The Democratization of Fallacies
The contemporary theories on fallacies seem not to take into account an important distinction between two parallel approaches linked with two historical streams focusing on different pragmatic aspects of the production of a fallacy. The first can be said Ancient because it is a legacy from Antiquity: according to this scenario, a fallacy is produced by a sophist who tries to trap a victim. This is not the case with the second approach, the Modern one, for which a fallacy is not intentional: now, the mistake comes in the foreground and can be committed by anybody. A consequence is a downgrading of the role of the Ancient sophist and of his skill. Perhaps this second approach did not begin with Port-Royal’s Logic, yet this book is a major milestone in its emergence. The paper shows that its attitude towards fallacies is new, that it is a consequence of some fundamental presuppositions of the book and that its modernity can be seen in the introduction of new fallacies and in the very way they are presented in the book.