Aristotle on Arbitration, Forgiveness and Rational Dialogue

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This chapter will discuss whether Aristotle’s analogy between philosophical argumentation and arbitration is practically clarifying. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle solves theoretical disputes about ethical issues through a compromise-seeking dialogue resembling those carried out by legal arbitrators when resolving legal disputes between citizens. In several of his texts, Aristotle draws an explicit parallel between the philosopher and the arbitrator: they both act impartially in cross-examining the different positions of the parties, assessing the validity of their arguments, and determining how true or truthful the positions and the parties are. Both arbitration and philosophical argumentation promote equity by trying to find a reasonable compromise and unearthing the causes of the parties’ conflict. For Aristotle, correct evaluation of what is equitable requires practical wisdom and compassion. In conclusion, it is argued that Aristotle guides philosophers to emulate arbitrators in resolving disputes, forgiving human weaknesses, and searching for shared understanding rather than declaring winners or losers.

Titel på värdpublikationLaw and Philosophy Library
RedaktörerLiesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer, Nuno M.M.S. Coelho
Antal sidor18
ISBN (tryckt)978-3-031-45484-4
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-3-031-45485-1
StatusPublicerad - 2023
MoE-publikationstypA3 Del av bok eller annan forskningsbok


NamnLaw and Philosophy Library
ISSN (tryckt)1572-4395
ISSN (elektroniskt)2215-0315

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Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.


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