Endoxa and Epistemology in Aristotle’s Topics

In Joseph Andrew Bjelde, David Merry & Christopher Roser (eds.), Essays on Argumentation in Antiquity. Cham: Springer. pp. 201-214 (2021)
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What role, if any, does dialectic play in Aristotle’s epistemology in the Topics? In this paper I argue that it does play a role, but a role that is independent of endoxa. In the first section, I sketch the case for thinking that dialectic plays a distinctively epistemological role—not just a methodological role, or a merely instrumental role in getting episteme. In the second section, I consider three ways it could play that role, on two of which endoxa play at least a co-starring role. But in the third section, I argue that endoxa don’t play that co-starring role, by arguing for a deflationary account of what endoxa are. For that reason, the third view emerges as the most plausible; but the third view is, I’ll suggest, Platonic.



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Joseph Bjelde
Humboldt-University, Berlin

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Nicomachean ethics.H. Aristotle & Rackham - 2014 - Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.. Edited by C. D. C. Reeve.
A defense of abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
Argumentation schemes.Douglas Walton, Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno.
Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.

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