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Aristotle, Sophistical Elenchi. Book I, Chapter 02

Aristotle (384-322 BC)
Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Let us now, however, show how many species there are of sophistical arguments, from what number of things this power consists, how many parts there are of this treatise, and let us also speak of other things which contribute to this art. In disputation, therefore, there are four genera of arguments: the Didactic, the Dialectic, the Peirastic (or tentative), and the Litigious. The Didactic, indeed, are those which synergize from the proper principles of each discipline, and not from the opinions of him who answers; for it is necessary that he who learns should believe. But Dialectic arguments, are those which are syllogistic of contradiction from probabilities. The Peirastic, are those which syllogize from things which appear probable to him who answers, and which it is necessary for him to know who pretends to possess science; but in what manner is defined in other treatises. And the Litigious, are those which are syllogistic, from things which appear to be probable, but which are not so in reality. Concerning Didactic and Demonstrative arguments, therefore, we have spoken in the Analytics; but concerning which are dialectic and parasitic, we have spoken in other treatises (i.e., the Topics). We must, therefore, now speak concerning those which are agonistic (that is, contentious) and litigious.

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