Studia Philosophica 61:139-152 (2002)

Aristotle is often called the father of the history of philosophy. However, if his references to earlier theses are to be taken as historical reports in our sense, then they must also be subject to historical critique – which is much to their disadvantage. However, looking through the function of his doxographies and furthter references to earlier theses shows that such a historical view is an anachronism in a way similar to the expectation of finding science in Aristotle. Rather the references are made in a topical attitude. In this way the outlindes of the dominant opinions become explicit and only thereby argumentatively accessible. At the same time the unavoidable integration into tradition is consciously realised.
Keywords Aristotle  history of philosophy  topical approach  tradition  prevailing opinions
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