope of an expression: in modern terminology, the fallacy of combination can be described as ?fallacy of the wide scope?, the fallacy of division as ?fallacy of the narrow scope?
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