Monthly Philosophy Seminar RCGPh AA, Wednesday 17 January 2024, 16:00-18:00 (ATH, GR timezone) at the Elli Lambridis Philosophical Library (9 Hypsilantou str., Athens). Speaker: Christof Rapp




The Research Centre for Greek Philosophy at the Academy of Athens

Invites you in the course of the Monthly Philosophy Seminar

to the lecture which will take place on

Wednesday 17 January 2024, 16:00-18:00 (ATH, GR timezone) at the Elli Lambridis Philosophical Library (9 Hypsilantou str., Athens).

Speaker: Christof Rapp, Professor of Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilians-University of Munchen,

Topic: Strategic maneuvering in Aristotle’s Dialectic.


Those interested may attend either in person or via Zoom.




Strategic Maneuvering in Aristotle’s Dialectic


In contemporary argumentation theory the notion of “strategic maneuvering” is used (most notably, by the so-called “pragma-dialecticians”) to refer to methods by which the participants in a critical discourse try to resolve the disagreement in their own favour. The use of such methods points to the tension between two different aims of argumentation in general, namely, on the one hand, to overcome the disagreement in a reasonable way by sticking to certain procedural rules of rational discourse and, on the other, to make one’s own point of view prevail, i.e. to win the dispute at any cost. This might be seen as the conflict between reasonableness and effectiveness of argumentation.

In my paper I want to explore this conflict between reasonableness and effectiveness for Aristotle’s dialectical method. To a considerable extent, one might say, Aristotle’s method consists in providing a repertoire of argumentation schemes by which deductions can be built. Deductions are essential, since in accordance with the rules obtaining in dialectical disputations, disputants have to accept conclusions that can be shown to follow by necessity from the premises to which they committed themselves. All this seems to be perfectly in line with the ideal of reasonable discourse. At the same time, there are recommendations in Aristotle’s Topics that have the sole purpose of securing the success of either the questioner or the answerer. If Aristotle endorses such “strategic maneuvering”, is he more interested in effectiveness than in reasonableness? What is the role of these strategic maneuvers within Aristotle’s dialectical method as a whole?




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


Wednesday, January 17, 2024
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