In the Topics, Aristotle offers a definition of dialectical reasoning that hinges on its premises being "generally accepted". I argue that this characterization of dialectic is not only conceptually problematic, but also empirically untenable. This does not undermine Aristotle's general project in the Topics, as it is more concerned on how to use generally accepted premises effectively in arguments and less on how to define dialectical reasoning in the first place. However, reflecting on Aristotle's problematic definition of dialectic offers insight on the frequent underestimation of empirical debts in philosophy, as well as on how contemporary theories of argument have moved away from the Aristotelian characterization of dialectic - and rightly so.
Accepted by whom? On the empirical roots of Aristotle's dialectic
Université,, Bruxelles , Portogallo
Revue internationale de philosophie 270 (2014): 393–402.
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Paglieri, Fabio/titolo:Accepted by whom? On the empirical roots of Aristotle's dialectic/doi:/rivista:Revue internationale de philosophie/anno:2014/pagina_da:393/pagina_a:402/intervallo_pagine:393–402/volume:270