The Aristotelian concept of magnitude (megethos) can expand our understanding of how abundant information accumulates in ways that expand beyond epistemic registers, creating a sense of coherence. This sense of coherence, in turn, is more of an aesthetic effect than the result of epistemic validity drawn from that evidentiary abundance. In this article, I explore two different examples of archival magnitude: one is the fine-grained enormity of conspiracy discourse and the second is the large-scale quantities that power big data. These examples of archival magnitude are simply two narratives through which to explore the aesthetic and rhetorical operation of megethos. By redefining discourses that call on magnitude—the power of more—as aesthetic discourse, we may also find that the most fitting response is likewise an aesthetic one.
For over 40 years, Philosophy and Rhetoric has published some of the most influential articles on relations between philosophy and rhetoric. Topics include the connections between logic and rhetoric, the philosophical aspects of argumentation (including argumentation in philosophy itself), philosophical views on the nature of rhetoric among historical figures and during historical periods, philosophical analyses of the relation to rhetoric of other areas of human culture and thought, and psychological and sociological studies of rhetoric with a strong philosophical emphasis.
Part of the Pennsylvania State University and a division of the Penn State University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, Penn State University Press serves the University community, the citizens of Pennsylvania, and scholars worldwide by advancing scholarly communication in the core liberal arts disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. The Press unites with alumni, friends, faculty, and staff to chronicle the University's life and history. And as part of a land-grant and state-supported institution, the Press develops both scholarly and popular publications about Pennsylvania, all designed to foster a better understanding of the state's history, culture, and environment.