What Kind of Reasoning Is, according to Aristotle, the Argument by Example (Paradeigma)?

Keywords: induction, example—paradeigma, analogy, argumentation, syllogism


The paradigm (example) is an inductive argument in rhetoric. However, the paradigm is not about moving from many specific cases to a certain generalization, i.e. universalization of all individual cases — as it normally happens in inductive argumentation. Instead, it is rather a transition from one detail to another similar one; with the condition being that both specific cases belong to the same type. Therefore, the paradigm is not an induction in the strict sense, but it seems more to meet the conditions of analogy. The article formulates the thesis that Aristotle distinguishes three types of inference: deduction, induction and analogy. In order to demonstrate the specific nature of inference by the paradigm, which seems to be a type of analogy, other types of inferences are also examined, i.e. apodeictic, dialectical, and inductive syllogisms.

The article is an attempt to present the characteristics of argumentation by paradigm and show its specific nature in the light of Aristotle’s Rhetoric and his logical writings: Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics, Topics, and Sophistical Refutations.


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