Reason's Dark Champions: Constructive Strategies of Sophistic Argument

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University of South Carolina Press, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 178 pages
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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.

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About the author (2010)

Christopher Tindale (Ph.D. & M.A., University of Waterloo; B.A., Wilfrid Laurier University) teaches and conducts research in the areas of argumentation theory, ethics, and ancient philosophy. Since 2000, he's been an editor of the journal Informal Logic: Reasoning and Argumentation in Theory and Practice, and he presently sits on the editorial board of Controversia. He is the author of Acts of Arguing: A Rhetorical Model of Argument (SUNY Press, 1999), co-author of Good Reasoning Matters, Third Edition (Oxford University Press, 2004), and co-editor of Argumentation and Its Applications (forthcoming CD-Rom) and two other CD-ROMs, Argumentation at the Century's Turn and Argumentation and Rhetoric. Recent work of his has appeared in the following journals: Argumentation; Informal Logic; ProtoSociology; Social Theory and Practice. In addition to teaching at Trent University, in 2001-2002 he was a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research), Bielefeld, Germany.

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