Reason's dark champions : constructive strategies of Sophistic argument /
Christopher W. Tindale.
Columbia, S.C. : University of South Carolina Press, 2010.
xiv, 178 p.
9781570038785 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Columbia, S.C. : University of South Carolina Press, 2010.
9781570038785 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Sophistic argument and the early tradition -- Introduction -- The category 'Sophist' : who counts? -- The figure of socrates -- Sophistic argument : contrasting views -- Against the Sophists -- Figures of influence -- Positive views of Sophistic argument -- Resistance to revision -- Making the weak argument the stronger -- A problem of translation -- Eristics and the Euthydemus -- Antiphon the Sophist -- Protagorean rhetoric -- Plato's Sophists -- Platonic and Sophistic argument and the 'Sophist dialogues' -- Public and private argument -- Plato's view of argument -- A question of method -- Imitation and method : eristic and the Peritrope -- The veracity of Plato's testimony -- The Sophists and fallacious argument: aristotle's legacy -- The sophists and fallacy -- The sophistical refutations -- Fallacy in the Euthydemus -- Lessons from the Euthydemus -- Contrasting refutations -- Sophistic strategies of argumentation -- Rhetoric and argumentation -- Rhetoric and sophistry -- Extending Sophistic argument : Alcidamas and Isocrates -- What is Eikos? : the argument from likelihood -- The meaning of likelihood -- Examples from Antiphon -- The range of Eikos arguments -- Evaluating Eikos arguments -- Contemporary appearances : Walton and the plausibility argument -- Turning tables : roots and varieties of the Peritrope -- What trope is the Peritrope? -- Defining the Peritrope -- Reversal arguments in Gorgias and Antiphon -- Socratic and Sophistic refutations again -- Contemporary reversals -- Evaluation -- Contrasting arguments : Antilogoi or Antithesis -- The concepts of Antilogoi and Antithesis -- History of the Antilogoi -- The dissoi logoi -- Antithesis and the counterfactual -- Examples of Antilogoi : Gorgias, Antiphon, Prodicus, Thucydides, Antisthenes -- Purpose and evaluation -- Contemporary echoes -- Signs, commonplaces, and allusions -- Modes of proof -- Arguing from signs -- Commonplaces -- Allusions -- More recent echoes -- Ethotic argument : witness
testimony and the appeal to character -- Ethos -- The appeal to one's own character -- Witnesses -- Funeral speeches -- Promotion of character -- Attacking character -- The use of ethotic argument and the modern ad hominem -- Justice and the value of Sophistic argument -- Truth and morality : reasoning in the dark -- A human justice -- Sophistic argument and justice -- Kinds of Sophist -- Sophistic argument in the present.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Flap Copy
Beginning with the reception of the Sophists in their own culture, Tindale explores depictions of the Sophists in Plato's dialogues and the argumentative strategies attributed to them as a means of understanding the threat Sophism posed to Platonic philosophical ambitions of truth seeking. He also considers the nature of the "sophistical refutation" and its place in the tradition of fallacy. In the second half of the book, Tindale turns to specific argumentative practices, mapping how Sophists employed the argument from likelihood, reversal arguments, arguments on each side of a position, and commonplace reasoning. In each instance Tindale grounds the discussion in specific textual examples. What emerges is a complex and complete picture of the theory, practice, and reception of Sophistic strategies that reorients criticism of this mode of argumentation, expands understanding of Sophistic contributions to classical rhetoric, and opens avenues for further scholarship.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-09-01:
Who were the Sophists, and what were their aims? Tradition holds that they were philosophical shysters, experts at making bad arguments appear good, yet contemporary scholars have worked hard to revitalize their tarnished reputations. Bringing much of this scholarship to bear, Tindale (Univ. of Windsor, Ontario, Canada) renders a learned yet readable study of the theory, practice, and reception of the sophistic movement. The first half of the book provides a detailed summary and evaluation of conflicting views on the Sophists from Plato and Aristotle to the present. The second half is devoted to exposing specific sophistic argumentative strategies still used in contemporary argumentation theory, such as the argument from likelihood, reversal arguments (i.e., peritrope arguments), antithetical arguments, and ethotic arguments (i.e., arguments based on witness testimony and appeal to character). Other books have aimed to rehabilitate the much-maligned Sophists (e.g., E. Schiappa's Protagoras and Logos, CH, Jun'92, 29-5643), but Tindale's is noteworthy for illuminating not only the history of sophistic argument but also the important connections between these strategies and rhetorical argumentation as it has developed over the past several decades. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. F. A. Grabowski Rogers State University
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2010
Choice, September 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
Recent decades have witnessed a major restoration of the Sophists' reputation, revising the Platonic and Aristotelian "orthodoxies" that have dominated the tradition. Still lacking is a full appraisal of the Sophists' strategies of argumentation. Christopher W. Tindale corrects that omission in Reason's Dark Champions. Viewing the Sophists as a group linked by shared strategies rather than by common epistemological beliefs, Tindale illustrates that the Sophists engaged in a range of argumentative practices in manners wholly different from the principal ways in which Plato and Aristotle employed reason. By examining extant fifth-century texts and the ways in which Sophistic reasoning is mirrored by historians, playwrights, and philosophers of the classical world, Tindale builds a robust understanding of Sophistic argument with relevance to contemporary studies of rhetoric and communication.
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Sophistic Argument and the Early Tradition
Introductionp. 3
The Category Sophist: Who Counts?p. 4
The Figure of Socratesp. 5
Sophistic Argument: Contrasting Viewsp. 9
Against the Sophistsp. 9
Figures of Influencep. 11
Positive Views of Sophistic Argumentp. 14
Resistance to Revisionp. 16
Making the Weak Argument the Strongerp. 19
A Problem of Translationp. 19
Eristics and the Euthydemusp. 22
Antiphon the Sophistp. 24
Protagorean Rhetoricp. 27
Plato's Sophistsp. 30
Platonic and Sophistic Argument and the "Sophist Dialogues"p. 30
Public and Private Argumentp. 31
Plato's View of Argumentp. 32
A Question of Methodp. 34
Imitation and Method: Eristic and the Peritropep. 37
The Veracity of Plato's Testimonyp. 39
The Sophists and Fallacious Argument: Aristotle's Legacyp. 44
The Sophists and Fallacyp. 44
The Sophistical Refutationsp. 47
Fallacy in the Euthydemusp. 49
Lessons from the Euthydemusp. 51
Contrasting Refutationsp. 56
Sophistic Strategies of Argumentation
Introductionp. 61
Rhetoric and Argumentationp. 61
Rhetoric and Sophistryp. 63
Extending Sophistic Argument: Alcidamas and Isocratesp. 65
What Is Eikos? The Argument from Likelihoodp. 69
The Meaning of Likelihoodp. 69
Examples from Antiphonp. 71
The Range of Eikos Argumentsp. 75
Evaluating Eikos Argumentsp. 78
Contemporary Appearances: Walton and the Plausibility Argumentp. 80
Turning Tables: Roots and Varieties of the Peritropep. 83
What Trope Is the Peritrope?p. 83
Defining the Peritropep. 87
Reversal Arguments in Gorgias and Antiphonp. 88
Socratic and Sophistic Refutations Againp. 92
Contemporary Reversalsp. 95
Evaluationp. 97
Contrasting Arguments: Antilogoi or Antithesisp. 99
The Concepts of Antilogoi and Antithesisp. 99
History of the Antilogoip. 102
The Dissoi Logoip. 103
Antithesis and the Counterfactualp. 104
Examples of Antilogoi: Gorgias, Antiphon, Prodicus, Thucydides, and Antisthenesp. 106
Purpose and Evaluationp. 109
Contemporary Echoesp. 111
Signs, Commonplaces, and Allusionsp. 113
Modes of Proofp. 113
Arguing from Signsp. 114
Commonplacesp. 116
Allusionsp. 121
More Recent Echoesp. 128
Ethotic Argument: Witness Testimony and the Appeal to Characterp. 131
Ethosp. 131
The Appeal to One's Own Characterp. 132
Witnessesp. 134
Funeral Speechesp. 136
Promotion of Characterp. 137
Attacking Characterp. 139
The Use of Ethotic Argument and the Modern Ad Hominemp. 141
Justice and the Value of Sophistic Argumentp. 143
Truth and Morality: Reasoning in the Darkp. 143
A Human Justicep. 145
Sophistic Argument and Justicep. 148
Two Kinds of Sophistp. 150
Sophistic Argument in the Presentp. 151
Notesp. 153
Referencesp. 165
Indexp. 173
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem