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see By Terence Irwin Exploring Aristotle's philosophical strategy and the benefits of his conclusions, Irwin right here indicates how Aristotle defended dialectic opposed to the objection that it can't justify a metaphysical realist's claims. He focuses really on Aristotle's metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of brain, and ethics, stressing the connections among doctrines which are frequently mentioned individually.

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Aristotle's Conception of Philosophy I suggested earlier that in the works we naturally regard as philosophical Aristotle regards his method as dialectical. If, then, he introduces the universal science of first philosophy to correct the apparent limitations of dialectic, he should revise his conception of philosophical argument. The issue about dialectic and first philosophy should tell us something about Aristotle's view of philosophy. Aristotle's ‘purely dialectical’ conception of philosophy has two striking features that he later reconsiders.

This first weakness in dialectic would not defeat Aristotle's purpose, if he could give some further reason for advancing beyond the very general conclusions supported by pure dialectic to the more specific conclusions about substance that he actually accepts. He gives no further reason, however, for reaching the more specific conclusions; and to this extent he leaves a gap between his dialectical argument and the conclusion he seems to draw from it. The second weakness in dialectic affects Aristotle's use of his dialectical arguments in the Physics.

Though he appeals to a workable distinction between subjects and things predicated of them, this distinction does not seem to show that his favoured substances are the only genuine substances. Aristotle believes that particular men and horses are substances, and that particular musicians are not substances, in so far as they are composites of a substance (man) and a non-substance (musicality); but it is not clear that the dialectical distinctions he appeals to really support his discrimination.

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