Scholars of classical philosophy have long disputed whether Aristotle was a dialectical thinker. Most agree that Aristotle contrasts dialectical reasoning with demonstrative reasoning, where the former reasons from generally accepted opinions and the latter reasons from the true and primary. Starting with a grasp on truth, demonstration never relinquishes it. Starting with opinion, how could dialectical reasoning ever reach truth, much less the truth about first principles? Is dialectic then an exercise that reiterates the prejudices of one's times and at (...) best allows one to persuade others by appealing to these prejudices, or is it the royal road to first principles and philosophical wisdom? In From Puzzles to Principles? May Sim gathers experts to argue both these positions and offer a variety of interpretive possibilities. The contributors' thoughtful reflections on the nature and limits of dialectic should play a crucial role in Aristotelian scholarship. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 53, Issue 2-4, pp 142 - 169 I offer an explanation of why the fallacy of “accident” is so called. By ‘accident’ here, Aristotle does not mean accidental predication but being _per accidens_. Understood in this way, the fallacy of accident can be analyzed in terms of the rules that Aristotle gives for being _per accidens_. The fallacy of accident lost the original justification for its name in the late Greek period. It became associated with accidental predication (...) and not with being _per accidens_. The fallacy was then solved by construing it syllogistically so that the paralogisms became invalid through not having a universal major premise. This medieval analysis became the dominant approach in the medieval period but has led to confusion over the fallacy of accident in millennia of logic books. I end by considering how to formulate the fallacy of accident more fruitfully in modern terms via Aristotle’s original approach. (shrink)
Medieval theologians discussed the logical structure of reduplicative propositions in the midst of their discussions of the Incarnation and the Trinity. Aquinas has the usual medieval analyzes of reduplicative propositions: the specificative and the strictly reduplicative. But neither analysis resolves successfully the problems of the consistency of the statements about God while avoiding making the Trinity or the Incarnation a merely accidental feature of Him. However, Scotus introduces another analysis: abstractive. I shall conclude that Scotus’s view of reduplication, one, if (...) not invented by him, as least stressed and developed by him, offers a better solution of the consistency of the Incarnation and the Trinity than that of Aquinas. (shrink)
IN THIS PAPER THE AUTHOR DEALS WITH AQUINAS’ SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM, WHETHER THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION IS CONSISTENT. HE FIRST SHOWS WHY THERE IS A PROBLEM OF CONSISTENCY WITH THIS DOCTRINE, GIVEN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN BELIEFS. HE THEN CLAIMS THAT AQUINAS HAS TWO SOLUTIONS, AND THAT BOTH FAIL: THE FIRST SOLUTION, AS SCOTUS ALSO OBSERVES, DOES NOT RESOLVE THE APPARENT INCONSISTENCY, AND THE OTHER DEPENDS ON MAKING HUMANITY ACCIDENTAL TO CHRIST, AND HENCE ON ABANDONING THE ORTHODOX POSITION.
Like Plato, Aristotle uses dialectic to interpret and analyze ordinary discourse as well as to ascend to the first principles of philosophy and science. At the same time he says that it is intellect ( noûs ) that apprehends the first principle. With al-Fārābī and Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā), dialectic becomes relegated to dealing with ordinary language. For them demonstration in an ideal language from principles apprehended by the intellect suffices for the philosopher.
For Aristotle the fallacy of accident arises from mistakes about being per accidens and not from accidental predication. Mistakes in perceiving per accidens come from our judgements about being per accidens and so commit that fallacy. Practical syllogisms have the same formal structure as being and perceiving per accidens . Moreover perceiving per accidens typically provides the minor premise for the practical syllogism as it makes it possible for us to know singular propositions, especially those about substances. Thus these minor (...) premises may come about through fallacious reasoning, what today would be called reasoning via collateral information. On account of these foundations for the practical syllogism, even a person of practical wisdom will need a lot of luck to avoid mistakes. (shrink)
I offer truth conditions for propositions about being qua being in Aristotle's philosophy. I show that in general Aristotle views expressions of the form "qua S" in "S qua S is P" (or "S is P qua S") as making a claim not about the subject "S", but about the predication of "P" of "S". I develop necessary and sufficient truth conditions for propositions of the form "S qua S is P". Finally, I show how this analysis satisfactorily covers what (...) Aristotle says about being qua being in the Metaphysics. (shrink)
I give an analysis of the logical structure of statements describing duties in social roles. Role terms like ‘doctor’ should not be treated as simple predicates, as natural kind terms, like ‘human being’, are. When role terms are treated as simple predicates, fallacies may result. Rather, treat role terms (M) as complex predicates with a simple subject, a person (S), as a base; ‘S qua M’, and then analyze their reduplicative structure. I illustrate and support this analysis by considering sophisms, (...) traditionally known as committing the fallacy of secundum quid et simpliciter, about conflicts of duties in different roles. I end with some remarks about personal integrity. (shrink)
This book offers a translation of two short commentaries by John Duns Scotus on Aristotle’s On Interpretation. It comes with an introduction, notes, and a commentary. I think that this book would be difficult for a novice; perhaps the intended audience is someone with a general familiarity with medieval philosophy, although not necessarily with medieval logic. I do not think that someone just interested in general logical issues, such as existential import or future contingents, will find much to interest her (...) here, despite some remarks in the commentary.In the introduction, Buckner and Zupko discuss these commentaries and their place in Scotus’s corpus. It seems that they were written by Scotus himself.. (shrink)