Sophistical Refutations

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Sophistical Refutations (Greek: Σοφιστικοὶ Ἔλεγχοι, romanizedSophistikoi Elenchoi; Latin: De Sophisticis Elenchis) is a text in Aristotle's Organon in which he identified thirteen fallacies.[note 1] According to Aristotle, this is the first work to treat the subject of deductive reasoning in ancient Greece (Soph. Ref., 34, 183b34 ff.).


On Sophistical Refutations[1][2] consists of 34 chapters. The book naturally falls in two parts: chapters concerned with tactics for the Questioner (3–8 and 12–15) and chapters concerned with tactics for the Answerer (16–32). Besides, there is an introduction (1–2), an interlude (9–11), and a conclusion (33–34).[3]

Fallacies identified[edit]

The fallacies Aristotle identifies in Chapter 4 (formal fallacies) and 5 (informal fallacies) of this book are the following:

Fallacies in the language or formal fallacies (in dictionem):
  1. Equivocation
  2. Amphiboly
  3. Composition
  4. Division
  5. Accent
  6. Figure of speech or form of expression
Fallacies not in the language or informal fallacies (extra dictionem):


  1. ^ Sometimes listed as twelve.


  1. ^ Aristotle; Translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge. "On Sophistical Refutations". Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  2. ^ Edward N. Zalta, ed. (18 March 2000). "Aristotle's Logic, < Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy>". Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  3. ^ Krabbe, E.C.W. "Aristotle's On Sophistical Refutations. Topoi 31, 243–248 (2012)". doi:10.1007/s11245-012-9124-0. S2CID 170350834. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Further reading[edit]

  • Gysembergh, Victor (2023). Forgotten Ancient Commentaries on Aristotle's Sphistical Refutations: Fragments of Aspasios, Herminos, Alexander, Syrianos and Philoponos. Boston: De Gruyter. ISBN 9783111332666.

External links[edit]