Aristotle’s Rhetoric has had an enormous influence on the development of the art of rhetoric. Not only authors writing in the peripatetic tradition, but also the famous Roman teachers of rhetoric, such as Cicero and Quintilian, frequently used elements stemming from the Aristotelian doctrine. Nevertheless, these authors were interested neither in an authentic interpretation of the Aristotelian works nor in the philosophical sources and backgrounds of the vocabulary that Aristotle had introduced to rhetorical theory. Thus, for two millennia the interpretation of Aristotelian rhetoric has become a matter of the history of rhetoric, not of philosophy. In the most influential manuscripts and editions, Aristotle’s Rhetoric was surrounded by rhetorical works and even written speeches of other Greek and Latin authors, and was seldom interpreted in the context of the whole Corpus Aristotelicum. It was not until the last few decades that the philosophically salient features of the Aristotelian rhetoric were rediscovered: in construing a general theory of the persuasive, Aristotle applies numerous concepts and arguments that are also treated in his logical, ethical, and psychological writings. His theory of rhetorical arguments, for example, is only one further application of his general doctrine of the sullogismos, which also forms the basis of dialectic, logic, and his theory of demonstration. Another example is the concept of emotions: though emotions are one of the most important topics in the Aristotelian ethics, he nowhere offers such an illuminating account of single emotions as in the Rhetoric. Finally, it is the Rhetoric, too, that informs us about the cognitive features of language and style…

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1. Works on Rhetoric

2. The Agenda of the Rhetoric

3. Rhetoric as a Counterpart to Dialectic

4. The Purpose of Rhetoric

4.1 The Definition of Rhetoric

4.2 The Neutrality of Aristotelian Rhetoric

4.3 Why We Need Rhetoric

4.4 Aristotelian Rhetoric as Proof-Centered and Pertinent

4.5 Is There an Inconsistency in Aristotle’s Rhetorical Theory?

5. The Three Means of Persuasion

6. The Enthymeme

6.1 The Concept of Enthymeme

6.2 Formal Requirements

6.3 Enthymemes as Dialectical Arguments

6.4 The Brevity of the Enthymeme

Supplement on the Brevity of the Enthymeme

6.5 Different Types of Enthymemes

7. The Topoi

7.1 The Definition of ‘Topos’

7.2 The Word ‘Topos’ and the Technique of Places

7.3 The Elements of a Topos

7.4 The Function of a Topos

Supplement on the Topoi of the Rhetoric

8. Style: How to Say Things with Words

8.1 The Virtue of Style

8.2 Aristotelian Metaphors

*Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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