In classical rhetoric , dissoi logoi is the concept of opposing arguments , a cornerstone of Sophistic ideology and method. In ancient Greece, the dissoi logoi were rhetorical exercises intended for imitation by students. In our own time, we see dissoi logoi at work "in the courtroom, where litigation is not about truth but rather the preponderance of evidence " James Dale Williams, An Introduction to Classical Rhetoric , The words dissoi logoi are from the Greek for "double arguments. Share Flipboard Email.
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In classical rhetoric , dissoi logoi is the concept of opposing arguments , a cornerstone of Sophistic ideology and method. In ancient Greece, the dissoi logoi were rhetorical exercises intended for imitation by students. In our own time, we see dissoi logoi at work "in the courtroom, where litigation is not about truth but rather the preponderance of evidence " James Dale Williams, An Introduction to Classical Rhetoric , The words dissoi logoi are from the Greek for "double arguments.
Share Flipboard Email. Richard Nordquist. English and Rhetoric Professor. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. Updated March 22, See Examples and Observations below. Also see:.
Such an argumentative procedure could force any question into an Aporia by pointing out that each side was true within the terms that it had chosen to develop the argument. Both sides depended, ultimately, on language and its imperfect correspondence to the 'outside world,' whatever one might think that world to be. A form of this analytical technique has recently been revived under the name of 'Deconstruction. It is from this accommodation to antithetical structure that Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence descends: we arrange social issues into diametrically opposed questions, arrange a dramatic display of their conflict, and since the law cannot afford aporia as a conclusion to social disputes accept the jury-audience's verdict as a defining truth, a precedent for future disputation.
University of California Press, "In essence, dissoi logoi posits that one side logos of an argument defines the existence of the other, creating a rhetorical situation in which at least two logoi struggle for dominance. In contrast, Western culture's implicit assumption that argument is about truth or falsity urges one to assume that one side of the argument is true or more accurate and that other accounts are false or less accurate.
Quite differently, Sophists acknowledge that one side of the argument might in a particular context represent the 'stronger' logos and others the 'weaker,' but this does not preclude a weaker logos from becoming the stronger in a different or future context. Sophism assumes that the stronger logos , no matter how strong, will never completely overcome competing logoi and earn the title of absolute truth.
Rather--and this is the heart of dissoi logoi --at least one other perspective is always available to serve as an other to the stronger argument. Johnson-Sheehan, "Sophistic Rhetoric. Greenwood, It contains arguments which are capable of bearing opposed meanings, and it has sections dealing with Good and Bad, Decent and Disgraceful, Just and Unjust, True and False, together with a number of untitled sections.
It has the look of a student's lecture notes, but this appearance may be deceptive. The contents are what we might expect in Protagoras' Antilogiai , but it is safer simply to designate them as sophistic. Therefore, the same thing is both disgraceful and decent. Rankin, Sophists, Socratics and Cynics. This is the first step: if you focus your attention, your mind, making progress by this means, will perceive more. The second step is to practice whatever you hear.
If you hear the same things many times and repeat them, what you have learned presents itself to your memory as a connected whole. The third step is: whenever you hear something, connect it with what you know already.
Scepticism in the History of Philosophy pp Cite as. It was first published in Paris in , 1 and since that date there has been dispute, among its handful of readers, concerning its date, authorship, purpose and overall philosophical commitments. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Skip to main content.
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What Does "Dissoi Logoi" Mean?
Based on comments in the text it appears to have been written not long after the Peloponnesian War. It is intended to help an individual gain a deeper understanding of an issue by forcing them to consider it from the angle of their opponent, which may serve either to strengthen their argument or to help the debaters reach compromise. In ancient Greece, students of rhetoric would be asked to speak and write for both sides of a controversy. Thomas Gale first published a version of it with a commentary of its own, in The first edition with an apparatus criticus was published by Ernst Weber in
Dissoi logoi lit. It consists mainly of arguments for and against various evaluative theses, with frequent appeals to relativity, and also discusses the teachability of virtue. Access to the complete content on Oxford Classical Dictionary requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription. If you are a student or academic complete our librarian recommendation form to recommend the Oxford Research Encyclopedias to your librarians for an institutional free trial. Please subscribe or login to access full text content.