Argumentation 26 (4):413-437 (2012)

The presence of premises expressing comparison is a problem for the Aristotelian theory of the dialectical method, first because there is no general theory of comparison in the Organon and secondly because along with propositions on the opposition and inflexion of the terms, comparative statements seem to fall outside the explicit description which Aristotle gives of possible premises. The purpose of this paper is to offer a synthetic theory of comparisons according to Aristotle’s Topics , in an attempt both to supply the aforementioned absence and to highlight the importance of the second problem. There are three main types of premises on the more, the less and the similar : some comparing the degree of possession of a predicate, others comparing the plausibility of a predication and finally, others expressing an analogy. Once expounded the very marked differences that occur between these three classes of propositions, the paper analyses the various kinds of argumentation based on comparative premises and offers a formalization of its logical laws. The complexity of this theory and the volume of topoi involved in the comparisons show the magnitude of a problem that has not been sufficiently studied
Keywords Aristotle  Analogy  Comparison  Dialectic  Dialectical premise  Plausible argumentation  Topos
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-012-9263-x
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Aristotle's Topics.Paul Slomkowski - 1997 - Leiden and New York: Brill.
Aristotle's Posterior Analytics.Jonathan Barnes - 1978 - Mind 87 (345):128-129.

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