Sophistical Refutations
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Sophistical Refutations

On Sophistical Refutations (Greek: ? ?; Latin: De Sophisticis Elenchis) is a text in Aristotle's Organon in which he identified thirteen fallacies. [note 1] According to Aristotle, this is the first work to treat the subject of deductive reasoning (Soph. Ref., 34, 183b34 ff.).


On Sophistical Refutations[1][2] consists of 34 chapters. The book naturally falls in two parts: chapters concerned with tactics for the Questioner (3-8 and 12-15) and chapters concerned with tactics for the Answerer (16-32). Besides, there is an introduction (1-2), an interlude (9-11), and a conclusion (33-34). [3]

The following points are from this book:

  • The sophistic refutations, i.e. what appear to be refutations but are really fallacies instead. For the art of the sophist is the semblance of wisdom without the reality, and the sophist is one who makes money from an apparent but unreal wisdom.
  • According to Aristotle, of arguments in dialogue form there are four classes: Didactic, Dialectical, Examination-arguments, and Contentious arguments. (The arguments used in competitions and contests are of main subject in this book.)

Fallacies identified

The fallacies Aristotle identifies in Chapter 4 of this book are the following:

Fallacies in the language (in dictione)
  1. Equivocation
  2. Amphibology
  3. Composition
  4. Division
  5. Accent
  6. Figure of speech or form of expression
Fallacies not in the language (extra dictionem)


  1. ^ Sometimes listed as twelve.


  1. ^ Aristotle; Translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge. "On Sophistical Refutations". Retrieved .
  2. ^ Edward N. Zalta (ed.). "Aristotle's Logic, < Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy>". Retrieved .CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Krabbe, E.C.W. "Aristotle's On Sophistical Refutations. Topoi 31, 243-248 (2012)". doi:10.1007/s11245-012-9124-0. S2CID 170350834. Retrieved . Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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