Aristotle The Art of Rhetoric. 6 how to put the judge into a given frame of mind. About the orator's proper modes of persuasion they have nothing to tell us;. thymemes, which are the substance of rhetorical persuasion, but deal mainly with . Aristotle arts and sciences. But rhetoric we look upon as the power of ob-. the latter to beauty (cveTreta), of style. The birthplace of Rhetoric as an art was the island of Sicily. According to Cicero," Aristotle, no doubt in his lost history ofthe.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Indonesian|
|Genre:||Science & Research|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Registration Required]|
Aristotle's Art of Rhetoric | 𝗥𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗣𝗗𝗙 on ResearchGate | Aristotle's Art of Rhetoric | Aristotle's art of rhetoric;greek rhetoric;modes of persuasion;character. Aristotle's Rhetoric, Spring ii deliberate, for which there are no arts ( Rhetoric a). What exactly is the nature of the reasoning rhetoric practices in this. Rhetoric by Aristotle, part of the Internet Classics Archive.
In this context the dialectical competence is clearly responsible for the logical and argumentative aspect of persuasion. It is important to note here that the expertise that is achieved in moral psychology is applied to purposes which are not connected with the internal goals of moral philosophy — we do not apply this expertise in order to understand what it means for the character to be good or bad or to distinguish between appropriate and inap- propriate emotional responses.
This is especially important in cases where there is no exact knowledge but rather room for doubt. But how does the speaker manage to appear as a credible person? But if he displays all of them, Aristotle concludes, it cannot rationally be doubted that his suggestions are credible.
It takes no more than 13 Bekker-lines to explain the underlying theory. The chapters on various types of character Rhet II. The dialectical approach to rhetoric must be supplemented by the moral-psychological one, since conclusiveness of argument is not the only factor that Q influences the judgment of the public audience.
And indeed, major parts of the Rhetoric are dedicated to the definition of such concepts and to listing those things that are said to be just, good, noble, etc. And these are not the only concepts that are relevant in the public speech: Since happiness, for example, is regularly regarded as the highest good, the orator is also expected to know what happiness consists in and which are the things that contribute to happiness, and, to take another example, since virtue is regarded as noble and praiseworthy, the orator should know what virtue consists in and which are the most appreciated virtues, etc.
Therefore it is not entirely clear whether Aristotle wanted to entrust the dialectician or the ethical-political philosopher with the selection of the relevant concepts and propo- sitions. There are, however, some indications that we should not expect a clear-cut distinction. Accidental selection of principles Since for Aristotle dialectic is a procedure for finding arguments for and against any and all theses, any commitment to certain particular premises and positions is foreign to dialectic as such.
Yet it still makes pragmatic sense for the dialectician to be informed about more or less successful premises. Now, if the dialectician is especially skilled in sorting through these accepted opinions according to their prospective success, then some- thing remarkable occurs, for among the most successful dialectical premises will be found some that are also useful for scientific demonstration.
But in reaching scientific principles the dialectician is no longer practicing dialectic in the strict sense, but rather has overstepped these bounds and entered into the individual disciplines of the prin- ciples thus grasped Rhet I. But in any case, principles must be true propositions, so that Aristotle seems to expect that some of the selected endoxa will happen to be true sentences or even principles that are by no means opposed to his own philosophical convictions.
Ambiguity of provisional definition and general conviction The rhetorician has to be equipped with opinions that are accepted by the majority of people in order to mention these opinions or to build rhetorical proofs around them. For his purpose, generally accepted koina opinions are more effective than first prin- ciples, since the latter cannot do the same job if they are not generally known or gener- ally accepted. This seems to be the reason why the first book of the Rhetoric gives us lists of accepted opinions of what is good, just, pleasant, etc.
The second book of the Rhetoric starts with a different program: from chapter 2 to chapter 11 it lists definitions of various emotions. He seems to assert that the definitions of the various emotions will have the same status as the sentences or definitions about what is good, just, pleasant, etc. This is an interesting develop- ment, since the role of the emotions is not really compatible with what is going on in the first book: as we said, Aristotle gives us generally accepted sentences in the first book of the Rhetoric because it is important for the speaker to know what people think about the good, the just, the pleasant, etc.
But the situation is different with the use of the emotions: in order to arouse the emotions of the audience the speaker has to know what the emotions are like and not what people think they are like: even a broadly accepted sentence can be false, but with a false understanding of the nature of a certain emotion we will not succeed in arousing this particular emotion. Conversely we can succeed in arousing a certain emotion on the basis of an appropriate definition, even if the audience addressed is completely ignorant of this definition.
It seems then that we have at least two different uses of endoxa within the Rhetoric: In the first use the speaker needs them as premises of his arguments, since a certain subset of endoxa, the opinions that are commonly accepted the koina , represent the convictions of the audience; in the other use we are obviously faced with definitions that are endoxa in the sense that they do not represent the full and definite scientific definition.
In this context the respective definitions are provisionally adopted and contain, most probably, something that Aristotle would regard as an appropriate description of the emotion in question; but since in the context of rhetoric is not the right place to argue for those definitions, they are introduced without any background theory.
Furthermore, it is not possible to assign some endoxa to the first, and some others to the second kind of use, because Aristotle sometimes ascribes different applications to one and the same list of endoxa, e. Confusion of accepted definitions and accounts of accepted views As we have seen, the Rhetoric is interested in endoxa partly because the rhetorician has to engage the convictions of the audience. Therefore, what we expect to find in the corresponding chapters of the Rhetoric are catalogues of commonly held opinions.
Also, the chapters that present the lists of endoxa are not just collec- tions or catalogues; on the contrary, some of them are deductively structured insofar as they articulate consequences that can be derived from an initial definition of the respective concept. Furthermore, there are some examples which were most probably never meant as commonly accepted convictions: when it comes to the definition of pleasure in chapter I.
Therefore it is much more plausible to assume that here we are dealing with a definition borrowed from a context of philosophical discussion and found suitable as the background to certain kinds of pleasure that seem to have been especially popular, i. The relevant difference would be that between a commonly accepted definition of pleasure and a definition of commonly appreciated pleasures; although the latter definition itself is not commonly known and accepted, the concepts of restoration and nature, which are used in this definition, can be used for some unproblematic and widespread assumptions about the nature of pleasures, for example, that habit is pleasant, because what becomes habitual is almost like nature, that necessities are unpleasant, etc.
In light of these indications we will have to draw a more differentiated picture of endoxa in the Rhetoric: First, the fact that the definitions in the first book of the Rhetoric are presented as endoxa and not as true and primary principles does not imply that they are always mistaken; very often the difference between endoxa and scientific or philo- sophical sentences just lies in the degree of precision; also, the well-considered, philo- sophical definitions have to cover the entire phenomenon, while non-refined endoxa are typically restricted to certain parts of the phenomenon; for example, when defining eudaimonia in the Rhetoric Aristotle gives us four unconnected definitions, each repre- senting different aspects of eudaimonia virtue, self-sufficiency, pleasure, external goods.
Third, most of the definitions of ethical concepts given in the Rhetoric are not meant as quotations of actually stated opinions. This again is the reason why we often find his own vocabulary in the endoxic definitions. Fourth, we have to keep in mind that in some cases the endoxic definitions oscillate between the roles of provisional definition and generally accepted conviction. In addition, the use of the three technical means of persuasion depends in various ways on the knowledge of certain endoxa.
But once we proceed to the third book of the same work we find two further approaches which are entirely independent from the previous ones and are affiliated with quite different disciplines: In chapters 1—12 of the third book Aristotle discusses lexis, i. Where do these additional approaches come from and how do they fit into the dialectical and political approaches to rhetoric?
As far as diction, lexis, is concerned, Aristotle seems to think that it is a topic that originally derives from literature Rhet III. Ultimately, the discussion of diction or style in the Poetics consists in the distinctions between various kinds of words, such as ordi- nary word, strange word, ornamental word epitheton , and metaphor, together with some considerations as to how these various kinds of words are to be deployed in the language of tragedy.
The Poetics itself at one point refers to a trea- tise about rhetoric Poetics a35 , which apparently had not yet included any treatment of lexis; hence it is tempting to think that a discussion of lexis was not intended at the time that the basic core of the Rhetoric I and II was composed and that chapters III.
At first glance, this seems to be a clear-cut distinction, which allows us to regard the discussion of lexis as complemen- tary to the topic of the first two books. Even so he eventually became aware of the fact that the selection of words by which we express one and the same argument could have an impact on persuasiveness, because it directly affects the clarity of what we say. The conventional approach In chapters III. This is particularly true in view of the fact that Pre-Aristotelian rhetoric used to organize the art of rhetoric in accor- dance with the several parts of a speech and their ordering, while Aristotle had explic- itly replaced this traditional structure of the rhetorical art by his system of the three technical means of persuasion.
Nevertheless, the end of the second and the beginning of the third book of his Rhetoric tries to accommodate the respective chapters with the idea that the discussion of parts and their order taxis is what naturally follows the treatment of dianoia and the treatment of lexis.
That this is more of an ad-hoc- systematization than the execution of a logically structured plan becomes clear when we consider that the chapters on taxis not only distinguish various parts but also repeat methods that have already been treated in the previous books. Further, the terminology of the chapters on taxis is not always in line with the rest of the Rhetoric.
And finally, it is remarkable that Aristotle adopts a four-part-model of speech prologue — statement of the case — proof of the case — epilogue though he had stressed that there are only two necessary parts statement and proof of the case , neither of which corresponds to any of the traditional speech parts.
We can speculate, then, not without plau- sibility, that the last chapters III. Anyhow, it is c But why should we assume that Aristotle could have contributed to a project whose shortcomings he clearly saw?
If Aristotle had composed collections of previous arts of rhetoric, including those which were focused on the parts of the speech, it is not difficult to imagine that he took one of these schemes, perhaps the one he regarded as the least bad, in order to illustrate how he himself would make use of the various parts of a speech.
Another part of the explanation is probably this: Although he did not think that the division of speeches into parts and subparts is a preferable approach to the topic of per- suasion, he came to acknowledge that a certain structure of the speech can even support an argumentatively ordered art of persuasion, as for example when the preamble is used to clarify the subject-matter of the speech Rhet III.
Since this discussion sometimes suffers from a significant ambiguity we should distin- guish from the very beginning between two senses of what it means to be a goal or end. To define the good and flourishing state of something in accordance with its own inherent measures we have to refer to this ergon. In the case of productive arts or crafts the ergon is a product which, once it has been generated, exists alongside the exercise of the respective crafts.
In these cases it is the quality of the product which defines the good or excellent exercise of the respective craft. Here the use or usefulness of the craft in question is defined by its ergon.
In other cases there are erga which define the inherent standard of the respective thing or capacity, but do not determine or restrict the possible uses. Dialectic and rhetoric are in this latter class: here, Aristotle carefully distinguishes between the ergon, which defines the nature of these disciplines, from its various uses, i.
For example, the internal end of dialectic is to provide a method which enables us to argue for or against any given proposition Topics I. But this does not yet determine what we use the Q c The same distinction between internal and external ends can be found in rhetoric.
In several passages Rhet. I 1 b10ff, I 2 b26—8, et al. Aristotle explicitly refers to the ergon of rhetoric, and these passages coincide in saying that the internal end of rhetoric is to see or to discern what is persuasive and what is not. We are experts in rhetoric if we succeed in detecting what is potentially persuasive in any given case.
Obviously, such an expertise does not by itself restrict the range of possible uses. Whatever uses we may contrive for rhetoric, it is clear, then, that they are not imposed by the nature of the rhetorical art, which is neutral with respect to possible uses. Given that Aristotelian rhetoric is based on dialectic see above , this is a natural consequence, since it is even one of the benefits of dialectic that it helps us argue for both sides of an opposition.
For the dialectician it makes no difference whether he argues for or against a given thesis. Once we regard rhetoric as part of dialectic the same must be true of rhetoric and, indeed, Aristotle makes it clear that dialectic and rhetoric are equally concerned with both sides of an opposition Rhet I. Ultimately, he says, rhetoric aims at the judgment krisis that the audience is going to make, i.
Three kinds of objection could still be raised against this neutrality-thesis: First possible objection In an oft-quoted passage from the first chapter of the Rhetoric Aristotle says that one should not use rhetoric for bad purposes Rhet I. One could be inclined to think that this remark expresses something like a moral com- mitment on the part of the Aristotelian rhetorician.
However, this is not exactly what the respective passage expresses: Listing the benefits of rhetoric, Aristotle says that rhetoric allows us, just as dialectic does, to argue for both sides of an opposition. Since one could think that this feature is beneficial only for those who argue for the opposite of what is true, good and just, Aristotle hastens to explain what the respective feature consists in, exactly: Even if we do not actually attempt to argue for opposite states of affairs, the capacity to detect the persuasive aspects of both sides is important, since it represents an essential aspect of the full competence of discerning what is persuasive and what is not.
And this epistemic advantage, again, can be of strategic use, for example, when one has to react to fallacious or deceptive arguments of the opponents. Hence, the remark that we should not use rhetoric for bad purposes can be seen as a comment on the external ends that Aristotle himself finds to be preferable.
But by no means does it attempt to deny the possibility of misuse. On the contrary, the passage reaffirms that rhetoric, as all goods except virtue , can be used for good as well as bad purposes, i. How is it possible for the orator to bring the audience to a certain emotion?
Aristotle's technique essentially rests on the knowledge of the definition of every significant emotion. According to such a definition, someone who believes that he has suffered a slight from a person who is not entitled to do so, etc. If we take such a definition for granted, it is possible to deduce circumstances in which a person will most probably be angry; for example, we can deduce i in what state of mind people are angry and ii against whom they are angry and iii for what sorts of reason.
Aristotle deduces these three factors for several emotions in the chapters II. With this equipment, the orator will be able, for example, to highlight such characteristics of a case as are likely to provoke anger in the audience.
In comparison with the tricks of former rhetoricians, this method of arousing emotions has a striking advantage: The orator who wants to arouse emotions must not even speak outside the subject; it is sufficient to detect aspects of a given subject that are causally connected with the intended emotion.
For Aristotle, there are two species of arguments: A deduction sullogismos is an argument in which, certain things having been supposed, something different from the suppositions results of necessity through them Topics I.
The inductive argument in rhetoric is the example paradeigma ; unlike other inductive arguments, it does not proceed from many particular cases to one universal case, but from one particular to a similar particular if both particulars fall under the same genus Rhet. At first glance, this seems to be inconsistent, since a non-necessary inference is no longer a deduction.
If the former interpretation is true, then Aristotle concedes in the very definition of the enthymeme that some enthymemes are not deductive. But if the latter interpretation which has a parallel in An. For Aristotle, an enthymeme is what has the function of a proof or demonstration in the domain of public speech, since a demonstration is a kind of sullogismos and the enthymeme is said to be a sullogismos too. In general, Aristotle regards deductive arguments as a set of sentences in which some sentences are premises and one is the conclusion, and the inference from the premises to the conclusion is guaranteed by the premises alone.
Since enthymemes in the proper sense are expected to be deductive arguments, the minimal requirement for the formulation of enthymemes is that they have to display the premise-conclusion structure of deductive arguments. This is why enthymemes have to include a statement as well as a kind of reason for the given statement.
Examples of the former, conditional type are: The reason why the enthymeme, as the rhetorical kind of proof or demonstration, should be regarded as central to the rhetorical process of persuasion is that we are most easily persuaded when we think that something has been demonstrated.
Hence, the basic idea of a rhetorical demonstration seems to be this: In order to make a target group believe that q , the orator must first select a sentence p or some sentences p 1 … p n that are already accepted by the target group; secondly he has to show that q can be derived from p or p 1 … p n , using p or p 1 … p n as premises. Given that the target persons form their beliefs in accordance with rational standards, they will accept q as soon as they understand that q can be demonstrated on the basis of their own opinions.
Consequently, the construction of enthymemes is primarily a matter of deducing from accepted opinions endoxa.
Of course, it is also possible to use premises that are not commonly accepted by themselves, but can be derived from commonly accepted opinions; other premises are only accepted since the speaker is held to be credible; still other enthymemes are built from signs: That a deduction is made from accepted opinions—as opposed to deductions from first and true sentences or principles—is the defining feature of dialectical argumentation in the Aristotelian sense.
Thus, the formulation of enthymemes is a matter of dialectic, and the dialectician has the competence that is needed for the construction of enthymemes. Nevertheless, this expectation is somehow misled: However, in the rhetorical context there are two factors that the dialectician has to keep in mind if she wants to become a rhetorician too, and if the dialectical argument is to become a successful enthymeme.
First, the typical subjects of public speech do not—as the subject of dialectic and theoretical philosophy—belong to the things that are necessarily the case, but are among those things that are the goal of practical deliberation and can also be otherwise.
Second, as opposed to well-trained dialecticians the audience of public speech is characterized by an intellectual insufficiency; above all, the members of a jury or assembly are not accustomed to following a longer chain of inferences. Therefore enthymemes must not be as precise as a scientific demonstration and should be shorter than ordinary dialectical arguments.
This, however, is not to say that the enthymeme is defined by incompleteness and brevity. Rather, it is a sign of a well-executed enthymeme that the content and the number of its premises are adjusted to the intellectual capacities of the public audience; but even an enthymeme that failed to incorporate these qualities would still be enthymeme.
In a well known passage Rhet. Properly understood, both passages are about the selection of appropriate premises, not about logical incompleteness. The remark that enthymemes often have few or less premises concludes the discussion of two possible mistakes the orator could make Rhet. One can draw conclusions from things that have previously been deduced or from things that have not been deduced yet.
The latter method is unpersuasive, for the premises are not accepted, nor have they been introduced. The former method is problematic, too: Arguments with several deductive steps are common in dialectical practice, but one cannot expect the audience of a public speech to follow such long arguments. This is why Aristotle says that the enthymeme is and should be from fewer premises.
Just as there is a difference between real and apparent or fallacious deductions in dialectic, we have to distinguish between real and apparent or fallacious enthymemes in rhetoric.
The topoi for real enthymemes are given in chapter II. The fallacious enthymeme pretends to include a valid deduction, while it actually rests on a fallacious inference. Note that neither classification interferes with the idea that premises have to be accepted opinions: However, it is not clear whether this is meant to be an exhaustive typology. When using a sign-argument or sign-enthymeme we do not try to explain a given fact; we just indicate that something exists or is the case: But there are several types of sign-arguments too; Aristotle offers the following examples:.
Sign-arguments of type i and iii can always be refuted, even if the premises are true; that is to say that they do not include a valid deduction sullogismos ; Aristotle calls them asullogistos non-deductive. Sign-arguments of type ii can never be refuted if the premise is true, since, for example, it is not possible that someone has fever without being ill, or that someone has milk without having given birth, etc. Now, if some sign-enthymemes are valid deductions and some are not, it is tempting to ask whether Aristotle regarded the non-necessary sign-enthymemes as apparent or fallacious arguments.
However, there seems to be a more attractive reading: We accept a fallacious argument only if we are deceived about its logical form. So it seems as if Aristotle didn't regard all non-necessary sign-arguments as fallacious or deceptive; but even if this is true, it is difficult for Aristotle to determine the sense in which non-necessary sign-enthymemes are valid arguments, since he is bound to the alternative of deduction and induction, and neither class seems appropriate for non-necessary sign-arguments.
Cicero, Brutus , 46—48 and Isocrates. Aristotle's book Topics lists some hundred topoi for the construction of dialectical arguments.
These lists of topoi form the core of the method by which the dialectician should be able to formulate deductions on any problem that could be proposed.
Most of the instructions that the Rhetoric gives for the composition of enthymemes are also organized as lists of topoi ; especially the first book of the Rhetoric essentially consists of topoi concerning the subjects of the three species of public speech. It is striking that the work that is almost exclusively dedicated to the collection of topoi , the book Topics , does not even make an attempt to define the concept of topos. At any rate the Rhetoric gives a sort of defining characterization: According to this definition, the topos is a general argumentative form or pattern, and the concrete arguments are instantiations of the general topos.
That the topos is a general instruction from which several arguments can be derived, is crucial for Aristotle's understanding of an artful method of argumentation; for a teacher of rhetoric who makes his pupils learn ready samples of arguments would not impart the art itself to them, but only the products of this art, just as if someone pretending to teach the art of shoe-making only gave samples of already made shoes to his pupils see Sophistical Refutations b36ff.
By recalling the houses along the street we can also remember the associated items. In Topics b28—32, Aristotle seems to allude to this technique: At least within the system of the book Topics , every given problem must be analyzed in terms of some formal criteria: Does the predicate of the sentence in question ascribe a genus or a definition or peculiar or accidental properties to the subject?
Does the sentence express a sort of opposition, either contradiction or contrariety, etc.? Does the sentence express that something is more or less the case? Does it maintain identity or diversity? Are the words used linguistically derived from words that are part of an accepted premise? Depending on such formal criteria of the analyzed sentence one has to refer to a fitting topos.
For this reason, the succession of topoi in the book Topics is organized in accordance with their salient formal criteria; and this, again, makes a further mnemotechnique superfluous.
More or less the same is true of the Rhetoric —except that most of its topoi are structured by material and not by formal criteria, as we shall see in section 7. A typical Aristotelian topos runs as follows: Other topoi often include the discussion of iv examples; still other topoi suggest v how to apply the given schemes. Often Aristotle is very brief and leaves it to the reader to add the missing elements.
In a nutshell, the function of a topos can be explained as follows. First of all, one has to select an apt topos for a given conclusion. The conclusion is either a thesis of our opponent that we want to refute, or our own assertion we want to establish or defend.
Accordingly, there are two uses of topoi: Most topoi are selected by certain formal features of the given conclusion; if, for example, the conclusion maintains a definition, we have to select our topos from a list of topoi pertaining to definitions, etc. Once we have selected a topos that is appropriate for a given conclusion, the topos can be used to construe a premise from which the given conclusion can be derived. If the construed premise is accepted, either by the opponent in a dialectical debate or by the audience in public speech, we can draw the intended conclusion.
It could be either, as some say, the premise of a propositional scheme such as the modus ponens, or, as others assume, as the conditional premise of a hypothetical syllogism. Aristotle himself does not favor one of these interpretations explicitly. But even if he regarded the topoi as additional premises in a dialectical or rhetorical argument, it is beyond any doubt that he did not use them as premises that must be explicitly mentioned or even approved by the opponent or audience. This topic was not announced until the final passage of Rhet.
II, so that most scholars have come to think of this section as a more or less self-contained treatise. The insertion of this treatise into the Rhetoric is motivated by the claim that, while Rhet. In the course of Rhet. After an initial exploration of the field of delivery and style III. The following chapters III. Chapters III. These are the topics of the rhythmical shaping of prose style and of periodic and non-periodic flow of speech. Again metaphors are shown to play a crucial role for that purpose, so that the topic of metaphor is taken up again and deepened by extended lists of examples.
The philosophical core of Aristotle's treatise on style in Rhet. Originally the discussion of style belongs to the art of poetry rather than to rhetoric; the poets were the first, as Aristotle observes, to give an impulse for the study of style.
Nevertheless he admits that questions of style or, more precisely, of different ways to formulate the same subject, may have an impact on the degree of clarity: Clarity again matters for comprehension and comprehensibility contributes to persuasiveness. In prose speeches, the good formulation of a state of affairs must therefore be a clear one. However, saying this is not yet enough to account for the best or excellent prose style, since clear linguistic expressions tend to be banal or flat, while good style should avoid such banality.
If the language becomes too banal it will not be able to attract the attention of the audience. The orator can avoid this tendency of banality by the use of dignified or elevated expressions and in general by all formulations that deviate from common usage.
On the one hand, uncommon vocabulary has the advantage of evoking the curiosity of an audience. On the other hand the use of such elevated vocabulary bears a serious risk: Whenever the orator makes excessive use of it, the speech might become unclear, thus failing to meet the default requirement of prose speech, namely clarity.
Moreover, if the vocabulary becomes too sublime or dignified in relation to prose's subject matter Aristotle assumes it is mostly everyday affairs , the audience will notice that the orator uses his words with a certain intention and will become suspicious about the orator and his intentions. Hitting upon the right wording is therefore a matter of being clear, but not too banal; In trying not to be too banal, one must use uncommon, dignified words and phrases, but one must be careful not to use them excessively or inappropriately in relation to prose style and the typical subject matter of prose speeches.
Bringing all these considerations together Aristotle defines the good prose style, i. The good style is clear in a way that is neither too banal nor too dignified, but appropriate in proportion to the subject matter of prose speech. In this respect the definition of stylistic virtue follows the same scheme as the definition of ethical virtues in Aristotle's ethical writings, insofar as both the stylistic virtue and the virtue of character are defined in terms of a mean that lies between two opposed excesses.
If the virtue of style is defined as a mean between the banality involving form of clarity and overly dignified and hence inappropriate speech, it is with good reason that Aristotle speaks of only one virtue of prose style, and not of clarity, ornament by dignified expressions and appropriateness as three distinct virtues of style. However, from the times of Cicero and Quintilianus on, these three, along with the correctness of Greek or Latin, became the canonical four virtues of speech virtutes dicendi.
Reading Aristotle through the spectacles of the Roman art of rhetoric, scholars often try to identify two, three or four virtues of style in his Rhetoric.
Finally, if the virtue of style is about finding a balance between banal clarity, which is dull, and attractive dignity, which is inappropriate in public speeches, how can the orator manage to control the different degrees of clarity and dignity? For this purpose Aristotle equips the orator with a classification of words more or less the same classification can also be found in Poetics chapter Most examples that Aristotle gives of this latter class are taken from the different Greek dialects, and most examples of this type are in turn taken from the language of the Homeric epos.
Further classes are defined by metaphors and by several expressions that are somehow altered or modified, e. Sometimes Aristotle also uses the term kosmos under which he collects all epithets and otherwise ornamental expressions. These different types of words differ in accordance with their familiarity. The best established words, the kuria , make their subject clear, but do not excite the audience's curiosity, whereas all other types of words are not established, and hence have the sort of attraction that alien or foreign things used to have.
Since remote things are admirable thaumaston and the admirable is pleasant, Aristotle says, one should make the speech admirable and pleasant by the use of such unfamiliar words. However one has to be careful not to use inappropriately dignified or poetic words in prose speech.
Thus the virtue of style is accomplished by the selection and balanced use of these various types of words: Fundamental for prose speech is the use of usual and therefore clear words. In order to make the speech pleasant and dignified and in order to avoid banality the orator must make moderate use of non-familiar elements. Metaphor plays an important role for prose style, since metaphors contribute, as Aristotle says, clarity as well as the unfamiliar, surprising effect that avoids banality and tediousness.
These four types are exemplified as follows:. Most of the examples Aristotle offers for types i to iii would not be regarded as metaphors in the modern sense; rather they would fall under the headings of metonomy or synecdoche.
The examples offered for type iv are more like modern metaphors. Aristotle himself regards the metaphors of group iv , which are built from analogy, as the most important type of enthymemes. An analogy is given if the second term is to the first as the fourth to the third. Correspondingly, an analogous metaphor uses the fourth term for the second or the second for the fourth.
This principle can be illustrated by the following Aristotelian examples:. Examples a and b obey the optional instruction that metaphors can be qualified by adding the term to which the proper word is relative cp. In example c , there is no proper name for the thing that the metaphor refers to.
Metaphors are closely related to similes; but as opposed to the later tradition, Aristotle does not define the metaphor as an abbreviated simile, but, the other way around, the simile as a metaphor. The simile differs from the metaphor in the form of expression: While in the later tradition the use of metaphors has been seen as a matter of mere decoration, which has to delight the hearer, Aristotle stresses the cognitive function of metaphors.
Metaphors, he says, bring about learning Rhet. In order to understand a metaphor, the hearer has to find something common between the metaphor and the thing the metaphor refers to. Thus, a metaphor not only refers to a thing, but simultaneously describes the thing in a certain respect. This is why Aristotle says that the metaphor brings about learning: Aristotle Aristotle, General Topics: Rapp lmu. Works on Rhetoric 2.
The Agenda of the Rhetoric 3. Rhetoric as a Counterpart to Dialectic 4.
The Purpose of Rhetoric 4. The Three Means of Persuasion 6. The Enthymeme 6. The Topoi 7. How to Say Things with Words 8. The Agenda of the Rhetoric The structure of Rhet. Rhetoric as a Counterpart to Dialectic Aristotle stresses that rhetoric is closely related to dialectic. This analogy between rhetoric and dialectic can be substantiated by several common features of both disciplines: Rhetoric and dialectic are concerned with things that do not belong to a definite genus or are not the object of a specific science.
Rhetoric and dialectic rely on accepted sentences endoxa. Rhetoric and dialectic are not dependent on the principles of specific sciences. Rhetoric and dialectic are concerned with both sides of an opposition. Rhetoric and dialectic rely on the same theory of deduction and induction.
Rhetoric and dialectic similarly apply the so-called topoi. This is why there are also remarkable differences between the two disciplines: Dialectic can be applied to every object whatsoever, rhetoric is useful especially in practical and public matters.
Dialectic proceeds by questioning and answering, while rhetoric for the most part proceeds in continuous form. Dialectic is concerned with general questions, while rhetoric is concerned for the most part with particular topics i. Certain uses of dialectic apply qualified endoxa , i. Rhetoric must take into account that its target group has only restricted intellectual resources, whereas such concerns are totally absent from dialectic.
While dialectic tries to test the consistency of a set of sentences, rhetoric tries to achieve the persuasion of a given audience. Non-argumentative methods are absent from dialectic, while rhetoric uses non-argumentative means of persuasion.
The Three Means of Persuasion The systematical core of Aristotle's Rhetoric is the doctrine that there are three technical means of persuasion. Supplement on The Brevity of the Enthymeme 6.
But there are several types of sign-arguments too; Aristotle offers the following examples: Rhetoric I. Wise men are good, since Pittacus is good. This woman has a child, since she has milk. She is pregnant, since she is pale. Supplement on the Topoi of the Rhetoric 8. How to Say Things with Words Rhet. These four types are exemplified as follows: This principle can be illustrated by the following Aristotelian examples: Analogy Metaphor a The cup to Dionysus as shield to Ares.
Glossary of Selected Terms Accepted opinions: Bibliography Allen, James. Barnes, Jonathan. Berti ed. The Posterior Analytics. Bitzer, L. Burnyeat, Myles. The Logic of Persuasion. Furley and A.