Aristotle on Bad Arguments – Leeds 4-5th July

Here is the the context for and detailed programme of the workshop on “Aristotle on Bad Arguments”, to be held at the IDEA CETL, University of Leeds, 4-5th July, 2014.


Why does Aristotle include knowledge of defective arguments within the arts of dialectic and rhetoric? On one attractive way of understanding the nature of Aristotelian rhetoric and dialectic, these are (in large measure) expertises in the use of good arguments and good reasoning to persuade others. How then should we explain the place Aristotle gives to defective arguments (merely apparent enthymemes / syllogisms / refutations, sophisms, and in general invalid and otherwise defective arguments) within his works on dialectic and rhetoric (Topics, Sophistical Refutations and Rhetoric)? How should we understand his apparent recommendations regarding the use of such arguments? By what standards of propriety does he mark out arguments as “merely apparent syllogisms/enthymemes”, particularly given his famously “more relaxed” standards for genuine enthymemes in rhetoric?

Questions of this kind are the subject of a workshop within the Leading Minds research project at the University of Leeds. The workshop runs from 4th-5th July (2pm-2pm) at the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre, University of Leeds.

Friday 4th July

14.00 – 14.15 Welcome

14.15 – 15.45 Valentina Di Lascio: “Sophistical vs Apparent Arguments in Aristotle’s Sophistical Refutations”

15.45 – 16.15 Tea

16.15 – 17.45 Jamie Dow: “Merely Apparent Enthymemes and the Nature of Aristotelian Rhetoric”

19.30 Dinner (The Reliance, pre-booked)

Saturday 5th July

09.30 – 10.00 Coffee

10.00 – 11.30 Christof Rapp: “Inconclusive, Non-pertinent and Delusive Arguments in Aristotle’s Theory of Argumentation”

11.30 – 11.45 Coffee

11.45 – 13.15 Jakob Leth Fink: “Êthos (character) and Argument Receptivity”

13.15 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 Depart.


Dr. Valentina Di Lascio (University of Durham and Centre for Hellenic Studies, Harvard)

Dr. Jamie Dow (University of Leeds)

Dr. Jakob Fink (University of Copenhagen)

Prof. Christof Rapp (LMU, Munich)


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