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The Archelogos Method is a method of visually representing the logical relations between the philosophical theses which comprise a philosophical argument. The two main sections of the Analyses are the Arguments and Theses and the Alternative Interpretations. The first section registers the philosophical positions in the texts, and the arguments supporting them, where these are provided.
The aim is to represent visually the logical relation between philosophical theses and between philosophical arguments. Starting with the basic conclusion of the argument and advancing with 'because-statements' the user reaches the initial theses that lead to the particular argument, and sees the string of arguments unfolding on their screen.
The 'because-statements' are indented and the user can immediately perceive the support relation between theses, having the conclusion as the top statement and the supporting premises as the base below it:
Statement A (main conclusion):
Statement B (supporting statement A)
Statement D (supporting statement B)
Statement E (supporting statement B)
Statement C (supporting statement A)
The representation of philosophical arguments according to the Archelogos
method has the advantage of allowing the user to study the arguments at
different levels of justification.
The second part of the analysis, the Alternative Interpretations, is designed to capture received opinions in the history of the explanation of a passage regarding what that passage says. Unlike a collection of commentaries, or a monograph, here the area of focus is the passage rather than the theory of the ancient author. The primary interest of this section is to capture different contents ascribed to the passage under examination.
The Archelogos team has devised conventions for representing implicit premises, internal references, and types of arguments (infinite regress, reductio ad absurdum, circular arguments, quoted arguments, etc.). Also, the justification of the conclusion will be hidden from view on the screen, until it is brought to the fore.
The reason for this feature is that in this way the user may keep in view only the main conclusions of a passage or a work, without going into the detailed argumentation in them, but do so only at will where it is desired and to the degree that it is desired. For example, the user may decide to go only to a certain depth of justification of an argument, calling up the sub-arguments of so many levels below a top-conclusion, but not exhaust the whole justification of it. Thus a user may read a work or a chapter of a work only at the level of conclusions, or at the level of the important arguments, while avoiding the multitude of minute justifications of subordinate points, which often make the original text difficult to traverse.