Leff's Account of the Aristotelian Roots of the Boethian Theory of Dialectical Reasoning: A Contemporary Reconsideration

Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation, 2002

4 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2011  

Ryan Patrick Alford

Lakehead University - Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 26 20, 2002

Abstract

This paper is an attempt to call attention to the need for a reconsideration of the evolution of the concept of the dialectic that took place between the time of Aristotle and Boethium. The central allegation of this paper is that Anicius Manlium Serverinus Boethius was a central figure in the development of a formalized concept of the dialectic, one that was far from Aristotelian. This perspective on the dialectic was made possible through Boethius' reinterpretation of the dialectical topoi. The key evidence for this shift provided in the paper is the refutation of the presentation of the Aristotelian dialectic as being a theory of proofs. Rather, Boethius successfully convinced many contemporary authors, including Leff, that this interpretation was Aristotle's own.

Keywords: Aristotle, Boethius, Michael Leff, topoi, dialectic, proof, endoxa, elenchis

Suggested Citation

Alford, Ryan Patrick, Leff's Account of the Aristotelian Roots of the Boethian Theory of Dialectical Reasoning: A Contemporary Reconsideration (June 26 20, 2002). Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1816706

Ryan Patrick Alford (Contact Author)

Lakehead University - Bora Laskin Faculty of Law ( email )

955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Canada

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