Chapter

Constructive Dialectic

Terence Irwin

in Aristotle's First Principles

Published in print April 1990 | ISBN: 9780198242901
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597770 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198242905.003.0003

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 Constructive Dialectic

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This chapter discusses some of the central Aristotelian doctrines founded on dialectical argument. It focuses on the Topics and Categories, which deal at length with some of the central problems classified as ‘logical’ as opposed to physical or ethical. In the Topics, Aristotle shows how to argue about the four predicables: coincident, proprium, genus, and definition. The categories or ‘kinds of predicates’ are introduced as a tenfold division of each of the four predicables, the four possible types of properties predicted in a dialectical proposition or discussed in a dialectical problem. The distinctions underlying this tenfold division are presented at greater length in the Categories.

Keywords: dialectical argument; Aristotle; topics; categories

Chapter.  9682 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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