Elements of Rhetoric

Elements of Rhetoric

Elements of Rhetoric

Elements of Rhetoric

Excerpt

Of Rhetoric various definitions have been given by different writers; who, however, seem not so much to have disagreed in their conceptions of the nature of the same thing, as to have had different things in view while they employed the same term. Not only the word Rhetoric itself but also those used in defining it, have been taken in various senses; as may be observed with respect to the word “Art” in Cic. de Orat., where a discussion is introduced as to the applicability of that term to Rhetoric; manifestly turning on the different senses in which “Art” may be understood.

To enter into an examination of all the definitions that have been given, would lead to much uninteresting and uninstructive verbal controversy. It is sufficient to put the reader on his guard against the common error of supposing that a general term has some real object, properly corresponding to it, independent of our conceptions;— that, consequently, some one definition in every case is to be found which will comprehend everything that is rightly designated by that term;—and that all others must be erroneous : whereas, in fact, it will often happen, as in the . . .

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