The period from Plato's birth to Aristotle's death (427-322 BC) is one of the most influential and formative in the history of Western philosophy. The developments of logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and science in this period have been investigated, controversies have arisen and many new theories have been produced. But this is the first book to give detailed scholarly attention to the development of dialectic during this decisive period. It includes chapters on topics such as: dialectic as interpersonal debate between a questioner and a respondent; dialectic and the dialogue form; dialectical methodology; the dialectical context of certain forms of arguments; the role of the respondent in guaranteeing good argument; dialectic and presentation of knowledge; the interrelations between written dialogues and spoken dialectic; and definition, induction and refutation from Plato to Aristotle. The book contributes to the history of philosophy and also to the contemporary debate about what philosophy is.
Jakob Leth Fink is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for the Aristotelian Tradition in the SAXO Institute of the University of Copenhagen.
Introduction Jakob Fink; Part I. Dialectic as Interpersonal Activity: 1. Self-refutation and dialectic in Plato and Aristotle Luca Castagnoli; 2. The role of the respondent in Plato and Aristotle Marja-Liisa Kakkuri-Knuuttila; 3. Division as a method in Plato Hallvard Fossheim; Part II. Form and Content in the Philosophical Dialogue: 4. Dialectic and dialogue in the Lysis Morten S. Thaning; 5. The Laches and 'joint search dialectic' Holger Thesleff; 6. The philosophical importance of the dialogue form for Plato Charles H. Kahn; 7. How did Aristotle read a Platonic dialogue? Jakob L. Fink; Part III. Dialectical Methodology: 8. What is behind the ti esti question? Vasilis Politis; 9. Socratic induction in Plato and Aristotle Hayden W. Ausland; 10. Aristotle's definition of elenchus in the light of Plato's Sophist Louis-Andre Dorion; 11. The Aristotelian elenchus Robert Bolton; 12. Aristotle's gradual turn from dialectic Wolfgang Kullmann.