Sophistical Refutations (Greek: Σοφιστικοὶ Ἔλεγχοι, romanizedSophistikoi Elenchoi; Latin: De Sophisticis Elenchis) is a text in Aristotle's Organon in which he identified thirteen fallacies.[note 1] According to Aristotle, this is the first work to treat the subject of deductive reasoning in ancient Greece (Soph. Ref., 34, 183b34 ff.).


On Sophistical Refutations[1][2] consists of 34 chapters. The book naturally falls in two parts: chapters concerned with tactics for the Questioner (3–8 and 12–15) and chapters concerned with tactics for the Answerer (16–32). Besides, there is an introduction (1–2), an interlude (9–11), and a conclusion (33–34).[3]

Fallacies identified

The fallacies Aristotle identifies in Chapter 4 (formal fallacies) and 5 (informal fallacies) of this book are the following:

Fallacies in the language or formal fallacies (in dictionem)
  1. Equivocation
  2. Amphibology
  3. Composition
  4. Division
  5. Accent
  6. Figure of speech or form of expression
Fallacies not in the language or informal fallacies (extra dictionem)
  1. Accident
  2. Secundum quid
  3. Irrelevant conclusion
  4. Begging the question
  5. False cause
  6. Affirming the consequent
  7. Fallacy of many questions


  1. ^ Sometimes listed as twelve.


  1. ^ Aristotle; Translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge. "On Sophistical Refutations". Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  2. ^ Edward N. Zalta, ed. (18 March 2000). "Aristotle's Logic, < Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy>". Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  3. ^ Krabbe, E.C.W. "Aristotle's On Sophistical Refutations. Topoi 31, 243–248 (2012)". doi:10.1007/s11245-012-9124-0. S2CID 170350834. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)