Eristic, from the ancient Greek word Eris meaning "wrangle" or "strife", often refers to a type of dialogue or argument where the participants do not have any reasonable goal. The aim is to win the argument, not to potentially discover a true or probable answer to any specific question or topic. Eristic dialogue is arguing for the sake of conflict, fighting, and seeing who can yell the loudest.

Philosophical Eristic

Plato often contrasted this type of dialogue with the dialectical method and other more reasonable and logical methods (e.g., at "Republic" 454a). In the dialogue Euthydemus, Plato satirizes eristic.

Different from Plato, Schopenhauer considers that only logic pursues truth. For him, dialectic, sophistry and eristic have no objective truth in view, but only the appearance of it, and pay no regard to truth itself because it aims at victory. He names these three last methods as "eristic dialectic" [ [ Controversial Dialectic] on accessed at January 19 2008]

According to Schopenhauer [ Eristic Dialectic] is mainly concerned to tabulate and analyze dishonest stratagems [In his Dialectica Eristica Schopenhauer presents 38 eristic stratagems] , in order that in a real debate they may be at once recognized and defeated. It is for this very reason that Eristic Dialectic must admittedly take victory, and not objective truth, for its aim and purpose.

Argumentation theory

Argumentation theory is a field of study that asks critical questions about eristic arguments and the other types of dialogue.



Schopenhauer, Arthur. Eristische Dialektik,1830.

External links

* Arthur Schopenhauer's Eristische Dialektik:
** [ German and English version of Eristische Dialektik]
** [ German version of Eristische Dialektik]

ee also

*The Art of Being Right
*Logical fallacy
* [ Eristische Dialektik]
* Eris (mythology)

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  • eristic — ERÍSTIC, Ă, eristici, ce, adj., subst. 1. adj. Care aparţine eristicii, referitor la eristică. ♢ Şcoala eristică = nume dat şcolii filozofice din Megara, datorită înclinării ei spre controverse. 2. s.f. Artă a disputei, a controversei, care… …   Dicționar Român

  • Eristic — E*ris tic, Eristical E*ris tic*al, a. [Gr. ?, fr. ? to strive, wrangle, ? strife.] Controversial. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] A specimen of admirable special pleading in the court of eristic logic. Coleridge. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • eristic — [er is′tik] adj. [Gr eristikos < erizein, to strive, dispute < eris, strife: see ERIS] of or provoking controversy or given to sophistical argument and specious reasoning n. 1. eristic discourse or argument 2. a person who engages in such… …   English World dictionary

  • eristic — index argumentative, controversial, debatable, disputable, litigious, polemic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • eristic — I. adjective also eristical Etymology: Greek eristikos fond of wrangling, from erizein to wrangle, from eris strife Date: 1637 characterized by disputatious and often subtle and specious reasoning • eristically adverb II. noun Date: 1659 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • eristic — eristically, adv. /e ris tik/, adj. 1. Also, eristical. pertaining to controversy or disputation; controversial. n. 2. a person who engages in disputation; controversialist. 3. the art of disputation. [1630 40; < Gk eristikós, equiv. to erist(ós) …   Universalium

  • eristic — 1. adjective Of something or someone provoking strife, controversy or discord. 2. noun a) One who makes specious arguments; one who is is disputatious. b) A type of …   Wiktionary

  • eristic — (Gk., conflict) Reasoning that aims not at truth but at victory over an opponent or at making a weaker position prevail …   Philosophy dictionary

  • eristic — (Roget s Thesaurus II) adjective Given to arguing: argumentative, combative, contentious, disputatious, litigious, polemic, polemical, quarrelsome, scrappy. See CONFLICT …   English dictionary for students

  • eristic — adj. pertaining to controversy or argument n. art of logical disputation; person who likes to dispute; controversialist …   English contemporary dictionary

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