Aristotelian Dialectic, Medieval Jadal, and Medieval Scholastic Disputation

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Mohammad Syifa Amin Widigdo


dialectic, jadal, Aristotle, scholastic, certainty, peirastic, ghalabat al-zann


Although Greek dialectic has an influence on both Christian and Muslim scholarships in terms of structuring the argumentation, this article argues that each employs the dialectic to serve their own purposes. If the Greek dialectic aims to defeat an opponent by showing logical contradictions, Christian scholarship claims to use the dialectic to search for the truth, and Muslim literature employs it to arrive at a level of certainty in knowledge (either qaṭʿī or ghalabat al-ẓann). As a result, this article further argues, Greek dialectic  in both Christian and Muslim contexts undergoes some modifications. In the Christian context, dialectic serves a didactical purpose, which is to find the truth that resides in the mind of the teacher. In Islamic context, Greek dialectic is modified and employed to find  epistemological (qaṭʿī) or psychological (ghalabat al-ẓann) certainty in religious knowledge.

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