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their minds, which the orator has made use of.

The third springs out of the discourse itself,


namely whether a true or apparent demon-
stration has been given to the subject.

An ORATOR will persuade by the help of his
mien and manner, provided he speaks in such
wise as to render himself worthy of confidence.
For virtue is ever possessed of that open credit,
that we make more liberal allowance, and take
less time to do it, in favour of trie virtuous than
the immoral ; and this more particularly in mat-
ters of doubt, wherein our minds perceive no cer-
tain path of reason, on either side, for our direc-

In such a case, we entirely surrender, under con-
fidence, to th<* person who addresses us. But it must
be remarked, that this credit ought not simply to
proceed from the prepossession of the auditory,
but also from the address of the discourse. Nor
should we regard some of those rhetorical writers,
who, in point of that morality and probity, which
should be effulgent in the language of the orator,
maintain that it is absolutely of no avail in win-
ning upon the mind : so far is this opinion from
being correct, that there is no one avenue to per-
suasion more direct than what has been just re-

Conviction may be obtained from an auditory,
with reference to them alone, because they may
be led at the discretion of those passions which
the discourse has excited. For, our judgments
are varied by the contrary moods of hilarity or


depression, partiality or hatred. On this method
of persuading, so much dwelt upon by rhetori-
cians, we shall more fully speak when we come
to treat of the passions.

Finally, persuasion is obtained through the
effect of the discourse either tending to prove that
the subject is clearly true, or leaving it only so in

Artificial proof depending, then, upon these
three points, he who would be master of them
must apply to the study of three things, as follow :
first, a knowledge in the making of syllogisms;
secondly, a deep acquaintance with the manners
and qualities of men ; and, thirdly, the science
of conducting the passions. For instance : in
the latter, he should know the particular nature
of each passion ; wherein it differs from others ;
its origin, and the modes most likely to excite it.
Thus it appears, not only that rhetoric is a
germ and shoot of logic, but also of that part of
ethics which may, with reason, be denominated
political. Hence it is, that rhetoric, assuming a
borrowed garment, often passes for politics ; those
who profess it, very frequently being led into the
vanity of such assumption through pride, igno-
rance, or other human considerations. Having
thus connected rhetoric with the mother art of
logic, let us now sptak of their power and rela-
tion individually.


Of EXAMPLE and ENTHYMEM, as related to

The two latter are the modes (whether they be
either true or apparent) of demonstrating proofs
in logic ; while in rhetoric, the same use is
made of example as was made of induction in the
other art, and of enthymem correspondent with
that of syllogism. I have shown in my Analytics,
that no logical demonstration can be made with-
out the help of syllogism or induction. In rheto-
rical proof, the same necessity occurs of employ-
ing example and enthymem. Thus we see a strong
reciprocity between each opposed to each, in
their respective arts.

The difference between example and induction
has been already shown in my Topics. When in
logic a man wishes to prove a thing to be of a
certain nature, and that, in order so to prove, he
brings in a number of other matters in every re-
spect similar to the one debated, his mode of
proof is named induction. The rhetorician pro-
ceeds to the same end by example. So likewise in
logic, when the disputant establishes certain fixed
propositions, and by one necessary consequence
comes to draw another proposition totally differ-
ent from the preceding, merely because the pre-
ceding were established ones (it matters not whe-
ther true or probable) ; such a series is called
syllogism. The same deduction is named enthy-


mem, in rhetoric. Each of these two modes is
greatly advantageous to him who makes good use
of them, as each contains within itself, in a man-
ner, a separate species of rhetoric. What has
been observed in my book of Methods^ regarding
the manner of proof peculiar to logic, strongly
applies to t hetoric, in this respect, that the latter,
as well as the former, has two distinct pre-
ferences in its modes of proof. For instance,
some orators prefer the use of example in their
discourses, while others stickle for the rfrjcacy of
enthymem. The former class of speakers achieve
persuasion in no inferior degree to the latter, ex-
cept, indeed, the advantage which enthymem
possesses, of making a more lasting impression on
the mind, and calling it more into exercise. For
this we shall assign causes in a proper place.

Let us now show, by conclusive reasoning, the
matters to which enthymem will apply.

Every thing within the proper sphere of per-
suasion is personally relative, i. e. may be em-
ployed to persuade any person. This again di-
vides itself into two species of capacity, one
whereof is self persuasive, and credible at first
view ; the other merely receiving its belief from
being seemingly founded upon proofs of equal
quality with the first. Now, since there is no
art which is merely considerative of mdmidualsy
or takes them as objects (medicine, for instance,
proposes not individually what would be best for


the health of CalTias or Socrates, but searches ge-
perally into cases of similar afflictions, consider-
ing the difference of temperament ; it being fea-
sible, that the infinite number of individuals out-
runs the possibility of comprehension in any one
art or science), we may take it for a consequence,
that rhetoric will be equally far from proposing to
itself, or considering any probability, with re-
ference to any one individual, or attempt per-
suasion in that way : for example, it will not
search into the probability of a thing affecting So-
crates or Hippias, but it will consider the pro-
bable effect upon such minds, under the circum-
stance of different inclinations and moral dispo-

In like manner it is that logic trifles not in
arguing or syllogising upon every indifferent mat-
ter which presents itself, even though that matter
may appear to certain individuals in the light of
probability ; for there are things which, as pro-
bable, strike certain persons, such as fools and
madmen. The only matters on which logic ex-
pends its arguments, are those which, not being
of themselves sufficiently warranted, stand in
need of being proved. As to rhetoric, it applies
itself solely to subjects which have customarily
been matter of deliberation, examining those
things upon which men ordinarily consider, and
to which no art is attached : this too it does, for the
convenience of unenlightened auditors incapable


of comprehending any thing which embraces se-
veral topics at once, or or following up in their
minds a lengthened series of reasoning. Here
it may be observed, that deliberation is generally
consequent alone upon what appears to have
fallen out differently from previous experience
this being the only source of deliberation. Be-
sides, it is impossible to deliberate upon the past,
when we cannot prevent the occurrence which
has taken place : nor upon the future, for it is
out of our power to turn the course of events :
nor upon the present, for it is not practicable to
annihilate the existence of a thing, at least, so
long as the opinion and belief concerning it shall

The Manner of ARGUING in RHETORIC.

As to what regards argument upon, and the
establishment of any matter syllogistically, or by
consequences, two methods are generally em-
ployed on this head, viz. either by inferring
conclusions from propositions which are al-
ready proved by other syllogisms or arguments ;
or, secondly, by deducing from propositions stand-
ing in need of being so proved, on account of
their not being probable of themselves. But,
perhaps, neither of these two methods is proper
for the purposes of rhetoric: the first, by reason
of its intricacy and length, being above the com-
prehension of a simple and unintelligent hearer;
and the second, on account of its incapacity to


persuade, because it advances matters neither
carrying probability with them, nor avowed by
the world. From these observations it follows,
respecting enthymem and example, that they
should be always employed upon matters of un-
certainty, and upon subjects which have ordi-
narily happened in a different manner from the
existing one. And, with respect to the form
of the enthymem, we may lay down, that it cannot
advance so many circumstances, or be composed
of as many propositions as the perfect syllogism ;
because, if one of these propositions be known,
the auditor requires of us to omit it. For ex-
ample : we wish to proclaim, " that Doricus, the
famous wrestler, has conquered, and been crown-
ed at the Olympic games ;" it would be quite
sufficient to say, " that Doricus obtained the
prize ;" there being no necessity of adding the
general proposition-" that the victors at those
games are crowned there," because that custom is
yniversally known to be general.

The Nature of those Propositions, of which the
ENTHYMEM is composed.

Among the propositions, wherewith rhetoric
forms its syllogisms, there are but few founded
upon necessity ; for the greater part of those matters
which are adjudged at bar, and those deliberathely
treated of, arc uncertain so far as they induce the



possibility of -varied contingency in all. Besides, de-
liberativespeculationsare hinged uponmatter of ex-
tended enterprise, or agency, and it is well known
that all human actions are of such a nature, as to
prevent our calculation upon necessary effects, or
infallible event. Let us consider, then, that
contingent propositions, which are true only in re-
lation to ordinary circumstances, should be always
proved by others of a similar nature, and un-
certain as themselves ; while, on the other hand,
necessaries must be proved by necessaries (as has
already been said in the Analytics). It will be con-
sequent, that the derivative matter of enthymem will
be, for the most part, UNCERTAIN, or CONTINGENT,
and very little of it NECESSARY.

In truth, every enthymem which is made, rests
its proof either upon probability or signs ; inso-
much, that such probability, and such signs, should
be but one and the same thing reciprocally, in
regard to matters of necessity and uncertainty ; and,
in fact, properly speaking, probability is that
which ordinarily happens, not absolutely ; not,
ss some persons pretend to have it, in the
definitions which they give on this head, indif-r
fesrently comprehending, under the title of pro-
bable, all things, of whatsoever nature they may
be, never troubling themselves about the fit-
ness, or unfctness, of their universality. In rhe-
toric, probability should be solely understood as
relating to matters which do not always occur


alike, and to be only connected with those things
from which its quality is reflected, in the same
relationship which universal bears

Of SIGNS, and their Difference.

Of these, there are two kinds; one relating to
things which the species of sign represents, as
from par titular to universal ; i. e. it must be proved
in the same way, as if we proved a general by a
particular proposition.

The second kind is the converse of the othe
in relation, being from universal to particular'.
Of the latter, there are again two classes : the
first, necessary; to which the name of tecmerium
has been given ; the second, not necessary', and
simply called signs. By necessary signs^ I under-
stand those which may become syllogistic matter ;
herein the proof is convincing; and with this
class, for that reason, the tecmerium is num-
bered. For whenever an orator alleges, in proof,

matters which he thinks unanswerable, such

'... '_

proof he qualifies by the appellation of tecmerium,
as if he should say, "This proof is demonstrative,

and puts an end to the question." The word

lennar, which is the root of tecmerium, in the

old signification, implies the idea of boundary.

Now for examples of those signs, and first
of that kind which we have mentioned, to bear
the relation of particular to universal. For ia-
stance ; the following made of reasoning :

C 2


ff A sign that all men of ability are virtuous,
is, that Socrates, who was a man of
ability, was also a virtuous one."
Such reasoning would be adducing a sign for
its proof. However, that sign would not bo
either necessary or convincing, because it could not
be reduced to a syllogism, which never draws an
universal from a simple proposition. But if a
person reasoned thus :

" A sign that such a man is sick, is, that he

has a fever "

" A sign that such a woman is a mother, is,

that she has got a breast of milk :*'
This sort of sign would be necessary, and the
only one which we could call teenier ium ; for when
any sign is of such quality, that it singly suffices
to impress the truth of what is said, the proof is
then convincing and unanswerable.

As to the other species of signs which stand in
the relation of universal to particular, and which
are not necessary, the following may serve to il-
lustrate :

" A sign of that man's having a fever, is,
that he respires as if he were out of

This would be certainly true, but easily an-
swered, since it often happens that a man is out
of breath without being in a fever.

Haying explained the nature of probability and


signs, and also recounted the different species of
the latter, with their several distinctions, I shall
refer the reader for a more detailed account o
those matters to the ANALYTICS.


The affinity of this with induction, and in what
the latter consists, has already been shown. Ex-
&nple must not be considered, in regard to those
subjects which it serves to exemplify, as the par-
ticular is considered with regard to its universal,
or vice 'versa ; and still less in the relation of
universals to each other. But it must be viewed
in the light of one particular with another, and in
the relation of like to like. Whenever two. things
are found under one common kind, and that one
is more known than the other, that which is
more known is properly termed example. For
supposing me inclined to demonstrate, that when
Dionysius of Syracuse demanded body-guards, he
had a design of becoming tyrant ; I would say
that Pisistratus, in the same manner, at first de-
manded body-guards, and, when he got them,
seized upon the government. I would say that
Theagenes acted in the same manner at Me gar a ;
and would adduce still farther instances wherein
tyrants had become such by the like proceedings ;
all which would serve as an example to Dionysius
of Syracuse ; but yet it would not be clear that lit
demanded body-guards with any such design.

c 3


All the above-cited examples may be compre*
hended under this general proposition, viz.

" That whoever meditates tyranny, and
seizure of the government, demands

Thus far have we shown in what consists the
rhetorical proofs, which appear to be demon-


The difference of those is so great, that few
can boast a thorough knowledge of them ; in
fact, it is the same as the difference between
logical syllogisms ; some enlhyntems being as pecu-
liar to rhetoric, as some syllogisms are to logic.
More of them pertain to other different arts and
faculties, either of invention or known science.
Hence the obscurity with which they appear to
the auditor; and hence, those who use them con-
trary to the lessons of rhetoric or logic, ramble
wide of their art, and no longer reason either as
logicians or orators. This will appear more evi-
dent upon farther explanation. We must next
observe, that the logical syllogisms are those to
which we assign places. Of the latter, there are
two kinds : one common the other proper. By
common-place^ I mean that which will serve in
proof ot divers matters^ such as jurisprudence,
physics, politics, and many other matters spe-
cially different from one another. Of this descrip-


(ion, is the common-place, which treats of greater
and lesser; because we may derive from it syl-
logisms and enthymems upon matters of right or
physics equally as well as upon other sciences j
and yet all these matters are severally distinct.
Place-proper is that which is particular to each
kind and each species of propositions. For in-
stance ; there are propositions so dependant upon
physics as to preclude the inference of enthymems
and syllogisms for the proof of ethics, and vice
versa. This is to be equally understood of ail
other particular and specific propositions.

It must be here remarked of common-place, that
% it, a man will never become learned upon
any particular subject, because it is vague, and
treats of no determinate matter. It is otherwise
with place-proper i for, the more those proposi-
tions which we draw from it are select, and par-
ticular to the subject of which we treat, the more
removed we become from logic and rhetoric, and
the nearer we approach some other science : the
reason is obvious, because, if we carry back
those propositions to principles, our reasoning and
proof have no further concern with logic or rhe-
toric, but with that science alone, on the prin-
ciples of which we have touched. We must
farther observe, that the greater part of en-
thymems are derived solely from pl^ce-propcr^
and very few proceeding from common-place. We
shall then make a division of euthymems in
c 4


the same manner as we have already done in our
Topics, viz. into as many places proper as there
are sorts of propositions whence they might be
derived. I shall name those propositions places
proper of enlhymems, which are particular to each
kind of rhetoric separately : those propositions
shall be called places common of enthymem, which
are common to all the kinds aggregated, and
which serve in proof of all sorts of matter.
Let us now speak of those branches, into which
rhetoric resolves itself, that, having recounted
them as to number, we may see in particular, the
elements of each, and the propositions befitting


The KINDS of Rhetoric.

Rhetoric has, within it, as many divisions of
kind, as there are descriptions of auditors* viz,
three. For, every discourse turns upon three
subjects of consideration ; to wit, the speaker,
the subject treated of, and the person addressed.
The latter is termed the auditor, and to him the
discourse principally refers. Every auditor should
he, of necessity, either a simple hearer or a judge.
In the latter case, he is to take cognizance either
of things already done, or those not yet done*


An auditor, who has to judge of what has not
yet happened, but which is merely intended,
may be illustrated by the people of Athens, as-
sembled in debate upon the affairs of the re-
public. He who pronounces on the past, and
what has been accomplished, is, properly speak-
ing, a magistrate, or judge. And, finally, the
simple hearer is he who comes for the gratifi-
cation of curiosity, or to enjoy the pleasure of
hearing a distinguished orator. The three kinds
of rhetoric correspondent with these three descrip-
tions of auditors, are

The deliberative,

The judiciary, and

The demonstrative.

The first of these comprises two parts, viz,
persuasion and dissuasion ; for, whether in private
or public debate, one or other of them is gene-
rally atchieved.

The second kind has also two subordinate
parts, namely, accusation and defence ; for the
general result of the advocate's pleading turn*
upon either of the two.

The third kind also contains under it two parts,
encomium and inculpation.

To each of the above three kinds of rhetoric,
is also incident a time peculiar to it indivi-
1 dually.

The future pertains to the deliberative ; for every
man who deliberates, whether for the purpose of


advising or dissuading, does so on matters which
have not yet occurred.

The past is appropriate to t\\e judiciary kind f
for no actions are ever accused or defended, ex-
cept those which have been accomplished.

And the present is most applicable to the de-
monstrative, because nothing is praised or cen-
sured if it be not effective, and'in operation.

Not but that orators will, in this case, fre-
quently introduce the mention of the past for the
purpose of awakening the recollection to any
subject ; and even anticipate what has not oc-
curred, as in judging of futurity. Furthermore,
each of these kinds proposes to itself a particular
end and object; and, consequently, there are
three different ends, i. e. each of the three has an
opposite ; for example :

The deliberative proposes to kself an end either
useful or noxious ; for, whatever the orator under-
takes to persuade, he lays down as the best thing
possible ; while the object of his dissuasion is re-
probated as the worst. He is not, however, to
be understood as surrendering his right to use
the ends proposed by the two other kinds, in
-order to strengthen his proof. For instance ; he
will endeavour to show that the thing is just or
unjust, honest or dishonest.

The judiciary pleader proposes to represent his
subject either in the light of justice, or its opposite,
and, for that purpose, he enjoys the privilege of


reserving whatever is to his advantage in the deli-
berative or demonstrative.

Finally, the orator whd enforces praise or
censure, pretends also to show that the object of
his praise is honourable, or that of his censure to
the contrary. The same advantage which the two
preceding enjoyed, is annexed to him. A certain
proof that each of the foregoing kinds proposes
to itself no other end thart that particular one
which we have specified, is, that, touching the
other points, we seldom find any contest between
them respectively. For example ; the judiciary
pleader often will allow a thing to be done which
has been prejudicial, but at the same time he will
not concede that it was unjust ; if he did, there
would be no utility in his plea. The same may
be said of the deliberative orator, who will often
grant you every other point, except those affect-
ing his immediate persuasion or dissuasion, of
utility or disadvantage. Now, in order to know
\vhethcr the subject of advice be contrary to jus-
tice or not, let us suppose the advice of an
orator to be, the subjection of a neighbouring
people, who have committed no injury : the latter
part is what he not only does hot think of, but
even gives himself little trouble to think of.

So it is with those who praise or censure ano^
ther: so far from examining whether he has done
that which will be matter of profit or loss to
him; that they frequently commend him more-


fora contempt of self-interest in undertaking any
glorious action.

For instance, they load with encomiums
AchilleSy who, though perfectly assured that he
should perish, in avenging the death of Patroclus,
his greatest friend, preferred the loss of life, to
the impunity of his affront. It is, however, cer- ,
tain, that if, on the one hand, such a death was
glorious ; on the other, the prolongation of his
life would have been of advantage to him.


The Necessity of COMMON-PLACE, and PLACE-

From what has been said, it is plainly neces-
sary to amass a certain fund of propositions upon
all subjects of discourse connected with the three
kinds of rhetoric. And further, it is to be recol-
lected, that the propositions made use of in rhe-
toric are all derived from probability, and from,
signs both simple and necessary. Besides, the ne-
cessity of thus having a number of propositions
in store, arises from the impossibility of making
syllogisms without them. Thus, enthymem, be-
ing a species of syllogism, must be also com-
posed of propositions, but of the same quality

Online LibraryAristotleA dissertation upon rhetoric → online text (page 2 of 26)