Aristotle On Rhetoric Essay Research Paper ristotle — страница 3

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attention solely to metaphysics. With the death of Alexander in 323 B.C., and public scrutiny growing over his relationship with Alexander and other influential Macedonians growing, he turned his school over to Theophrastus and moved to the island of Euboea. Here he lived only a short time before dying in 322 B.C. at the age of sixty-two. Aristotle’s Writings and Philosophies The majority of Aristotle’s writings have since been lost or destroyed in the years following his death. Each work that he produced, however, could be divided into three specific categories: popular writings, memoranda, and the treatises. The popular writings were written for a general audience and modeled after the dialogues of Plato. An example of these would be speeches and public addresses

concentrating on particular subjects such as politics or ethics. His second type of text, the memoranda, was a collection of research material and historical records that Aristotle compiled throughout his many years as a student and research scientist. Unfortunately most of the popular writing and memoranda of Aristotle have not survived the ages since his lifetime. The third group of writings, the treatises, is the only type that still exist today. They include lecture notes or textbooks written for the many classes that he taught at the “Lyceum” and other places across Greece The early writings of Aristotle exhibited his admiration for his teacher, Plato. He imitated Plato’s style by writing in dialogue form and using many of the same themes developed by his instructor.

However, as he continued his studies at the Academy, Aristotle began to develop his own individual views which differed from those of Plato. He began to concentrate on concrete, logical concepts as opposed to Plato’s more conceptual views. Although his views often clashed with those of his student, Plato continued to support Aristotle and encouraged him to promote his own theories of formal logic and rhetoric. These new ideas were expressed in his two most famous works, Organon and Rhetoric. The Organon, or “instrument”, was a collection of papers that included the Categories, Prior and Posterior Analytics, the Topics, and On Interpretation. In these, Aristotle introduced formal logic which he described as the instrument of knowledge. The Rhetoric was written between 360

B.C. and 334 B.C. and dealt with the art of public speaking. This work is clearly written in response to Plato’s condemnation of this art. Aristotle was primarily concerned with the rhetoric of “public address is the civic life of Greece” (Kennedy 7). He believed rhetoric could be divided into specific cases where different types of rhetoric strategies could be used. He called these strategies topoi. In Book Two of Rhetoric he lists twenty-eight common topoi. He also addresses other rhetoric elements such as style, diction, metaphor, and arrangement, but basically ignored the other canons of rhetoric. In any case, this work was the first example of psychological rhetoric ever presented. One of the most notable concepts developed by Aristotle was the notion of pisteis, or

proofs. He believed that there were three means in which persuasion could be accomplished in public address. Pisteis is divided into three sections: ethos, pathos, logos. Ethos is concerned with establishing the moral character of the rhetor. Pathos appeals to the emotions of the audience and logos is described as logical reasoning meant to engage the audience into the rhetors beliefs. Each of these three elements, though seperate, can be combined to elicit a maximum response from the audience. Aristotle was the first to analyze an argument in a logical, orderly manner. He did this by using enthymemes and syllogisms. He described a syllogism as a “deductive argument consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion” (319). The generic syllogism is as follows:

If A belongs to all B, and B belongs to all C, then A belongs to all C. A syllogism, when used in rhetoric context, was called an enthymeme. An enthymeme is “like a syllogism, except that its result is not new knowledge, but action” (Brumbaugh 187). In an enthymeme the rhetor assumes that the audience is an active participant, will “supply the missing part” and be persuaded of the enthymeme’s truth by virtue of having participated in making it fully meaningful” (Covino 48). Enthymemes and syllogisms, as you can see are very closely related. Through his many years of studying the elements of rhetoric, Aristotle developed a general definition that is still accepted today. He believed that “[the function of rhetoric] is not to persuade but to see the available means of