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Rhetoric

Aristotle

Book Overview: 

The Rhetoric was developed by Aristotle during two periods when he was in Athens, the first when he was seconded to Plato in the Academy, and the second when he was running his own school, the Lyceum.

The Rhetoric consists of three books.

Book I offers a general overview, presenting the purposes of rhetoric and a working definition; it also offers a detailed discussion of the major contexts and types of rhetoric.

Book II discusses in detail the three means of persuasion that an orator must rely on: those grounded in credibility (ethos), in the emotions and psychology of the audience (pathos), and in patterns of reasoning (logos).

Book III introduces the elements of style (word choice, metaphor, and sentence structure) and arrangement (organization). Some attention is paid to delivery, but generally the reader is referred to the Poetics for more information in that area.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .pinnacle, which is called the door of the womb, because it preserves the matrix from cold and dust. The Greeks called it clitoris, and the Latins praeputium muliebre, because the Roman women abused these parts to satisfy their mutual unlawful lusts, as St. Paul says, Romans 1. 26.

The body of the womb is where the child is conceived, and this is not altogether round, but dilates itself into two angles; the outward part is full of sinews, which are the cause of its movements, but inside it is fleshy. It is wrongly said, that in the cavity of the womb there are seven divided cells or receptacles for the male seed, but anatomists know that there are only two, and also that those two are not divided by a partition, but only by a line or suture running through the middle of it.

At the bottom of the cavity there are little holes called cotyledones, which are the ends of certain veins or arteries, and serve breeding women to convey nourishment to the child, wh. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I need an Idiot's Guide type book to help me with this one because this is just not sinking in. Perhaps I need to reread it. ehh. I'm not really a fan of rhetoric to begin with but this is certainly the book for orators, politicians, and lawyers to be. Proof, proof, proof, make sure you can back...more

Right off the bat, Im not going to say I understood it all. I felt like a fish out of water for a bit with Aristotles discussions on enthymemes and syllogism and so on (mostly because my previous experience with Classical Philosophy centred on choice passages relating to social history rather tha...more

The first book of Aristotle’s highly taxonomical Rhetoric opens with a parsing of dialectic and rhetoric. He sets up the latter as an art of persuasion related to but nevertheless distinguishable from the former. After exploring the usefulness of syllogisms and enthymemes for both arts, Aristotle...more

The only rhetoric textbook a classical school should ever need (I exaggerate slightly... but not much). Aristotle's Art of Rhetoric has everything. And it's all brilliant. I've been using this (Book I particularly) as my 11th grade writing curriculum this year, and it's amazing. This translation...more

Don't be put off by the rating. Worth a read.

I'm sure it's excellent, necessary, brilliantly designed, etc. But so is a sewer system, and you don't want to spend too much time there either.

You may never have read anything by Aristotle; but if you've ever taken a college writing course, you've had him as your teacher. The Art of Rhetoric did so much to define how subsequent generations, and civilizations, regarded the task of crafting persuasive language that it can truly be regarde...more

Not Aristotle's clearest or best organized work, but still part of the core curriculum of a liberal education.

Why read Aristotle today? Because he is one of the greatest minds in Western history, and such a person's well-considered thoughts are inherently worth reading, if anything is.

In addition...more

Aristoteles'in Platon'un "Gorgias"da bahsettiği Retorik kavramını bir üst seviyeye taşıdığı eseri "The Art of Rhetoric / Retorik", insani tutumlara dair mükemmele yakın tanımlamarıyla adeta bir hayat sözlüğü niteliğinde. Kıskançlık, kibir, gurur, hırs, yaşlılık, gençlik gibi bir sürü kavramın açı...more

Aristotle defines. Unmercifully. And The Art of Rhetoric is no exception. Aristotle disdained the sophist tradition of ancient Greece as much as Plato, but he also understood that rhetoric was a popular study of the day and it became another discipline he sought to master. With a scientific eye a...more

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