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Aristotle's Enthymeme, Thymos, And Plato

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Chapter Summary

Plato assigned specific roles to the class of people who were dominated by the thymos, the thymoeideis; he associated them with certain martial values, as well as with a somewhat limited intellectual capacity. It seems entirely possible, therefore, that in his choice of this term for rhetoric, Aristotle was influenced by this striking usage by Plato. It is the primary goal of this chapter to explore this possibility. Here the author would like to promote an understanding of the enthymeme as a form of cognitive activity that takes place within the context of emotional response and to extend the analysis of Bill Fortenbaugh's Aristotle on Emotion, particularly with regard to the irrational aspects of emotion. He explains that for Aristotle emotion belongs to the alogical side of a bi-partite soul, but that it nevertheless has a cognitive capacity.

Keywords: Aristotle on emotion; Aristotle’s enthymeme; Bill Fortenbaugh; Plato; rhetoric; thymos



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