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Chapter Eight Aristotle’s Rhetoric

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Chapter Summary

Aristotle's Rhetoric is the crowning theoretical achievement in Greek classical rhetoric. The treatise is the outcome of the philosopher's lively interest in the art of persuasion, to which he devoted a series of inquiries from his youth. The Rhetoric is, like most of the writings of Aristotle that have come down to us, an esoteric work, intended not for publication but for giving lectures in the school. The treatise has to be recognized as a work of philosophy, and can only be fully understand if it is related to the general framework of Aristotelian thought. With respect to speeches of praise and blame, he advises covering not only actual qualities but also qualities which resemble real ones. In spite of its philosophical nature, the Rhetoric cannot be circumscribed as a purely speculative work: it retains a pragmatic dimension, oriented to the production of speeches.

Keywords: Aristotelian thought; Aristotle's Rhetoric; esoteric work; Greek classical rhetoric



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