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Techniques Of Proof In 4th Century Rhetoric: Ar. Rhet. 2.23–24 And Pre-Aristotelian Rhetorical Theory

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sheds some new light on the diverse array of argumentative devices which we find in Aristotle, Rhet. 2.23ff. and explains how these argumentative devices work. Further, since Aristotle explicitly mentions some earlier rhetoricians in connection with certain topoi discussed in the chapter, the question arises which format the source material which Aristotle used had and how exactly he transformed it. The author then argued for the view that the Rh. Al., perhaps more clearly than is commonly thought, meets the standard of “accountability”. He turned then and identified two passages in 2.23 in which a method for finding rational arguments very similar to the one he retrieved from the Rh. Al. is assigned to two earlier rhetoricians in such a way that we can plausibly separate a pre-Aristotelian core of material and the element of Aristotelian analysis.

Keywords: Aristotle; earlier rhetoricians; pre-Aristotelian core of material; Rhet. 2.23–24; topoi



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