Sophistic & Logic
A brilliant move is the retorsio argumenti, or turning of the tables, by which your opponent's argument is turned against himself. He declares, for instance, "So-and-so is a child, you must make allowance for him". You retort, "Just because he is a child, I must correct him; otherwise he will persist in his bad habits".
Sophistic & Logic
- This stratagem is related to the 4th strategem "Conceal Your Game".
Or you may put questions in an order different from that which the conclusion to be drawn from them requires, and transpose them, so as not to let him know at what you are aiming. He can then take no precautions. You may also use his answers for different or even opposite conclusions, according to their character. This is akin to the trick of masking your procedure.
proved, you may get your opponent to admit every one of the particulars. This is the converse of the second.
Sophistic & Logic :
- This stratagem relies on the "begging the question" or petitio principii fallacy.
Original text :
Another plan is to beg the question in disguise by postulating what has to be proved, either under another name; for instance, "good repute" instead of "honour"; "virtue" instead of "virginity," etc.; or by using such convertible terms as "red-blooded animals" and "vertebrates"; or by making a general assumption covering the particular point in dispute: for instance, maintaining the uncertainty of medicine by postulating the uncertainty of all human knowledge. If, vice versâ two things follow one from the other, and one is to be proved, you may postulate the other. If a general proposition is to be proved, you may get your opponent to admit every one of the particulars. This is the converse of the second.
Sophistic & Logic
This stratagem relies on the logical rules of induction. An induction argument is hard to make and easy to destroy.
This is a case of the diversion by means of an instance to the contrary. With an induction (epagoge), a great number of particular instances are required in order to establish it as a universal proposition; but with the diversion (apagoge) a single instance, to which the proposition does not apply, is all that is necessary to overthrow it. This is a controversial method known as the instance - instantia, eustasis. For example, "all ruminants are horned" is a proposition which may be upset by the single instance of the camel. The instance is a case in which a universal truth is sought to be applied, and something is inserted in the fundamental definition of it which is not universally true, and by which it is upset. But there is room for mistake; and when this trick is employed by your opponent, you must observe (1) whether the example which he gives is really true; for there are problems of which the only true solution is that the case in point is not true - for example, many miracles, ghost stories, and so on: and (2) whether it really comes under the conception of the truth thus stated: for it may only appear to do so, and the matter is one to be settled by precise distinctions; and (3) whether it is really inconsistent with this conception; for this again may be only an apparent inconsistency.
Sophistic & Logic
The extension stratagem relies on the caricature fallacy who has this form.
- A has position X
- B shows position Y (a caricature of X).
- B attacks position Y.
- Thefore X is false/incorrect.
The Extension. - This consists in carrying your opponent's proposition beyond its natural limits; in giving it as general a signification and as wide a sense as possible, so as to exaggerate it; and, on the other hand, in giving your own proposition as restricted a sense and as narrow limits as you can, because the more general a statement becomes, the more numerous are the objections to which it is open. The defence consists in an accurate statement of the point or essential question at issue.
Example 1. - I asserted that the English were supreme in drama. My opponent attempted to give an instance to the contrary, and replied that it was a well-known fact that in music, and consequently in opera, they could do nothing at all. I repelled the attack by reminding him that music was not included in dramatic art, which covered tragedy and comedy alone. This he knew very well. What he had done was to try to generalise my proposition, so that it would apply to all theatrical representations, and, consequently, to opera and then to music, in order to make certain of defeating me. Contrarily, we may save our proposition by reducing it within narrower limits than we had first intended, if our way of expressing it favours this expedient.
Example 2. - A. declares that the Peace of 1814 gave back their independence to all the German towns of the Hanseatic League. B. gives an instance to the contrary by reciting the fact that Dantzig, which received its independence from Buonaparte, lost it by that Peace. A. saves himself thus: "I said 'all German towns,' and Dantzig was in Poland."
This trick was mentioned by Aristotle in the Topica (bk. viii., cc. 11, 12).
Example 3. - Lamarck, in his Philosophie Zoologique (vol. i., p. 203), states that the polype has no feeling, because it has no nerves. It is certain, however, that it has some sort of perception; for it advances towards light by moving in an ingenious fashion from branch to branch, and it seizes its prey. Hence it has been assumed that its nervous system is spread over the whole of its body in equal measure, as though it were blended with it; for it is obvious that the polype possesses some faculty of perception without having any separate organs of sense. Since this assumption refutes Lamarck's position, he argues thus: "In that case all parts of its body must be capable of every kind of feeling, and also of motion, of will, of thought. The polype would have all the organs of the most perfect animal in every point of its body; every point could see, smell, taste, hear, and so on; nay, it could think, judge, and draw conclusions; every particle of its body would be a perfect animal, and it would stand higher than man, as every part of it would possess all the faculties which man possesses only in the whole of him. Further, there would be no reason for not extending what is true of the polype to all monads, the most imperfect of all creatures, and ultimately to the plants, which are also alive, etc., etc." By using dialectical tricks of this kind a writer betrays that he is secretly conscious of being in the wrong. Because it was said that the creature's whole body is sensitive to light, and is therefore possessed of nerves, he makes out that its whole body is capable of thought.
The Art of Controversy - Schopenhauer
- 01 - Extension
- 02 - Homonymy
- 03 - Generalize your Opponent's Specific Statements
- 04 - Conceal your game
- 05 - False propositions
- 06 - Postulate What Has To Be Proved
- 07 - Yield Admissions through questions
- 08 - Make Your Opponent Angry
- 09 - Questions in Detouring Order
- 10 - Take Advantage of The Nay-Sayer
- 11 - Generalize Admissions of Specific Cases
- 12 - Choose Metaphors Favourable to Your Proposition
- 13 - Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition
- 14 - Claim Victory Despite Defeat
- 15 - Use Seemingly Absurd Propositions
- 16 - Arguments Ad Hominem
- 17 - Defense Through Subtle Distinction
- 18 - Interrupt, Break, Divert the Dispute
- 19 - Generalize the Matter, Then Argue Against it
- 20 - Draw Conclusions Yourself
- 21 - Meet him With a Counter-Argument as Bad as His
- 22 - Petitio Principii
- 23 - Make Him Exaggerate his Statement
- 24 - State a False Syllogism
- 25 - Find One Instance to The Contrary
- 26 - Turn The Tables
- 27 - Anger Indicates a Weak Point
- 28 - Persuade the Audience, Not The Opponent
- 29 - Diversion
- 30 - Appeal to Authority Rather Than Reason
- 31 - This is Beyond Me
- 32 - Put His Thesis Into Some Odious Category
- 33 - It Applies in Theory, But Not in Practice
- 34 - Don't Let Him Off The Hook
- 35 - Will is More Effective Than Insight
- 36 - Bewilder Your opponent by Mere Bombast
- 37 - A Faulty Proof Refutes His Whole Position
- 38 - The Ultimate Stratagem
- Intro I - Logic And Dialectic
- Intro II - Controversial Dialectic
- Intro III - The Basis Of All Dialectic