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
Date Written: June 26 20, 2002
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
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