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Headword: Ἐπιτίμησις
Adler number: epsilon,2695
Translated headword: criticism, objection
Vetting Status: high
In Aristotle there are 5 [sc. kinds of 'criticism']. For he says that the same criticisms [are] not [applied] to an argument when it is being examined and when it is being propounded. The first occurs when nothing is concluded, and neither the proposed nor any other [conclusion is drawn] from [the issues] that had been propounded, that is to say, [when the argument] is non-deductive and, what is more, the given premises, on which the conclusion depends, are false or implausible. Of that sort is [the argument] saying: 'what is contrary to what is, is not; what is not, is nothing. Therefore, what is, is one'.[1] In fact, this is not conclusive. It seems that this [argument] does not conclude the proposed, but deductively concludes another thing: for [the correct conclusion would be] 'what is contrary to what is not is nothing'. Another [argument] says: 'if what is liable to generation has a principle, what is not liable to generation has not [a principle]. But, certainly, what is liable to generation has a principle.'[2] Neither what is proposed nor any other thing is deductively concluded on account of admitting false and implausible [premises]. [Aristotle] lays down a second criticism: if the premises were given deductively, and [if] the argument would conclude something deductively, although not what was proposed but some different thing.[3] The third criticism [is the following]: if some additions conclude deductively what is proposed but if what is added is weaker than what is given and what has been propounded, and is less plausible than the conclusion. The fourth criticism [is the following]: if we remove from the argument what the redundant arguments have [the argument] concludes deductively from the rest. He says that there is a fifth criticism: suppose the argument were construed from the most implausible [premises] and less persuasive than the conclusion, or if, [the argument were construed] from [premises which are] true, but more difficult to demonstrate than the problem.
Greek Original:
Ἐπιτίμησις: παρὰ Ἀριστοτέλει ε# εἰσί. λέγει γάρ, ὅτι μὴ αἱ αὐταὶ ἐπιτιμήσεις ἐξεταζομένῳ λόγῳ καὶ ἐρωτωμένῳ. πρώτη δέ ἐστιν, ὅταν ἐκ τῶν ἠρωτημένων μηδὲν συμπεραίνηται, μήτε τὸ προκείμενον μήτ' ἄλλο τι, τουτέστιν ἂν ἀσυλλόγιστον ᾖ, καὶ ἔτι ψευδεῖς ὦσιν αἱ κείμεναι προτάσεις ἢ ἄδοξοι, ἐφ' αἷς ἐπιφέρει τὸ συμπέρασμα. τοιοῦτος γὰρ ὁ λέγων: τὸ παρὰ τὸ ὄν, οὐκ ὄν, τὸ οὐκ ὂν οὐδέν, ἓν ἄρα τὸ ὄν: οὐ γὰρ τοῦτο συνάγεται. οὗτος μὲν οὐ δοκεῖ τὸ προκείμενον συνάγειν, ἀλλ' ἄλλο τι συνάγει συλλογιστικῶς: τὸ γὰρ παρὰ τὸ μὴ ὂν οὐδέν. ἕτερος δὲ λέγει: εἰ τὸ γενόμενον ἀρχὴν ἔχει, τὸ μὴ γινόμενον οὐκ ἔχει: ἀλλὰ μὴν τὸ γενόμενον ἀρχὴν ἔχει: οὔτε τὸ προκείμενον οὔτ' ἄλλο τι συλλογίζεται πρὸς τῷ καὶ τὰ λαμβανόμενα ψευδῆ τε καὶ ἄδοξα λαμβάνειν. δευτέραν τίθησιν ἐπιτίμησιν, εἰ αἱ μὲν προτάσεις συλλογιστικῶς εἶεν κείμεναι καὶ ὁ λόγος εἴη συλλογιζόμενός τι, μὴ μέντοι τὸ προκείμενον, ἀλλ' ἄλλο τι. τρίτη ἐπιτίμησις, εἰ προστιθέμενά τινα συνάγει τὸ προκείμενον συλλογιστικῶς, τὸ μέντοι προτιθέμενον χεῖρόν τε εἴη τῶν κειμένων καὶ ἠρωτημένων καὶ ἧττον ἔνδοξον τοῦ συμπεράσματος. τετάρτη ἐπιτίμησις, ἂν ἀφαιροῦμεν ἀπὸ τοῦ λόγου ἐκ τῶν λειπομένων συνάγεται συλλογιστικῶς, ὃ ἔχουσιν οἱ παρέλκοντες λόγοι. πέμπτη ἐπιτίμησίς φησιν εἶναι, εἰ ἐξ ἀδοξοτάτων καὶ ἧττον πιστῶν τοῦ συμπεράσματος ὁ λόγος εἴη ἢ ἐξ ἀληθῶν μέν, χαλεπωτέρων δὲ δειχθῆναι τοῦ προβλήματος.
This entry follows (albeit with some important omissions) Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topica 567.7-568.25, where he is commenting on Topica 161b19ff.
[1] Probably Melissus (mu 515): cf. his frags. 6 and 9.
[2] Probably Melissus again: cf. his frag. 2, where he says that what is always was, always will be, having no beginning or end; thus it is infinite (ἄπειρον ). The argument does, though, sound Aristotelian in character. See Aristotle, Physics 186a11-13, where he attributes to Melissus this argument (if anything which comes into being has a beginning, anything which does not come into being has no beginning) and considers it as an absurdity. This fallacy is also mentioned by Aristotle in Sophistici Elenchi 181a25ff., saying that it is produced when one thinks that because of denying the antecedent of the conditional, the consequent is necessarily denied, too (from A then B does not follow ~A then ~B, but rather ~B then ~A).
[3] That is, although the deduction can be well construed, it is irrelevant to the thesis (which is 'what was proposed').
Keywords: definition; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 3 December 2003@16:21:00.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified aspects of translation; cosmetics) on 4 December 2003@06:54:53.
David Whitehead (x-ref; cosmetics) on 21 October 2012@07:39:08.
David Whitehead (coding and other cosmetics) on 1 February 2016@10:29:36.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 5 November 2017@00:06:14.
Catharine Roth (more tweaks) on 5 November 2017@01:09:47.


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