From Puzzles to Principles?: Essays on Aristotle's Dialectic

From Puzzles to Principles?: Essays on Aristotle's Dialectic


Edited by May Sim, By (author) Allan T. Back, By (author) Robert Bolton, By (author) J. D. G. Evans, By (author) Michael Ferejohn, By (author) Eugene Garver, By (author) Lenn E. Goodman, By (author) Edward Halper, By (author) Martha Husain, By (author) Gareth Matthews

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  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 227mm x 15mm | 372g
  • Publication date: 1 November 1999
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0739100297
  • ISBN 13: 9780739100295
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,379,622

Product description

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.

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Author information

May Sim is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University. She is the editor of The Crossroads of Norm and Nature: Essays on Aristotle's Ethics and Metaphysics (Rowman & Littlefield, 1995).

Table of contents

chapter 1 Introduction, For Dialectic Puts Questions about Matters which Philosophy Knows chapter 2 The Diodorean Modalites and the Master Argument chapter 3 Dialectic and Method in Aristotle chapter 4 The Epistemological Basis of Aristotelian Dialectic chapter 5 Choosing the Good in Aristotle's Topics chapter 6 The Normalization of Perplexity in Aristotle chapter 7 Dialectic, Contradiction, and Paraconsistency in Aristotle chapter 8 Perception and Dialectic in Aristotle's De Anima chapter 9 Aristotle's Discovery of First Principles chapter 10 Dialectical Communities: From One to the Many and Back chapter 11 Poetry, History, and Dialectic