Aristotle's "Rhetoric": Philosophical Essays

Aristotle's "Rhetoric": Philosophical Essays

David J. Furley
Alexander Nehamas
Copyright Date: 1994
Pages: 338
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x0rzp
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  • Book Info
    Aristotle's "Rhetoric": Philosophical Essays
    Book Description:

    In the field of philosophy, Plato's view of rhetoric as a potentially treacherous craft has long overshadowed Aristotle's view, which focuses on rhetoric as an independent discipline that relates in complex ways to dialectic and logic and to ethics and moral psychology. This volume, composed of essays by internationally renowned philosophers and classicists, provides the first extensive examination of Aristotle'sRhetoricand its subject matter in many years. One aim is to locate both Aristotle's treatise and its subject within the more general context of his philosophical treatment of other disciplines, including moral and political theory as well as poetics. The contributors also seek to illuminate the structure of Aristotle's own conception of rhetoric as presented in his treatise.

    The first section of the book, which deals with the arguments of rhetoric, contains essays by M. F. Burnyeat and Jacques Brunschwig. A section treating the status of the art of rhetoric features pieces by Eckart Schütrumpf, Jürgen Sprute, M. M. McCabe, and Glenn W. Most. Essays by John M. Cooper, Stephen Halliwell, and Jean-Louis Labarrière address topics related to rhetoric, ethics, and politics. The final section, on rhetoric and literary art, comprises essays by Alexander Nehamas and André Laks.

    Originally published in 1994.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7287-9
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
    D.J.F.
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    Alexander Nehamas

    It is a commonplace (though not quite in the sense the term has in this great treatise) to say that theRhetoricis one of Aristotle’s most neglected works. This is especially true in connection with the philosophical study of his writings. The XIIthSymposium Aristotelicum,which was held in Princeton in August of 1990, was intended to address this neglect and, ideally, to provide the basis for further study of theRhetoric.

    As a matter of fact, the Symposium was followed by another conference on theRhetoricin Helsinki in 1991, as well as by the publication of George...

  5. SECTION I: THE ARGUMENTS OF RHETORIC
    • ENTHYMEME: ARISTOTLE ON THE LOGIC OF PERSUASION
      (pp. 3-56)
      M. F. BURNYEAT

      Any modern logic book that bothers to mention enthymeme will say that an enthymeme is an abbreviated syllogism; that is, a categorical syllogism in which one of the premises or the conclusion is not stated but understood or held in mind (en thumōi), the mind orthumosin question being that of the speaker. The speaker does not express the whole of their reasoning but holds part of it back.*

      It is customary to distinguish three orders of enthymeme, one for each of the three parts of a syllogism which may be left unexpressed. By way of illustration, we may...

    • RHÉTORIQUE ET DIALECTIQUE, RHÉTORIQUE ET TOPIQUES
      (pp. 57-96)
      JACQUES BRUNSCHWIG

      Il suffit de lire les célèbres premières lignes de laRhétoriquepour savoir qu’Aristote, au moins à un certain moment de sa carrire, à voulu présenter la rhetorique et la dialectique comme deux “arts,” deuxtekhnai,qui se ressem blent entre eux à beaucoup d’égards, et qui à beaucoup d’égards aussi ne ressem blent a aucun des autres: de multiples caractères leur appartiennent en commun; bon nombre de ces caractères communs n’appartiennent qu’aeux.¹ Pourtant, les deux traites qu’il a composés pour enseigner ces deux arts se ressemblent très peu. Cela ne veut pas dire qu’ils s’ignorent réciproquement: l’un des deux...

  6. SECTION II: THE STATUS OF THEART OF RHETORIC
    • SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE INTRODUCTION TO ARISTOTLE’S RHETORIC
      (pp. 99-116)
      ECKART SCHÜTRUMPF

      In this paper I will deal with the relationship of the introductory chapter of Aristotle’s Rhetoric to earlier texts, mainly those of Plato. It is no surprise to find that Aristotle was indebted to thePhaedrus.However, notenough attention has been paid to the fact that in Plato’sLawsthere exists a framework of reference which can help to explain what has been called “the austere view”¹ expressed in the first chapter of Aristotle’sRhetoric.Before I address this issue, I will briefly discuss the character ofRhetoric1.1 in comparison with the forms of introduction Aristotle developed in some...

    • ARISTOTLE AND THE LEGITIMACY OF RHETORIC
      (pp. 117-128)
      JÜRGEN SPRUTE

      The fact that Aristotle treated rhetoric seriously, gave lectures on it, and wrote what has to be understood as an “art of rhetoric” seems to have been a source of embarrassment to some modern readers.¹ After Plato’s verdict on the popular rhetoric of the sophists and his requirements for a true rhetoric of quite another kind, one could perhaps have expected Aristotle to abstain from shallow things such as an art of persuasion, particularly if it comprised instructions for arousing emotions and discussions of sophistic tricks for fallacious argument. Because of certain similarities between some doctrines of thePhaedrusand...

    • ARGUMENTS IN CONTEXT: ARISTOTLE’S DEFENSE OF RHETORIC
      (pp. 129-166)
      MARY MARGARET McCABE

      Is the opening of Aristotle’sRhetorica muddle, an agglomeration of two versions of the text, haphazardly assembled? Or is there a coherent strategy to be found here? It has been persuasively suggested that two different strands of argument with in theRhetoriccorrespond to two stages in the development in Aristotle’s logic (an earlier,Topics-based stage, and a later one that uses the theory of the syllogism put forward in thePrior Analytics).¹ But I shall argue that theRhetoricis not ill-knit after all. For the appearance of fracture derives from Aristotle’s standard practice of considering the views...

    • THE USES OF ENDOXA: PHILOSOPHY AND RHETORIC IN THE RHETORIC
      (pp. 167-190)
      GLENN W. MOST

      I. On the one hand, Aristotle is clearly at pains, particularly in the opening chapters of hisRhetoric,to establish that there is a relation of some sort between that text and certain others of his writings; on the other hand, his various statements only indicate that he believes there is such a relation without specifying unambiguously just what that relation is supposed to be.¹

      Sometimes this is due to his use of metaphors, explicitly ad vertised as such, to which it is not entirely clear what literal meaning corresponds. Thus in 1.2 he says that rhetoric is “like some...

  7. SECTION III: RHETORIC, ETHICS, AND POLITICS
    • ETHICAL-POLITICAL THEORY IN ARISTOTLE’S RHETORIC
      (pp. 193-210)
      JOHN M. COOPER

      Aristotle’sRhetorictreats of a certain mental attainment, the developed capacity (hexis, Rhet.1.1.2, 135437) that enables a person to speak persuasively in certain contexts and on certain sorts of questions. Strictly speaking, it is the ability to speak persuasively when addressing citizens of a Greek city gathered either in the assembly to pass laws and resolutions of the people, or in law-co`urts as jurors to decide the rights and wrongs of disputed cases, or else on occasions of political ceremony to hear patriotic speeches. The sorts of questions on which the person with this hexis can speak are those...

    • POPULAR MORALITY, PHILOSOPHICAL ETHICS, AND THE RHETORIC
      (pp. 211-230)
      STEPHEN HALLIWELL

      Within the structure of demarcations which supplies part of the framework of Aristotelian thought, we find an apparently firm conceptual separation between the art of rhetoric, conceived as a general facility of persuasion, and the province ofpolitikē,whose concern, on the philosopher’s understanding, is the realization of the human good in the activity of both individual and communal lives.¹ Aristotle had pressing reasons for requiring the subordination of rhetoric topolitikē,and for insisting on a distinction that, in his view, had been dangerously compromised by the tendencies of Sophistic culture.² TheRhetoricitself borrows a theatrical metaphor from...

    • L’ORATEUR POLITIQUE FACE À SES CONTRAINTES
      (pp. 231-254)
      JEAN-LOUIS LABARRIÈRE

      EnRhet.3.12.5, 1414a8, Aristote compare le style (lexis) de la harangue (ta dēmēgorika), ou discours délibératif (symbouleutikon), à uneskiagraphia,c’est-à-dire, en première approximation, à un type de peinture jouant du rapport des ombres et des lumières, des traits et des couleurs, voire des illusions optiques et de l’altération des formes géométriques, pour donner à voir des choses qu’elle ne reproduit pas exactement, ainsi que le ferait une copie. Pour qui donc lirait cette comparaison avec les lunettes de Platon, la cause de la harangue devrait être entendue puisque, très schématiquement résumée, son argumentation se laisse ainsi présenter: il...

  8. SECTION IV: RHETORIC AND LITERARY ART
    • PITY AND FEAR IN THE RHETORIC AND THE POETICS
      (pp. 257-282)
      ALEXANDER NEHAMAS

      Even when he feels his case has been very strong, Aristotle is unlikely to resist introducing an additional argument in to a philosophical discussion if one is available to him.¹ Perhaps the best example of this consists of chapters 2–3 ofPhysicsI: having claimed that, as a natural philosopher, he need not argue against Melissus and Parmenides (because their monism and their denial of motion put the moutside the domain of natural philosophy strictly speaking), Aristotle proceeds to argue against them anyway—echei gar philosophia hē skepsis(185a20). But his criticisms of the theory of Forms inMetaphysics...

    • SUBSTITUTION ET CONNAISSANCE: UNE INTERPRÉTATION UNITAIRE (OU PRESQUE) DE LA THÉORIE ARISTOTÉLICIENNE DE LA MÉTAPHORE
      (pp. 283-306)
      ANDRÉ LAKS

      La théorie de la métaphore, dont l’histoire commence avec Aristote, semble pouvoir faire l’objet de deux analyses symétriques.¹ Si l’on y voit, comme dans la doctrine classique des tropes, un terme figuré, qui vient se substituer au terme propre², la métaphore tend à revêtir une valeur purement ornementale, dont le discours devrait toujours pouvoir à la rigueur se passer. Venant occuper la place d’un autre terme, elle ne dit rien que le mot qu’elle remplace n’aurait aussi dit, et proprement dit: phénomène simplement lexical, l’ornement métaphoriquen’apprend rien.³ La métaphore moderne, en revanche, se refuse à n’être qu'une simple “tournure,”...

  9. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 307-308)
  10. INDEX LOCORUM
    (pp. 309-320)
  11. INDEX NOMINUM
    (pp. 321-322)