Apprehension and Argument: Ancient Theories of Starting by Miira Tuominen

By Miira Tuominen

This publication deals the 1st synoptic examine of the way the first components in wisdom constructions have been analysed in antiquity from Plato to past due historic commentaries. It argues that, within the Platonic-Aristotelian culture, the query of beginning issues used to be handled from specified issues of view: as a question of ways we collect easy wisdom; and as a question of the premises we may well instantly settle for within the line of argumentation.

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Additional info for Apprehension and Argument: Ancient Theories of Starting Points for Knowledge (Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind)

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In the Phaedo Plato talks about proceeding upwards until something sufficient is reached. It is not quite clear what we can infer on the basis of the meaning of the phrase ‘something sufficient’ (ri ßjal5l, 101e1) here. The expression as such suggests that the starting point we find is sufficient for the purposes of that particular inquiry. It leaves open the possibility that the adequate starting point can be traced further up. In the Republic we can find a somewhat similar passage concerned with philosophical dialectic.

Top. )52 Therefore, strictly speaking, Aristotle considers all dialectical syllogisms valid, whereas the contentious arguments only appear to be such (cf. Top. VIII 11, 161a33–b5). Often the eristic arguments are such because they are competitive, and not only competitive, but a kind of dirty-fighting in argument, aiming at victory at any cost (Soph. El. 11, 171b22–34). iqrij5p), if for the sake of reputation which enables one to make money out of apparent wisdom, sophistic (qntiqrij5p); as arguments eristic and sophistic ones do not differ.

I shall use the discussion of the nature of love in the Phaedrus as an example here. The collecting part is short: love is madness. ). Socrates makes clear that the first speech is erroneous in the following respect. In placing love under the genus of madness, it places ‘all mental derangements into one common kind’ and takes them to be ‘by nature one single kind within us’ (266a). Socrates notices that the flaws of the first speech – which make love an inappropriate desire of a sick man – are due to the fact that, contrary to what the first speech assumed, there are two kinds of madness.

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