Persuasion: Greek Rhetoric in Action

By Ian Worthington | Go to book overview
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NOTES
1
W.K.C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, III (Cambridge: 1969), pp. 27-34.
2
Cf. further below. The question of Pythagorean connections is controversial: see, for example, W.K.C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, I (Cambridge: 1962), pp. 164-6, 204-5.
3
Cole, Origins of Rhetoric, chapter 1, especially p. 2; on the term rhetorike, p. 98 is more cautious.
4
The term also occurs without any sense of novelty at Euthydemus 307a6, though this may be later than the Gorgias. Isocrates 3.8 (dated c. 368) suggests that the adjective rhetorikos was established usage; cf. Plato, Republic 8.548e5. See too M. Gagarin, chapter 3 above.
5
Despite Cole, Origins of Rhetoric, pp. 118 and 173 n. 4, Alcidamas’ work may well be earlier than Plato’s Phaedrus: for one view, see F. Blass, Die attische Beredsamkeit2, II (Leipzig: 1892), pp. 345-6.
6
On Laws see C. Bobonich, ‘Persuasion, Compulsion and Freedom in Plato’s Laws’, CQ2 41 (1991), pp. 365-88. A recent, harsh account of Plato’s views of rhetoric is given by B. Vickers, In Defence of Rhetoric (Oxford: 1988), chapter 2.
7
Plato allows Callicles to accuse Socrates of his own rhetoric at Gorgias 482c-e. The perception of Plato’s own writing as rhetorical is at least as old as Cicero, De Oratore 1.47. One recent treatment is provided by H. North, ‘Combing & Curling: Orator Summus Plato’, ICS 16 (1991), pp. 201-19.
8
See R.S.W. Hawtrey, Commentary on Plato’s Euthydemus (Philadelphia: 1981), pp. 189-96.
9
Cf., for example, Thuc. 1.22.1 (?); Lys. 10.7; Isoc. 9.10-11 and 13.16-17. Cole, Origins of Rhetoric, chapter 1, is wrong to argue that Plato and Aristotle ‘invented’ the form-substance dichotomy in the conception of rhetoric.
10
When Plato accuses rhetoricians of preferring ‘probability’ (eikos) to truth (Phaedrus 267a, 272d-e), he may exaggerate their avowed position, but he makes a conceptually urgent point: if persuasion is treated as an overriding goal, then truth cannot be guaranteed to be the persuader’s best strategy in every case.
11
This is an instance of philosophy’s attempt to distinguish and distance itself from rhetoric by means of intellectual or argumentative method: see G.E.R. Lloyd, Magic, Reason and Experience (Cambridge: 1979), chapter 2, especially pp. 79-102.
12
Gorgias 484c-486c. Cf. the contrast between philosopher and rhetorician at Theaetetus 172a-177b.
13
There is an incidental mention of Phaedrus at 1408b20; cf. n. 14 below.
14
EN 1181a12-15, Rhetoric 1356a27-8 (with an allusion to Plato, Gorgias 464c); cf. Metaphysics 4.2, 1004b17-26, especially the motif of the ‘choice of life’ at 24-25 (with p. 230 above).
15
A further part of the formal conception is usually taken to be the category of ‘style’; but I have qualified this view in ‘Style and Sense in Aristotle Rhetoric Book 3’, Revue Internationale de Philosophie 47 (1993), pp. 50-69.
16
Likewise with dialectic: Rhetoric 1355a33 ff., Topics 163a36 ff.

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