Reformulating an Argument of Aristotle’s against Contradictions

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Guthrie, Aaron
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Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek
Aristotle put forward a number of arguments against contradictions being true, in Metaphysics. However, many of them share a common flaw; the opponent in the debate (a dialetheist) can accept both the conclusion, and its negation. My aim will be to reformulate one argument, the Anscombe/Cresswell argument, to eliminate this flaw. I do so by exploiting modern developments in dialethic theory. I turn the argument into a non-question-begging reductio by exploiting the fact that a reductio can be to absurdity but not contradiction, and can conclude in the rejection of what lead to it (in this case, a contradiction). I also respond to a number of other objections to this argument, exploring the possibility that there is a good argument that keeps to the spirit of the original. I conclude that there is such an argument, but one that is only about very specific contradictions.
Greek Research, Greece, Australia, Aaron Guthrie
Guthrie, Aaron 2009. Reformulating an Argument of Aristotle’s against Contradictions. In M. Rossetto, M. Tsianikas, G. Couvalis and M. Palaktsoglou (Eds.) "Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Eighth Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University June 2009". Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek: Adelaide, 27-35.