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14. Problems And Excerpts: Aristotelian Instructions And A Bit Of Practice

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Chapter Summary

In Topics, 1.14 Aristotle gives instructions on how to select and collect logical, ethical, or physical statements and doxai for use in debate between persons. The categories, the method of diaeresis, and the four types of question crucial to scientific investigation all served to organize the material to be studied and the problems to be solved. Substances are carefully distinguished from their attributes but also firmly linked to them. In addition, the inquiry into causes and connections provides the knowledge of reality with consistency and structure. From a formal point of view problems formulated in the context of dialectical debate and issues present in scientific inquiry overlap. The Aristotelian invention of a concept of 'categories', whose application is often conjoined with a consistent use of the technique of diaeresis, naturally entails a further substantial broadening as well as refinement and variation of scope.

Keywords: Aristotle; dialectical debate; diaeresis; Topics



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