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The Emotion In Aristotle Rhetoric 2.7: Gratitude, Not Kindness

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Chapter Summary

This chapter determines just what is emotion? It may be regarded as an expansion and independent confirmation of Rapp’s thesis, which must take pride of place as the first detailed published defense of the view put forward below. Kindness is not an emotion for Aristotle, and it should be expunged from all lists of the Aristotelian pathê without further ado, to be replaced throughout by gratitude, the emotion that Aristotle in fact examines in the chapter. Or If it is convincing, then we must revise the list of basic emotions that Aristotle treats in the Rhetoric, expelling benevolence or kindness, which never did sound much like an emotion (how is it different from eunoia or good will?) and inserting gratitude in its place, an emotion that has otherwise been conspicuously lacking in a treatise devoted to rhetoric.

Keywords: Aristotelian pathê; emotion in Aristotle rhetoric; kharis; kindness; pathos



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