Tag Archives: trivium

List of common fallacies – Aristotle’s Logos


Logic (Deduction and Induction)  is one of the three roads from the Trivium.

The Subject of Logic: “Syllogisms”
All Aristotle’s logic revolves around one notion: the deduction (sullogismos). A thorough explanation of what a deduction is, and what they are composed of, will necessarily lead us through the whole of his theory. What, then, is a deduction? Aristotle says:

A deduction is speech (logos) in which, certain things having been supposed, something different from those supposed results of necessity because of their being so. (Prior Analytics I.2, 24b18-20)
Each of the “things supposed” is a premise (protasis) of the argument, and what “results of necessity” is the conclusion (sumperasma).

The core of this definition is the notion of “resulting of necessity” (ex anankês sumbainein). This corresponds to a modern notion of logical consequence: X results of necessity from Y and Z if it would be impossible for X to be false when Y and Z are true. We could therefore take this to be a general definition of “valid argument”.

When arguing with someone in an attempt to get at an answer or an explanation, you may come across a person who makes logical fallacies. Such discussions may prove futile. You might try asking for evidence and independent confirmation or provide other hypotheses that give a better or simpler explanation. If this fails, try to pinpoint the problem of your arguer’s position. You might spot the problem of logic that prevents further exploration and attempt to inform your arguer about his fallacy. The following briefly describes some of the most common fallacies:

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Trivium & Quadrivium

medieval universities
medieval universities

The three elementary subjects of literary education up to the twelfth century — Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic. (See QUADRIVIUM.) N.B. Theology was introduced in the twelfth century.

In medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects taught first, before the quadrivium.

The Trivium – Chaucer’s Education
The Trivium – Chaucer’s Education

The word is Latin, meaning “the three ways” or “the three roads”, the beginning of the liberal arts. It also serves as a root for the concept of triviality. At many medieval universities, such as Oxford, this would have been the principal undergraduate course.

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