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Perelman, Chaim


PERELMAN, CHAIM (1912–1984), Belgian philosopher. Perelman, who was born in Warsaw, Poland, became professor of logic and metaphysics at the Université Libre in Brussels in 1944. He was also dean of the faculty of philosophy and letters and director of the Ecoles des Sciences de l'Education. Many of his early writings dealt with mathematical logic. In later years he was especially concerned with the concept of justice and with forms of discursive reasoning other than deductive reasoning.

A full statement of his theory of argument is presented in the two-volume Traité de l'Argumentation (1958), published jointly with Mme. L. Olbrechts-Tyteca. Some of his other major works are De l'Arbitraire dans la Connaissance (1933), De la Justice (1945), Justice et Raison (1963), and Rhétorique et Philosophie (1952). He published numerous articles in philosophical journals. Perelman was secretary-general of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie, president of the Société Belge de Philosophie and of the Société Belge de Logique et Philosophie des Sciences. He was a member of the board of governors of the Hebrew University, and the secretary-general of the Belgian Friends of the Hebrew University. Justice, Law and Argument (essays) and The Realm of Rhetoric appeared in English translation in 1980.

[Myriam M. Malinovich]

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