Aristotle – The Inventor of Western Philosophy

Aristotle declared that all human beings by nature desire to know.  Aristotle and his intellectual predecessors discovered that theheart of philosophizing is argument. Argument isn’t meant as the heated defense of one’s favorite view, but as a desire to test the claims made in order to be sure that they stand up under critical scrutiny.

Philosophical argument and discovery involve a movement from one position to another.  Basically, if A says something, but B objects, a conversation or argument gets started.  The Greek word for this is dialect.

Dialect in its original form should be seen as a contrast to mythical, static thinking.  Myths are not to be argued with;  they are to be accepted without question.  They intend to tell something and do not call for an intellectual response.  However, putting forward a philosophical thesis is explicitly inviting such a response, and the response (argument and counter argument) is the heart of philosophy.

A dialectical process is generated when a person tries to think something out for himself/herself or, as Plato suggested, “when the soul is conversing with itself.”  The dialectical exchange is clearly at work when two persons engage in a critical dialogue–reacting to each other’s statements by means of objections, counterarguments, and rejoinders.

Information from Philosophy’s Journey, 2nd edition, by Konstantin Koloenda pp. 36-37

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