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Aristotle's De InterpretationeContradiction and Dialectic$
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C. W. A. Whitaker

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199254192.001.0001

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Chapter 6: Contradictory Pairs

Chapter 6: Contradictory Pairs

(p.78) 6 Chapter 6: Contradictory Pairs
Aristotle's De Interpretatione

C. W. A. Whitaker

Oxford University Press

This chapter, which concludes the introductory section of the work, narrows the focus to simple assertions. Aristotle demonstrates with brilliant neatness that all such assertions either affirm or deny, and that moreover they may be ordered into pairs, one representing a pair of simple elements as combined, the other as separated. His approach reflects his ’internal’ theory of negation: very different from the Stoic ’external’ view more familiar to later logicians. His definition of negation does not presuppose anything about the truth or falsehood of the two members of a contradictory pair.

Keywords:   affirmation, Aristotle, assertion, contradictory, contradictory pair, De Interpretatione, denial, external theory of negation, falsehood, internal theory of negation, negation, Stoic, truth

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