Abstract detail

Title Updating Arguments from Aristotle's Metaphysics

In Metaphysics Aristotle put various arguments which conclude that all (or some) contradictions are not true. As arguments for the law of non-contradiction they share a common flaw; the conclusion can be accepted by someone that denies the law of non-contradiction (i.e. a dialetheist). A dialetheist may contend that all contradictions are not true, and that some contradictions are also true. In this context the arguments seem un-interesting; the conclusion can be accepted by both parties of the debate. My purpose for the paper will be to reconstruct one argument, the Anscombe/Cresswell interpretation, to make it interesting. I will show that from the premises of that argument, and the assumption of a contradiction, it follows that identity fails. I will suggest that this is interesting for both sides of the debate. The foe of contradictions may turn this into a non-questioning begging reductio. The friend of contradictions may simply contend that the argument shows something about contradictions. I will further suggest how this reconstruction can be applied to other arguments that have the same conclusion as the original Anscombe/Creswell interpretation did.

Primary author
Aaron Guthrie