I. The concept of rhetoric (96-103)
A. The origins of rhetorical thought
1. The rhetorical orientation of mythic culture
2. The need for forensic eloquence:
Aristotle, therefore, informs us, that when the tyrants were expelled from Sicily, and private property, after a long interval of servitude, was secured by the administration of justice, the Sicilians, Corax and Tisias, (for this people, in general, were very quick and accute, and had a natural turn for disquisition), first attempted to write precepts on the art of speaking. (Cicero, Brutus 12. Trans. E. Jones. 1776. Cicero on Oratory and Orators. Ed. J. S. Watson. 1878; rpt. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1970.) [W. K. C. Guthrie states that Cicero's reference is to a lost treatise of Aristotle, Synagoge technon (The Sophists 179).]
B. Definitions of rhetoric (98)
1. Modern definitions inadequate
2. Definition in terms of task or office: peithein, dicendo persuadere, persuasion.
C. Plato's critique of rhetoric (98-100)
1. Rhetoric is a mere "skill"
a. Socratic-Platonic source of the téchn-empeiria opposition:
In both cases [i.e., rhetoric and medicine] there is a nature [physin] that we have to determine, the nature of the body in the one, and of the soul [phych] in the other, if we mean to be scientific [alla téchn] and not content with mere empirical routine [empeiría] when we apply medicine [phármaka] and diet to induce health and strength, or words [lógous] and rules of conduct [epitedeuseis nomimous] to implant such convictions and virtues as we desire. (Phaedrus 270b. Trans. R. Hackforth.)
b. "Theoretical knowledge" opposed to the pedagogy of the Sophists:
. . . The teaching they gave their pupils was ready but rough. For they used to suppose that they trained people by imparting to them not the art [téchn] but its products, as though any one professing that he would impart a form of knowledge to obviate any pain in the feet, were then not to teach a man the art of shoe-making or the sources whence he can acquire anything of the kind, but were to present him with several kinds of shoes of all sorts: for he has helped him to meet his need, but has not imparted an art [téchn] to him. Moreover, on the subject of Rhetoric there exists much that has been said long ago, whereas on the subject of reasoning we had nothing else of an earlier date to speak of at all, but were kept at work for a long time in experimental researches. (De Sophisticis Elenchis 184a-b. Trans. W. A. Pickard.)
2. Plato's prerequisites for a true art of speaking (Phaedrus)
a. The speaker should be in possession, through dialectic, of that which is true.
b. The speaker must have accurate knowledge of the human mind in order to inspire the passions of the audience (psychagogía).
D. Aristotle's Rhetoric (100-01)
1. Aristotle's definition of rhetoric: "rhetoric is the power (faculty, ability, dynamis) about each thing to observe all possible means of persuasion.'" (100)
a. Rhetoric is "neither epistm nor téchn, but dynamis, which, however, could be elevated to a téche."
1) Aristotle's concept of téche:
Now art [téche] arises when from many notions gained from experience [empeiría] one universal judgment about a class of objects is produced. (Metaphysica 981a. Trans. W. D. Ross.)
b. The object of rhetoric is not persuasion but "that which one can advance for a cause."
c. Rhetoric has universal scope: it is "applicable to all disciplines" and, therefore, "a purely formal art."
d. The essential aspect of rhetoric is the discovery of arguments (i.e., inventio).
II. The division of rhetoric and eloquence (103-06)
A. The division of eloquence into types (103-04)
1. based on content
a. genus dikanklon: forensic, judicial (to accuse and defend)
b. genus symbouleutikon: deliberative, legislative (to persuade toward something or to dissuade from something)
c. genus epideiktikon: epideictic (to praise or blame)
2. based on the Latin pedagogical distinction between two kinds of exercises: controversiae (legal speeches) and suasoriae (legislative speeches).
3. based on the Stoic distinction between thésis and hypothesis
a. thésis: subject matter considered in general
b. hypothesis: subject matter considered in given circumstances
B. The division of the rhetorical activity into 5 elements (104-05)
1. heuresis, inventio, invention
2. táxis, dispositio, arrangement
3. lexis, elocutio, style
4. mneme, memoria, memory
5. hypokrisis, pronunciatio, delivery
C. Three sources of rhetorical ability (105-06)