By Otfried Höffe
This can be an English translation of Otfried Hoffe's examine, initially in German, providing the lifestyles and works of Aristotle, revealing him as a latest, forward-thinking thinker. matters of ethics, politics, metaphysics, psychology, biology and rhetoric are all mentioned and Aristotle can be in comparison to more than a few different philosophers, particularly these of German foundation. Hoffe has been a number one contributor to debates on ethical, felony, political and philosophical topics for nearly thirty years.
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Extra info for Aristotle
Victory is not the only objective of such agonistic discourse exercises, least of all victory achieved by dishonest means. Since for Aristotle dialectic is at the service of truth, he—like Socrates and Plato—delimits it against the sham wisdom of the Sophists (Metaph. IV 2, 1004b26), who turn debating into a trade that, by means of the so-called eristic inference, seeks victory even to the detriment of truth (Top. I 1, 100b23 ff. and SE 11). Given that a commitment to truth cannot be ensured from within the argumentation, and that, on the contrary, dialectic can be Fo r m s o f R a t i o n a l i t y 37 abused as mere technique, a good (moral) inclination (euphyia) is also necessary in addition to intellectual dexterity.
The fifth part, consisting only of the final chapter of the Posterior Analytics, deals with the theory of principles of proof which Aristotle calls epagôgê, induction. The subsequent Topics develops a form of proof that is either alternative or complementary, namely dialectic. Finally, the seventh part is made up by the theory of fallacies contained in the ninth book of the Topics, which also appears separately as the Sophistical Refutations. The traditional interpretation that Aristotle compiled a textbook of logic, which he considered a mere tool, was uncommonly influential.
Finally, dialectic is used also by those who nowadays would be discredited as “solitary thinkers” by many. Those who do not have partners for debate practise on their own (Top. ). In all four situations it would seem that the critical function of dialectic is in the foreground: propositions are refuted and positions are revoked or overturned. Nevertheless, indirectly dialectic is also affirmative, given that propositions that resist all attempts at criticism are retained as proven. Those who want to be good at debating always keep the relevant points of view ready, knowing them by heart (Top.
Aristotle by Otfried Höffe