As we have noted, the caustic nature of Adversus pseudodialecticos has led many to conclude that Vives rejected scholastic dialectic in its entirety. To confirm that conclusion scholars often cite De causis corruptarum artium, the first seven books of De disciplinis, where Vives argues that faulty dialectical practice is the primary cause of corruption in the arts. Since scholastics were the leading dialecticians of the day, they infer that Vives’s rejection of scholastic dialectic was both total and final. Despite its initial plausibility, this inference would be hasty. The reputation of Vives as the ultimate victor in the humanist-scholastic debates (a public image promoted by More and Erasmus) is rendered suspect by Vives’s own principles. He says that truth-and not forensic prowess-should guide our judgment on any subject. Contentious combat conceals the truth that is available to everyone.4 It is nonetheless surprising that Vives continues in De causis corruptarum artium the same pattern of fallacious reasoning and derision
1 Vives tr. Matheeussen et al., 1987: Vol. 1. 2 Vives tr. Watson 1913.