Context-sensitive Argumentation: Dirty Tricks in the Sophistical Refutations and a Perceptive Medieval Interpretation of the Text

Vivarium 49 (1-3):75-94 (2011)
Aristotle in the central chapters of his Sophistical Refutations gives advice on how to counter unfair argumentation by similar means, all the while taking account not only of the adversary's arguments in themselves, but also of his philosophical commitments and state of mind, as well as the impression produced on the audience. This has offended commentators, and made most of them, medieval and modern alike, pass lightly over the relevant passages. A commentary that received the last touch in the very early 13th century is more perceptive because, it is argued, the commentator had lived in a 12th-century environment of competing Parisian schools that was in important respects similar to the one of Aristotle's Athens
Keywords sophistics   audience school rivalry   dialectic
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DOI 10.1163/156853411X590444
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