Το Κέντρον Ερεύνης της Ελληνικής Φιλοσοφίας της Ακαδημίας Αθηνών
Σας προσκαλεί στο πλαίσιο του Μηνιαίου Σεμιναρίου Φιλοσοφίας
στη διάλεξη που θα πραγματοποιηθεί την
Τετάρτη 15 Νοεμβρίου 2023, 16:00-18:00 (4-6μμ ώρα Ελλάδος) στη Φιλοσοφική Βιβλιοθήκη Έλλη Λαμπρίδη (Υψηλάντου 9, Αθήνα)
με ομιλητή τον κ. Michel Crubellier, ομότιμο καθηγητή φιλοσοφίας στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Lille,
και θέμα: How is it possible to claim that every συλλογισμός is a syllogism?
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I intend to examine and – to some extent – vindicate two important claims made by Aristotle at the outcome of the two main theoretical elaborations of Prior Analytics Book 1, namely the ‘Syllogistic’ (1.1-7) and the Pons Asinorum (1.27-30):
‘Every deduction (συλλογισμός) must necessarily come about through the three figures described above’ (1.23, 41b1-3)
‘It is evident (…), not only that it is possible for all deductions (συλλογισμοί) to come about through this route [= the machine of the Pons Asinorum], but also that this is impossible through any other’. (1.29, 45b36-38)
These claims are often criticized as being exceedingly confident; the more so if – as I think we should – one does not take συλλογισμός in the sense of the specific forms of argument (figures and ‘moods’) discussed in chapters 1.4-7, but in its broader dialectical sense, meaning any compelling argument based on explicitly assumed premises. For it seems that there are many kinds of arguments which cannot fit in with the models introduced in the Syllogistic or in the Pons Asinorum section: suffice it to mention proofs by reduction to impossibility and most mathematical, especially geometrical, proofs.
However, Aristotle himself explicitly mentions some such cases in the very chapters in which he argues for those two claims: he declares that he has, or at least aims at and discerns, a solution for the case of proofs by reduction, and he uses mathematical examples in order to illustrate his views. The notion that he could have considered that such cases were but unimoprtant exceptions seems very hard to swallow.
So, the aim of this presentation, centered mainly on the first claim and on chapter 1.23, is to look more closely at the passages in which he mentions these cases in order to grasp better how he could have apprehended them (using part of that time for the discussion of mathematical examples).
I will reach the conclusion that both claims are much more defensible than it is commonly said, if we can reconsider and flesh out our understanding of some of the basic terms in which he addresses the problem and of its inscription in a dialectical perspective. Notably, I suggest understanding some concepts (for instance ὑπάρχει τῷ Α, or ὅρος) in a sense broader than that in which they are usually taken, but in my view they must not become vague or confused.
However, the effectivity of that solution remains uncertain in the case of ‘deductions fom assumption’.
As a side-lesson of that first conclusion, I will end with a reflection on the heuristic value of the Pons Asinorum machine and its limits, and on the epistemological meaning of the second claim.
October 25, Doukas Kapantaïs
Prior Analytics 1.23; an elimination theorem to avail the scientist and the dialectician alike
November 15, Michel Crubellier
How is it possible to claim that every συλλογισμός is a syllogism?
December 6, Marko Malink
Aristotle on reductio ad impossibile: from dialectic to syllogistic logic
January 17, Christof Rapp
Reasonableness of Argument and strategic maneuvering in Topics VIII
February 28, Mathieu Marion
Semantics of Interaction: A New Perspective on the relation between Topics and Prior Analytics
March 20, Paolo Fait
How can the investigation of demonstration and demonstrative science (Prior Analytics 1.1 24a10–11) accommodate dialectical syllogisms?
April 3, Gisela Striker
The place of dialectic in Aristotle's Prior Analytics
May 15, Laura Castelli
Universal premises in the Topics
May 29, Colin G. King
Language formalization in the Topics and the Prior Analytics
June 12, Zoe McConaughey
Syllogistic and dialogues